A person signs a petition in Bangor in this Oct. 19, 2016, file photo. Credit: Micky Bedell

A town meeting in Clinton became heated Tuesday evening when residents voiced outrage over a new policy banning signature collection at the local transfer station and on other public property.

The Waterville Morning Sentinel reports that Mike Hachey, the former director of the transfer station, and his wife questioned Clinton’s town manager, Earla Haggerty, about why they were asked to leave the transfer station over the weekend when they went there to collect signatures for a petition.

The couple were collecting signatures for a petition to reinstate Hachey as the transfer station’s director, the Sentinel reports. He was fired in July.

Selectmen and Haggerty discussed a proposal to prohibit signature gathering on July 23, but tabled discussion on the policy until Tuesday’s meeting, prompting criticism from residents about the policy’s rollout, according to the newspaper.

“So they said they’d discuss it tonight and now all of a sudden they’re talking about it like the decision has been made when they said they were going to put it off and talk about it tonight,” said Mark Hachey, the brother of Mike Hachey.

The town manager maintained that signature gathering at the transfer station poses a safety risk, according to the Sentinel.

“I don’t care if it’s signatures for anything or if you want to sell Tupperware up there, all of that presents risk to the town. I’m not going to allow it as long as the board says I’m the director. Get them [signatures] anywhere you want but not on town property when it presents a risk,” Haggerty said.