NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 26, 2013

Candidate's eligibility questioned in selectmen's race

Saab calls allegations he lives elsewhere 'baloney'

SALISBURY — An out-of-state license plate is raising questions about the legal residency of a candidate running for a seat on the Board of Selectmen.

A number of individuals contacted The Daily News and other town offices questioning whether selectman candidate Thomas J. Saab actually lives year-round in Salisbury, and if he is eligible to run for town office. One of the reasons for doubt is that his black Lexus carries a New Hampshire license plate and is regularly parked at Saab’s North End Boulevard address.

According to Saab, 59, he moved to Salisbury Beach full-time two years ago. Prior to that, and beginning in 2003, Saab lived in Salem, N.H., where he still owns property and where his Lexus is registered. Saab also confirmed yesterday that he has a New Hampshire driver’s license.

Saab said he didn’t think it would be a problem to live in Massachusetts while keeping vehicles registered in New Hampshire, because he’s a property owner in the Granite State.

“I pay a lot of taxes to the state of New Hampshire, and it was my understanding that I could register my cars in New Hampshire while living full-time here (in Salisbury),” Saab said. “I have four vehicle registered in my name in New Hampshire, but the three other cars are housed in Salem, N.H.”

Under Massachusetts state law, residents have 30 days to register their vehicles in Massachusetts once they move here. According to Salisbury police Chief Tom Fowler, an out-of-state registered car cannot be kept in town overnight for more than 30 days without violating the law.

In New Hampshire, a person must prove residency to register a car there, according to the Seabrook town clerk’s office. However, those who own property in New Hampshire, but live elsewhere, can register up to one vehicle in the state, under the condition that the vehicle remain permanently in New Hampshire overnight.

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