Vote June 8th for Selectmen Change

| Letter to the editor from John Salisbury |

Last night’s Board of Selectmen meeting was a clear example of why incumbent Selectpersons Chase and Gilles should not be elected to the Board. There is a lack of openness and fairness in process by which the Board of Selectmen operate.

Selectman Bragdon appropriately asked the Board to interview each of the candidates that submitted applications for appointment to serve on the Charter Commission. That request was unreasonably denied.

Because of the votes by Selectpersons Chase, Gilles and Donovan the lack of openness in the process, it has the appearance of prior planning and communications even before the vote was taken. It does not reflect well on the individuals who were appointed, although we know none of the individuals signed the petition to create a charter commission.  

Under the NG Code of Ethics Policy Selectperson Chase also has a “conflict of interest” caused by her vote for her own appointment to the Charter Commission. She abstained from voting for herself in April and should have abstained again last night. The Ethics Policy prohibits even the appearance of a conflict of interest and it also states “… no Town officers or officials should be excused from voting except on matters involving consideration of their own official conduct….”. The legality of her vote on her personal appointment to the Charter Commission is indeed questionable.

The Charter Commission appointment process has been botched at least three times. The Board of Selectmen failed to make their appointments within the timeframe required by the statute. Then they decided to ignore making any appointments until after the June 8th election. Subsequently they reversed that decision in a manner that meant such prospective candidates had to hustle to get nomination papers signed.

This editorial is not an endorsement of Larrivee or Hathorne for three-year terms other than to say they are persons who are committed to more openness in our Town government. The same goes for the one-year candidates Doyle, Shedlarski or Ward. They all are well aware we need change in how our Board of Selectmen operates.   

John Salisbury
417B Sabbathday Road

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