What People are Reading
- What a very sad and shocking
2 years 29 weeks ago
- Smart Meters
2 years 32 weeks ago
- 100 year old house burns
2 years 32 weeks ago
- Column 2-10 re Treason
2 years 41 weeks ago
- Radical Difference
2 years 42 weeks ago
- This activity is such a
2 years 50 weeks ago
- Okay Great we got a sign!
2 years 50 weeks ago
- Hate Crime a Sad Moment Indeed
3 years 1 day ago
More in News
Embattled board hears support, disapproval
POLAND — Voices of approbation and reproach were heard by the board of selectmen during a Tuesday public hearing on the upcoming recall vote for three board members.
Chairwoman Wendy Sanborn, Vice Chair Larry Moreau and James Fernald are accused of violating Poland's charter, which outlines procedures for town manager removal, when they voted to abruptly terminate former Town Manager Rosemary Kulow in late October.
Stan Tetenman said the board's explanation that Kulow was terminated without cause, as outlined in her employment agreement, did not excuse it from following procedure.
He questioned why the board hired Rosemary Roy without advertising the position to find the most qualified applicant and suggested the town had lowered its standards for town manager.
The board was well within its rights to hire Roy and there was no requirement for a formal town manager search, Sanborn replied. Roy's long tenure in the town office fully qualified her for the position, she stated.
"There are times when somebody's experience on the ground and in the trenches surpasses ... formal education," Sanborn said.
"Ms. Roy has spent decades here and has had the town in her heart ... and her experience speaks for itself."
Other residents expressed their support for the board and opposition to the recall.
Norm Beauparlant said he knew all three selectmen well and although he didn't always agree with their decisions, believed they were acting in the town's best interest.
"It's incredible to think that we encourage folks to run for this position and the minute they put that hat on there's something evil about it," he said.
Peter Bolduc, a former selectman, expressed thanks and appreciation to board members and said he trusted their judgement.
He acknowledged board members could have accidentally violated the charter, but didn't think it was cause for a recall.
Recall proponent Michelle Arsenault said the campaign wasn't about individual board members' personalities.
"It's not about who we like and don't like," Arsenault said. "It's about following the charter."
Sanborn iterated that Kulow was terminated under the terms of her employment agreement.
"So we were not beholden to follow the charter in this particular venue," Sanborn said.
She also said the charter made it possible to start recall proceedings for virtually any reason.
"It's just really sad to see that people can get recalled for something that they didn't even do," Sanborn said.
Art Berry, a recall organizer, reiterated that the central issue was a violation of the charter.
"I have no disrespect for any of you folks," Berry told the board, "but when you break a law there is repercussions."
He said the recall committee could not afford a lawyer to prove its case to board members and a recall was the only recourse to get answers from selectmen.
David Corcoran told board members their actions were unacceptable.
When residents raised concerns about Kulow's termination in early November he expected board members to apologize for violating the charter and complete Kulow's termination properly, he said.
"Instead, they chose to spend tax payer dollars on a lawyer to draft an alibi for their behavior. It's not acceptable."
By not following the charter procedure, the board exposed the town to a possible lawsuit if Kulow decided to fight her termination, Corcoran said.
He further claimed the board ignored "strong allegations of misconduct" lodged by town office employee Sue Therriault against a fellow town employee during a November 7 board meeting.
"One would reasonably expect that the board would at least investigate – our board's action was to make the accused manager."
Walter Gallagher, a recall opponent, said he supported the board and suggested residents couldn't expect perfection from selectmen who volunteered their time to the town.
Glenn Peterson, another former selectperson, also expressed his support for the board members.
Selectman Lester Stevens encouraged people to vote, but questioned what would happen if three board members were recalled and the board could not meet a quorum.
Roy said state statute allowed one remaining board member to have minimal powers like paying some bills, payroll and calling an election.
In the event of an election, former board members, even those subject to the recall, would be allowed to run, Roy said.
The recall vote will be held January 3. Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the town hall.