I went to the town hall just before 6 o’clock Monday evening on the off chance that the oust Bucknell meeting may still be on as scheduled. When I arrived the selectmen, and woman, were having a good old time yucking it up. When I asked if the hearing against Chief Bucknell was going on as planned Mary said “we’re all here”; implying that they were planning on going forward with or without Chief Bucknell being present. Charlie said “You posted it” referring to my having sent out an email telling folks that the hearing was scheduled for that evening. I said I also gave notice that it had been postponed. Chairman Turner chimed in saying that the scheduled hearing was cancelled and that now they will use the time to go into executive session to discuss “potential litigation” with town counsel.
I’m not sure, but I don’t think the notice for executive session listed the BoS discussing potential litigation with town counsel; and now we have yet another open meeting law violation. I may just have to call them on this one. I let the last one slide because I just don’t want to sue the town. Not to mention that every time this BoS screws up Mr. Polyp gets more billable hours. I don’t want to bust the BoS’s chops but I have to live by my own words. I told someone awhile back that if they witness an OML violation, it is they who should file a complaint with the AG. So many people have accused these BoS of OMLV’s I have to conclude that there is a problem. The only way to stop this trend is to call the selectmen to task every time they violate the law. Hopefully they will get the hint that people are paying attention and they should at least stay within the law.
Now let’s talk about why this hearing was postponed. The BoS insist that the meeting was put off “at the request of the opposing party” While this is technically true you have to understand that the opposing party is arguing that the town is not complying with discovery requests. Now why would the BoS not send the chief’s attorneys the requested documents? Could it be that the paperwork proves the chiefs case? We were told that this investigation would take only two weeks; we are now into the fifth month. We the town are paying for this; and we’ll be paying for this for years to come. If Reena took this case into a court of law she could have filed a motion to compel discovery. However, because she has chosen to not sue the town, she doesn’t have the right to ask the court to do anything. If the BoS and town counsel keep dragging their feet the Chief may be forced to sue and it will cost the town a lot.
A question that has come up a lot is why was Bruce Turner hired as town accountant? Let’s think about it. The town said that they wanted the FC to control the WC audit. This did not sit well with the BoS as Charlie’s YouTube debut clearly showed. With their hands tied as selectmen they may have decided that the best way to keep their thumb in the pie is to have an insider. What better fox to put into the hen house? Appoint Bruce as the town accountant and he can control the information that is given to the auditors. I’m not saying that Bruce would do anything illegal; but if the auditors ask for documents Bruce only has to give them what was specifically asked for. And if by “accident” the auditors are given the wrong documents; like they are doing with Chief Bucknell’s attorneys, then oops his bad.The fact is that Bruce being appointed as accountant was shoved down our throat and we’re stuck with it. There are so many potential conflicts of interest that it’s ridiculous. Now the only thing we can do is keep a watchful eye on the progress of the audit.