Wednesday, July 24


          The BoS were absolutely stunned that Reena didn’t jump at the deal that they offered to reinstate her as Chief of Police. IT WAS SUCH A GOOD DEAL! Mary was actually hurt because the BoS worked so hard to create a way for Reena to come back and be put out to pasture with dignity. They really tried to make a way for the Chief to save face but she refuses to step in line. The BoS can’t understand why Reena, who is the Egremont police chief, would rather be fired than yield to these 10 little conditions;-?
          Obviously my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek. Does this BoS seriously expect us to believe that they are acting in good faith? They must either be total imbeciles; or they must think we are. The terms, conditions and stipulations that this BoS laid out at last night’s meeting was not a good faith effort to bring back the Chief; it was a blatant attempt at constructive discharge. Constructive discharge is when an employer creates a situation so difficult it forces the employee to quit. In other words they’re saying, we don’t want to fire you so we’ll make you quit. This action is not only unethical; it is illegal and opens our little town up to yet another lawsuit. But I guess we know that this BoS couldn’t care less if the town is sued.
          Let’s look at the BoS proposal. If the Chief wants to come back as the Egremont Chief of Police she only has to agree to these ten little conditions.

1.    At all times when the Chief is on town property she will be escorted by acting chief Shaw, personnel director Bill Tighe or asst. town clerk Will Brinkner.

2.    Scheduling of all work of the officers will be determined by acting chief Shaw or personnel director Bill Tighe; including officers shifts.

3.    Develop, under the supervision of the acting chief, goals and long range plans for the EPD and submit them to the BoS for review

4.    Work with current personnel and the acting chief to update and resolve if possible outstanding cases.

5.    No longer serve as active chief of the department.

6.    No contact with officers.

7.    No contact with management or the people of the department.

8.    The board requires a letter announcing the chief’s retirement.

9.    The chief must waive her right to file any lawsuits against the town or any individual.

10.                       The chief must agree to not retaliate in any way against the officers.

At all times when the Chief is on town property she will be escorted by acting chief Shaw, personnel director Bill Tighe or asst. town clerk Will Brinkner. Let me get this straight, the town is going to pay for an escort service. If the chief is anywhere on town property she will have a paid male escort with her. WOW, I’ll bet Reena never dreamed she would have three male escorts. While having a paid male escort sounds a bit racy on the surface there are a few things the BoS may not have considered. For instance, what if the chief has to go pee? Do they use the men’s room or the ladies room? Perhaps the BoS can make all the bathrooms co-ed; then they can all go together. But then who would be watching who. Now all these male escorts have regular duties in the town, who will be doing those jobs while they’re watching the chief go pee?
Scheduling of all work of the officers will be determined by acting chief Shaw or personnel director Bill Tighe; including officers shifts. I guess this means that the chief of police is outranked by the asst. office clerk. She is to develop, under the supervision of the acting chief, goals and long range plans for the EPD and submit them to the BoS for review. I guess the BoS doesn’t trust the acting chief to develop a plan for the EPD so they’ll have her make the plans and give Brian the credit for it when he implements these plans. Or maybe the BoS doesn’t want the other officers to know that Reena is behind the scenes telling them what to do. This might be contrary to the demands of the probationary police force. After all, probies are always allowed to dictate to management the terms and conditions of employment aren’t they?
The chief will have to work with current personnel and the acting chief to update and resolve if possible outstanding cases. I have to wonder how this can happen since she can no longer serve as the active chief of the department, have contact with any of the officer’s and must have absolutely no contact with management or any of  the other people in the department or at town hall. It seems strange to me that the BoS would act on complaints that the chief is aloof and secretive with her officers and then require her to stay away from them. They punish her for not sharing information with management, town officials and other people in the department then demand that she have no contact with any of these people. They try to dismiss her for allegedly not acting as the chief of the department; then they tell her she can no longer serve as the active chief of the department. Am I missing something? What’s wrong with this picture? IS THIS TWISTED LOGIC OR WHAT?
If the chief agrees with all of the previous conditions the board will require a letter announcing the chief’s retirement. Then she must waive her right to file any lawsuits against the town, any town official or any individual officer. She must also agree to not retaliate in any way against the officers who tried to burn her. I guess the sixty four thousand dollar question is, WHATS IN IT FOR HER?

Sunday, July 21


I've been trying to be as nice as I possibly can to these three louts who have been running our town into the ground. These three don’t even pretend to serve the best interest of the town anymore. Charlie is on a vendetta against a single person and doesn't care what or who he destroys in the process, least of all our town. Somehow he has pulled the other selectmen into his folly and they’ll likely go down with his ship. The wake of absolute destruction left in the path of Charlie’s wrath can compare with the likes of hurricane Sandy. Ask Officer Pilone whose career was bruised pretty badly over this incident. I feel bad for the guy; he trusted Charlie and got shafted in the process and has the tee shirt to prove it.

Speaking of Officer Pilone I’m going to muse about what I think happened with this whole police fiasco. Bear in mind that on my part this is mostly conjecture. I think Officer Pilone wanted to get out of big city police work to settle into a small town and become a small town police chief. He stated as much. Then when he got here he became a little disillusioned because the small town life was a little too quaint for him. He was a little frustrated with the pace and wanted to make some changes so he suggested these changes to his boss the chief. She knew these changes didn't quite fit for this town and rejected these ideas. Men being men he didn't like his ideas being rejected; especially by a woman.
After awhile officer Pilone became so disenchanted with the state of affairs that he had to vent. In the chain of command his only option was to speak to the personal director, Bill Tighe. Bill, being firmly under the thumb of hurricane Charlie immediately called Charlie. Bill probably said something like Jeremy; tell Charlie what you just told me. After hearing the complaint Charlie might have said; you know Jeremy, I've been looking for some ammunition to use against the chief so we could get rid of her. You keep me informed on what she is doing and if we can build a case against her you could be the next chief of police. Charlie then might have suggested that Jeremy try to turn the rest of the officers against her and he would have his back.
Turning the rank and file against chief Bucknell wouldn't be hard since there was much grumbling in the ranks. Jeremy, thinking he had the backing of Charlie and the BoS, might have said some negative things about the Chief to stir up dissent. The more the officers talked together the more heated things got and it culminated in a vote of no confidence. Once the vote of no confidence was cast the BoS had cause to relieve the chief of her duties and investigate the charges. So they locked the chief out of the station took her gun and badge and went through the files with a fine tooth comb.
Wanting to at least appear impartial the BoS hired an outside firm to investigate this matter. I’m sure Charlie figured that this firm would find something in the fifteen years that Chief Bucknell was chief that he could use to dismiss her. I guess he was wrong. While the report did show that there were things that could have been done better, things that might have even warranted a reprimand; it showed nothing worthy of dismissal. The BoS showed the report to the town counsel the Attorney General and the District Attorney; they found nothing illegal or worthy of dismissal.
This police debacle, which was supposed to be settled in two weeks, is now in its sixth month with no end in sight. We thought it was settled on July 8th but Charlie just couldn't let it go. Rather than swallow his pride, which admittedly is a rather large bite to swallow, he convinced the other selectmen to create a gauntlet so brutal that no one could possibly make it to the end. I don’t know what Charlie has over the other selectmen but he seems to have total control over the agenda. Whatever Charlie says, however absurd, is going to happen. It’s like the Charlie Flynn marionette extravaganza. If the officials charged with running the towns affairs can’t do the right thing we have to get rid of them and put people who can do the job in their place.
Be advised that tomorrow The Egremont Board of Selectmen will meet on July 22, 2013 at 7 pm at the North Egremont Fire Station. They’re holding it at the fire station because it is expected to be well attended. I’m asking that as many as can to show up. This is going to be a turning point in regard to the town policies. We have to show up in full force to let the town officials know that we are not going to allow them to ruin our town.

Saturday, July 20


If you ever wondered if this BoS could act in good faith, wonder no more. I don’t know what changed but this BoS has decided to put this town at risk again. All they had to do is honor their word as given on July 8th and the police fiasco would have been over. Instead this triumvirate decided to go back on their word and try to put the screws to the chief yet again. The fact that these people reneged on an agreement is not surprising because they have no sense of honor. However, when they give their word as selectmen their word is the word of the town. They have brought dishonor to the town and said in effect that Egremont can’t be trusted. Our word is not good. This is inexcusable.
Now that this BoS have shown their true colors we have to get down to the real business of setting things straight. This BoS has had many chances to get right yet they keep on the path of running this train off the cliff. What this BoS doesn’t seem to understand or care about is that everything they do, they do in the name of Egremont. We are liable for every decision they make. Since we have to pay the price let’s look at some of what this BoS has cost the town thus far.
Ø Keeping a convicted felon on the payroll, hundreds of thousands of dollars and counting.
Ø Placing the Chief of police on administrative leave, tens of thousands of dollars.
Ø Hiring an outside firm to attempt to discredit the Chief of Police; an attempt which was unsuccessful, another ten thousand dollars
Ø Appointing an officer in charge/acting chief to run the EPD then forcing that officer to resign. We don’t know how much this will cost the town since the way it was mishandled opened the town up to yet another lawsuit.
Ø Hiring a part time interim administrative chief to investigate the real chief. Fifteen thousand dollars and counting.
Ø Agreeing to bring Chief Bucknell back to avoid a massive lawsuit and then reneging on the agreement. Again, we don’t know how much this will cost the town because if the Chief does decide to sue it will cost us a lot.

This BoS has cost the taxpayers far too much. When will we be outraged enough to do something about it? Can we afford to wait to remove them by election? No. We have to deal with them like a cancer, cut them out quick and clean. We have to take any actions necessary to legally remove these people from this town’s government. WE NEED TO ACT NOW!!!

Friday, July 19

The police fiasco is back with a vengeance

I was going to write up something about the Thursday morning BoS meeting but an anonymous citizen beat me to it. I haven’t really listened to the whole recording of this meeting yet so I’ll sit back and allow someone else speak. It’s good to see that other people are paying attention and speaking out on the issues that affect the town. This was a comment posted on the previous blog article. I feel it deserves to be a regular post so others can read and comment.
Even though the BoS couldn't find a real reason to dismiss the Chief or further impugn her reputation, it doesn't keep Charlie Flynn and his big mouth from trying! It seems Charlie doesn't want the Chief back no matter what Bruce and Mary think (Bruce is having a hard time reigning Charlie in since Charlie sits on the school board and can get to him through there). On Thursday, Charlie laid out a series of demands so lengthy and absurd it would be impossible for Chief Bucknell to do her job. It appears that the police officers said they would not work with her (was it all of them or just the ones that were fired and then rehired, or Carlsen, who should have been fired). Since when do the employees make demands like that? It would be like the teachers saying who they think should be the Superintendant, not the School Committee. How would you handle that Charlie? It seems Charlie doesn't want the Chief to be alone, but have at least one babysitter with her at all times; she wouldn't be allowed to use the computer and Interim Acting Chief Shaw would remain on the payroll. Is Charlie out of his mind or is it an illness he can recover from? Either way, it is time for a recall petition! He has no idea how to govern, is confused as to the roles of the employees, and is a threat to the town in many ways. The people that voted for him should be embarrassed by his behavior and decision-making

Although I couldn't attend the meeting there was another concerned citizen with a recording device so there are a lot of people who know exactly what happened. I think I may request the BoS version to compare. Call me paranoid but with this BoS we must hold fast to the trust but verify policy. The last time I requested a month’s worth of recordings from Mary she told me they had only one meeting that was recorded. I have to wonder if she’s blowing smoke up my chimney. When I digest the entire recording I’ll have much more to say. 

Tuesday, July 16


          Now that the police chief fiasco is over; well almost over, we have to get back to the business of running the town. I know the BoS are diligently writing up a list of requirements for Chief Bucknell to meet. I don’t know how long will it take them to officially tell her to clean up her room, play nice with the other officers and share her ammo? I imagine they’ll find a more sophisticated way of saying it so it doesn't look as ridiculous as it is, but it will mean the same thing. After almost five months of searching for a compelling reason to dismiss her; the BoS couldn't find anything to impugn the chief’s character. We think we've dodged a bullet, pardon the pun, but with the damage to the chief’s reputation she could still sue the town. I doubt that she would, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
          Now we can go on to other business, like the water company. The most recent FC meeting was lively and interactive. Citizens are actually showing up and participating in the fun. Charlie Flynn even graced them with his presence. The FC is moving right along with the audit. Tom Berkel was busy last week researching audit companies and he had several firms that he brought up for discussion. One of the most notable firms that he mentioned was Scanlon & associates. Tom gave a strong pitch for S&A because he thought they were well qualified. However, after much discussion it was decided that because S&A does the regular audits for the town that they may not be the best choice for doing the operational audit. Even Charlie thought it might be a good idea to get a newer set of eyes for this audit. I guess there are a lot of other good firms to choose from, so NEXT.
          Speaking of Charlie, I have to say that he is really taking a proactive role in getting the WC on the right path. Not that being outspoken is new to Charlie but this issue has become a pet project for him. Finally we see some outrage over the town’s loss of over 200k$ and a disgraced employee trying to dictate the terms of his employment.  There was a lot of discussion about the WC administrator at tonight’s BoS meeting. On the up side he has finally retired, well sort of; but The BoS can’t vote to approve it because they don’t know if he’s volunteering his time for the month of July at no cost to the town. According to the water commissioners there is a deal that this employee will do the job while “retired” but receive comp time when he is rehired Apparently “comp Time” is technically considered, income which would mean that this employee is not really retired. A retiree is supposed to stop working for at least 30 days before they can reapply to be employed by the town again. Charlie says he doesn't even know if he would vote to rehire this person. I guess it doesn't matter though, Mary and Bruce would likely vote to bring him back even with his indiscretions’.
          The battle between the BoS and WC is far from over. In fact, it's going to start heating up. The water commissioners have stopped making claims that the BoS are dragging their feet on setting up the billing at town hall. Their new pitch is that it would cost over 10k to switch the software. Charlie said all he needs is a couple of hand tools and he can have it switched over for next to nothing. He said the town owns the software and equipment so he may just go up to the water plant, pull the hard drive and clone it. Good for you Charlie, do whatever it takes to get the job done. It’s good to see that the BoS are defining the role of the selectmen as opposed to the Water commissioners. The BoS do the hiring and firing of any town employee. In actuality the BoS has quite a bit of authority over the day to day details of the water company. Too bad it cost the town so much for them to figure it out. But on the bright side Charlie is on the case and he will make sure the best interest of the citizens of Egremont will be served.
          I don’t think I’ll be able to make the Thursday 7:30 am BoS meeting so hopefully someone with a video and or voice recorder will show up to bear witness. The BoS will be talking about the terms and conditions of the new WC retiree/hire, another person being hired for the WC and the chief of police. If you can be there please show up and video and or voice record the proceeding . If all else fails then at least take notes so we have more than the BoS minutes to go on. Talk to you later and have a great week in the heat.


Saturday, July 13


I got a call from a man the other day that was truly humbling. He wanted to thank me for what I was doing in creating and maintaining the EoE blog. He went on to name several others who have been instrumental in informing the town of what the BoS has been up to. He had a lot of good things to say about all, but he failed to mention one name.
The one person he didn’t mention was probably the most active over the decades in keeping the town informed. Long before computers and the internet this man was using the media of the time and any other means to get the word out. If he felt the town leaders were on the wrong track he shouted it from the rooftops in an effort to get them back on track.
The one person he didn’t mention has probably done more for the town of Egremont than any other single person. This man saved the town countless tax dollars by finding vital equipment at little to no cost. He got many of the local people to volunteer their time, energy, equipment and sometimes even money to provide essential services for the town.
The person he didn’t mention is a man I look to for strength when I feel the whole town is against me because I wrote something that no one wanted to hear. He is no stranger to the ire of the people. The truth is not always accepted with appreciation and the person delivering that truth is often met with resentment and ridicule. He encouraged me because he knew what I was feeling as he had experienced it firsthand.
The person he didn’t mention will probably never get a citizen of the year award and isn’t even bothered by that fact. This person doesn’t do what he does for approbation he does it because it’s the right thing to do. And by the way, the person he failed to mention was himself, so I'll mention him. We all know him as Bill Weigle. So next time you see Bill around town think about what Mr. Weigle has done for us and just say thanks.

Wednesday, July 10


In a stunning 2/1/decision the Egremont Marsupial Court ruled in favor of Chief Bucknell. I wouldn’t say that the chief won; but Charlie did lose. As in times past Charlie rushed to motion the board to either demand the resignation of Chief Bucknell or fire her. Apparently Charlie didn’t hear the chief’s attorney discredit each and every charge that the BoS lodged against her. The other board members decided to negotiate a treaty of sorts in order to save the town from not only a lot of embarrassment but a massive lawsuit. Although I do have to say that Charlie was a man of his word and let Reena’s attorney answer each and every charge. So Charlie, when you do the right thing I don’t mind posting it.
I say that the chief didn’t win because you can’t really undo what was done to her reputation. However, Reena only asked that she be restored to her rightful place as chief and be allowed to make a gracious exit from her station. According to the agreement as I heard it the chief will come back under certain conditions which have not yet been decided. Within two weeks the BoS have to develop a course of hoops for the chief to jump through. The chief then has until October 31st to jump through all of the hoops. If Reena can successfully maneuver through the obstacle course she will be retained and allowed to retire by December 31st.
Reena started by making a passionate statement defending her 15 year tenure as the police chief. There can be no doubt that the chief had a great deal of love and appreciation for the people of Egremont. She voiced her dismay at being treated so horribly by the people she served so well for so long. It must have been like a bad dream that she couldn’t awake from. In her fifteen years of service she never had a poor job performance report or a letter of reprimand. She was summarily dismissed on the baseless petty accusations of seven disgruntled officers; most of whom were on the job for only a few months; and many of whom are no longer on the force.
In listening to Chief Bucknell’s statement I was reminded of what a small town police chief is supposed to be. I once said she had her finger on the pulse of the town, this statement proved it. One officer, who is no longer with us said that this Po·dunk town doesn’t want a police force, they want baby sitters for the elderly. My reply was that he finally understood; albeit too late. Reena explained that the community policing program was set up the keep an eye on all the citizens but especially the elderly residents. The so called hit list was no more than a list of people to check on to be sure they’re all right. Many of these residents appreciated the fact that someone was looking in on them.
Reena’s attorney, Michael Akerson, did an excellent job of unraveling the twisted mess created by the BoS and the police officers. He started by pointing out the obvious conflict of interest with Mary and asked her to recuse herself. In typical fashion Mary refused to recuse herself; but now it was on the record. After allowing Reena to read her statement Mr. Akerson then into full attack mode. He systematically destroyed every allegation and reduced the BoS’s case to what it was; a pack of petty lies and accusations made by petty people with ulterior motives.
Fortunately by the end of the hearing some sanity was restored. Between the two attorneys’ the majority of the BoS were convinced to do the right thing and bring the chief back. The BoS struggled with how to word a motion to suit the occasion. After a few minutes Attorney Pollard explained that the BoS didn’t have to make a motion because in fact Reena Bucknell is still the Egremont Chief of Police. This observation seemed to bring the proceedings to a proper conclusion. I must say that attorney Pollard, who said he considers Reena his friend, was instrumental in bringing the selectmen to their senses. It wasn’t the best resolution to the ordeal but under the circumstances it will have to do. As long as Reena is satisfied with the deal then who am I to disagree?

Monday, July 8


          On Monday July 8th 2013 @ 6:00pm. The Egremont Marsupial Court will again be in session. The BoS plans to hold a hearing to determine the outcome of the Egremont police chief debacle. Now there has been a lot of misinformation disseminated by the BoS and EPD at various BoS meetings, blogs and through their favorite reporter Mr. Scribbler. The fact that the BoS has made numerous inconsistent statements is well documented so I won’t waste our time discussing it.  I could write an entire book of examples but all one has to do is read the words from their own mouths contained in the transcripts posted on
          My purpose in writing this post is to encourage as many people to show up to witness the hearing and to remind people of the words that have been made public about this situation. If you have read some of the local blogs and newspapers you will find that the BoS have a problem remembering their own public statements. I guess this is why Mr. Flynn said to me at a meeting “Do you have those notes written down somewhere?and “I mean, if you can give me the exact recording of what I said I’m happy to stand up to it.Because the BoS have such a selective memory there are some out here who are more than happy to remind them of what was said.
          It is in this spirit that I want to remind Mr. Flynn of his own words. “I think every effort was made to give the chief an opportunity to discuss it, and we’re still willing to have a public meeting with the chief.  If the chief chooses to do that, we will be more than happy to have that public meeting so that she can address each and every one of those charges.  We want this to be, and what we have tried to do, is keep this whole process as open and honest as we possibly could. I notice Charlie that you never mentioned the words fair and impartial. I guess you wouldn’t since the words are not in your vocabulary. In your mind you think the hearing to remove me from the finance committee as open and honest as it possibly could be. Let’s hope this is not the standard you use tonight.
So Mr. Flynn, let’s not have another hearing like my birthday party which was described by one witness as “That pathetic excuse for a purported hearing was pre ordained-It was a mockery of a hoax of a sham of a hoax cloaked in a tissue of lies-” Since your words, which are quoted above, are recorded, I only ask that you “stand up to them” and allow the chief’s counsel to address each and every one of those charges; regardless of how long it may take. We shall see if you, unlike in times past, can be a man of your word.