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?


  1. Sorta like your personal vendetta vs Chalie and the Selectman

  2. The way you say Chalie screams a thick Boston accent, are you from there?

  3. There's quite a difference between a vendetta that consists of criticizing elected officials - the result of which would be that they aren't re-elected - and a vendetta designed to destroy a person's reputation and livelihood.

  4. And don't forget: Chief is to waive the state statute of 97A-- wonder what the legislature will think or do with that?

  5. I am shocked the board is behaving in such a way. Constructive discharge is not against the law necessarily, but it is unethical. I am shocked that the HR representative has not advised a process that would give the chief a real opportunity to meet the level of standards required to retain her position. If these accounts are true, we have clearly put in motion enough to have exposure for wrongful termination, a solid discrimintation claim with MCAD and the EEOC and a claim for defammation claim. All of the above would probably be settled with great expense to the town (covered by insurance but never cheaply). The greatest damage is to our reputation as a community and the integrity of our town governing body. This is very sad indeed.

  6. It's hard to find the words to describe Monday nights cluster-f__k. The Selectboard outdid themselves and took us (Egremont) to a level so low it is hard to imagine. Those that didn't see the error of their ways are being blind to the truth.

    For two weeks the Selectboard was to negotiate a fair way to bring back Chief Bucknell (or at least that's what they agreed to on July 8). Yet, it wasn't until July 18 that the Selectboard met (at 7:30AM!) and without notice to anyone to aid in developing fair terms. It's at that meeting that angry Charlie demanded terms so impossible to meet. Then the board held back the final terms, that Mary wrote up, until Monday before showing them to Town Counsel, Jeremia Pollard. It was clear at the Monday meeting that Attorney Pollard was so uncomfortable with the absurd terms that he hesitated reading them out loud. His embarrassment was obvious. And the terms, or rather demands, were so rediculous the audience could not control their laughter. If Mary Brazie doesn't want the audience laughing, and wants to be taken seriously, I suggest she agree to less absurd proposals.

    Imagine, Chief Bucknell being escorted by Office Clerk Will Brinker or Personnel Director Bill Tighe (Charlie Flynn's good friend). Bill Tighe is already way over budget for his position, as is Will Brinker. Where is the additional "escort" money coming from. But, more importantly, what's the purpose Charlie? According to the multiple "rules" you are insisting on for her return she can't talk to anyone or do anything. Angry Charlie has shown his true colors with this mess. Mumbling Bruce Turner shows that he's just weak in the Chairman's position and uncomfortable speaking to anyone or in defending these rediculous demands. What are you afraid of Bruce? Even when asked to speak up he just turns away from the audience. Is he afraid to take responsibility for his actions and hopes no one hears him agree to this absurdity?

    I appreciate Bruce being afraid to argue with Charlie, after all, Charlie can get at him from his seat on the School Board (as he oversees Bruce as the Business Manager of the school).

    Sure, I'm angry. As angry as the majority of people attending these meetings listening to a weak Selectboard that doesn't even use Town Counsel to protect the town. A Selectboard that acted inappropriately from the beginning and keeps digging their hole deeper. We will be sued, of that I have little doubt. And frankly, we deserve it for the behavior of those we've, through our own ignorance, elected. But hopefully we are less ignorant the next time the polls are open.

  7. The Egremont BOS is the laughing stock of South County. And all 3 of them continue with their heads stuck firmly in the sand. (I've found a nice way to phrase that.)

    These 3 idiots are putting all us citizens at risk for serious lawsuits. Every one of them should have the common decency to recognize their dreadful performance and RESIGN. It's them that should be put out to pasture, not Reena.

    It's also ridiculous that the police officers refuse, at least according to the BOS, to sit down and discuss the whole situation with Reena. Where is their sense of decency and fair play?

    I have NEVER seen more hostility of our citizens towards a BOS. And the BOS deserves every bit of it. They are a disgrace.

  8. I am stunned that the Selectboard continues to hold the officers opinions above that of the Chief, especially since most of their gripes were dismissed by the Pomeroy Report. How does the Selectboard rationalize their behavior? Two of the officers were dismissed because they broke into the evidence room and then were REHIRED by this board. Amazing. Another officer was recommended to be dismissed by the current interim acting Chief and the board ignored that. Amazing. But this board, especially Charlie Flynn, mounted praise onto Officer Pilone and then fired him just weeks later. Amazing. The judgement of this Selectboard can only be dxescribed with one word... amazing! Another word would be disturbing, or frightening, or improper, or distrustful, or negligent. Yes, negligent covers it well.

    1. Mary Brazie has denied on the record that there was a breakin to the evidence room (or locker). Do you have evidence or information to the contrary?

  9. Laughing stock of South County? That's like saying the Pope is a little Catholic! If there wasn't a poor human being opposite the jokers on the BOS - the absurd situation would be humorous. I hope Reena does file a lawsuit - and WINS!


  10. The idea that Reena could come back as chief with all that has come to light is totally unrealistic. After getting information on how the department was (mis)functioning, the BOS acted reasonably to put her on administrative leave, while awaiting an impartial review by competent authority, i.e. Pomeroy. The suggestion that the BOS hired Pomeroy with instructions to indict Reena is scurrilous. Reena's retirement on 12/31 should have been negotiated across a conference table, but Reena had the right to have an open hearing, and she was the one to request it.

    It's time to resolve these matters, but some civility and reason, please.

  11. I disagree with you on a number of points. Chief Bucknell can surely come back. It is improper to have the staff dictate who should supervise them, especially since the two strongest voices were recommended for dismissal on a month or so later, with one being fires. A full reading of the Pomeroy Report shows no actionable behavior on the Chief's part. An executive session, which should have been immediately called by the Chair of the Selectboard when a personnel issue is brought before them, would have examined all of this. Corrective action regarding procedures would have been discussed and attended to. If you attended the July 8th meeting you would have heard testimony from a number of Police Chiefs familiar with procedure for a town our size rather than one that Pomeroy used for their study and recommendations. Ity is true that Chief Bucknell asked that the session be open to the public and I am glad to have attended. It gave me an opportunity to see how improper the board's actions were first hand. Any objective observer to both the July 8 and July 22nd meeting can only arrive at the conclusion that the Selectboard is, and has been, doing Chief Bucknell an injustice. She has exhibited civility and reason in her words and behavior, which I am sorry to see that the Selectboard has not.

  12. The interesting thing is that just before officer Pilone spoke I had a personnel issue to discuss which I wanted to bring into exec ses and was told that I must send written notification to Mary and have it placed on the next agenda. After officer Pilone made his statement I thought it was peculiar that they would not allow me to discuss a personnel issue but it was proper for Pilone to bring up this issue about the chief. I guess different rules apply to different situations. Situational ethics I presume.

  13. You just didn't plot it with Charlie in advance.