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County Commission meeting more civilized on Sept. 19

September 27, 2012
OSSIPEE — There was a much different tone to the weekly county commissioner's meeting last week, Sept. 19, a week after Commissioner David Sorensen announced he was taking back control of the meetings.

As reported last week in this paper, while out campaigning on Primary Day, Sorensen said he was approached by voters in Wolfeboro and Conway who urged him to take back control of the meetings. Over the past year and a half or so, the public meetings have been a regular flurry of accusations, unsubstantiated claims, conspiracy theories, name calling, and tension. The county commission meetings are available for viewing online at www.governmentoversite.com and the people are watching. "I think it was unusual for the number of people that came up to me saying they are watching it and it is disgusting and embarrassing. I've assured them that it will be corrected," he said.

The Sept. 19 meeting was a good start as Sorensen managed to keep the meeting on track, on time, and immediately stepped in to cut off argument between his two fellow commissioners.

Both he and Commissioner Dorothy Solomon took time at the beginning of the meeting, however, to try to set the record straight on two accusations Commissioner Kenney had made at the Sept. 12 meeting.

Kenney had accused Sorensen of not putting the flooring installation out to bid during the construction of the new nursing home to which he answered that was the responsibility of the general contractor, BPS, as part of their job to hire all subcontractors. Representatives from BPS caught wind of Kenney's claim they violated the bidding process and sent a letter to commissioners. Sorensen read a portion of that letter aloud to correct the record. The BPS letter stated that BPS was hired after a competitive bidding process resulted in them receiving the contract to take the monumental project from start to finish. "It was stated the flooring was not put out to bid. This is a complete misstatement. BPS solicited pricing from hundreds of subs and trade suppliers for this project," the letter read and continued that five bids were received for the flooring.

Solomon also wanted one of Kenney's misstatements corrected for the record. Kenney had claimed that the county taxpayers footed the $810 bill for registering the Friends of Mountain View non-profit filing paperwork with the IRS. Solomon said that the check was cut by county business office staff but was funded through a donation.

As has been reported on several occasions throughout the summer, Kenney has made so many accusations against the county's IT contractor Cybertron that Sorensen finally said he doesn't want to hear any more unless Kenney can actually produce much sought-after documentation to back up her claims. Those accusations, coupled with Kenney's finger pointing at BPS, prompted Solomon to make a terse statement at the Sept. 19 meeting, "If Commissioner Kenney continues to malign these businessmen, we may find us in jeopardy of a lawsuit. If you truly are working for the protection of the people of this county, you are not helping them with your pointless and unsubstantiated claims. It might be more beneficial to the people of the county if you would discuss your claims with Commissioner Sorensen and me before you go off half-cocked on your mission, whatever that might be," Solomon said.

John Rich of Cybertron came to the meeting again on Sept. 19 expecting to receive backup documentation for Kenney's claims made against him in previous public meetings. Kenney brought no documentation to the meeting and said she would have it all ready Sept 26 to roll out in a public meeting. Sorensen said he would not entertain another round of that in a public meeting, instead asking Kenney and Rich to get together for a meeting and exchange documents.

Garnett Hill
Parker Village
Martin Lord Osman
Northern Human Services
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