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Solomon says farewell to Carroll County Commission board



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DOROTHY SOLOMON (left), outgoing Carroll County Commissioner, was thanked for her service by her two colleagues, David Sorensen and Asha Kenney, at the Dec. 19 commissioners meeting. (Mellisa Seamans photo) (click for larger version)
December 27, 2012
OSSIPEE — It was Carroll County Commissioner Dorothy Solomon's last meeting on Dec. 19 and it seemed the board and at least one member of the public wanted to remind her just how awful the weekly meetings had been over the past two years.

The meetings had mellowed in the past two months. Chairman David Sorensen announced following the September Primary Election that he was taking back control of the meetings after receiving feedback from voters that, in their view and as was often reported in this and other newspapers, the meetings had seemingly gotten out of control. The Dec. 19 meeting, however, was a throwback to the meetings of the past two years since Commissioner Asha Kenney took office in 2010 that so many had become accustomed to viewing. Voices boomed, accusations flew, eyes rolled, and smirks showed at least Kenney was enjoying herself.

Right at the start, as Sorensen opened the meeting, Steve Brown of Wakefield was allowed to call two of the commissioners – Sorensen and Solomon – liars, accusing them of lying about an email invitation to breakfast they had gotten a year ago and lying about what account the IRS payment for the Friends of Mountain View non-profit filing fee was taken from.

"You vowed to clean up the county meetings. Would you also vow to clean up the business of the county and also clean up the lying? If you're going to lie about an email what else would you lie about in a $27.5 million budget?" asked Brown.

It took Brown a few minutes to get his question out as Solomon, knowing it was her last meeting, interrupted where Sorensen wouldn't, attempting to stop Brown's rant.

"Your use of the word lie is inappropriate. A lie implies that it was done intentionally. There is a difference between lying and making an error," said Solomon.

Last year Kenney accused her fellow commissioners of leaving her out of the fun when they attended a Mt. Washington Valley Economic Council monthly Eggs and Issues business forum but didn't invite her. It was reported then that the email invitation was sent to Solomon and Sorensen's personal emails as they have long been on the Council's mailing list and have long been active in the valley business community. Brown came to Kenney's defense, then accused the two commissioners of lying about who was invited, and filed a right-to-know request for a copy of the invitation though both commissioners had deleted it once the event had passed and the issue came up at their meeting.

Back in November, Kenney accused her fellow commissioners of lying about who paid the non-profit filing fee for the newly formed Friends of Mountain View group. Solomon had been told the fee was paid out of the Dube fund, one of the trust funds left to be used to benefit residents of the nursing home. So, she announced it was paid from the Dube fund and that the county taxpayers hadn't paid it as Kenney was accusing. At the Dec. 19 meeting, as Brown called her a liar and Kenney smirked and chuckled throughout the exchange, Solomon said she had not lied about where the money came from, she merely misspoke and added that the issues was being researched and as soon as she found out exactly where the money came from she would let the public know.

Following the Dec. 19 meeting, Solomon had found out and told reporters. Back in August 2011, the $850 filing fee was paid to the Internal Revenue Service by the county business office. The filing fee was reimbursed to the county in September 2011 by the Eloise Bean Fund.

Kenney had taken about a two-month break from her weekly rants about the county's IT contractor but was back at it Dec. 19. "Every time I see him [John Rich of Cybertron, the county's IT contractor] around, there is a meltdown someplace and we need things," said Kenney. She called into question a bill that came across the commissioner's desk for four new servers, components and "a couple things more." She accused Rich of just buying parts non-stop and wondered if he punches a time card so the time he actually spends at the county complex is tracked. "Nobody's checking him we don't know when he's coming and going. He just purchases what he wants and we pay him," said Kenney.

Farewell Commissioner Solomon

"It has been my privilege to serve the people of Carroll County for the last four years. I am exceedingly proud of the part that I played in building Mountain View Community. I will continue to work on projects I am passionate about from the sidelines," said Solomon as she read from her farewell statement at the Dec. 19. Solomon lost her bid for re-election to David Babson (R-Ossipee) and she wished him well. "It is important the board work together to accomplish important work for the people of the county. We did that the first two years I was in office. I hope that Babson has that same fortune his first two years in office," said Solomon.

Sorensen, as he had done at the county delegation meeting last week, thanked Solomon, "…we appreciate all the work you have done the last four years and a lot of the work done behind the scenes which is always good to have. You were a major player in the nursing home. We worked as a team back them. I appreciate your service."

If Kenney meant to be sincere her efforts fell flat as she spoke to her paperwork when she said, "I want to thank Commissioner Solomon for your service to the county" then without barely pausing went into an explanation about how Solomon needs to review past non-public meeting minutes and sign those that are not signed before she is finished with her work as commissioner at the end of the year.

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