Commissioner Asha Kenney questioned about missing signature stamp

November 14, 2013
OSSIPEE — At the Nov. 6 meeting, Kenney said that if a complaint or grievance is filed against a commissioner or the board, the public should be notified. She also said that if there are any investigations of anyone or if the commissioners hire a firm to do investigations, the public should be notified. Then she went on to say that the commissioners hired the law firm Rath, Young and Pignatelli PC of Concord to investigate something at the nursing home, but if there are any further investigations, she is not in favor of hiring this "attorney company to do any investigations."

While Commissioner David Babson pressed for further explanation about what she was talking about, that went nowhere, leaving her fellow commissioners and the public baffled.

Also at the Nov. 6 meeting, the question was seemingly simple, "What did you do with your signature stamp?" that Kenney was either unwilling or unable to answer. It turned out the commissioners had voted to sign a letter at their Oct. 30 meeting that was not available for signature until Nov. 4. Apparently, Babson and Sorensen were unavailable so they authorized the office staff to sign the letter using their signatures stamps on their behalf. The letter went out without Kenney's signature. So Babson asked what happened to Kenney's stamp.

What ensued was about 10 minutes of trying to get an answer to that question. Instead of answering the question, Kenney accused Babson of abusing the work session portion of the weekly meeting by picking on her. "First of all, we have an agenda here. We have work sessions. Work Sessions are items commissioners are working on. Commissioner Babson always abuses the work session to question Commissioner Kenney. That is not a work session item," she said. To which Babson asked why she was afraid to just admit what happened to the rubber stamp. Babson and Sorensen both proceeded then to ask numerous times where the stamp was, with Kenney never admitting that she lost county property. "I don't have it anymore. I don't want anyone unauthorized to use my stamp. There is a lot of game playing going on here," she said and then proceeded to answer nine times with responses like, "I don't have a stamp," "I have no more stamp," "The stamp is destroyed." Finally Sorensen said she no longer has a stamp and she destroyed it, and Babson told her to "get back on the train to Pinnochioville."

That was the excitement in a meeting that also included lengthy discussion about the county farm proposed 2014 budget and whether or not commissioners are going to fork over $7,500 to Spy Glass for that company's work in deciphering the County phone bills.

Babson and Sorensen are both in favor of paying Spy Glass and said they have a "moral" obligation to pay the company. Despite the fact the agreement was sold to the board as a fifty-fifty split between the county and SpyGlass for any savings the company could find, it turns out Spy Glass now wants $7,500 up front. Kenney managed to stall the vote on whether or not to pay the bill by asking that the company's references be checked first. "The longer we wait, the less money we save," said Commissioner David Sorensen.

As for the county farm budget, Sorensen commended the farm manager for bringing the farm budget from an average $50,000 to $80,000 annual deficit to just $21,000 in the hole this year.

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