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Rift continues in Twin Mt. Select Board

by Tara Giles
Sports reporter - Coos County Democrat and Berlin Reporter
June 27, 2020
TWIN MT. — A rift in the Twin Mountain Select Board continues after a letter was read by board member Bonnie Maroney regarding fellow Board member Dave Scalley. The end result was Scalley calling into question Maroney not acting in the best interest of the town.

In her letter, Maroney mentions that she has concerns that Scalley's contact with the Town's attorney is a conflict of interest. She also mentions layoffs in the letter, that was read publicly. Those layoffs were discussed during a non-public session. Scalley has received approval from the Board to speak with the Town's attorney, as he also wears the hat of Town Building Inspector.

Maroney's letter states, "I have addressed my concern about Selectman Scalley being in constant contact with the lawyers, and I feel that it is being abused, and I would like to address a few of the concerns that I am speaking of."

She went on to state, "One of them is Cherry Mountain Resort with Brad Hare. Hare had his attorney send a letter to the Planning Board about the fact that he wanted to put in a mobile food service, we had discussed that letter from the lawyer at the selectman's meeting on Monday night and on Tuesday, I as the Planning Board Select Rep, went to see the letter and talk to Sara about it."

Lastly, she said, "After reading it, I said this was fine and we should go over it at the Planning Board meeting on May 7th. In the meantime, Dave, saw Hare, and he gave him a letter as to why this has not been taken care of."

Maroney said that she wondered why Hare had not addressed this to he Land Use instead of Scalley, as Scalley has worked for Hare.

"I have no idea why Dave would even get involved and in what status was he doing this Mr. Hare's employee, building inspector, or Selectman?" Maroney said. "There was no reason to even contact any lawyer."

At a June 15 Board meeting, Scalley provided a written response to Maroney. He stated that she continues to break the oath of office by disclosing confidential information. Scalley said that the Board agreed to give him approval to speak with the Town's Attorney in his capacity as Building Inspector. He said in his roles for the Town, he is approached by people all the time who want to voice their concerns to him. Scalley said he is concerned with Selectman Moroney and her position with the Town. He said she continues to breach the oath of office revealing non-public information to both members of the public and employees. He feels she is no longer working in the best interest of the Town.

In his own words, Scalley said, "Mr. Hare approached me in YaYa's Market and Deli one day to express his concern of why the Planning Board had not responded to his letter from his Attorney that was sent over a month ago. Selectman Maroney asks about whether I was Dave the employee, the Building Inspector or Dave the Selectman, it is evident in her statement that I do a lot for the Town, and please remember no matter where I go, I run into people who feel compelled to talk to me about their concerns with the Town. I tell everyone the same thing, I am only one of three as a Selectman in this Town. As far as Mr. Hare is concerned on that day, I checked into the issue as Building Inspector."

Chairman Gauthier read a statement addressing the issue. He reminded the Board of the oath taken as Select Board and that also means not divulging information from non-public sessions. He said the Board can try to control legal costs but sometimes legal advice is most useful as an ounce of prevention. As Chair, he wanted to remind the Board to stay focused on managing the affairs of the Town. He recognized with COVID-19 these are stressful times but wants the Board to remember their oath and do their jobs.

"Ms. Maroney has asked questions about the town's use of lawyers. Some of her comments were directed to Mr. Scalley, but as Chair, I want to address her comments. We try to control legal costs," Gauthier stated.

He went on to say, "Legal advice is most useful as an ounce of prevention. In the long run, making sure we handle things properly helps us avoid more expensive problems later."

Gauthier said that sometimes the town needs lawyers because legal problems come up that they have no control over.

"For example, when someone threatens to sue the town or actually does sue the town," he said. "We try to avoid those situations—and a lot of times our lawyers solve those problems before they get to that point. But sometimes we get dragged into a legal fight that couldn't be avoided."

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