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Stalemate continues in Twin Mountain

December 08, 2010
CARROLL — The stalemate continues in Twin Mountain. Acting select board chairman Bonnie Moroney does not plan to change her mind about supporting Linda Dowling as the third selectman to fill the vacancy created by Chris Hancock stepping down, she said at the Nov. 29 meeting.

Mark Catalano stated that he does not plan to support former selectman Mark Clark's offer to fill in until the March election.

The local businessman who was elected in March explained that he is trying to get to town to move forward and not to look back. "The town has had a tendency to be divided into factions," Mr. Catalano said. Now that he has had time to reflect on what he has learned in his first nine months in office, he said that he has the perception that the town was underfunded and starved for tax dollars to provide needed services.

Then the pendulum started to swing in the other direction, Mr. Catalano said, until the budget was "overfunded."

Now the pendulum has begun to swing back, he said, reminding those on hand that expenditures are made, after all, with taxpayers' money.

"We can't go back to underfunded budgets, and we can't go back to overfunded budgets," he said, pointing out that the board is now looking at a 10 percent reduction in the town's current 2010 budget.

This, he believes, will put the town "right around the middle" of the spending spectrum.

Calling for an end to divisiveness, Mr. Catalano asked that townspeople "to stop throwing people under the bus," to stop "rolling their eyes" in exasperation, and to realize that all residents have the right to be heard but that in a democracy "the majority rules."

Acting chairman Moroney pointed out that if her fellow board member would only support former selectman Clark's candidacy, the town's taxpayers would not have to bear the legal fees to defend the board against Ms. Dowling's suit in Cos County

Superior Court, in which she seeks to have the judge appoint her to the board.

Mr. Catalano noted that these very same costs could be avoided if she only changed her mind and voted for Ms. Dowling to fill the vacancy. At an earlier board meeting Ms. Moroney explained that since Ms. Dowling had been elected to serve on the board and had then chosen not to be sworn in that she believed that she should not now be appointed to the post.

Earlier in that evening Mr. Clark asked Dr. Evan Karpf for an apology for his remarks that, he said, impugned his integrity. Dr. Karpf had described him as "asleep at the switch," Mr. Clark said.

Dr. Karpf replied that he had a right to speak his mind and would continue to do so, but he apologized for any perception he might have created that Mr. Clark had been the responsible party in some safety issues that had then plagued the town in mid-decade. The retired chiropractor said that it had not been his intent to do harm to Mr. Clark or to his reputation.

Mr. Catalano commended administrative assistant Maryclare Quigley for the minutes she wrote on the previous week's tense and contentious board meeting, available online on the town's website.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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