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Monday, October 21, 2013

Recap Appeals Board Meeting -October 21, 2013‏


Tonight, I attended the Appeals Board meeting pertaining to Case #13-2 involving Mr. Terry Dutton.  Mr. Dutton was asking for a variance from 50’ to 30’.  This case as advertised as a Public Hearing and again the Public was not allowed to speak.  The two abutters were allowed to speak and were in favor of the variance.  The Appeals Board took approximately fifteen minutes and approved the variance. 

The problem here is Chairman Marion Morgan-Alexander does not allow the Public to speak at the Public Hearing.  I have provided the legal review by the Maine Municipal Association (MMA) to Town Council Chairman Fern LaRochelle.  This document clearly outlines that Public Hearings require Public input.  This is to ensure total fairness in all local matters.

If Chairman Morgan-Alexander does not want to take input from the Public, all she has to do is call it an “Appeals Hearing” or any other name she wants to call it.  Once you call it a “Public Hearing”, the Public is allowed to express their opinion on the issue at hand.  It is extremely disrespectfully for Chairman Morgan-Alexander to invite the Public to attend a meeting and then not allow the Public to provide input on the issue.

I have requested that the Town Council remove Chairman Morgan-Alexander as Chairman of any board or committee because of this situation and the fact that on August 28, 2013 after she adjourned the meeting she ordered everyone to “GO HOME”.  It was like she was ordering troops or scolding small children.  This action was extremely disrespectful to the residents that attended the Appeals Board meeting. 

It is too bad that the Town Manager and the Town Council cannot provide proper instructions to chairman’s as to how to conduct meetings.  However, I am positive that the Town Manager and the Chairman of the Town Council both know how these meetings are to be conducted but chose to ignore the law and this misuse of power.  Another problem is that neither the Town Manager nor Chairman LaRochelle are willing to sit down and negotiate to restore law and order to these meetings.  By not being willing to sit down and try and restore law and order, the final recourse is to take the town to court.  By doing so only fattens the pockets of the Town Attorney, Roger Therriault, and waste our valuable tax dollars.

Please call your Councilor and let him know how you feel!

Larry Fillmore

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