Selectman suggests building contractors started effort to remove Moultonborough Planning Board members
MOULTONBOROUGH — While the selectmen appear bent on going forward with removal proceedings against two members of the Planning Board and refusing to name the individuals who brought the original complaint against the pair, when the issue was last discussed Selectmen Russell Wakefield suggested that building contractors were among the complainants.
On July 10, the Planning Board, by a tortured process and in a controversial decision, approved the construction of an observation tower on Red Hill that was built without requisite permits. At least two of the five selectmen fielded complaints from citizens and the Selectboard may or may not have received a written statement from one or more individuals apparently questioning the conduct of Josh Bartlett and Judy Ryerson.
Following their regularly scheduled meeting on July 18, the selectmen held a "non-meeting" with town counsel Peter Minkow to consider the information they had received. At the meeting the Selectboard agreed to begin removal proceedings while instructing Town Administrator Carter Terenzini and Minkow to offer the two members the opportunity to resign rather than be embarrassed by a public hearing. After both Bartlett and Ryerson refused to resign, the selectmen scheduled the public hearings on Monday, September 9 (1 p.m.) to determine if Bartlett and Ryerson should be removed for "inefficiency, neglect of duty or malfeasance in office."
At their regular meeting last week the selectmen were again pressed to identify those who brought the original complaints, by both residents and Selectman Chris Shipp, who repeatedly said Bartlett and Ryerson were entitled to face their accusers.
In reply to questioning by Steve Maguire, Wakefield said that "if you are a contractor out there in Moultonborough trying to make a living and you had a complaint, you had a problem, you'd be the last one in here complaining, because you may have to go to that Planning Board and you don't want to make enemies on that Planning Board because your application may have some bias to it and maybe it's going to get voted no. I'm not telling you that would happen," he continued, "but you as a contractor are going to think like that. And don't tell me you wouldn't."
"You're playing favorites and protecting people," said Nancy Wright.
Wakefield also said that the complaints were discussed by the board in the July 18 non-meeting and as such remain privileged. He said that "everything we talked about cannot be dispensed to the public." He said that because of how the issue reached the board "we're between a rock and a hard place."
Steve Maguire said that any complaints lodged with the Board of Selectmen are public documents and the identity of those who submit them should not be protected.
Answering a question from Paul Puntunieri, a member of the Planning Board, Wakefield acknowledged that the Selectboard deliberated and voted when they met with Town Counsel. Puntunieri is among those who have noted that the selectmen sought the advice of town counsel in a "non-meeting," not a non-public meeting, of which there is no record. According to the Memorandum of the New Hampshire Attorney General on the application of the "Right-to-Know" law, "deliberation about the matter on which advice is sought may not occur during consultation with legal counsel." Instead, any deliberation, decisions and votes subsequent to that advice must take place in public session.
Selectmen Jonathan Tolman said that the case is a matter of public record. He said that the selectmen decided to proceed after reviewing the minutes and the video of the meeting, which he suggested offered sufficient cause to bring charges against Bartlett and Ryerson. Acknowledging that a number of people had expressed concerns to the Selectboard, he said that their identity was not relevant since the decision to act was made by the selectman.
Wakefield's recent remarks are at odds with earlier statements. Last month he told the Planning Board that the Selectboard received a "petition" from one individual and said that town counsel advised the board there was no alternative but to begin removal proceedings on the strength of it. He insisted that the complainant, not the Selectboard, initiated the proceedings and even suggested the complainant would present the case at the public hearings. He also assured the Planning Board that the identity of the complainant would be disclosed to Bartlett and Ryerson.
However, when the Selectboard next discussed the issue, Joel Mudgett, the chairman, said he could not recall seeing a petition, but allowed that concerns were expressed to him by a number of people who wished to remain anonymous because they might be appearing before the Planning Board in the future.
Since then the Selectboard has denied a Right-to-Know request for records of the non-meeting on July 18, claiming that minutes are not required of non-meetings, and firmly refused to name any of those who approached them about the decision of the Planning Board or the conduct of its members.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 September 2013 01:22
GILFORD — A New Jersey teenager who has hiked in the Belknap Mountain range ever since he was a young child has proposed that a small pond in the Robert Tilton Town Forest be named Moulton Pond.
Soren Denlinger, 15, of Asbury, New Jersey, a sophomore at Voorhees High School where he earned high honors last spring, says ''I've hiked by it many times and thought the pond deserved a name.''
After finding trail maps which said that that the stream which flows from the 6/10th of an acre pond is Moulton Brook, Denlinger wrote to the United States Board on Geographic Names proposing the name of Moulton Pond, which he said is linked to the Moulton family, long-time residents of the area.
The request for naming the pond in honor of the Moulton family recently came before the Belknap County Commissioners, who were told that Gilford selectmen have already reviewed the request and took no position on it but were not opposed.
Commissioner Ed Philpot said that he would like to hear from a long-time hiker and member of the Gilford Conservation Commission, Chuck Coons, before the commission took any action.
Denlinger's request noted that the unnamed pond is located 9/10th of a mile southwest of Round Pond and that Dave Roberts, who created a trail map of the Belknap Mountain range because it ran beside Moulton Road near Manning Lake.
Nanci Mitchell, a past chairman of the Gilmanton Conservation Commission, who along with her husband owns land near the small pond, said that she and her husband have called it Christmas Pond because they discovered it about 10 years ago on Christmas Day, but had no objection to seeing it named Moulton Pond.
Denlinger's application notes that the Moulton family has a long history in the area and cites the history of Col. John Hale Moulton (1795-1885) of Center Harbor, who was a Belknap County Commissioner from 1858 through 1861.
The grandson of General John Moulton, for whom the town of Moultonborough was named, John Hale Moulton was a merchant, hotel and mill owner and operated a freight boat on Lake Winnipesaukee and a Center Harbor selectman from 1819 until 1868, town treasurer from 1824 until 1881 and even served as a deputy sheriff for five years. He also served in the Legislature from 1847 and 1848, and again from 1852 to 1856.
Moulton received his education from teacher Dudley Leavitt, who is credited with starting a widely popular almanac, and ran a saw, grist and shingle mill and used the freight boat he owned to transport lumber around Lake Winnipesaukee. He also owned what was known as Moulton's Hotel in Center Harbor from 1848 until his death in 1885.
Last Updated on Friday, 06 September 2013 06:09
LACONIA — The Laconia-Winnisquam Wolfpack hockey team has received a donation of 20 equipment bags from Walgreen's, a gift which Kelly Dyer-Rawlings, a member of the Laconia-Winnisquam Wolfpack Boosters, says is greatly appreciated.
''I can't thank Dan Quinn, the Walgreen's manager, enough. It's the kind of support we need from local businesses,'' said Dyer-Rawlings, who said that the donation came about as a result of a discussion she had with Quinn earlier this year.
''It's a really nice donation and will help make our players proud when they walk into an ice arena,'' said TJ Galligan, who is now in his fourth year as coach of the cooperative hockey team, one of several in the area including the Gilford-Belmont and Inter-Lakes and Moultonborough Academy teams.
It's been a rocky start for the Wolfpack, which suffered through two winless seasons before beating Manchester West 7-1 last year in the opening game of its Division III season.
The Wolfpack went on to post a 5 -12 record, just one game shy of the playoffs last season, and were competitive against some of the division's top teams.
''We're definitely going to make the playoffs this year,'' says Wolfpack captain Matthew Missert, a Laconia senior, who says that the team only lost a few players to graduation and has a veteran group of players this season.
Dan Quinn, manager of the Laconia Walgreen's store, is shown with Matthew Missert, a Laconia High School senior who is the captain of the Laconia-Winnisquam Wolfpack high school hockey team; Jordan Audet, an LHS sophomore and a player on the team, and T.J. Galligan, head coach of the Wolfpack. Walgreen's donated 20 equipment bags to the team, which is in its fourth year as a cooperative team which affords players from two different school districts the opportunity to play ice hockey against other high school teams. Kelly Dyer-Rawlings, a member of the Laconia-Winnisquam Wolfpack Boosters, thanked Walgreens for the donation and said that the boosters hope more businesses will become involved in helping provide support for the players. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 September 2013 01:17
LACONIA — A Tilton man has tentatively agreed to serve 2 1/2 to six years in the New Hampshire State Prison for selling heroin to a confidential informant working with the Tilton Police.
Paperwork obtained from the Belknap County Superior Court said Travis Dalessio, 27, formerly of West Street entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors Thursday during a pre-trial hearing.
He also agreed to serve a 2-to-4 year prison sentence that would be served concurrently — or at the same time — for a second count of selling heroin to an informant.
Two separate fines of $1,000 each were suspended pending his good behavior and he will be on probation for five years following his release from prison.
The two sales allegedly occurred o separate dates in October of 2012.
Dalessio also agreed to a 3 1/2 to 7 year suspended sentence for conspiring with Nicole Economides to sell heroin on or about November 11, 2012 by negotiating the deal and driving her to to the site where a heroin sale was made.
Economides pleaded guilty in June of 2013. Just recently she was indicted for allegedly hiding drugs on her person after she pleaded guilty in Belknap County Superior Court for sales of heroin and was taken to the Belknap County House of Corrections.
The two were arrested by Tilton Police in December of 2012 and Dalessio has been incarcerated since then, unable to post $50,000 cash-only bail.
As part of his tentative agreement, he also agreed to complete a drug and alcohol evaluation.
Dalessio is scheduled to make a formal plea on October 30.
Last Updated on Saturday, 31 August 2013 03:16
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