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2 board members were stern with Mr. Daniels, but not disrespectful

  • Published in Letters

To The Laconia Daily Sun,

Mr. Phil Whitmann and I were the only citizens from the town of Alton in attendance at the selectman's meeting on November 4.

At that meeting, four of the board members expressed their concern, frustration, and exasperation with another of their members, Mr. Robert Daniel, regarding his repeated sending of e-mails to another of the town's boards, wherein he either expressed opinions opposite to those he expressed at the meetings, or, not having expressed an option at the meetings, decided to do so in an e-mail to the other board. This matter had been discussed with Mr.Daniels in the past, but believing himself to be in the right, Mr. Daniels continue the practice.

The members ultimately bought the issue to the attention of the town's attorney, who validated his concerns in writing. Attorney Sessler's letter was made available to Mr. Daniels at the November 4 meeting.

Two of the board members were, indeed, quite stern in their remarks to Mr.Daniels, but they were not disrespectful.

Mr. Whitmann's written impression that the other members, "were not happy about Mr. Daniels being elected to the board to the point of attempting to thwart the will of the voters who elected him", is quite a reach.

It is commonly known that board members have a responsibility to each other, and to the town they serve, to respectfully listen to each other's opinions, ideas, etc., and to strive to be open and frank during their discussions. These discussions are absolutely necessary and are the very reason for the need of having town board in the first place.

When a board member does not participate in open discussion or does, indeed, participate, but in retrospect, decides to alter his position by way of an e-mail to another board, the public's "right to know" is compromised.

I am very thankful the town's meetings are videotaped for all to see and hear.

Sheila Shapleigh