To The Daily Sun,
l have serious concerns about the governance of the Town of Gilmanton under the current Board of Selectmen. Review of board minutes reveals extensive non-public sessions, with minutes duly sealed, so the public can never find out what goes on behind those closed doors.
In particular, the retirement of the police chief, and the appointment of his replacement, was considered so secretive that one of the selectmen was forced to resign because he "let the cat of the bag". Why is an officer's planned retirement, and his proposed replacement, a matter so confidential that the public is not to know of it until a replacement is named? Indeed, given recent incidents where police officers' judgment was seriously flawed, it is essential that the selectmen conduct an advertised search and look for an experienced chief who can bring assurance of integrity and maturity to the Gilmanton Police Department.
Elevation of an existing officer, closely related to a former selectman and applicant for appointment to the present board, inevitably raises questions of conflict of interest and nepotism. That it is being done without any public process, and in non-public session, raises further questions. If the present applicant is seriously interested in a career in law enforcement, there are 233 other municipalities in New Hampshire where the issues apparent in Gilmanton would not arise.
I urge the selectmen to go back to the drawing board, open up the process, and hire the best qualified applicant for the police chief position.
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