To The Daily Sun,
Dear Gilmanton residents:
In March 2016 Marshall Bishop ran a fair campaign and won the selectman's seat, beating me by 77 votes. I have no problem with the result of that vote, the people have spoken. There are no "sour grapes" on my part, however letter writers and comments in the paper seem to insinuate the exact opposite.
Being on the other side of the selectmen's table is something I am very familiar with. My attendance at selectmen's meetings is nothing out of the ordinary. I have attended hundreds of meetings since I moved to Gilmanton in 1981 and will continue to show up. My interest in the goings on in town are a passion, one that I am not afraid to share my opinions about. My current concerns surrounding this Board of Selectmen are based on them firing and causing the resignation of employees. Mrs. Fogg, Mr. Ogni and Mr. Lines have been assets to this community and were targeted by this current Selecboard because of politics. They did not lose their jobs due to their job performances, but instead they lost them because of their relationships within the community and because they dared to speak up. The selectmen are not making rookie mistakes as suggested by one letter writer, these are calculated vendettas against targeted people. Who will be their next victim?
Many people have commented on blogs and one letter writer in the newspaper urged people to come out and support the selectmen. I have yet to see anyone do so, but then again who would admit to supporting this appalling behavior.
Posting on blogs doesn't do any good; you can't just talk the talk. Don't criticize me from behind the safety of your keyboard just because I am vigilant about coming to the meetings. I have nothing to gain by bringing this information to light, however, I can't sit by and see these things happening to good people and not advocate for them. This board is running rogue and someone has to hold them accountable. If someone else would step up and do it, I would love to stay home on Monday nights. I keep getting phone calls from people saying they "support my effort". Although I appreciate that, it sure would be nice for those same people to come out and attend the meetings.
We have a serious and disturbing problem going on with our current Board of Selectmen. They are inexperienced and it's leading to many missteps along the way. A selectman with only one year of experience is the board chairman, and although he is trying, I believe he is getting bad advice from Mr. Branscombe the town administrator. The selectmen and town administrator seem to be spending so much time playing politics and digging themselves out of the holes they're in, it doesn't leave much time to conduct real town business. Since March, this board has spent a considerable amount of taxpayer dollars on legal advice and I am betting there is going to be a lot more spent on a lawsuit because of their vendetta.
I will continue to be a frequent audience member at the board meetings and will also continue to ask questions. Somebody has to keep this board accountable, and for now I guess, that someone will be me.