Friday, April 15, 2011

Election Results

We now have two new Selectmen : Steve Burgess and Craig Toothaker.
Congratulations and best wishes to both of them .
Thank you to Cindy Prescott, Charlie Gibbs, and Jeff Watson for coming forward and offering their time and skills to what is pretty much a thankless job. We hope they will stay involved in town affairs.

24 comments:

  1. Hey, at the very least, you know she can take a bribe and keep her mouth shut about it. Although she is free with her talk with the former town manager and Cindy, at their get togethers. I wonder if they will have new members at their get togethers now ? Speaking of Buddy, Skip and Bubba-Leona as they too are now available.

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  2. Come on, would have been nice to know there was a selectmen's meeting last night. I heard after the fact and was told it was posted at the town office. This is all good if I went to the town office on a regular basis but I and I suspect others tend to watch the town website and in fact I looked yesterday and did not see it on there. I know there is a bunch of turmoil and confusion going on right now but Rick it is your job to make sure the town is informed of these meetings.

    Please do a better job of keeping the website calendar up to date I thought the secret meetings were a thing of the past in Newburgh.

    Frustrated taxpayer

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  3. When is the next secret meeting? Or do we have to go to the town office and find this out? Only thing posted on the town website is 5-9.

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  4. It is posted on the Town website, the meeting is continued from Tues night to tonight at 6:00 pm.

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  5. I was at the Selectman’s meeting Tuesday night, I am not looking forward to the day that we go to 5 selectman and no town manager. On several occasions legal questions came up that the selectman did not have the answer to that Rick had to answer. I do think the 3 new selectmen will do a good job but things where a bit shaky. They need to stop the constant whispering and either use microphones or speak up. Also, the last 3 selectmen where accused of secret meetings. The 3 new selectman on several topics talked about how the 3 of them got together and drove around town and talked about the issues on the agenda, is that legal? Sounds like the same “secret meetings” that everyone was angry about with the last three. In closing to the 3 new selectman, good luck, keep up the good work and remember what got the last 3 kicked out!

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  6. Here we go again, the last three did not get kicked out!!!

    One lost on votes in a fair head to head election, the other two are quitters/losers they decided to leave on their own Vs filling their commitment to the community, they did not get their way so they took their ball and went home like a couple of spoiled 10 year olds. When they were actually needed most they folded like an old blanket.

    Saying they were kicked out is almost as ridiculous as saying they were run out on a rail.

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  7. Having a recall law passed, repeated demands and request to resign, and voting one of the three out at the last election could be interpreted as “kicked out.” I think a lot of people dropped the ball that allowed Cindy and Nancy to do what they did and when Cindy and Nancy are not around to have to answer questions the anger and questions where focused at the former Selectman. A lot of it they deserved and a lot they didn’t. People can only take so much accusations and blame for actions that were not all of their doing before they finally quit. Also the correct quote is, “Run out of town on a rail” from the Urban Dictionary: Olde-timey phrase, most commonly referring to the act of literally carrying someone perched uncomfortably on a rail to a point outside of the city limits. This was often a form of punishment for committing any act others thought was extremely bad. It is still sometimes used in the Southern states. That expression seems to work also.

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  8. 2 of 3 of the prior selectmen publicly supported the recall ordinance, the requests for them to resign had ended and Skip was not voted out. I think the correct description is "Burns was voted in".

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  9. 1st off the ones who dropped the ball were definitely the 3 selectmen! They govern over the town manager. I do not believe you could find a selectman in the state that would tell you 1. we never looked at the warrants before signing them 2. The treasurer had already mailed the bills before we even went in to sign anything 3. we let the town manager handle it all 4. We never looked at the yearly audit 5. We never read the town report before it was sent to print 6. We never viewed the financials, bank statements, or anything to do with the money I don't believe they every contacted MMA. This was the selectmen's job, the town manager is hired and works for the selectmen. Why do people keep saying its the town managers fault, yes in this case Nancy Hatch was also at fault because she was the treasurer, but EVERYONE that was in that office during the time Cindy stole the money is at fault! No one kicked these selectmen out, if they had stepped up to the plate and done the job they were hired to do after Cindy and Nancy was out it would have been a different story, but they still continued to say "No we haven't looked at the finances, no we don't know why the roads are bad, no we don't care what the towns people think, and they never bothered to find out. The 3 new selectmen did more in 1 week and in 1 meeting than those 3 did in 6 years.

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  10. They were in over their heads, end of story. How could you feel sorry for them with their "I'm in charge attitudes" after the fact, if they had been even slightly in charge this would never have happened.

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  11. Anonymous said @ April 21, 2011 10:28 AM

    I don't recall the selectman not being able to answer any "legal" questions and leaning on the Town Manager for answers. If anything, they told the Town Manager to send information to MMA or our town Attorney concerning a pit on the Miles Road. This pit could cost the town thousands to fix. This was just thrown at our new selectman, and this contract was one that Nancy signed and agreed to years back, with NO approval from our selectman. And I believe that it was Craig that stated that he went around as road commissioners looking at the roads, which is not illegal, they didn't talk about issues on the agenda, only the issues that have to do with the roads. Can't get your roads fixed if the road commissioners don't go look at them. Our last three didn't look at our roads, thank goodness these three are taking the time to do so, and newly elected even! I am in agreement with you that our three new selectman will do a great job! First they have to fix the mess that the last three selectman left behind.

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  12. I am truly amazed at the lack of municipal law understanding by the posters. If someone just didn't know and asked a question, I could see that. But to offer ridicules comments that make absolutely no sense and have no value in any discussion, just takes up space. Just to think ,that we have finally gone the way of most other Maine towns with 5 selectmen and someone has the audacity to say, we should even think, of returning to the old days of 3. What I would sincerely like to recommend is that the poster who obviously just does not understand ,return to their education and take some classes that may offer a more comprehensive outlook and position so that future dialog is one of constructive nature and not one of damming ,what is not known. We have 3 good selectmen with the intellect to see the big picture and channel their decisions for the people. Thank God the days of back room dealings will see their end, soon. You may have been to a recent selectmen meeting but you soon forget the behavior at the fomer meetings, from insulting our citizens to talking down to them while chewing and snapping gum or sit with burmuda shorts that were to tight and that, were totally disgraceful. Yep, these folks were our trusted public officials and we somehow should of been proud of them. I don't think so.

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  13. Anon 4-21 at 10:28

    I went to part of the selectman's meeting as well and no we did not elect 3 F Lee Bailey's. The tedious process of reviewing check by check account by account and invoice by invoice may seem like overkill but the books are going to be correct and fair to the taxpayers. No more voodoo accounting and basically cooking the books robbing Peter to pay Paul and bait and switch from what was agreed to at town meeting. When an account is overspent in the future it is clear it will be known by the selectmen, will be made public and will be discussed in public. We have apparently put ourselves in a position of constant review and oversight with the election of these 3 and I for one like it allot. We will be paying for our sins of the past for at least another year with contracts and agreements in place and likely longer for the school debacle but it will be tough for anyone to pull the wool over the entire towns eyes in the future.

    Although unpopular to some and not allowed to say on this blog without immediate negative response I do believe if we had the same level of scrutiny, oversight, attention to detail and LEADERSHIP being demonstrated by our new selectman we never would have needed to move to five.

    When we finish paying for all the bad deals disguised and presented as absolute needs with our former elected and hired officials we will be light years ahead of 14 months ago.


    Strange what real integrity and experience will do for us.

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  14. I was at both Tuesday and Thursday night meetings and would have to say that Thursday night was a lot better than Tuesday night which I will chalk up to the fact that it was the first meeting for all 3 selectman. I agree that while it took awhile to go through all the checks I’m glad they did so we could see where the money is going and what account it is coming out of. While it might have taken over an hour that probably had more to do with the fact that they had 3 months worth of bills to pay. I was shocked to see what our bills are for the town office located at the school, while that is somewhat my fault for not being more involved at the time I think Cindy and Nancy pulled a lot more than just stealing money. Hopefully in three years when our contract with SAD 22 runs out we have another location lined up and ready to move into. I am impressed with the 3 new selectman and how much improvement they made in running the meeting and how much progress they have made and are making with the town business. Overall I think things are getting better.

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  15. When confronted by your superiors and you lie, you need to be terminated, immediately and escounted out as remaining will cause everyone more headaches with the towns money at hand you need to remove this temptation from them. Good Luck with your future endeavers, but, see ya.

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  16. The purpose of having 5 selectmen, in my mind was never just about scrutiny. It was about being able to have more expertise on the board. The ideal board, in my mind, would have one selectmen that understands the basics of accounting, one selectmen that has real world experience in roads, one selectmen that has public and meetings skills, one selectmen that has municipal affairs experience, and one with building experience. Other great skills that would benefit the town include computer skills, managerial skills, fire department skills, and recreational department skills. It would be nice to have a few women on the board also.
    Granted we will never hit a trifecta of these skills, but the odds are greater by having 5 selectmen versus 3.

    The other thing I like about 5 versus 3 is that the likelihood of one person dominating the group are diminished. We saw some of this with the old board, although in that case it was two versus one that were not that interested in managing the town. Please don’t run for selectmen if you don’t want to manage the affairs of the town.

    In reply to a previous poster that said thank “god Briggs was there to clarify things, what will happen when there is no town manager”. This has been said a dozen times but it doesn’t seem to sink in, let me try again. An administrative assistant has pretty much the same role as a town manager except for the firing and hiring of staff. I foresee little change except for more responsibilities and authority being passed onto the selectmen, yet another reason to have 5 versus 3.

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  17. To The above poster 4//22 at 1:03 PM. I couldn't have said it better. You my friend, have insight.
    Thus, why other small towns have 5 Selectmen to govern. Homer

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  18. Our three new select men have quite a job on their hands getting the mess that Mr. Briggs dumped up on them cleaned up but, I do believe they can handle it. It will take a little time. I don't think we will have to be looking over their shoulders because we can't trust them.I have been to the select meetings since they were elected. I feel from watching and listening to their performance that they will do a good job for the town citizens. We should all be proud of the fixers for spending so much of their time pushing for this change for if they hadn't things would be going on for ever until our town got in deeper and deeper trouble . Thanks to all you fixer. You deserve a smashing party for all your hard work.

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  19. I agree fully with the above post. The fixer have devoted hours and hours of their personal time to help get things turned around for all the town's citezens. They never were trouble makers like the town officials tried to make people believe they were. They were just concerned citizens doing what they thought was best for our town and I think they proved it.They worked for all the citzens not just for a certain few. good job fixers. You keep right on fixing.

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  20. I agree. The trouble was created right in the office daily. It was told that the fixers were only causing trouble when in fact they were working night and day with every aspect of the town. They were and are for every single citizen and care deeply. Without them the town officials would still be secretive, underhanded and behind closed doors 24/7. These 3 selectmen will go over everything day to day. Thank you Steve, Craig and Mike for all you are doing, all you will have to do and all you can do. Fantastic board!

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  21. Do you really think you can mask the 3-Vs-5 selectmen issue.

    The move from 3 to 5 selectmen was to make sure that if Skip was re-elected there would still be an opportunity to place someone from outside the circle of trust. You can paint the picture any way to want but this was the root justification for adding more overhead all along, nothing but a safety net.

    We do not need 5 selectmen in a town this size, once the contracts are in place for the year with the right contractors and suppliers reviewed, qualified and accepted this little town should run on auto pilot. 5 spots will be difficult to fill with quality people that want to serve and could actually have the opposite intended effect of making the town more efficient.

    If we have 5 we should consider shortening the terms from 3 to 2 years to see if we can develop a more diverse pool of people, a 3 year term commitment may be enough to scare off some really good people.

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  22. Sorry, but when we voted, we were not thinking of anything but the benefit of 5 Vs 3 and the balance that they would offer. Call around and you will see that most all other towns of Newburgh's size has 5 not 3 and they all recommend, 5 members. A 3 member board is that of years ago and things have moved ahead as more and more folks want to help their communities and to make sure that all avenues are looked at before judgements are made. 5 allows for more of a balance and vision. We are thankful that the voters also saw this as a positve move in the right direction, for the future of Newburgh.

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  23. What are we doing?

    I can think of no logical reason to keep debating the 3 Vs 5 selectman issue, the town manager to administrative assistant form of government or the recall ordinance, the time to do that was prior to the town vote on the petitions. I for one have mixed emotions on the number of selectmen subject but the fact is we as a town voted and this is what we have in place lets give it a try and see what happens. I find it difficult to believe someone can take a stand and form an opinion on something that has not been enacted. On the other hand I also value what others have to say especially if they at one point experienced something first hand in another town and have actual examples of what did and did not work, this would be valuable information.

    Relative to the former selectmen, I did attend the Thursday version or part B of the most recent selectmen's meeting, I did witness Skip Smith participating in a positive manner and also feel he is a valuable asset to the new selectmen and the town.

    Jim Hopkins

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  24. http://www.brookline.nh.us/documents/meetings/FiveMemberSelectmanStudy/Selectmen_Study_Committee_Final_Report_2005_060118a.pdf

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please be couteous!

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