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Ruminations

A Look at Recent Actions by Selectmen

The recent decision by the Board of Selectmen to reinstate Dennis Carroll to the Personnel Board makes Bill Buckley and Will Kingkade look pretty bad.

After all, they were the two selectmen who voted to remove him on the grounds Carroll had moved out of town.

Carroll then sued the two selectmen and the town to get reinstated and – a week before the case went to court – selectmen reversed course.

But, it's not that simple. The basic problem is that many town officials believe that "Buckade" – one person calls them on Facebook – picked the wrong reason to remove Carroll. And, Carroll's lawsuit makes some assertions that will never stand scrutiny.

To properly remove Carroll from his appointed position before his term runs out in 2020, selectmen could have called for an executive session

to discuss his performance on the board, with Carroll given a chance

to respond. The grounds could have been Carroll's leadership when the Personnel Board badly fumbling two presentations about salary and

wage studies to selectmen and the Finance Committee. Or, his possible misrepresentation of Finance Director Zack Taylor's position on one of those studies to selectmen. Or, why so many resignations from the board happened while Carroll was chairman.

Instead, Buckley picked an issue that was easy to refute – where Carroll was living. It now turns out he lives in Milford and in Mendon. As a Mendon resident, I didn't realize we rated as a "second home" community.

The only thing reinstating Carroll to the Personnel Board did so far was to negate the need for the scheduled Superior Court hearing for an injunction on his removal while his lawsuit is being heard. The lawsuit is still in progress.

And, if you're a political junkie, it's an entertaining lawsuit to read. I liked the claim that Carroll's removal would cause "irreparable harm" to Milford's citizens. Really? I bet if I picked 10 people at random in the Stop & Shop parking lot and asked them who Dennis Carroll is they wouldn't have a clue.

And the charge that selectmen adding people to fill three vacancies on the Personnel Board was "a blatant act" by Buckley and Kingkade "to seize control of the Personnel Board"? No, they were filling three vacancies left open by people resigning from the board.

The suit also makes the claim that current Building Commissioner

Matt Marcotte isn't qualified. That's not within the Board of Selectmen or Personnel Board's purview; it's up to the state Department of Public Safety's Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) to determine.

Eventually, the lawsuit will wind its way through the court system and the matter will be settled one way or another.

Mike Walsh is looking pretty good for voting against Carroll's removal, but his most recent vote against a host agreement with ProVerde Labs is puzzling.

Most people don't even know where ProVerde is located or what it does. The company is applying for a state license to test recreational marijuana. There have been no public safety or other issues – known as "secondary effects" – involving the company. The draft host agreement before the board complied with all state requirements, but Walsh felt it wasn't specific enough and also questioned by the company wanted to operate 24 hours a day.

In my opinion, his negative vote makes him look anti-business.




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