A Viewer’s Observations

Having spent nearly two hours watching the live stream of Monday’s Town Workshop meeting, I’ve come away with a few observations. There were the usual mundane matters of the town that cruise along with little dissent and the customary vote and approval, but there were a few things that have me bothered – I’ll get to them. As is the custom, it often gets ugly near the end and this meeting did not fail in that regard.

It seems that the roof of the Municipal Building has some issues requiring a likely re-roofing of the main structure. Ron Fithian stated that he had gotten a price of $24,000.00, not including plywood. What struck me was that the Mayor and Council did not ask any real questions about the scope of the work. Someone in the audience, chimed in to ask if it was going to be put out for bids. Well, yeah – that should be a given! Having had my share of roofs, there are some pretty obvious issues to be concerned about. What type of shingles ? What grade of shingle? What are guarantees or warranty? Ron will be addressing the matter again at the next Town meeting and I certainly hope that there will be some serious meat and potatoes on this. If only one quote is sought or provided; this is simply foolish business. I have to say that I’ve seen this one bid approach many times with the Town and I’ve always had issue with that way of doing business. It’s called due diligence, plain and simple, and if tax payer money is footing the bill, they have an obligation to the constituency.

Laurie Walters gave a very enthusiastic presentation as a citizen volunteer about giving facelifts to several of the deteriorating murals in Town. It’s a super idea and has all of the feel good that should make it a success. It so happens that I’m on the Board of the RH Marine Restoration and Heritage Center and couldn’t help but overhear some of the frankly, smart ass remarks about the Clamhouse. It’s not that those guys don’t like the Clamhouse, it’s just past political tainted blood. It’s unfortunate and I hope that it will change, but I will call a few of the folksout on it- they know who they are. I am opting to be gracious on this! Besides, we take charge of the maintenance on our mural. However, I do support a resuscitation of those needing it. Art is a good thing. We could use more of it.

Then, the plot thickens. It seems that the Mayor has been using one of the Town cars fairly extensively. Town employees sometimes do so. That’s ok only for Town business, but to use a town vehicle for personal use, is, in my opinion crossing a line. I can’t think of a single small town Mayor that drives around in a municipal vehicle. Mayor Jones was clearly aggravated about the challenge on this but I don’t think his arguments were solid. This prompted a tirade from Councilman Nesspor that denigrated into yelling and outright bullying of citizens. I’ve seen this conduct from Beef all too often and it is very unprofessional and unbecoming of a Council member. I happen to like Beef and know him to be a good person, but his conduct is out of hand. When he called upon Deputy Dempsey to have Gren Whitman removed because Gren raised the issue, was a childish power play. To Deputy Dempsey’s credit; he stood Beef down on his order and refused to act on it. Unfortunately, when the votes were cast, Mayor Jones, Rosalie and Beef voted to allow use of the Town vehicles – Beth Andrews and Tim Edwards voted against – Just so you know how that went. If you don’t believe me, tune in at around 1:30 into the meeting.

I’ve watched enough to see the same pattern evolving  ….. perhaps there really isn’t much new under the sun. And by the way, I was always taught that gentlemen should remove their hats before entering a room.

Liz Smith