"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Friday, March 20, 2015

Moultonboro Selectmen Meeting March 19th 2015


OMG said...

I have seen many examples of sleazy politics, but what happened at the begining of the selectmen meeting shames our fine town. Mr. Wakefield never opened the floor for nominations but just nominated Mr. Ship. No chance for anyone to nominate anyone else and then refused further nominations. He sees nothing improper? Shame also on Ship who put his ego ahead of his morals and went along with this and pretended that nothing was wrong. If he does not right this wrong on his own at the very next meeting and correct this gross injustice I will have no respect what so ever for the man and he will never get my vote again. You would have to be a complete idiot to not see that this was a set up and with lousy actors to boot. Those of us that supported Ms. Beadle in this election have very early in the game seen her true colors. Boy did we get fooled.

Anonymous said...

How do you expect this to be made right? Open up the nominations again? Unfortunately it would yield the same results as you do not have to vote in favor of any nomination whether it is made first or last. If those 3 had been smarter they could have gotten the same misguided result with no impropriety.

Not So Double Wide said...

The chair and vice chair are conveniently negligent of RSA's. Ignorance will be their downfall and fall they will, it's only a matter of time. The chairman looks like a deer in the headlights without a clue what to do. The vice chair cares nothing about the public he supposedly represents. He is arrogant to the point of contempt toward his fellow BoS. It is shameful how his behavior has changed since the last BoS meeting under the former Chair and Vice Chair. Utterly disgusting.

Anonymous said...

As is often the case, this site is filled with half-truths and partial facts. After watching the video to see for myself, it is obvious that Mrs. Beadle and Mr. Ship were fine with allowing multiple nominations for the position of Chairman, as they both clearly stated. Mr. Wakefield, for whatever reason chose to address one nomination at a time, which is fine. I have seen it done both ways, and neither impacts the outcome of the final vote. At 6:05, Mr. Ship opened the floor to nominations for vice-chair and it appears he was acceptable to receiving multiple nominations. At 6:09, Mrs. Beadle, NOT Mr. Ship nominated Mr. Wakefield for Vice- Chair. At 6:13, Mr. Punteriri nominated Mr. Bartlett. Mrs. Beadle’s nomination of Mr. Wakefield received a second. Mr. Punteriri’s nomination of Mr. Bartlett did not. At 7:00, Mr. Ship specifically asked Mr. Bartlett if he had any nominations for Vice-Chair, and he did not. That being said, it is not reasonable or realistic for town leaders to be disallowed from discussing issues outside of public meetings. If that were the case, they would have to meet every night. The key is that anything discussed needs to be brought back to a public meeting for consideration in public. The right-to-know laws were put in place to make sure that votes are not taken, and decisions made, without the public being made aware. They were not created to stop any town business from being conducted outside of meetings. In this case, it appears that regardless of what may have been discussed ahead of time, everything was ultimately done before the public’s eyes. The blogger may not like the outcome of the vote, but it is clear, that every member of the board had ample opportunity to comment on, and vote on the officer’s positions in a public forum.

Grumpy said...

To the above Anon (12:59 AM)
Three points: 1, If you had read the RTK laws you would know that discussing (which obviously includes in this case a discussion AND decision as to the nominations and voting of officers) is strictly prohibited outside of the public eye. It is so important to the writers of the law that it clearly states that "communications between the members shall not be used to circumvent the spirit and purpose of the...law". Try reading it before you bloviate on the merits of the argument.
2 Russ clearly states that he feels it is "better for the community and this board" to have that discussion outside the public eye.
3. Russ speaks of his long history of being on boards and committees. Unfortunately IT IS WRONG TO VOILATE THE RTK LAWS no matter how many years you've been doing it.
He was wrong then and he is wrong now. He is on tape saying so. I would be very surprised if he doesn't hear from the AG.

Anonymous said...

Anon a 12:59am nust have been watching a different meeting. This was about fair play and integrity,not the outcome. anyone could see that the three had pre planned to be a voting block and trying to alter that would be futile. An no mr or ms anon it is not ok to discuss and plan how this would go prior to the meeting. It is a clear violation of the right to know law. Town business with very few exceptions is to be disussed in open public meetings. Your are dead wrong in your statement. Does it not concern you that russ did not ask for nominations but opened the meeting by nominating Chris and then refusing any others? The only people on that board with any integrity are Josh an Paul and I feel that thy will have a difficult time this year.

QT Around Town said...

It would seem that anon posted at 1259am is an insider. The observations may be accurate in that the votes were made in public. What is missing in your post is the rapid speed that Mr W opened the nominations and quickly nominated Mr S before anyone else had an opportunity. Also missing is any mention of the comtemptuous tone and demeanor of Mr W. Accuracy is not enough when diplomacy is void. There is no excuse for the pre planned nominations. This was discussed prior to any meeting, painfully obvious to anyone.

Anonymous said...

From Robert’s Rules of Order: “As soon as the president opens nominations from the floor, any member can bring forth a nomination. However, the rules for a member nominating a candidate are the same as for the nominating committee. A member should know BEFOREHAND if the person he or she wishes to nominate is both eligible and willing to serve.” Mr. Wakefield should have allowed multiple nominations. However, is asking someone ahead of time if they are interested in a certain position really a violation of RTK laws? According to the most nationally recognized rules of order, it is the expected practice.

You've Learned Nothing said...

Russ has the twisted notion because he's served on so many boards and committees he's automatically an expert on the RTK law, wow, that's a leap.

Russ's conniving behavior Thursday night says it all, he will never change his stripes or his ways.

Anonymous said...

Jean Beadle made a bad error in judgement that will come back to bit her.

Disapointed said...

The anon at 12:59 is so misguided ref to the RTK it sounds like it may be Russ. Except he has stated vehemently many times he does not read the Blog. Maybe he's changed his mind.
For those voting for a new start for the town by having fresh faces on the BoS you can kiss that hope goodbye. Shipp is bought and paid for. My admiration for him as being the only selectman who apologized to Josh and Judy after that fiasco has gone for good. And Jean's years of hard and often thankless work on the ABC has just been flushed as well. Jean, what did the voters in Moultonborough do to get this action right out of box? I really thought you, of anyone running, would know and obey the RTK law.

Hand in the cookie jar said...

Shipp is looking very sheepish....hmmm.... wonder why?

Anonymous said...

QT Around town: How could you possibly deduct that the poster at 12:59 is an insider? That is purely speculation on your part, as are most of the comments on this issue. Anyone who shares an opinion that is different from yours must be one of those darn "insiders". Your assumption is typical Moultonboro Speaks paranoia. Is there a certain amount of time that the BOS should take when making nominations? I bet if Mr. Puntereri had been made Chairman, none of this would be an issue. Sour grapes on his part, and another example of how he uses this site to cast a dark and biased shadow over our town, especially when he doesn't get his own way.

Anonymous said...

Hey Blogger, Where's the comment that quotes Robert's Rules of Order? Nothing like culling out the facts.

QT Around Town said...

QT Here,
Talk about sour. You are missing the point.It wasn't the outcome of who was selected as Chair, but more the process AND the qualification of Mr S who misses more meetings than anyone else and is frequently unprepared. Mr W is consumed with angst and it shows every meeting when he when HE disagrees with issues. It was obvious that the nominations were preplanned.

Town Hall Junkie said...

Posted at 9:38. Fool, do you see any statement in this column from Mr P ? You are craping on the only site we have, where Moultonboro news can be posted, and have comments posted. Where is your common sense ?

Non-resident Taxpayer said...

Thank you, Mr. Puntereri for this blog. Thank you to the folks who spend their own time videoing the town meetings.

You allow me to see and hear what is going on in what I consider my "hometown".

Actions speak louder than words.

The unethical maneuvering displayed in this meeting is unbelievable and disgusting.

Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

"March 21, 2015 at 9:55 AM
Anonymous said...
Hey Blogger, Where's the comment that quotes Robert's Rules of Order? Nothing like culling out the facts."

What the hell does that have to do with the price of butter? There are no rules, that's the point. A modicum of accord is expected from the citizenry, however ... not "sandbagging" (Google it).

Never mind. Here's the "sandbagging" I'm alluding to:


March 21, 2015 at 9:38 AM
" Is there a certain amount of time that the BOS should take when making nominations?"

Not so much the time, as the process. Where is it stated that the "senior" member nominates first, or decides there will be one nomination at the time?

What puzzles me, IF, there was prior discussion and agreement on a Chair, and the vote would be 3-2, why not be coy about it, and let as many nominations happen as come up by all five (5) members?

Oh Ya, that's right, BoS members by the infallibility doctrine (making it up ... like the Chair rules) are so quick that the responses were contemporaneous!

Here's an article from the NH Municipal Association on selecting Chair (not the kind you sit on)!

"No statute or court case explains how the chair is chosen or how long he or she serves. "

But ...


Can't wait for selecting a new TA!

Stick to the Facts said...

Anonymous 9:38

You're missing the point. The disagreement was over trashing the RTK law. It has nothing to do with "sour grapes." Mr. Wakefield clearly violated the spirit of the law.

Eric Taussig said...

I spent some time watching the video of the Board’s meeting of the 19th as well as reading the comments and have several observations.

As for the video, I was disappointed, but not surprised to to see that the two longer term BoS members taking a procedural short cut that had no impact on the ultimate outcome, particularly if the sequential discussion of nominations, as rumored, actually took place prior to the meeting (I am going to refrain from discussing the Right to Know Issues as they may yet be the subject of some future proceeding and this blog entry is not intended to be a legal opinion).

What strikes me is that keeping the chair’s nomination open until a vote, or before the question is called would have been the normal way to handle this. The arbitrary closure is just a practiced methodology for keeping a lid on things and should be no surprise.

The vice chair nomination’s seconder struck me as odd, unless the new BoS member has an early case of Alzheimer’s or has made a Faustian deal. Considering the mandate she received, one would expect better.

What both BoS actions symbolize is a continuing pattern of shutting out transparency and due process from decision making. There seems to be an innate fear of possible change, even if the change is unlikely to happen, when you control the majority. The troubling part is that the incumbent group is so concerned that they are willing to bend the rules they themselves made to insure the desired result, even if the ultimate result would likely be exactly the same.

I did note that in many respects the organization process of this year’s BoS replicated the similar aspects of the 2014 Planning Board’s initial attempted organization except that the new BoS Vice Chair has better perfected his methodologies. What is most troubling is the broader based acceptance of this approach.

Whether this need to bend rules, by denying due process in an election for Chair of the BoS, or by bypassing reading a Warrant Article you don’t support, or by limiting free discussion during a public comment period, creates a “chilling effect” and denies the citizenry the opportunity to hear both sides of an issue at a public hearing or at a Town sponsored venue such as the Web posted Talk of the Town program.

Finally, beyond striving for neutrality by a Select Board Chair or Town Moderator, I do hope the new BoS learns to dot the “i’s” and cross its “t’s”. The undated “Press Release” posted on the Town Web Site by the former chair of the BoS of the Town Administrator’s resignation three days after the Town Meeting, when the Chair no longer held elective office seems reminiscent of the recently discovered back dating and publicly unknown alteration of the duration of the Town Administrator’s contract. These misleading and deceptive practices should finally be ended.

According to Robert's said...

"Motions to close nominations are usually unnecessary because the nomination process simply continues until no one wishes to make further nominations. When the nominations stop, the chair just declares nominations closed after making sure that no more nominations are forthcoming. Customarily (although it's not required), the chair accomplishes this by calling three times for more nominations.

According to Robert's Rules, a motion to close nominations is out of order as long as any member wishes to make a nomination"

Anonymous said...

After watching the video I too am disturbed at the impression made by this new BoS and the conduct of the three who went with Mr Shipp as Chair. Maybe he deserves it. Maybe he would get it anyway. Maybe he will be great. Maybe he will show up to meetings this year. But certainly it was done in a crooked manner.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Taussig for being a squeaky wheel for government integrity.

Sunshine is the Best Disinfectant said...

In response to Anonymous 9:38 comment, "another example of how he uses this site to cast a dark and biased shadow over our town"

You're looking in the wrong place if you think "the dark and biased shadow" is coming from Mr. Punturieri or the Moultonboro Speaks Blog.

Minutes of meetings don't record all that transpires during a public meeting, videos do.

How can watching the recording of a public meeting on the Moultonboro Speaks Blog possibly be interpreted as casting a dark and biased shadow over our town? Au contraire, the blog is a beacon.

Rick Heath said...

Robert's Rules are a basis for how to run a meeting. They are not the law. So Russ can twist and pervert those as much as his colleagues will allow. RTK is the law. Clearly in his arrogant statement to Paul he admits there was an illegal meeting and states it is better that way for the town and "this board". Russ may get to trash Roberts Rules but he doesn't get to adjust what he thinks is best in place of the law.
For those of you who would blame the blogger for anything stated here is tantamount to blaming the Laconia Daily Sun for comments they publish in their letters to the ed. column. Grow up.
Let's face the truth; the old school of local politics in Moultonborough is alive and well. Make your own rules, obfuscate, show your petulance when faced with the truth and with the present vice chair, get loud and verbally bully those who dare question your methods.

Rick Heath Fan said...

It would be prudent to request that our new vice-chair of the BOS step down from the vice-chair position, as he does not have the knowlege required to properly execute the position... He could stay on the board, but his personal desires for town matters must be discussed in public. That is an obligation that goes with he position.
Hand in hand with this, what will it take to start the process for hire of a new Town Attorney? If we are going to pay for that position, we need someone to guide us right.

Please, get your facts straight said...

Dear Anonymous @ 9:38 Sour grapes, are you kidding? Anyone who knows or has worked with Paul can tell you he is no glory hound. Paul works hard, does his homework, believes in fairness and treats everyone in a respectful manner. Paul is a stand up guy.

Anonymous said...

A little history lesson is in order. Go back and take a read of the March 28 2011 and April 12 20111 advisry budget committee minutes ont he town website. Russ has been singing that same anti ABc tune every chance he gets. Why in the world did Jean Beadle nominate him for vice chair? If you run with wolves, expect to get bitten.