The Union Leader published this story in yesterday's edition. The full quote of Attorney Sager was "The real loser is the Tuftonboro taxpayers, who had to pay thousands in legal fees to defend the town and its elected selectmen on one person’s quest to paint the selectmen as near underworld characters who were alleged to be seeking to conduct business in the shadows.”
It seems to me that I have heard those words before, or something very similar when my Right to Know petition against the Town was denied by the Superior Court in 2009. I only made a single allegation and I am very certain as to why it was denied, but it had nothing to do with "This SelectBoard understands full well the
critical need for a rigorous adherence to the statute."
As to the current events in Tuftonboro, I have read quite a bit about their BoS and their decisions to clamp down on public input and I strongly disagree with them. Having lived now on both sides of the fence so to speak, I find the response that Right to Know actions are a waste of taxpayer's money as a not so subtle means to dissuade others from going forward with such actions if they believe they were aggrieved. Towns after all have very deep pockets. Many citizens do not. Ms. Sawyers petition was not frivolous as the court did find that the Tuftonboro BoS did in fact violate the RTK law and did award her court costs. It was caused in part by frustration by citizens who want openness and transparency in their local government. Attorney Sager clearly benefited financially from this situation and in my personal opinion, should not have made the comments he made. Further, the BoS should act to heal the situation with some conciliatory actions such as opening up public comment and trying a lot harder to not be so adversarial.