The following letter was sent into the Informer by someone who had attended the Budget Committee meeting this week and felt people should know what really went on that night. They asked us to publish this letter anonymously for fear of retribution;
When asked for the town attorney’s invoices for the past year for the land use department, the conclusion and findings are the misuse of town funds by the land use assistant. You will find that there is already a charge of over $5,000 in legal advice for the property at 71 Main and an another $5,000 was spent on legal advice on the removal of Kim Gordon from the planning board’s vote of no confidence. ( Sharra instigated this on her own and convinced her two amigos; Beaman and Blodgett to sign on. Blodgett has since resigned as a result of being duped )
Bob Davis asked the board to eliminate the assistant land use position and boldly attempted to get these invoices into the budget committee minutes Tuesday night as evidence of abuse of her position of contacting and seeking legal advice on personal matters. Something we are all faced with paying for. Unfortunately, he was fiercely fought by Selectmen Ken Gardner who strenuously and constantly objecting to everything Mr. Davis had to say. What was Mr. Gardner afraid of? Was it disclosing this information to public record and hiding it from the tax payers?
Knowing Mr. Davis had this information in hand Selectman Gardner was prepared to not let Mr. Davis ask any questions directly to the land use assistant. All questions were intercepted and answered by Mr. Gardner who made it apparent that he was sheltering his queen bee by being the land use assistant’s advocate and spokesperson. Mr. Gardner, along with a room full of Ms. Sharra friends and supporters tried to discredit Mr. Davis in his attempt to discuss the incriminating invoices. This hearing turned into a farce, it was clear what their agenda was right from the start .. protect Margaret Sharra!
With Gardner's continued loud out bursts and Sharra's foolish supporters laughing loudly in the front row, along with Irene Ruth, who was busy scribbling notes and jumping up and down recording everything Mr. Davis was saying in an attempt to intimidate him. But despite all of these distractions, Mr. Davis was undeterred in his attempts to place the facts on the public record. At one point, Mr. Davis suggested calling the police to have Mr. Gardner removed, to which he replied that he would leave first. Chairman Brian Moser attempted to get Mr. Gardner to calm down and to allow Mr. Davis the floor, but with all of the outbursts and intimidation from other board members, the truth was squashed. Mr. Davis agrees some of his prepared statement were a prelude to setting-up the facts to ask the tough questions but he was never allowed the opportunity to speak uninterrupted.
The land use assistant denied that she had asked the board of selectman for a full-time position and refused to answer why she thinks the job should be full time with benefits (see BOS minutes from Sept 13,2011). Margaret admits that she has a dual role capacity, but this is a direct conflict-of-interest and in violation of policy that was passed by the voters in 2010. Not only has she been the chair person of the planning board for many years, an employee of the town of Winchester, and paid to take minutes for three boards, we say it is unfair to the tax payers and these cost are unjustified. The town being charged for her personal legal fees, her interactions with the BOS who defend her every action and other questionable conduct is a detriment to the town and that her immediate removal from office would be our only recourse.
After the meeting Mr. Davis said, “I knew the facts were a can of worms and controversial, but I also know that it was the finance office that tipped off the BOS as to what I had requested and they where waiting for me!” This is deplorable conduct by all involved in making last night's Budget meeting a joke. "To me this is not a laughing matter and I'll bet the folks I represent aren't laughing either