More shady dealings in WinchesterOnce again “due process” trumps truth.
In a document submitted to the court by the selectmen’s attorney, and the attorney he reportedly picked for the newly elected budget committee, a statement is made that there was a dispute between the two bodies over how to fund the water and sewer departments.
As with all half-truths, that was a lie.
The original dispute was over how much to fund the departments. The selectmen didn’t want budget cuts, so, in a move never before attempted, they pulled water and sewer entirely from the operating budget and added warrant articles for them, thus overriding the budget committee’s legal authority to determine amounts.
Make no mistake, the selectmen’s attorney is very cagey. He did not sue the (2011) budget committee as individuals, but sued a generic budget committee as a body. That means the people who responded to the suit are not the same people who voted to cut budgets, but instead are a group comprised of a “new majority” that supports higher spending.
Members of this new majority may not have known the truth about the original dispute, or they may have chosen to ignore it for personal or political reasons.
Those who knew the truth and chose to vote with them to submit the lie to the court have no excuse.
In my experience as a selectman, I learned that state officials routinely accept false statements on documents as long as they are approved by a majority of the elected body. I expect the same is true for judges.
I also learned that the majority of the select board had little regard for the truth when it related to a pet project or employee. I often refused to sign documents containing false statements, for which I was frequently ridiculed as being an “obstructionist.” I’ll make no apologies for refusing to lie.
If you don’t demand integrity from your elected officials, and “officers of the court,” you can count on nothing but more of the same in the future.
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