Sangerville emergency meeting focuses on insurance, town warrant

Posted May 31, 2011, at 10:44 p.m.

SANGERVILLE, Maine — Selectmen held an emergency meeting early Tuesday afternoon to discuss liability coverage on the former Abbie Fowler School, but several other issues also were discussed.

The emergency meeting focused on the board’s confusion on what insurance coverage the town had on the building. Town Manager Michelle Dumoulin said the town has a blanket general liability policy, but the former school has no building coverage.

Selectmen also discussed warrant articles for a special town meeting set for 9 a.m. Saturday, June 11, at the fire station. A handful of articles were approved by the board for the town meeting warrant.

Residents will be asked the following: to elect a new selectman; to raise and appropriate up to $50,000 for improvements to roads not yet selected, to purchase a guardrail for French’s Mill Road at a cost of $11,000, to raise and appropriate $8,000 for a temporary employee at the public works garage, to see if the town will vote to authorize the board to dispose of town-owned or surplus equipment, to take $750 from the town garage woodlot reserve to build a trail behind the town garage, to borrow $37,000 for the purchase of land and a building next to the recreation field, to raise and appropriate $675 for town hall sprinkler system repair, and to see if residents want to adopt a secret ballot nomination process.

If residents accept the process, anyone running for public office would have to take out nomination papers and obtain a number of registered voters’ signatures. If the process is adopted and no one takes out nomination papers for a specific seat, nominations cannot be accepted from the floor at town meeting, Dumoulin said. Someone could be elected through the write-in process, however.

Dumoulin also raised the possibility of including a warrant article for legal fees. She said the town raised $7,000 in March for legal fees and that amount has been used. She said a bill she received Tuesday morning was for more than $5,000.

“Our budget is not going to make it,” Dumoulin said.

Selectman Brent Randall said he would like to review the bills first but was advised by Dumoulin that she didn’t think the board “could go into those details.” Randall and Selectman Tom Carone both agreed they wanted to review the bills first before asking for more funds.

Dumoulin hinted that further legal advice may be needed after resident Irving McNaughton presented selectmen at Tuesday’s meeting with a letter alleging that he had received “rude and abusive treatment” from Dumoulin earlier in the day. McNaughton asked that she be reprimanded and his letter placed in her file.

McNaughton said outside the meeting that Dumoulin told him he could not speak to the town’s road contractor. He said he called the contractor to inquire if he got a contract from the town and if Flanders Road was on the schedule.

Dumoulin told selectmen that McNaughton does not have the right to “deal directly” with town contractors and that he was interfering with town business to the point of harassment. She also disputed the account of her actions toward McNaughton and said there were two witnesses to their discussion.

“In no way was I rude or abusive and I will not allow this in my file because this is untrue, so take that to the get-go,” Dumoulin said. “If this personnel matter goes any further, we’re going to have some problems here.”

Selectmen will hold their next meeting on Thursday, June 16. An executive session will be held after the meeting when two candidates for public works director will be interviewed.

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