YORK, Maine — During another heated debate Monday on the stalled police station project, Board of Selectmen Chairwoman Mary Andrews for the second time offered to resign if members had no confidence in her leadership.
Addressing her comments to Selectwoman Kinley Gregg, Andrews said, “If this board does not have confidence in me I will gladly step down. I don’t need to be abused or accused of being deceitful.”
Gregg had said, “I don’t have confidence in information I’m getting on the project.”
The issue was not a lack of faith in Andrews, she said.
Selectman Ted Little told Andrews she is the best possible person to lead the board.
“I think this board has all the confidence in the world in you,” he said.
The meeting adjourned shortly afterward, without Andrews’ resignation.
The $8.4 million voter-approved project for a new police station and road from Ridge Road to Route 1 has been stalled since the summer because of shoreland and wetland violations.
An issue of a boundary line dispute between the town and brothers Sam, Dewey and Harry Horn also is holding up the road construction. Attorneys for both sides are trying to resolve the issue, according to information released by selectmen and Harry Horn.
The dispute was spurred by wrangling over a half-acre parcel the town originally said belonged to the Horn brothers, the former owners of the police station property. Town Manager Rob Yandow has since said a survey map shows the town owns it.
Harry Horn said from his home in Tennessee on Dec. 11, “I’ve got six different maps; two show we own it.”
Gregg and Selectman Ron Nowell said Monday they were not being kept informed of the legal discussions.
“The only way I find out anything is Harry [Horn] calls me up on the phone,” Nowell said.
Andrews responded that Nowell was “getting as much information as I am.”
On Monday and at a previous meeting, Andrews recommended holding a public, televised session early in 2013 to answer questions, including an estimate of increased project costs and who is expected to pay.
“Because the public does have some questions,” she said at the Dec. 10 meeting, “I get people stopping me and asking me. I think we do need that discussion. It’s been several months, the public doesn’t see anything progressing. I think we need an open and honest discussion on this.”
At the Dec. 10 meeting, Nowell and Gregg voted against approving a warrant authorizing the payment of town bills, including those for the new police station.
Gregg said, “Money keeps dribbling out the door, and I have no intention of robo-signing disbursements while the board is kept barefoot and pregnant.”
Nowell said he didn’t sign the warrant because “I don’t trust what’s on it.”
Horn said Tuesday he and his brothers get information only through their attorneys. Each has his own lawyer and the town has two, he said. They want a sit-down with selectmen and Yandow, the only person in York “who can answer all the questions,” Harry Horn said.
Horn also wants Patrick Cragin involved. Cragin owns the Union Bluff overflow parking lot on Ridge Road, where a 50-foot right of way on one side or the other of the lot — the Horns say it is on one side and the town has it on the other — is a key piece in getting the new road completed.
On Thursday, Harry Horn said he learned through his attorney that such a meeting may take place via a conference call.
“I don’t want any more money,” Horn said. “I want the town to admit what it bought and didn’t buy.”
The town paid the Horn brothers $1 million for land to build a new police station off Ridge Road and to construct a road from Ridge Road to Route 1. The exact amount of acreage bought is still unknown due to the boundary line dispute, according to Horn.
Sam Horn addressed selectmen at the Dec. 10 meeting, saying the town has taken about 20 acres, rather than the 10 it originally said it needed. He did not ask the board to take action.
Resident Mike Micciche, speaking after Sam Horn, did urge action, asking selectmen to terminate Yandow or ask for his resignation. Micciche said he believes the town manager has perpetuated “deception” with the police station project.
“This police station project, as well as any other major tax-funded project, will never be approved by the taxpayers until the trust in this board and town manager is salvaged, which I don’t think is possible at this point,” he said.
On Monday, Micciche asked the board what was happening with his request.
Andrews said the board had made no decision. The town manager’s review is coming up shortly and members did not intend to become involved in a “witch hunt,” she said.
Micciche later said the Town of York Home Rule Charter prevents him from removing Yandow by citizens petition, so he is pursuing a recall petition against Andrews, Little and fellow Selectman Scott Fiorentino in hopes of replacing them with members who would vote to remove the town manager.