Wiscasset Selectmen

Colby takes Robinson, Doerings to task

Posted:  Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - 8:30am

Tuesday night, Wiscasset Selectmen’s Chair Judy Colby said she had an announcement she wanted to read regarding a press release Mark Robinson, spokesman for Ralph Doering III, sent on Feb. 25. The statement was about the referendum question and Colby proposing the issue of donations by Doering and other outside sources for legal fees be tabled until the April 17 vote on whether or not to continue the lawsuit. The board agreed and the language about  possibly accepting funds from the Doerings and other donors was stricken.

“Mr. Robinson attacked me personally,” she said. “And I want to take this time to respond.”

In the release, Robinson alleged Colby had conducted a “slick parliamentary maneuver by introducing a referendum that delays discussion of the legal donations. By controlling the language, she kills discussion of the legal donations ... banking on the fear of legal costs.”

Addressing Robinson, who was not at Tuesday’s board meeting, Colby said, “The fact that you feel you have to discredit me makes me wonder what I’ve done to you or Mr. Doering to be afraid of me. Is it because you don’t like it when people speak out against what you and those backing Mr. Doering want for the town? Let me make something very clear, Mr. Robinson, Mr. Doering, and everyone else: I will not be bullied, intimidated, or bought.”

She went on to say she believed the board did a great disservice to all the taxpayers of Wiscasset by listening to a select few and not including the entire town in the decision-making. Regarding the private donations, she said, “I made a statement that I thought the idea of taking money from outside sources sounded fishy and it still does to me, but again, that’s my opinion. I question why you and Mr. Doering are in such a rush for the townspeople to accept this money. Could it be because you have a hidden motive? Could it be that it will in some way help Mr. Doering’s lawsuit against MDOT? I will share with you my opinion. Maybe I look at things differently than most, but in my experience, most people don’t give that type of money without wanting something in return. I question if the town votes to stop the lawsuit, would the money still be available to pay the balance of the legal bill with no strings attached?”

She said to step back and let the people have their say on April 17. “Then, I’m sure the discussion of legal costs will take center stage,” she said.

The audience responded with a standing ovation.

James Arsenault, vice president of Independent Maine Marine Worm Harvesters, asked that his members be informed when docks and floats are removed during the winter months. Containers that hold the worms are often submerged and attached to the docks. Police Chief Jeff Lange said he and Arsenault would come up with a plan to make sure the wormers were informed so they could remove the containers before the docks were removed.

Lange spoke about the need to buy 13 radios at $200 each. He bought one out of operating expenses, but the remaining 12 had to be purchased quickly.  Lange said there were funds in the waterfront and shelfish accounts, and that the funds probably wouldn’t be needed until the next fiscal year. A discussion ensued about whether to take those funds or apply for a capital expense exception. The board decided to allow Lange to use the funds from the two accounts until a capital expense could be arranged.

Lange also received a speed sign that could be used to alert speeders of their speed, and also to collect data. It was a donation, after Lange attended a training last summer, but if the department had purchased it, it would have cost $2,500.

The board agreed to provide Edgecomb and Westport Island with two-year contracts for EMS service, $6,500 for year one and $7,000 for year two, plus the towns’ uncollectable accounts. This would put them both in line with Dresden.