Alna’s first selectman and a fellow resident argued Nov. 22 over the resident’s sending of an email the night before. At one point, the resident, Jeff Spinney, said to “shut the hell up”; moments later, another meeting goer called for Spinney to shut up. It all happened in a board meeting with a full audience at the town office and 15 people on Zoom for the board meeting, called the night before as the town tried to secure a plow contractor.
Pentaleri said there were complaints “about the unauthorized access of the town’s email address databases, in a message that went out last night (Nov. 21). I just want to emphasize that that was absolutely unauthorized and there’s nobody in the town office or associated with the town that had anything to do with that. And it really motivates us to pursue a cyber security (matter) that recently came to our attention.”
In the meeting and in email responses to Wiscasset Newspaper’s questions, Jeff Spinney denied accessing the town’s email address list when he sent an email that took issue with Pentaleri’s and the board’s handling of the plowing issue. Spinney said he used his own list of email addresses, compiled over years.
When Spinney started to speak as Pentaleri was speaking, Pentaleri responded, “It’s not your meeting, Jeff.”
“You listen to me,” Spinney said.
“No,” Pentaleri said. “It’s my meeting.”
“I have a list of addresses at home that I’m using. You’re now ... trying to tell people that I somehow – shut the hell up – that I somehow magically stole your addresses, which I didn’t,” Spinney said. “So I expect you to stop playing this charade, OK? This is my set of (email) addresses. I have the addresses for probably half of Lincoln County. So you want to keep going?”
Pentaleri reiterated a lot of people were upset at getting the email and “the impression” was the town’s list was used. Spinney went on say Pentaleri was doing the “The Ed Pentaleri Show.” Then someone asked Spinney to shut up and let Pentaleri run the meeting. Not when he is “outright lying,” Spinney said. Pentaleri said he wasn’t.
Spinney’s Nov. 21 email’s stated purpose was to present information because Pentaleri “apparently wishes to dominate the selectmen's meetings
and to prevent full disclosure to the public of inconvenient truth.” The email includes a letter from the town attorney to contractor Evan Holbrook of Woolwich, whose firm, Holbrook Excavating, withdrew from the third and final year of a plowing contract with Alna; Spinney’s email also requests resident Ralph Hilton receive an apology for Pentaleri’s response to Hilton’s comments Nov. 16 about that letter. And the email claims the recent posting of the request for proposals for snowplowing did not follow the board’s bidding policy. Nov. 22, citing the emergency of the contractor’s pullout, the board waived any differing from the policy.
Asked for comment on Spinney’s email, Pentaleri said via email Nov. 22, “As I have been saying consistently, I think that everyone of good will agrees that our first priority needs to stay focused on doing everything we can to ensure that our roads remain safe through the coming season. I continue to share that view, and that's where my attention will remain focused for now. We'll turn our attention to other priorities once we've successfully addressed this one.”