Alna selectmen rebuke resident’s remarks

Tue, 05/14/2024 - 8:45am

    A committee on Alna’s would-be mining ordinance drew about two hours’ discussion May 9 and an exchange over civility. The selectboard had just settled on most of the committee’s members and was mulling which selectman to have on it – Third Selectman Coreysha Stone or Second Selectman Steve Graham, and what that selectman’s role on the committee would be – when one of the other planned appointees, Jeff Spinney, called Stone stupid. 

    The remark came after Stone suggested putting two selectmen on the committee. That would make a committee meeting a selectmen’s meeting, Spinney observed. He said the issue had come up before, regarding the roads committee. 

    Of the prospect of the new committee having two selectmen, Spinney said, “That’s a selectmen’s meeting. Why don’t you understand that?”

    Stone said, “When you say it like that, that is one of the most condescending comments.”
    “Because you’re stupid,” Spinney said.
    “Jeff. Jeff. Jeff,” First Selectman Nick Johnston said as multiple people spoke.
    “It’s OK. Nobody else needs to get involved,” Stone said, motioning to the room. 
    “We’re not doing personal insults,” Johnston told Spinney.
    “Literally, she doesn’t understand,” Spinney said.
    “That’s your opinion. Shut up,” Johnston said as Spinney continued to speak. “We’re not doing personal insults. You can state your opinion. But you’re not going to attack my co-board member and call her stupid. It’s not happening. So if you can’t keep it civil then you shut your cake hole.”
    After more talks on the appointment, Graham got it with his and Johnston’s votes; Stone dissented. Other committee members were approved unanimously: Spinney and Jeff Verney, both as owners of small pits; and members at large Charles Culbertson, Forrest Faulkingham and David Emerson. Still to be named are a moderator-facilitator and the two planning board members who will serve, selectmen said. Plans have also called for the committee to include a representative of larger gravel pit owner Crooker Construction.
    The selectboard is planning the committee after voters in March rejected a mining and blasting ordinance the planning board drafted. 
    In other business, the selectboard is still surveying residents for ideas on how to spend $78,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds. And the board discussed having a volunteer try to burn off some graffiti at Pinkham Pond.
    The selectboard meets next at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 23 at the town office and over Zoom.