Edgecomb selectmen seek protection order against resident

Thu, 10/20/2022 - 8:30am

    What started as a request for municipal records is now heading to court. Edgecomb Selectmen Dawn Murray, Ted Hugger and Mike Smith along with Code Enforcement Officer George Chase are seeking a yearlong protection order against resident Timothy Harrington. During the Oct. 13 board meeting, Murray updated selectmen on their request for a protection order.

    This is not Harrington’s first time butting heads with another resident. Murray reported Alan Whitman recently sought a protection order against Harrington. On Oct. 4, Murray proceeded to seek a protection order for municipal officials against Harrington. On Nov. 2, A hearing will be held at 8:30 a.m. in Wiscasset District Court regarding a yearlong protection order against Harrington. “This means he wouldn’t be able to contact us or harass for a year. Also, he wouldn’t be able to enter the town hall or other municipal property,” Murray said.

    On Aug. 17, Harrington sent his first Maine Freedom of Access Act request to Edgecomb officials. On Aug. 22, he sent his fourth. He believed town officials were taking too long to deliver the information. According to Murray, who is handling all the FOAA requests, the total is now at nearly three dozen. 

    In a Boothbay Register article, Harrington explained he sought public records for developing a local housing  project and “pending litigation” against an abutter. On Oct. 17, Murray described Harrington’s constant FOAA requests as harassment. “The number of rambling irrelevant emails which include him threatening to carry guns, shooting his crossbows and a possibility of him causing physical harm concerns me,” Murray said. “Each time he doesn’t receive the information in what he believes is a timely manner, he becomes more aggressive in his email responses,”she said.

    On Oct. 19, Harrington reported he would attend the Nov. 2 hearing. Harrington also believes he is the “victim” of the town’s harassment. His complaints include a large boulder placed on what was formerly called Old County Road, blocking access to his property. Another involves a claim regarding negligence and trespass against a local business. Harrington claims 30 S.R. Griffin & Sons trucks violated a no trespassing sign and drove over his property, killing a tree’s root structure. “I was told the town has a right-of-way which is total bull,” he said.

    Harrington also believes his application for building a pole barn on Merry Island Road is being unnecessarily delayed and he is seeking access to all 2022 building applications. 

    “All they have to do is stop the corruption, and all of this will go away,” Harrington said. He added, regardless of how the judge rules, he will continue sending emails to town officials. “I care about the rule of law and due process. I don’t care what he says, I don’t care for all of this foolishness, and I want it to stop. I don’t want this to happen to other people.”

    In regard to the code enforcement officer’s response to Harrington’s permit request, Chase told him in a written response an increase in demand and COVID-19 had limited his time to act on applications. “Unfortunately, there will be unfortunately a significant delay in the process time of applications,” he said. “Your permit requires an additional land use application form. Also due to the stated intent and scope of your building plans, your new subdivision plans need to be submitted to the planning board.”

    In other action, selectmen met with Harbor Master Terry Stockwell who reported the Waterfront Committee was researching ownership of several moorings. “He told us several had been abandoned because people had moved away, and the committee would be working on that,” Murray said. Stockwell also reported the Waterfront Committee has four openings. “They will provide us with some names and we will likely fill those appointments in a future meeting,” Murray said.

    Selectmen meet next at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31 in the town hall.