Published DateTo the editor:
Year after year we see letters saying what a wonderful place Jackson was before the dreaded “new people” arrived. Few regulations, happy nice people, “exemplary” boards of selectmen. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?
Recently letters and articles have appeared outlining questionable or possibly illegal actions by the chairman of the board of selectmen. There were allegations of harassment and bullying by the chairman. He refuses to release the report of the investigation into his actions; getting it marked confidential instead.
Meanwhile, the dreaded “new people” work with our neighbors from Jackson for improvements, not for our own self interests. We helped construct the new library; sand and salt shed; and additions to the fire department and grammar school. We created the town website and e-news and work on numerous boards to help the selectmen manage town business.
By contrast, under this chairman, we see:
• Numerous, private closed-door meetings.
• Repeated actions undermining zoning rules adopted by a majority of voters.
• Derogatory statements about town officials and employees.
• An investigation into allegations of harassment and bullying, costing taxpayers over $12,000 in legal fees.
• Repeated public statements on behalf of a homeowner not in compliance with town and state regulations, while a lawsuit was pending against her.
• The board meeting the homeowner in private sessions; violations of the Right to Know law. Over $14,000 in fees that should have been paid by that homeowner were paid by taxpayers.
• Likely lawsuits for wrongful firing, and mismanagement of election procedures.
• A potential lawsuit for violations of the Right to Know law.
• References to deleting or withholding minutes, even though RSA 91-A: 9 says to knowingly destroy information is a misdemeanor.
Not so wonderful or “exemplary” when we all look more closely. Don’t take our word for it, read the selectmen’s minutes.
Change occurs. It is how it is managed that makes the difference. We all have to live by the rules. Enforce the laws adopted by a majority, even if we don’t agree with the law. Treat employees with respect and dignity.
The very fact that the town office was considered a “hostile work environment” and an employee even needed to file a complaint to protect her rights, says a lot. The fact they promised there would be “no retaliation” and then fired her, speaks volumes.
We have been Jackson homeowners for 14 years and treasurers of the trustees of the trust funds for the past four years. A small, disgruntled, minority pursue their own agenda, against the wishes of many decent people who care about the community. We are tired of the negativity, lack of professionalism, and attempts to make every disagreement political.
Bill Lockard is a 22 year resident with years of experience in human resource and labor relations. He worked with the Center for Conflict Resolution, on the Governor’s Job Council and as a Jackson Fire Department volunteer. He has experience in mediating and resolving matters involving multiple parties with multiple interests.
That is why we are voting for Bill Lockard for selectman.
David and Helene Matesky