GMF referendum on

Pat Hill

n yet another contentious meeting in Green Mountain Falls last week, the Concerned Citizens challenged every potential decision by the board. Exasperated, at times enraged, by the range of complaints, such as objections to the board’s updating the personnel policy, the meeting was another sign of political dysfunction.

However, in other news, the Concerned Citizens have scored a victory with a successful referendum asking voters to rescind the ordinance establishing the position of town manager.

The referendum is a direct response from a number of citizens who have expressed anger and dismay over the board’s approving the ordinance. They were doubly angry at the appointment of Rob McArthur as the town manager, over the objection of Mayor Lorrie Worthey.

Dick Lackmond and Judy Lofland-Wiedner led the Concerned Citizens’ referendum campaign.

While the citizens collected a sufficient number of signatures for the referendum to be placed on the ballot, their timing was off.

According to trustee Mac Pitrone, the petition was too late for the municipal election April 1. “The petition should have been submitted, and the signatures validated, by Jan. 31, because Feb. 1 and 2 are not business days,” Pitrone said.

As a result, the election must be held separately, for additional expense, after April 1 and before July 4.

For the municipal election, candidates have until Feb. 11 to submit their petitions. To date, Worthey has declared her intention to run for a second term.

As the tone was set within minutes of opening, trustee Margaret Peterson requested an executive session after the meeting to seek legal advice from the town attorney Matthew Krob.

After the session, the board voted to appoint McArthur as the interim town manager, performing the duties written in the ordinance. McArthur’s appointment was approved by a 4-1 vote, with trustees Jane Newberry, Peterson, Pitrone and Ralph LoCascio voting in the affirmative and Worthey voting no. Trustees Tyler Stevens and Howard Price, who is ill, were absent.