Woodland Select Board meeting set for Tuesday

7 months ago

WOODLAND, Maine — Woodland’s Select Board will meet on Tuesday, Oct. 17, after unsuccessful attempts to reschedule their canceled Sept. 19 meeting.

On Sept. 19, residents voted to postpone the meeting to Sept. 26 after being told that Town Administrator Vicki Page and board member Thomas Drew would not be present. One week later, the meeting was canceled after Chairperson Harold Tardy resigned and Drew did not show up.

On Oct. 17, the board will decide whether to officially accept Tardy’s resignation. In a letter sent to the Select Board in September, Tardy cited health concerns as his reason for resigning.

The meeting comes after contentious communication between Drew and fellow board member Kathy Ouellette over when the board should reconvene publicly.

On Sept. 19, Tardy allowed residents to vote on whether to continue without the full board and office staff present or reschedule the meeting. Page was absent due to medical reasons and Drew was dealing with issues at his farm, according to Tardy.

In emails obtained by the Aroostook Republican, Drew told Ouellette that he arrived at the town office eight minutes late after residents had already voted. He said he had with him paperwork that Page prepared for the Select Board prior to the meeting.

Drew suggested that he and Ouellette reconvene the public meeting after Sept. 26 to give residents more notice. He said that traditionally the town has posted agendas no fewer than seven days before a meeting.

“I will not be present because [the Sept. 26 meeting] is not being convened by the proper process,” Drew stated in an email to Ouellette dated Sept. 22.

Ouellette said that Maine Municipal Association rules do not specify an exact timeframe for posting agendas, so long as residents have reasonable notice. Lawyers from Maine Municipal Association declined to comment on Ouellette’s statements due to client-attorney privilege.

In various emails, Ouellette said she would arrive at the town office for a meeting on the evening of Sept. 26. She requested that Page cancel a previously scheduled tax collectors training to attend the board meeting. 

“The meeting will stand on Sept. 26, as voted on by the community. We need to honor the commitment we made to attend to business at this meeting,” Ouellette wrote to Drew on Sept. 25.

Instead, that meeting was canceled after Drew did not show up. He and Ouellette met on Wednesday, Sept. 27, for an executive session to discuss tax abatements.

The Select Board will meet Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 5:30 p.m. in the town garage, adjacent to the town office at 843 Woodland Center Road. The meeting is open to the public.