Entire Board Of Selectmen In Brooklin Resigns 

Residents of Brooklin can no longer take up town matters with a selectman because their town no longer has one. The entire three-person board resigned at a town meeting Saturday.Brooklin residents will tell you the tension among the people working in the town office has been simmering for quite some time now but on Saturday those tensions boiled over. George Eaton is a former selectman in Brooklin and was the moderator at the town meeting on Saturday night. “Well at the begining of the town meeting our select board stood up and one by one resigned effective immediately and walked out on the meeting,” he said.Lorna Grant had already announced her resignation before Saturday citing health problems. Richard Freethy and Gerald Gray abruptly resigned. Gray served on the board for four years. “I would have to say the final straw was Friday night this letter that was put out to the public,” Gray said, “it was left in the general store by the tax collector. It said a lot of hurtful things about the select board.”The letter was written by a town official and it accuses the select board of putting their personal agendas ahead of the needs of the town among other things. One thing that prompted the letter was a proposal by the board to consolidate the tax collector and town clerk into one position. The Selectboard also was interested in hiring an additional staff member to help the selectboard with clerical work. In the letter the disgruntled town official says the selectboard should be able to do their own clerical work. “We felt like there was no way we could perform our jobs without the trust and work in such an atmosphere in the office, that’s why we resigned,” says Gray.The Maine Municipal Association says that while this situation is not unprecedented it is extremely rare. Now 2 of the 3 selectmen who resigned must sign off to allow a special election to choose a new board to replace them. Both Gray and Lorna Grant have not decided whether they’ll sign off on the election. Richard Freethy says he will saying he wants whats best for the town.On Monday people around town were talking about the situation. “It’s an awful mess and it never should have got this far,” said Brooklin resident Larry Staples, “it leaves the town in the lurch but we’ll get through it we always have.””I think it was a little overdramatic,” says Brooklin resident Paul Brayton, “if people want to resign they want to resign but the drama was a little over the top.”If the selectmen sign off on the special election, folks in town can begin nominating candidates to replace them. The hope is to have a new board in place within 30 days. “We’ll make it alright,” says Staples, “there’s people dying to run I’m sure, somebody will straighten it out I’m sure.”