Monday, August 24, 2009

...and the public weighs in

Today's Front Porch Forum post regarding selectboard member Mary Houle elicited a multitude of responses, unanimously in favor of her immediate resignation. Below is a letter addressed to the residents of Richmond concerning yet another resignation of a town official. This letter comes directly from Fran Thomas, former member and chair of the Richmond Selectboard:

Dear Richmond residents,

As you may have heard, Chief Miller has submitted his resignation as Chief of the Richmond Police Department effective the end of Dec of this year. The work of the Chief has been constantly undermined over the past year by Mary Houle of the Selectboard. The next Selectboard meeting has been scheduled for Sept 8 at 6:30 PM .. There is time set aside at the beginning of the meeting for public comment. Please come to this meeting to:

#1. show your support and gratitude for the many years of excellent service that the Chief has given to the Town of Richmond.

#2. To let the Selectboard know, and in particular Mary Houle and the chair Pete Parent, that the residents of Richmond are not going to tolerate any more this type of behavior from our elected officials. Such behavior has now cost us the resignation of a valuable Selectboard member in March, the Chief's resignation, is causing morale issues among our employees which may lead to more resignations and will effect the Town's ability to hire qualified professional individuals to fill vacant positions in the future.

If you can not make it to the September 8 meeting please let the members of the Selectboard know you feelings on the state of town government in Richmond by phone, email or in person. It is critical that we all act now. This current situation has gotten out of control and our Town's reputation is at stake.

Thank you in advance,

Fran Thomas

Former member and chair of the Richmond Selectboard


  1. I am wondering if it isn't time to contact the attorney general's office to see if he would be willing to investigate the improprieties in the actions of the particular members of the selectboard, the relentless harrasment of Chief Miller by Officer Messier, and her peculiar involvment with those selectboard members outside the proper chain of command (ie: behind the Chief's back).

    Maybe now is also the time to start a recall vote petition for Mary. 25% of the voters have to sign to force a special vote...

    Posted anonymously by a Richmond resident

  2. Dan, something happened with the font here -- far smaller than your other posts and difficult to read.

  3. Any employee is allowed to make a complaint against his or her employer. The complainant then is protected from harrassment that can follow by one's employer. Since when is making a complaint 'harrassment'. It is not a sign of intelligence when people make determinations or form opinions when the complaint has not been made public. As for Fran Thomas...Go plant a flower or something.

  4. Fran you think its tragic that Marquis is gone or that Rodjenski who cheated on his wife and tore up his family is gone? If someone betrays the person they claim to love the most, c'mon, do you really think he would not do it to employees of his. Lets talk about other dept heads cheating and using there job to 'their' job done. How about you use your energy to uncover the misdeeds instead of blindly supporting certain people. Unless thats the Richmond you like to live in. Mary Houle is only being picked on b/c she is doing her job. I dont believe she has undermined the police dept. Asking questions and seeking the truth is undermining? How much are you getting paid to say that?

  5. First, it is my opinion that if you have something to say that you are proud of, you will sign your name to it. It is unfortunately that people feel the need to post things they are not proud to put their name on.

    In an attempt of full disclosure, I will start by stating I am a personal friend of Chief Miller and I have a great deal of respect for him personally and professionally. For that reason, I understand I come to this situation with some bias, but don't we all based on our prior experiences.

    With that said, I believe Fran Thomas has raised some very valid points. I have read the documents of the town along with the minutes of the Select Board for the last few months, and I have come away feeling like our local officials have strayed from a local government of transparency and cooperative engagement to one of personal agendas and political manuevering.

    I have spoken with the chair of the Selectboard about my concerns regarding the resignation of Cheif Miller, and I let him know that it is important for everyone who wishes to be heard on this issue at the meeting on September 8, be given time to do that. He has assured me the time for public comment/questions will not be limited to 15 minutes, and they will allow as much time as necessary for all to be heard.

    I encourage everyone to attend this meeting. It is our obligation, as residents of Richmond, to do what we can to ensure our local officials are operating with the best interest of the town residents in mind and the only way we can do that is to get involved in the process.

  6. "Fran you think its tragic that Marquis is gone or that Rodjenski who cheated on his wife and tore up his family is gone?"

    What does cheating on someone's wife have to do with how they act in the workplace? You can't judge someone based on their actions in family life- especially if it's cheating. I don't condone the act, but someone very close to me also did such a thing and I would never say he was compromised in the workplace because of said actions. I think that's an unfair statement based on a private action -- it would be different if he had beaten his wife, but clearly their are counter-productive measures being taken here to undermine the statements of Fran- and question the ability to properly think on a situation.
    "As for Fran- go plant a flower or something."

    Either way, there are going to be biases on either side of the issue but we make this hard on the pure matter by bringing biases into the issue- opinions are important, the biases are not.

  7. Ethics, morals, these two words come into play when serving as a public official. Every once in awhile, we see a governor being asked to resign for committing adultry. Ron sleeping with the financial director of this town for three years, how is that Mrs. Houles problem. A man in uniform having dates at Bridge St cafe while he is married/living at home. Its called conduct unbecoming. Wait till your off duty or something...So yes a persons personal life can be a directly correlated to their professional standards.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.