Jay resident takes issue with selectmen's attire

JAY — A longtime resident known for speaking his mind sent the town manager an email on Nov. 29 taking some selectmen to task over the attire they wear to board meetings.

Three self-employed selectmen usually come straight from work to the meeting to get the town's business done.

There is no dress code for Jay's Board of Selectmen, Town Manager Ruth Cushing said Tuesday.

Traditionally selectmen in New England are working people — farmers, fishermen, lumbermen and people who work in the quarries and they come to the meeting to do the people's work, Cushing said.

Board Chairman Steve McCourt brought the email up during a selectmen's meeting on Monday and said Tuesday that he shouldn't have.

“I only wanted to stress that three-fifths of our board are self-employed,” McCourt said. “They do well to make the meetings; sometimes they don't even get to have supper. I think their attire is fine.”

Al Landry, who attends most selectmen's meetings and other town and school meetings, said in his email that he had attended another board of selectmen's meeting in another town and didn't see any of that board's members wearing hats during the meeting.

Landry said he's seen some members of Jay's board wearing shorts (during the summer), soiled hats, and dirty work clothes.

“I only want our town mothers and fathers to have pride in serving as they are voted to do,” Landry said in his email.

Landry said he has no problem with Selectman Amy Gould's appearance. She looks nice, he said.

Gould works for a law firm and usually comes straight from work. He also didn't have a problem with McCourt's attire, Landry said Tuesday.

The other three board members are Selectmen Tim DeMillo, co-owner of a welding and fabrication business, Selectman Justin Merrill, a logger who works in the family business, and Tom Goding, a construction contractor. They usually come straight from work and wear their work attire, which includes, for two of them, button-down shirts with the business name and their name on them.

The selectmen took up several items Monday, including the board voting to work together with the Maine Department of Transportation to make a dangerous intersection safer at the corner of Hyde Road and Route 133, according to the draft minutes of Monday's meeting.

They agreed to hold a special town meeting when needed to ask voters to appropriate money for the project. The board also adopted an updated Drug and Alcohol Policy to be in compliance with the Department of Labor guidelines. The board also reappointed Tom Fortier, Pam Newton, Beth Wright and William Rider and appointed Michael Schaedler to the Budget Committee.

In the draft minutes of Monday's meeting, DeMillo did comment on the dress situation at the end of the meeting.

(“DeMillo) said that he had sat here and listened to some very important things. A lot of good decisions have been made here tonight, ” according to the minutes. “A lot of good decisions have been made here tonight. (DeMillo) was disappointed that we opened the meeting discussing attire. (DeMillo) comes to the meetings clean and he felt that it was unfortunate that the focus was on that instead of safety issues and the important issues that were dealt with.”

Landry said Tuesday he didn't plan on attending any more selectmen's meetings. He sent an email to that effect to Cushman, he said.

“I don't like the way they act,” he said.


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Ann Power's picture

Silly Rabbit

I rather see my selectmen in working clothes, then white collar clothes, Maine was built by our forefathers hands and as long as he has done and honest days work, skipped supper with his family to help represent the people he lives with for a complaint that they wore a hat, never said the smelled. A True Mainer Truly Knows What Matters Most, it's not the hat on your head or the trousers on your butt...Selectmen are under appreciated enough as it is, I have no affiliation with any off them, just observed peoples actions..... As long as your there doing your job, come as you are

David  Cote's picture

The backbone of a community

Mr Landry seems to have forgotten what it took to help build the town he residesin. It took the hard work, sweat and sacrifice of people such as DiMillo, Merrill and Goding, as well as the insight of those like Gould to make a community work. In my line of work I converse with working men, and women each day. They turn wrenches, operate loaders and excavators and draw up blueprints. Some wear a full day's work on their person after only a few hours while some wear the grind of their careers in their thoughts and brains. It makes no matter as I always greet each one with a handshake as they are out there getting it done everyday, just like all the council people in Jay, Turner and every other town in this state. They all represent us and if Landry has a problem with asthetics then he indeed has a problem.

Marjorie Grover's picture

Dress Code

Mr.Landry is the most unhappy man I have ever met. If everything in town does not go his way he complains.I have never heard him give anyone a complainment. So if he does not like the way people who work all day come to the selectmans meeting right from work without supper then he should stay home. I see nothing wrong weith the way these men dress. Keep up the good work.

Randall Pond's picture

Jay resident takes issue with selectmen's attire

Mr. Landry? Get Over yourself! How People Look doesn't effect how they conduct Business. GET A LIFE DUDE!


Just as long as they aren't dirty and smelly...


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