NORWAY — A director removed by the Norway-Paris Solid Waste board Monday said she does not believe it has the authority to approve such an action.

The board voted 4-1 in favor of removing Janet Jamison of Paris, with Al Atkinson, Eric Grondahl, Joe Bracy, and Bruce Hanson in favor and Dundee Pratt opposed. Director Bruce Cook, who is a Norway selectman, abstained after saying that it was the opinion of the Norway board that the issue was solely related to Paris.

“This has got to stop,” Cook said. “This is counterproductive, all of the stuff that goes on at every meeting. We’ve got to get down to business and serve the people we’re here to serve.”

The NPSW Board of Directors has sought Jamison’s removal on two different occasions in the past six months. In August, the board voted 5-2 against recognizing her appointment after Jamison was accused of making “public innuendos and false accusations” against board members and “unethical and extremely biased statements” against employees at the Brown Street transfer station in Norway. Jamison’s appointment was upheld by the Paris selectmen.

Earlier this month, Atkinson, the board’s president, asked Paris selectmen to rescind their appointment of Jamison in a letter charging her with “unprofessional and unethical behavior.” He said relations between Jamison and other board members continued to be troubled and accused Jamison of exceeding her authority by discussing the bylaw changes with the Norway selectmen after the NPSW board voted to meet with selectmen in both towns to discuss the amendments. The Paris selectmen again affirmed the appointment.

Jamison said she was unable to attend the meeting because she was late getting out of work, but vowed to attend the next meeting of the NPSW board.

“I refuse to recognize their dismissal of me,” she said. “I wasn’t appointed by them. I can’t be removed by them.”

Norway and Paris selectmen appoint three directors each to serve staggered three-year terms, and the towns alternate in appointing a seventh director for a one-year term. Under the amended bylaws approved by the board at a meeting on Jan. 17, a town’s appointments to the board must be approved by a majority vote of the directors.

The board also asks that the town make the board aware of their intended appointment 14 days before the board’s annual meeting at the end of the fiscal year in June. If a town’s appointment is not approved, the amended bylaws say, the town must submit a replacement for consideration within 10 days, and the directors may nominate a new member themselves if they do not receive a replacement in that time.

Another new section allows the board to remove directors, with or without cause, by a two-thirds vote of the attending directors. This section says towns will have 30 days to appoint a replacement, after which time the board may nominate their own choice. Atkinson called the special meeting to see if the board would remove Jamison under this section.

Jamison was the sole director who voted against the amendments when they were presented at the board’s meeting in December, as well as the only member voting against “housekeeping” amendments presented at the January meeting to make the language in two sections compliant with that of the interlocal agreement. Cook was not present at December’s meeting and abstained from the January vote.

Jamison has argued that the amendments are inconsistent with the interlocal agreement, which passed at the annual town meetings of both Norway and Paris in June. The agreement was revised after concerns about fee hikes briefly imposed by the board, and the changes included the establishment of a more regular meeting schedule and an increase in the number of board members from five to seven.

Town Manager Philip Tarr of Paris said at Monday’s meeting that the Paris selectmen “wholeheartedly oppose” any attempt at removal. In a letter addressed to Atkinson, Tarr said the bylaw changes are an “effort to circumvent” the interlocal agreement and would set apart NPSW as a stand-alone corporation rather than a subsidiary organization of the two towns.

In a second action of the board, Bracy’s term on the board was extended until June 30, 2011. Bracy said he was the senior sitting member on the board from Paris when the interlocal agreement was passed, and thought that he should have received the longer term at that point. The board approved the extension in a 4-0 vote, with Bracy and Cook abstaining.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.