PERU — The Board of Selectmen agreed Monday night to write a job description and wage schedule for the board secretary before next week’s meeting.

The decision came after the group Peru for Honest Government said there was no job description or wages posted with the nomination papers for the June 11 election. Group members said they were supposed to have been done by the previous board, the majority of whom were recalled from office in March.

Chairman Jim Pulsifer said the decision by voters last year to change the position from appointed to elected was “flawed,” because there are necessary qualifications, and the board should interview and hire the secretary.

Pulsifer said if the town hires a person, officials can negotiate the wages based on experience. If the person is elected, officials “can’t fire them,” he said.

“It is an elected position. Our hands are tied,” Selectman Danny Wing said.

Selectman Larry Snowman said the board should put the wages into the budget and put out a job description.

Martha Witherell of Peru for Honest Government said Selectman Laurieann Milligan reported there is a job description in the office and selectmen would only have to tweak it to finalize it.

Another member of the group, Dawna Kazregis, read a letter from the group addressed to the board which said selectmen are betraying the public’s trust, just like the selectmen who were recalled in March.

“Municipal officials are sworn into public office to serve the interests of the public as a whole, and in the municipal official there is vested a public trust,” she read. “A betrayal of that trust occurs when an official is motivated to action as a result of a self-interest rather than a common interest. The former board proved they could not do this honestly, so the town recalled them. Now it seems as though this new board is headed down the same path,” she read.

Pulsifer took exception to the statement and suggested the group watch what it writes.

In other business, the board:

* Appointed Bill Gates, Wayne Moore and John Witherell, and reappointed Donald Carver to the Finance Committee, and accepted the resignation of Bill Hine from the committee.

* Approved building permits for Andy Irish on Auburn Road for a house addition, and for Kim Henderson to replace a mobile home on Old Valley Road.

* Heard an announcement that Town Clerk Vera Parent has been approved for recertification from Maine Municipal Tax Collectors/Treasurers Association.

There was considerable discussion about the board deliberating on legal issues in executive session. Pulsifer said a lawsuit filed by a town employee must be discussed in executive session.

Last year, current board secretary and former Selectman Kathy Hussey filed suit against the town, seeking payment of attorney fees incurred in defending herself against a lawsuit brought by Witherell and Kazregis. The two women tried to force Hussey from her secretary’s position before her term expired in 2014.

Former Selectman Dickie Powell objected to the executive sessions. He also indicated that information from the Maine Municipal Association relative to the lawsuit had been available to only a few of the selectmen at the time. Milligan said it was made available to all.


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