LISBON — The chairman of a town committee came under heavy criticism Tuesday from two residents who complained he is overstepping his bounds.

Mark Sherbak and Jeff Pulsifer told members of the Town Council that Trails Committee Chairman Steve Warren has been discussing proposals for developing trails or other projects on their property. Both men said they have no interest in Warren’s proposals and questioned whether he represents the town or the council.

Sherbak said Warren has tried to convince him to become a member of his committee, but he has declined repeatedly, saying he has no interest in it.

One night, Warren “showed up at my house and hinted at a project near my home. He told me the wetland near my house was a public health risk because of the mosquitoes,” Sherbak said. Warren said “we” could build a skating rink over the wetlands.

“Who is this ‘we’ he is talking about?” Sherbak asked. “I know it’s not Dale (Olmstead, interim town manager).”

Sherbak said he would like to “have the council consider removing him from the Trails Committee.”

Pulsifer said he has never talked to Warren, but heard him speaking at a recent council meeting that was carried on the local public access channel.

“He was talking about putting a trail across my land and my parents’ land,” Pulsifer said. Like Sherbak, Pulsifer said he has no interest in having his land developed and questioned why Warren would have even suggested it.

Council Chairwoman Lisa Ward responded to both complaints saying, “This isn’t the first time we’ve had folks asking about committee members overstepping their bounds.

“You asked who the ‘we’ is,” Ward said. “I know at least in recent months, it’s not the council. I suspect he means the Trails Committee. We’ll look into that and examine questions of trespassing.

“He’s very enthusiastic,” Ward said, “but we want to make sure our town is not being misrepresented. I take to heart your concern about his methods and behavior, and we will make sure your concerns are addressed.”

During the audience participation portion of the meeting, resident Frank Hogan asked what the plans are for the town garage that was damaged when a public works truck caught fire last month.

Olmstead said the damage to the building “will probably be in excess of $300,000.” Damage to the garage and the truck are both covered by insurance.

Hogan said he thinks the town should build a bigger public works garage, although Olmstead said the insurance money wouldn’t be enough to cover construction of a new building.

Larry Fillmore asked if townspeople can have “a synopsis” of the recent human rights case against the town.

Ward said they can’t discuss it because it’s a personnel issue; however, she did suggest Fillmore send an email to Olmstead to see what information can be released.

“I’m confident that it was extremely well addressed by Mr. Olmstead,” she said.

Roger Cote asked why townspeople can’t vote on each department budget separately, since townspeople overwhelmingly approved it several years ago.

“That question has been asked 77,000 times and answered 77,000 times,” Ward said. “There are legal questions involved. We have a charter. We have to do it in a legal way.”

However, Ward said they would “bring Mr. Olmstead up to speed on this, find out more information for you and provide you with a better update.”


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