PERU — Tempers flared at Monday night’s selectmen’s meeting. The primary point of dissension concerned the award of the re-evaluation bid to Parker Appraisals.

Parker won the contract to do the last re-evaluation and has done the maintenance of the town’s tax rolls for the past fifteen years.

Several weeks ago, the town solicited bids for another re-evaluation. Parker’s bid of $50,000 was the only one submitted; however, it was rejected in light of numerous complaints about Parker’s service.

The town went out for new bids, which were opened last week. Selectmen tabled awarding the bid, since all three of them were about $50,000 more than Parker’s previous bid. Parker did not submit a second bid. 

He was contacted and agreed to honor his previous bid if the town would give him a 5 percent bonus for finishing the project by next August.

Selectman Wendy Henderson strenuously objected to awarding the bid to Parker on the grounds that his bid had been rejected. She maintained that the selectmen could reject all of the latest bids and go out for more bids, but that they could not enter in to a negotiated contract with Parker.


Several residents expressed the opinion that Parker could not do a proper evaluation for $50,000. Henderson pointed out that she thought Parker’s charges for maintaining the tax rolls were excessive as compared to rates given in the tabled bids, and that over time, there would be little difference in cost between Parker and the other bidders.

Selectman Jim Pulsifer was the primary supporter of Parker.

Henderson, who favored not contacting Parker again, told Pulsifer that he had pulled a lot of sneaky stuff. Pulsifer moved for an executive session, apparently to discuss Henderson’s charge.

When Henderson made it clear that any discussion concerning her would have to be in open session, Pulsifer withdrew his motion and commented that he was tired of having unfounded charges made against him.

Selectman Larry Snowman said that he had contacted the Maine Municipal Association about negotiating with Parker after his bid had been rejected and he did not submit a second bid. He said MMA would not comment on the legality of the action but said the town may get a letter from a bidder’s attorney.

In other action, the selectmen addressed several subjects.


Selectmen approved a specification provided by Road Commissioner Joe Roach for a new one-ton truck. Bidders will be asked to provide pricing with a diesel engine, as well as with a gasoline engine.

Roach pointed out that there are four culverts on East Shore Road that will need engineering design and state permits before rebuilding East Shore Road.

Town Clerk Vera Parent presented a list of 20 delinquent taxpayers to the selectmen, noting that all of these properties had been served with liens. Next week, she will present a list indicating which ones have entered suitable repayment agreements with the town and which had not.

Selectmen also discussed the deteriorated pier on the beach near the Worthley Pond outlet. Owner Clinton Bradbury said that his insurance company insists that he post the area for liability reasons. Many people treat this as a public beach, when in reality, it is private property.

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