By Chris L. Grove, Sara Grove, Jim Notaro, Kathleen Notaro, Bill Perrin, Janet Perrin, Joseph W. Moore, Catherine Ahlin-Moore, Annemarie McCormack, Meghan Hanson, Jessica Shourd, Patrick Shourd, John D. Grove, Darlene L. Grove, Dale A. Dufresne, Kathleen R. Dufresne
The purpose of this letter is to express our deep dissatisfaction and objection to the way the Town Council has been conducting the business of serving the citizens of Stevensville. The constant bickering, interference in day to day administration, mistreatment of employees, and inability to work with each other and with Mayor Dewey are the antithesis of public service. There appears to be little interest in resolving this in a civil and mature manner – quite the opposite. Not only has the council been embarrassingly dysfunctional, one member seems determined to expand the dysfunctionality and conflict beyond the council.
One member, in particular, seems more interested in generating strife and failure than successfully serving the citizens of Stevensville. Our assessment is that he has allowed his personal animosities, lack of emotional control, and disregard for chain of command to preclude his public service obligations as a council member. Unfortunately, other council members have been unable to curb or moderate his counterproductive behaviors.
As citizens, we expect council members to focus on public service and be committed to resolving the challenges Stevensville faces. Further, we expect you to have the ability to stifle your ego, set aside your biases, control your emotions, quash your animosities, and act in the best interests of our community. Our assessment is that the council has moved Stevensville backwards instead of supporting efforts to improve our community. Examples include interfering with and actively diminishing the morale of town employees, use of the council as a political stage, dividing our community, and failure to support the Main Street Association. Recent actions taken by the council appear to place personal beliefs and biases above the best interests of the community.
You are in the Town Council to work together and with Mayor Dewey to improve our community. We realize and understand this is challenging, especially given the budget you have to work with. However, current behaviors do not inspire confidence, cooperation, or volunteerism. This only makes the goal of improving our community harder to attain.
Your function is not to supervise the Mayor in the daily operation of the town. You are here to represent the community in the development of policies that guide and enable efficient operation and administration and that improve the quality of living in our community. If the energy put into strife, conflict, and dysfunction was instead focused on improving our community we would all be better off. You should be making Stevensville a place we can all stay proud of and are happy to call home.