In Rockport, approximately three years ago, Bob Duke was re-elected to the Select Board. He served previously on the Charter Commission when the charter was drawn up and passed. There was no Mr. Best, no Mr. Nichols, no Mr. Shrum, no Mr. Field, no Mrs. Murphy and no Mr. Peabody even mentioning the charter or if he was eligible.

Approximately two years ago, Tom Farley was elected to the board by a write-in vote as no one else wanted the job. Mr. Farley was then called and asked if he would serve. He agreed. There was no Mr. Best, no Mr. Nichols, no Mr. Shrum, no Mr. Field, no Mrs. Murphy and no Mr. Peabody even questioning his eligibility even though his father’s business had had contracts with the town for many years, some years winning and some years losing. A year ago, when another year started, new contracts were considered, and there was no Mr. Best, no Mr. Nichols, no Mr. Shrum, no Mr. Field, no Mrs. Murphy and no Mr. Peabody mentioning a thing about the charter or anyone’s eligibility to serve on the board.

Another year has now gone by and all of a sudden a couple of weeks ago Mr. Best, Mr. Nichols, Mr. Shrum, Mr. Field, Mrs. Murphy and Mr. Peabody have decided that Mr. Farley and Mr. Duke are not qualified to serve, even though they are doing nothing differently than they have been for the last three years. What, I wonder, suddenly enlightened them?

I have served on the Select Board here in Rockport, the Maine School Administrative District 28 School Board, two hospital boards, budget committees, building committees and many others in and around town. It seems to me that I smell something political going on here and all at the expense of the town of Rockport. So, I asked myself, why all of a sudden is something like this happening? I put on my thinking cap and in my mind started going over things that have recently happened.

It seems that on March 3, the Select Board held what was called a workshop — an executive meeting/session that began as a workshop at 3:30 p.m., which was adjourned as they went into an executive session at 7:15 p.m. The reason for the executive session as stated was to discuss and evaluate the performance of the town manager. We, some of the public, do not know what was said or any of the back and forth between the parties; it’s probably best we don’t, but for a session to last for 2.5 hours there must have been some problems. (My opinion only.) They ended the executive session at 9:40 p.m. and adjourned their meeting at 9:41 p.m. This is all a part of the public record of that date.

Now, a few weeks after the executive session and three years after Mr. Duke has been elected, here come Mr. Best, Mr. Nichols, Mr. Shrum, Mr. Field, Mrs. Murphy and Mr. Peabody with a new revelation. Wow! Guess what? Mr. Duke and Mr. Farley are “illegals.” They have no right to serve this town any more as members of the Select Board as it is against the town’s charter. It is my opinion, and my opinion only, that they were good for the town until they criticized the man at the top. These people should know, some of them wrote and worked on the charter, but why did it take so long for them to wake up to that fact that we had “illegals” on our board? You don’t suppose it’s possible that they’re trying to remove two members of the Select Board to help a town manager? Naw, I’ll bet it never entered their minds.

They now say that the charter is a perfect piece of work, well done, well written and well thought out. In fact, it was so well done that it took them about three years to wake up to the fact that Mr. Duke and Mr. Farley were “illegals.” Because it is so well done, they are against any changes or even allowing it to go before the voters for their opinion. People shouldn’t even question it, it is so perfect. Any laws made by man can be changed by man and sure as can be, sooner or later, for whatever reason, will be.

A couple of days ago Mr. Best, at the Select Board meeting, informed us, the citizens of Rockport, that Mrs. Fogel is biased; therefore the members of the board didn’t have a quorum so that meant they couldn’t vote as a board.

A man has a right to believe what he wants to believe and I can’t help but think that all of the small towns in this state need all the talent they can muster and especially some of their businessmen who care about the town they live in and serve, as well as its people. They are working for the good of all of us. I would rather have my share of the taxes I pay go to the businesses in my town than to the businesses in other towns, all things being equal. The Farley family pays in excess of $85,000 in taxes to our town per year and to condemn one of them for serving in a position he didn’t want and didn’t ask for seems very ungrateful to me.

Imagine! And they say “nothing ever comes out of an executive session.”

Maynard Tolman lives in Rockport.