OWLS HEAD β€” The Owls Head Selectboard voted unanimously Monday evening, Dec. 20 to reject a request to remove two Planning Board members.

Select Board members said at the meeting the alleged actions by Russell Wolfertz and Ken Wexler during discussions of a proposed events center did not rise to the level of being removed from the Board.

Attorney Kristin Collins, who represents Christina and Jeff Woodman, sent a letter to the Select Board last month asking for Wolfertz and Wexler to be removed from the volunteer board.

The Woodmans want to have an event/gathering center at their 32-acre Ash Point Farm at 35 Ash Point Drive.

Owls Head voters overwhelmingly approved (142 to 87) an ordinance change at an Aug. 30 special town meeting to allow events centers on parcels 15 acres or larger. The events center ordinance was placed on the warrant after 106 residents signed a petition to get it in the meeting for a vote.

The Woodmans tried for a year-and-a-half to get approval from the Planning Board before turning to the petition drive. The Planning Board had maintained the project was not allowed in the zone where the farm is located.

While the ordinance change was approved, the Woodmans must still go before the Planning Board again for their specific project to be reviewed to make sure it meets the conditions of the new municipal law.

The Planning Board is scheduled to review the project at its Monday, Jan. 10 meeting.

The Select Board held a public session on the allegations by attorney Collins on Dec. 6, but voted to postpone a decision until the Dec. 20 meeting.

Select Board member Tom VonMalder said Dec. 20 the attorney did not make a case to remove the members.

Select Board member Linda Post agreed, saying things said by the pair did not rise to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Select Board Chair Gordon Page agreed it did not rise to the level of removal. The chair said he hoped the town can move toward a path of cooperation following this issue.

At the Dec. 6 meeting, Collins said while board members have a First Amendment right to speak, they should do so professionally and transparent, and not in an β€œinsidious activist way.” She also said the two men did not respond to Freedom of Access requests.

Collins claimed Wexler was behind a mailing to town residents before an August town meeting she contended disparaged the proposed events center, and included false and misleading information.

She also accused Wolfertz had threatened to file a complaint against her to the Board of Overseers of the Bar for her filing a Freedom of Access request for correspondences by Wolfertz and Wexler about the events center issue. She said if he had done that she would have sued the town, Wolfertz and Wexler.

The two men said they had turned all records over to the town. They both denied doing anything that warranted removal. Instead, they said, they were trying to enforce the town’s ordinances as they were written.

Russell Wolfertz, left, listens to attorney Kristin Collins, standing, during an Owls Head meeting earlier this year.