OWLS HEAD — The Owls Head Select Board detailed its allegations against Planning Board Chair Russell Wolfertz as it considers removing him from the panel.

The allegations are included in a letter sent to Wolfertz on Wednesday, Dec. 21 by the Select Board. The Courier-Gazette requested the letter under the state’s Freedom of Access law. The Select Board is planning a meeting with Wolfertz to discuss the complaints. The Board asked Wolfertz to attend the meeting at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17.

“The purpose of the executive session is for the Select Board to evaluate the substance of the allegations and observations detailed above, and to give you an opportunity to both address these allegations and present additional information to the Select Board,” the letter states. The letter goes on to detail the allegations.

The allegations include:

“The making of verbal threats of violence towards members of the public and at least one member of the Select Board; the making of threatening statements in emails sent in your capacity as a member of the Planning Board; the making of statements that you would, among other things, bring tear gas or pepper spray and a gun to Planning Board meetings, which caused members of the public, and members of the Planning Board, to feel personally threatened; the placing of a loaded rifle magazine on the table during a Planning Board meeting; the failure to call and conduct Planning Board meetings necessary for the efficient operation of the Town; and the failure to ensure that Planning Board meeting minutes were properly and efficiently created and maintained,” the letter continues.

The Board said the meeting will be public if Wolfertz requests that, as is allowed under state law. The Board may then vote on whether to remove him from the Planning Board.

Wolfertz has defended his service on the Planning Board, saying he has worked to protect the interests of the town and to uphold town ordinances.

In regard to the claim of placing a loaded rifle magazine on the table at a meeting, Wolfertz said it was non-threatening. He said he also had a deer knife, whistle, and GPS in his camouflage hunting coat. Wolfertz said he was told that there was no ordinance that prohibits possession of such items in a town building.

“Again, this was not displayed in a threatening manner. I often have hunting items like this during hunting season. I had no one object to this the past. My key ring has bullets attached to it. Someone should have asked and I would have not used the clips as a gavel. I guess I am more accustomed to having slept with loaded weapons and claymores. I have a concealed weapons permit and have never used something like that to intimidate anyone. No harm no foul in my mind,” Wolfertz said.

Wolfertz is a veteran who saw combat action in Vietnam. He is commander of the Winslow-Holbrook-Merritt American Legion post.

Select Board Chair Gordon Page said Dec. 21 that the town’s attorney advised the town that it cannot prohibit the possession of firearms at the municipal office building. Attorney Benjamin Call told the Select Board in an email that state law prohibits the town from regulating possession of firearms in this way. The only exception is on school grounds.

At a meeting earlier this year, Christina Woodman said Wolfertz had threatened to punch her husband in the face. The Woodmans had been seeking Planning Board approval for an events center but ultimately had to conduct a petition drive which led residents to approve an ordinance change to allow it at an August 2021 town meeting. The events center later received site plan approval from the Planning Board in March 2022.

Wolfertz said last month that he might have said it (punching the man in the face) while walking through the parking lot but that it was “certainly not a serious threat to anyone.”

“I say a lot of stupid things but not in a serious vein,” Wolfertz said.

He has served on the Planning Board for four years. He has also represented the town on the former School Administrative District 5 Board and was its chairman.