Confusion surrounds longtime transfer station member's absence

By Beth A. Birmingham | May 31, 2019
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham From left, the OHSTT Board of Directors includes Gordon Connell and Walter Reitz of South Thomaston, Beverly St. Clair of Thomaston, Chairman Bruce Colson of Owls Head, and Ronnie Porter of Thomaston at the Feb. 28 meeting.

Thomaston — Since the inception of the new sticker policy at the Owls Head-South Thomaston-Thomaston Cooperative Transfer Station in Thomaston, one longstanding board member has been under fire.

At its Feb. 28 meeting, Board of Directors Chairman Bruce Colson acknowledged Thomaston Selectman Beverly St. Clair as the replacement for prior board member Peter Lammert. On the agenda for that meeting was a new business item marked "Discussion on how to proceed with Director Lammert."

Until an inquiry was sent to Colson, no explanation was given as to Lammert's absence.

In an email March 15, Colson said the decision to replace Lammert was made by the Thomaston Board of Selectmen, with discussion taking place in an executive session.

According to the Jan. 10 meeting minutes of the OHSTT board, an executive session was held to discuss personnel matters regarding "a board member not following protocol concerning the sticker issues," as brought to the board by Scott Johnson, owner of Thomaston Recycling Inc.

Upon exiting that session, the notes state, "Gordon Page motioned to suspend Peter Lammert for a period of up to 60 days pending legal advice and a conversation with the Town of Thomaston Select Board and direct Peter Lammert to spend no longer period of time than necessary to deposit trash and recyclables at the facility."

The new sticker policy went into effect in October with numerous situations surrounding their placement and replacement yet unresolved.

At the Sept. 27 meeting, Lammert came under fire for ordering the stickers and having them sent to him, instead of going with the board's vote to have Transfer Station Director Reggie Vokes take care of the process. He was also accused of spending too much time at the facility and trying to micro-manage.

Lammert responded by saying he was concerned because last year the stickers were sent to the wrong place and he didn't want that to happen again. He also denied going to the facility more often and said he was not trying to micro-manage.

Despite the appearance of a conflict of interest with St. Clair being appointed to the transfer station board while owning and operating Thomaston Recycling Inc. with her partner, Johnson, St. Clair said the Thomaston Select Board "did confirm with their attorney as well, there is no conflict of interest for me to serve on the OHSTT board."

Thomaston Recycling has had a longstanding working relationship with the transfer station.

Colson said the transfer station board checked with its attorney, Patrick Mellor, about any conflict of interest as well. "Other than Beverly having to abstain on votes that dealt with TRI, there are no problems," he said.

"While our working relationship with Peter is being scaled back or even coming to a close, everyone on our board truly appreciates all Peter has contributed to our cooperative and the town of Thomaston over the past years," Colson said.

Lammert had served on the OHSTT Board of Directors since 1984.

He was presented a plaque of appreciation by the transfer station board at an April 22 Board of Selectmen's meeting in Thomaston.

Town Manager Valmore Blastow, Jr. said May 1 that the entire incident of Lammert's being ousted and St. Clair's being appointed to fill his place should have gone to the Board of Selectmen as a personnel matter.

 

 

 

Comments (5)
Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Jun 02, 2019 10:21

I never realized Thomaston had so much turmoil behind the scenes. Personally, if I thought I might be accused of conflict of interest,  I would not be interested in serving. Hard to imagine two people living together and not discussing issues that should remain in executive session.



Posted by: Douglas E Collins | Jun 01, 2019 13:24

I feel bad for anyone newly elected as a selectman for the town of Thomaston.  This is an example of what they will have to go through if elected and don't agree 100% with present members.  These people have been on Ms. St Clair's case ever since she asked the first "uncomfortable" question from those who think they are entitled.  Ms. St. Clair was elected on the promise she would get answers to hard questions.  I can't believe what these people are trying to do to her.  She deserves better and some people should be ashamed of themselves (of course they are not).

As for some of the people harassing her, it's too bad they don't have the integrity and moral courage that she has. Times are indeed changing and with any luck they will change even more.

Keep it up Beverly, you're doing a great job.  Hopefully a new board will be announce after the next election.



Posted by: Judith H Olson | Jun 01, 2019 12:18

"Despite the appearance of a conflict of interest with St. Clair being appointed to the transfer station board while owning and operating Thomaston Recycling Inc. with her partner, Johnson, St. Clair said the

Thomaston Select Board "did confirm with their attorney as well, there is no conflict of interest for me to serve on the OHSTT board."

Colson said the transfer station board checked with its attorney, Patrick Mellor, about any conflict of interest as well. "Other than Beverly having to abstain on votes that dealt with TRI, there are no problems," he said.

Evidently, there is an "appearance" of a conflict of interest for Ms. St. Clair to serve in her current appointed position; otherwise, why would she need to abstain from voting on issues pertaining to TRI??

 



Posted by: Dale Hayward | May 31, 2019 21:28

Peter is busy taking on "butt kissing agenda".



Posted by: Gregory M Holmes | May 31, 2019 20:25

I guess instead of buying more box trucks, I should have bought two garbage trucks and got my wife to get on the boards and run for selectman. Certainly seems like it would be far more profitable.  Lol



If you wish to comment, please login.