Open public meeting

'They were going to get rid of me' Blastow claims

Tuesday, May 28, 2 p.m.
By Beth A. Birmingham | May 27, 2019
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham Recycling materials appear to extend over the property line at Thomaston Recycling on Butler Road May 24. Town Manager Valmore Blastow, Jr. contends the co-owners were "going to get rid" of him in his letter of resignation May 23.

Thomaston — The chairman of the Board of Selectmen has asked for a public meeting Tuesday, May 28, at 2 p.m. to discuss the sudden resignation of longtime Town Manager Valmore Blastow Jr.

Peter Lammert said in an email May 27 that he has called a board meeting, open to the public, in Watts Hall, to figure out what should happen next.

"I want to start the meeting in open session so that townsfolk can air their questions, which we may or may not be able to answer," Lammert said, adding that the board will then go into executive session.

Blastow tendered his two-week notice May 23, citing the "defamation and tortuous conditions" he has faced over the course of the past year -- primarily stemming from actions of the newest board member, Beverly St. Clair, who beat out incumbent Greg Hamlin at the polls last June.

In his letter of resignation, Blastow states: "After a year of sleepless nights and attempts to maintain the stability of this entire community as I started to think of what was wrong and my intuitions were corroborated when on 5/6/19 at noon Chairman Peter Lammert confirmed to me while sitting in my office that now Selectman Beverly St. Clair and her business partner Scott Johnson both stated to him at their place of business, Thomaston Recycling, last spring that they were going to get rid of me as Town Manager."

He went on to say that St. Clair had written an email in third person context that she "does not confer with the Town Manager outside of the Select Board's knowledge as she has found it to be pointless."

Blastow said St. Clair has never conferred with him since she was elected last year, "so how would she know anything in regards to this Town" that he could possibly pass on to her after his more than 26 years as the town manager.

He further states that "divisive energy breeds divisive results and the unfortunate common denominator beyond all my faults in my opinion, is that the owners of Thomaston Recycling {St. Clair and Johnson} have waged an aggressive assault on my character because of the violations at their business at Butler Road in Thomaston of which I have failed since 2017 to correct, as I attempt to receive compliance of removing the 6' high pile of junk from the roadway and town property with simple requests through staff."

Blastow engaged the services of town attorney Paul Gibbons in February of this year regarding the potential violations, and noted that Code Enforcement Officer Bill Wasson had verbally notified the owners to have it corrected by April 1.

"Ironically, Selectman St. Clair made a motion to consider a new Town Attorney on March 8," Blastow's letter continued.

With his letter of resignation Blastow included photos of the noted violations at Thomaston Recycing, as well as a report from the Knox County Sheriff's Office he had requested outlining a harassment complaint filed by Johnson May 11 against Wasson.

A request for comment from the members of the Board of Selectmen May 27 was responded to by Lammert only. A direct call to St. Clair for comment May 28 was not responded to by press time.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@villagesoup.com.

Lines outline boundaries on Butler Road in Thomaston. The aerial view appears to show recycling material outside of the boundary line at Thomaston Recycling. (Courtesy of: Town of Thomaston)
Comments (5)
Posted by: Christopher Hedstrom | May 29, 2019 13:34

As a resident of Thomaston I am appauld by Val's resignation. I feel as if he is hiding something and diverting the attention on to a business that he has a personal problem with. He is proving himself as the "harrasser". And as far as I am concerned VillageSoup (Beth) is publishing a defaming story all based on a third party (Lammert) without any proof or facts to back them up. Val says he gave the business a verbal complaint. So where is the written complaint? why were they not fined? There isnt anything to back this up other then he said she said and it is very biased with no objectivity. If this wasnt a personal attack on this business and select board member then the appropriate steps would have been taken for the violation.



Posted by: Christopher Hedstrom | May 29, 2019 13:03

As a resident of Thomaston I am appauld by Val's resignation. I feel as if he is hiding something and diverting the attention on to a business that he has a personal problem with. He is proving himself as the "harrasser". And as far as I am concerned VillageSoup (Beth) is publishing a defaming story all based on a third party (Lammert) without any proof or facts to back them up. Val says he gave the business a verbal comply. So where is the written order to comply? where is the fine documents?There isnt anything to back this up other then he said she said and it is very biased with no objectivity. If this wasnt a personal attack on this business and select board member then the appropriate steps would have been taken.



Posted by: Douglas E Collins | May 28, 2019 13:43

I think there is much to this story that does not pass the smell test.  I for one are looking forward to a new town manager.



Posted by: Sandra Overlock | May 28, 2019 10:38

Warren is looking for a new Town Manager.  Hope Mr. Blastow applies.



Posted by: George Terrien | May 28, 2019 10:23

For this?  Difficult for me to imagine a better town manager for Thomaston.  Too bad....



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