NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

July 26, 2013

Salisbury moves to curb rancor

Selectmen hope to bring more professional attitude to town boards

SALISBURY — Selectmen’s efforts to remove a Liquor Licensing Commission member from office for what they believe was unprofessional behavior is sending a message — selectmen want to see shouting and rancor by town boards and officials brought under control.

On July 22, Selectmen Donald Beaulieu, Freeman Condon and Henry Richenburg voted to send a notice to Liquor Licensing Commissioner Gil Mederios that they intend to remove him from office because of what they said was his disrespectful comments at their July 1 selectmen’s meeting.

According to the motion, Mederios acted in a manner unbecoming to his appointed office when he verbally berated the three selectmen for voting against working with a Maryland company wanting to bring a slot machine casino to town. The punitive action was in accordance to authority given selectmen under Section 7-8 of Salisbury’s Home Rule Charter.

Selectmen Ed Hunt and Fred Knowles voted against the attempt to remove Mederios. The two selectmen didn’t condone Mederios’ behavior at the July 1 meeting, but they felt his actions didn’t rise to the level of removal. Mederios has done an excellent job while performing his duties as Liquor Licensing commissioner, Hunt and Knowles said. Since his actions before the Board of Selectmen on July 1 wasn’t directly related to his duties as commissioner, they didn’t think it appropriate to remove him from office.

Condon thought differently, finding Mederios’ behavior on July 1 “aggressive and in poor taste” and insulting to the Board of Selectmen as a whole.

But Mederios isn’t the only town official or employee whose behavior has been called into question in recent months. The selectmen’s move against Mederios could be seen as a message that all who represent the town need to be held to a higher standard. They all need to keep civil tongues in their heads.

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