Kelly Richenburg defended Medeiros’ rights to free speech, adding if selectmen remove him it could send a chilling message to others in the community, both officials and residents. The message could be that if they disagreed with selectmen, there could be repercussions, she said.
Liquor Licensing Commissioner John Guerin said Medeiros could be passionate about his beliefs, and that it was “ was a culmination of events that caused Mr. Medeiros to get upset to the point he did” on July 1.
“It was unfortunate,” Guerin added. “It’s too bad it got to that point.”
Resident Paula Moore told Richenburg if he had explained Roberts Rules of Order at the July meeting, as he did last night, those in the audience would have behaved better and the whole episode may have been averted.
Liquor Licensing Commissioners Chris Walsh and Sean McCarthy also rose to Medeiros’ defense, saying that they’d always found him to be professional with dealing with the board and those who came before it.
But it was Bruce Arakelian’s wife Jill, who almost pleaded with selectmen not to remove Medeiros. Compared to her husband’s words and actions, she said, Medeiros was more moderate.
“That was my husband who lost his temper worse than Gil,” Jill Arakelian said. “Bruce took it harder because he had more at stake. Did he have the right to do that? No. I would appreciate it if you would reconsider (and not remove Medeiros). I know Bruce would too.”
Selectmen were silent during the entire hearing, neither asking questions nor making comments. They will meet at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 27 to cast their votes, under the rules of the town charter.