Category Archives: General Town News

This is about Town Government news

Did Kittery Leadership break Maine Law?

Kittery may not be acting above board again. If it is not following Council Rules as was the case with the Chairperson improperly excusing Councilor Cam Ham from missing multiple council meetings which by the way is scheduled to happen again, the new alleged incident suggests a failure to follow the rules that could ultimately be a violation of Maine law.

Note: People should be outraged that an elected official can’t make the meetings and serve the people who elected them. I digress.

Maine Law requires training for elected and appointed officials along with members of the school board. These records must be kept and it was recently brought to my attention and it has been alleged that officials, staff and appointed officials may not have been following Maine Law. If this is truly the case, the Town of Kittery administrators who are responsible and charged with obeying State laws and the Town Charter and to ensure that Kittery is following Maine Law requirements may not have been doing their job. If that is the case, who is at fault? It could be a big deal, for if we over look the small stuff then what other things are not being followed…..one should ask?

A FOIA (Freedom of Information Request) was served on the Town Council and Manager and I received with a response within the legal time limit that said it will take four weeks to put my request together.

FOUR WEEKS…This is concerning since it should have been easily obtainable and these records should have been up to date without waiting for four weeks and allowing Kittery time to get their ducks in a row.

(This is a truncated FOIA Request delivered to Kittery)

Dear Chairperson Judith Spiller, or current chair and or Town Manager Amaral;

Under the Maine Freedom of Access Act § 402 et seq.,

I am requesting the dates and copies of the certification of any mandatory training of the current Town Councilors or Municipal officers, clerks, treasurers, assessors and budget committee members of municipal governments and officials of school units and school boards; regarding following MMA training requirements and any State of Maine requirements for elected, hired or appointed officials. i.e. Mandatory training on the Freedom of information act.

Kittery sent a response

(This is the Town’s truncated response)

The Town received your Freedom of Access Act request on Tuesday, November 15, 2022. This is to acknowledge receipt of the request as required by law, and provide initial response.

We estimate we will have researched and compiled records that correspond to your training records request within four weeks. I do not anticipate a cost for this request if the Town can electronically deliver the records (via email). If you wish to receive the records in hard copy, we will provide you with a follow-up communication estimating the cost of copying, as may be applicable.

I am not sure why it would take four weeks to get a few dozen documents. The documentation should be readily available unless Kittery needs to get caught up and get all the training done. We will see how this unfolds and we will post the results. In the mean time, the proper authorities in the State of Maine are being alerted to the alleged potential violation of Maine Law.

§412. Public records and proceedings training for certain officials and public access officers.

https://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/1/title1sec412.html

1.  Training required.  A public access officer and an official subject to this section shall complete a course of training on the requirements of this chapter relating to public records and proceedings. The official or public access officer shall complete the training not later than the 120th day after the date the official assumes the person’s duties as an official or the person is designated as a public access officer pursuant to section 413, subs

F. Municipal officers; municipal clerks, treasurers, managers or administrators, assessors and code enforcement officers and deputies for those positions; and planning board members and budget committee members of municipal governments;   [PL 2021, c. 313, §6 (AMD).]

G. Superintendents, assistant superintendents and school board members of school administrative units; and

§410. Violations

https://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/1/title1sec410.html

1.  Civil violation.  An officer or employee of a state government agency or local government entity who willfully violates this subchapter commits a civil violation.  

[PL 2019, c. 247, §1 (NEW).]

2.  Penalties.  A state government agency or local government entity whose officer or employee commits a civil violation described in subsection 1 is subject to:  

A. A fine of not more than $500 for a civil violation described in subsection 1;   [PL 2019, c. 247, §1 (NEW).]

B. A fine of not more than $1,000 for a civil violation described in subsection 1 that was committed not more than 4 years after a previous adjudication of a civil violation described in subsection 1 by an officer or employee of the same state government agency or local government entity; or   [PL 2019, c. 247, §1 (NEW).]

C. A fine of not more than $2,000 for a civil violation described in subsection 1 that was committed not more than 4 years after 2 or more previous adjudications of a civil violation described in subsection 1 by an officer or employee of the same state government agency or local government entity.   [PL 2019, c. 247, §1 (NEW).]

Stay Tuned:

What is Kittery Afraid of at the Dump?

Recently ourkittery reported on PFAS’s in the well water of several abutting residents to the Kittery land fill. We also provided pictures of trash from the 70s and 80s buried and exposed from the navy yard and other places which is extruding from the landfill and uprooting the soil. Breaching the landfill. Some trash is being pushed out from under the retention fence.

Perhaps you have heard about Camp Lejune and the Old Pease AFB with PFAS or Fairfield. What is Kittery and the powers that run our little Maine Town doing about it?

Well it appears that Kittery has spent thousand of dollars of your tax money to post the dump with no trespassing signs. These signs are posted conspicuously on the fence the delineates the property boundary of the dump and through the vast amount of woodlands that surrounds the dump. The signs warn you that you will be prosecuted if you trespass…..on town own land. However looking through the woods outside the dump and not on your Town own land, you will find a time capsule of trash that go back a half a decade. Oil residue or green slimy water draining to the watershed. The EPA needs to come take a look without the eyes or the political spin from the Town.

What is the Town of Kittery so afraid of. Have you read any stories from the Portsmouth Herald or from their investigative reporter on what Kittery is doing for mitigation. I think not! Oh well, let the Town keep denying anything is wrong.

Instead of threatening trespassers, How about publicizing the mitigation progress and how much money was spent so far bringing water to the residents who were affected. Perhaps the council could share with us, the taxpayers, the cost to date to bandaid the issue and keep it from the public. Perhaps the councilors would show the public that it is safe to drink the well water from these wells on the abutted properties during a televised council meeting. Just a thought!!

Happy Thanksgiving

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Kittery/American Legion open house


In honor of our Veterans and their service; Kittery / Eliot Memorial Post 188 of the American Legion invites Veterans and friends to an open house today at 3:00 at your renovated post home at 455 Main St. in Eliot. 

This is open to the public – you need not be a member to attend. 

See you there.

First Vice Commander 

Donald G. Hands 

What if?

The Town of Kittery recently sold the former Dineen property at 3 Walker Ave. If you read the puff piece in the Portsmouth Herald, you will see that it was sold by the Town, after years of legal proceedings. The new owner, as seen in the Herald pictures, shows heaps of paperwork and litter throughout. The previous owner, James Dineen, a local attorney, and son of another well-known local attorney, Mr.William Dineen, had practiced law in that building for decades.
One may only wonder what sort of paperwork was left behind in that litter. It was an active law office for decades. Could it be that it was legal documents generated by the Dineens regarding clients? Was any of it generated under Lawyer-Client confidentiality?

After all, for decades these two people practiced law and this was their office.
Rule 1.6 – CONFIDENTIALITY OF INFORMATION(a) A lawyer shall not reveal a confidence or secret of a client unless, (i) the client gives informed consent; (ii) the lawyer reasonably believes that disclosure is authorized in order to carry out the representation; or (iii) the disclosure is permitted by paragraph (b).(A communication is “confidential” if it is made to facilitate the provision of legal services to the client and is not intended to be disclosed to any third party other than those to whom the client revealed the information in the process of obtaining professional legal services).

Maine Law is also specific regarding the length of time a lawyer needs to keep paperwork, but if this litter was legal documents such as private matters, divorce proceedings, trusts, criminal defense matters and or PII and a slew of other confidential documents, who is required to protect them. According to the article by the Portsmouth Herald investigative reporter, there was no mention as to what the documents were
that were left behind.

Let’s not forget the Town owned the property and contents as a result of a foreclosure.
Who is responsible? (Dineen, the Town of Kittery, or the new owners is there were legal papers let behind.)
Clients of Dineen’s should be gravely concerned that their legal history, cases, legal documents, statements, potential HIPPA issues and other findings and or other personal documents may have been left to the new owners. Although it could be discarded in the trash, one must question what legal requirement did the Town of Kittery have, if there were confidential documents inside the office? That brings me to the point, the Town of Kittery owned that building:
1, Are they required to protect any and all confidential information?
2. Would vicarious liability kick in? If someone’s personal information from the office gets out, is the Town of Kittery culpable for failing to secure it?
3. Are the new owners required to safeguard, shred, or destroy it: or, does it fall directly back to the original owners?
This opens a great legal question. What IF private matters were left behind in the DINEEN Lawyers office building and now are accessible to anyone, may be thrown out, discarded or allowed to be reviewed by anyone. Should the public know what was inside. It could be just trash, but without transparency, will we ever know if there was confidential papers or documents left behind, how should it be protected, destroyed, should people be notified of a potential breech?
If you have used the services of Dineen’s Lawyers practice, I would be concerned.

Here we go again

First the dump cuts it’s hours, now its tough to get a marriage license . Who else is leaving Kittery? Wonder who else left to make them short staffed? 

Update!! The Town Director of Planning and Development-planner quit since this article was originally posted! How many does that make?

Town Clerk’s Office & Customer Service Center – Marriage Licensing Hours Update

Beginning Monday, September 26, 2022, the Town Clerk’s Office and Customer Service Center at Kittery Town Hall will be available to assist with marriage licensing during the hours of 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Monday through Thursday.  The Town Clerk’s Office and Customer Service Center will not be able to assist with marriage licenses outside of these hours.  

Anyone visiting Town Hall to apply for a marriage license is encouraged to come prepared with the following:

  • A  completed marriage intentions form, which can be found by clicking here.
    • The marriage intentions form should be filled out, but NOT SIGNED.
      • The marriage intentions form should only be signed in the presence of the Clerk’s Office staff during your visit.
  • A valid photo ID for both parties. 
  • If either party was married previously, a certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate.

Arriving with all of the necessary paperwork and information required to apply for a marriage license will help our staff process requests as timely and efficiently as possible.

For more information about marriage licenses, please visit the Town Clerk’s page on our website by clicking here.

We apologize for any inconvenience this causes and appreciate your patience.

Read more below. is anyone seeing the core issue yet?

Kittery’s retention and the common denominator.

VOTE TODAY AT KCC FOR WATER DISTRICT TRUSTEE

September 21, 2022

Kittery Community Center at 120 Rogers Road, Kittery, ME 03904

(7:00 am – 7:00 pm)

2022 CANDIDATES RUNNING

3 YEAR TERM – 2 Seats (read the Herald article before you vote).

https://www.seacoastonline.com/story/news/local/2022/09/20/kittery-water-district-election-here-four-trustee-candidates/10370249002/

Michael Melhorn (Kittery Point)

Carla Robinson (Kittery)

Suzanne Sayer (Kittery)

Gregory Ulrich (Kittery Point)

All residents of Kittery and Kittery Point are eligible to vote.  All Eliot and York customers and noncustomers residing in the District territory will be eligible to vote.  Determination of eligibility for Eliot & York is by street address.

Please bring proof of identity, age 18+ and residency by providing a state issued photo ID (drivers’ license or State ID) including your address.  Residency can also be proven by providing a current utility bill, vehicle registration, bank statement, lease agreement or pay stub.

Any questions about the Election please contact the District office at 439-1128

Eligible Street List

Watch out for pot holes on Rte 103

As usual, after a rain storm, there are potholes in construction zones. Many go un reported and if no body reports them or inspects them they get bigger which each wheel hit. On RTE 103, near the Navy Yard there is a big one. This pothole is big and in the dark it is a shock when you hit it. It is without any lights indicating a pot hole ahead or lights to allow you to see it.. So be careful if you are driving in Kittery on Rte 103 near the Navy Yard. Go slow and be aware to avoid damage to your car. If you do receive damage, report it to Town.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

What is happening in Kittery? Are you paying attention?

Follow the following Links and/or subscribed to ourkittery.com!

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Kittery employee rentention or the lack thereof

Kittery’s Potential Cancer Scare. Toxins at the Dump?

You forgot what? . What happens in Kittery and then you forget it.

Pay attention folks, it will just keeps coming.

Kittery and her disappearing employees.

Update!! The Town Director of Planning and Development-planner quit since this article was originally posted! How many does that make?

First the dump closes early and less days and now its
going to be tough to get a marriage license.

The heading must be enough to raise eyebrows. The Town of Kittery can’t keep employees. For years as a Town Councilor, I have questioned the hiring practices and the failure of a policy with regards to the retention of good employees and yes, even keeping the bad ones. I was not alone because other Councilors have raised the same issue and even the ones I did not always agree with on my left. Before you complain, I sat on the far right. Add to the exodus from Kittery are several board members and a few who have just resigned. Then we learn that Kittery hires another financial director from Amesbury Mass (or close to it) incidently where the Kittery Town Manager currently resides. Yes Massachussetts. Apparently there are no qualified Kittery residents for the Kittery Financial Director and again we pick from the pool that has nothing to do with Kittery. What are we afraid of?

The story seems to have a common denominator if you connect the dots. Even recently, The Town’s cronies even went after a planning board member on the planning board for signing the petition against the 900 unit development that was being pushed through. Citizen before board member. The people saw through that fiasco for there was so much more behind that story then just filling wet lands.

As it goes for employees, the story goes that the Town comes to the Council and makes a claim this person is the best and Kittery needs to pay that person well and we need him or her. Shortly after they are hired, they leave. What they left! What happened? What is going on? Did they have an epiphany? or did they simply figure out.

Someone reaches into a hat and pulls out a new job description and sells it. The council buys it every time.

from the Herald, The proposed $714,399 year-over-year municipal budget increase, Amaral told the Town Council, also accounts for inflation seen in markets nationwide. 

“That’s a huge driver for this budget,” she said. Lets just add another high paying position when the economy is in peril.

LINK: NEW COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR …are you kidding me?

I am sure you have heard the complaints of harassment, hostile work environments, theft, safety issues, misappropriations, nepotism, the list is endless believe me I know. If not, just ask those who have endured it and have no reason to keep quiet for Job Security. Look what they did to me when I exposed the employees complaints.

Let’s recap the last 8 months. slow and methodically, they start leaving, one by one, The DPW/Transfer Station, loses seven. The KCC lost three. Just last month alone, the KCC lost two. The Town Hall loses the Town Planner, the Finance director, the assistant Code Enforcement officer, according to sources, the Assistant Code Enforcement officer submitted his resignation and was allegedly offered another Kittery higher position with more money if he would stay and he said no and left. Then there was the Finance Director, she was alike a YOYO, hired, quit, came back, then left again. Did it not get better the second time around? I am sure this story will be spun to fit the narrative.

Let me recap the last 5 years oh, I am sorry I lost count after 23+ employees one being a department head’s relative.

As many employees are cautious to speak, the reasons seem to be the same. ‘oh, everything is great’. How many exit interviews are conducted, who does them, Kendra Amaral’s HR director? I wonder how that goes! We used to have an outside company do our HR management. Perhaps, Kittery can’t control a legitimate organization and be subject to the criticism of malfeasance..

The Council is not privy to these phantom exit interviews during the Town Managers reviews. Well it can’t because its a double edge sword between the Charter and personnel issues and we don’t want to violate the charter.

These exit interviews seldom happen unless requested by the employee and I am sure the stories from the employees would no doubt be the same. The silent treatment, harassment, poor management, screw up move up, you’d better keep it quiet we don’t need any more issues. I was recently asked, what happened to the old Town Manager, the Chief of Police Paul Callahan or James Soucy, Jim left abruptly, did anyone interview him? Where is the citizen action committee that looked at certain Councilors over the loss of a Town Manager and Police Chief?

The Transfer Station or the Dump has been hit hard. It has reduced hours so the TAXPAYER needs to pretty much schedule when they can dump trash. When does it start accumulating on the side roads so that the DPW can clean it up. Wait, they are all leaving the DPW! Don’t drink the well water there that’s for sure.

What is going on there? Has the real reason the dump is understaffed made news yet?. Freedom of speech is prohibited at the Kittery transfer station and the former employees have told me that they are strictly prohibited from talking to certain residents.

Until the taxpayer wakes up and holds the common denominator accountable it will never change. People are becoming more and more aware of the shenanigans and soon there will be more coming. As former employee get brave, began to use their voices, or when Kittery gets a union rep with back bone who is not part of the good old managers club, or has a HR firm who really protects employee rights and does not work directly for the Town Manager, the citizens will come to realize that something is wrong in Denmark.

man in blue crew neck shirt
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