In my opinion, things to be watching in 2022.
- DPW/THE DUMP
- Town of Kittery’s lack of diversity.
- PFAS’s found in well water
- Affordable Housing
The DPW and Dump!
THE DPW and the DUMP. Well, I was hoping things would work themselves out and I sincerely tried to right this wrong while I was a Councilor, but you all know how that ended. Things are still happening and I hope that losing all of the hardworking employees (we lost five in five weeks plus several more prior to that) is not the answer to the problems there. I’ll let you form your own conclusions to situations that I have been alerted to.
- It was brought to my attention recently in writing, that there was an alleged, male on males employees sexual harassment incident, the assailant gets a week off and is then promoted.
- Alleged EPA violations and complaint.
- Clynk issues (recycling cans)
- Alleged overtime abuse by a supervisor,
- Harassment, hostile work environment.
- The alleged installation of an on demand Hot Water Heater without a license (according to the statement from a Town worker), a town mechanic installed it without a license or permit.
- Allegations of an operator using the town loader to clean his own driveway in Kittery,
- Allegations of harassment of the original whistle blower.
- Allegedly putting an inspection sticker on plow trucks with bad wheel bearings. How dangerous is that?
- If you care to talk to any of the former employees, they’ll fill you in on the rest.
DPW employees are leaving in droves and now the Transfer Station is forced to close on Wednesday and will open at a later date. Outrageous!
In reference to the notice of the Transfer Station Haz-Mat Wednesday closures, not once were the residents told that there is a staffing problem, morale issues or questionable practices by the supervisors. Yes, I know, “a personnnel issue” would be their excuse to not release this information. See Below from the KITTERY MAINE PAGE FACEBOOK POST. Incidentally, a very well run page. Some of the following are posts from tenured Town Employees who now can speak out without fear of reprisal.
These Town Employees have homes, families, and work history between 2 and 15 years of experience and the institutional knowledge and stories they can tell will shed the spot light on WHAT IS GOING ON!. They just don’t quit. Especially before Christmas.
Now to another public safety issue, ONE that finally got in the press.
PFAS in residential well water.
- How long has this been going on?
- Who knew?
- How long did they know?
- What is the mitigating plan?
- Has the recent interest expired?
- Since it may not affect someone, has the interest faded?
- What if it did affect you or your family, how would you feel then?
- What health risks are associated with PFAS’s, what health concerns can we expect?
- How many families are potentially affected?
- How is the wildlife affected by it and the deer meat hunters feed on?
- Has anyone walked out behind the dump through the green ooze in the water seeping from the hill.
- What is really buried at the landfill that history has shown us is dangerous now but not known then?
Should we be warning Hunters in Kittery the meat may be contaminated.?
THE FOREVER CHEMICAL.
What does PFAS do to your body? A growing body of science has found that there are potential adverse health impacts associated with PFAS exposure, including liver damage, thyroid disease, decreased fertility, high cholesterol, obesity, hormone suppression and cancer. These chemicals can easily migrate into the air, dust, food, soil and water.
The questions should be expanded since the disclosure by the Town of Kittery.
- Who will be held responsible if there are health effects of the potentially affected Kittery’s residents.
- When does the health effects or contamination begin to show?
- Should the residents be tested at the Town’s expenses as they did at Pease ? https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/activities/pease/community-fact-sheet.html
- The Town Dump has been there for over 5 decades. We just now heard about this! Did this come to light after a Town Employee raised an unrelated alarm to the DEP? Very coincidental either way? I am sure it is unrelated but the fact is, PFSA’S are known as the forever chemical and according to the Portsmouth Heralds article, its been found in the well water of adjacent properties of the Kittery Town Dump;
- Do you know the history of what was dumped there over the years?
- How far does ground water travel? i.e. Does well water end up in their septic tanks and then is pumped out dropped off at the Sewer treatment plant, processed and dumped into the river?
KITTERY needs to be pro-active and needs to be moving on this, at the very least by providing water lines for the residents at Kittery’s expense.
Now, let’s address the elephant in the room. Does Kittery have a lack of diversity on Town Boards and Employment? The definition of DIVERSITY is: The practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations, etc.
This question was recently asked during the November 2021 election and it still needs to be asked;
- What is being done to address it?
- Why are people afraid to discuss it?
- Should the personnel board be reestablished?
- Should the ability to hire and fire and promote employees be governed by a personnel board complete with diversity and inclusive to ensure fairness?
LET US NEVER FORGET it happened in Kittery!
The Kitterians Auxiliary of the Klu Klux Clan.
Lets move on to MARIJUANA. Over 600 people signed a petition to allow Recreational marijuana in Kittery. The voters also mandated it in Kittery. The Town of Kittery has a habit of sticking medical marijuana locations in residential areas, on dead end roads, near day care centers and the elderly. If you are not concerned you should be for it can pop up right next door to you.
We have business districts of Rte 1, Bypass and Rte 236 that would be very good to put these shops instead of next to residential homes lowering their values.
Green Truck Inc. located on Route 236, owned by a Kittery resident had tons of support. After getting the petition that many of you may have signed at the polls, there was panic at the Town Hall. The Town Manager approached Council with concerns it would derail her ordinance of marijuana. There were several question raised.
- Where should we put them?
- What would happen if the voters vote on the language the petition asked for?
- What was the ordinance,?
- How can we stop this from happening?
- Where was Councilor Cyrus Clark on the issue, did he abstain? After all he is in the business. How did he vote? (See the records).
Who is Cyrus Clark you might ask ? Well he is a Marijuana Entrepreneur and I would add a very smart one. He had multiple conversations with me regarding his stance of retail and medical marijuana coming to Kittery Maine. He was very well informed of the issues since he had a marijuana business in Wells, Maine. He claimed he even worked with the State of Maine on marijuana regulations. He certainly appeared to be in the know and shared his extensive knowledge with the Town Manager and Council.
Well, it did not go so good for those who signed the petition. Then comes the lottery for a business license. Coincidentally, shortly after the ordinance change and lottery, Clark opened a marijuana store in York, Maine right over the Town Line.
Read it on Seacoastonline.com
The article starts by saying Owner Cyrus Clark has been in the medical marijuana business for nearly 9 years. Cyrus is also a Kittery Town Councilor for those who did not know. Outrageous!
Would a reasonable person believe or have the opinion that there is a conflict of interest here? Now we learn that Sweet Dirt is considering a law suit against Kittery over the Town fiasco retail marijuana lottery the Kittery came up with. If you had the money, you could buy as many chances as you could afford. Where is the outrage?
I am curious if Cyrus Clark abstained from that discussion or offered input with the workshops, the Town Manager, Council?
Did he disclose that he was opening a store in York Maine?
Was this lottery legal under Maine Law? Kittery raised over $535,000 dollars on this fiasco (my opinion). The big winner was Theory Wellness. ( BOSTON — Theory Wellness, a marijuana dispensary operating in three Massachusetts locations, agreed to pay nearly $300,000 in restitution and penalties for its failure to pay hundreds of employees premium wages on Sundays and covered holidays under the state’s wage laws. Aug 27, 2021) https://www.metrowestdailynews.com/story/news/2021/08/27/theory-wellness-fined-nearly-300-k-shortchanging-employees/5615833001/
People have asked if it was fair, was it a rouse to raise money, was it deceptive? How could the little guy compete with the big guys and the big money.
Along comes the Lawsuit. Perhaps it should be a Class Action Lawsuit.
RIGGED they say! Outrageous. Who are they to accuse Kittery of being deceitful? Kittery is above board.
Back to the petition, the Location of Green Truck is on Rte 236, the corridor to the inlands. The petition should have gone forward. It is my opinion as well as others that it was a stacked deck. They never saw it coming. How did Green Truck or other small businesses make out with the carefully crafted ordinance? Not so good, according to the owner. I’ll let them tell that story.
A recent statement from the owner of Green Truck confirms the frustration:
“There are no shops on Route 236. Theory Wellness is corporate out-of-state money and Indico already has a store in Kittery. Kittery led everyone to believe it would be a first come first serve like all other license applications have always been handled in Kittery . That is until Jeff Pelletier changed it at the very last meeting with zero input. Our lawyer said we have a solid case to sue but I didn’t want to waste any more time or money on Kittery. The article is really good, I just wish I would have made more of a stink and got some exposure for our company.”
The quote was referring to the Sweet Dirt threatens to sue article.
Why did Kittery ban them from Rte 236 and North of the Route 1malls? There are plenty of Marijuana shops on Route 236 in Eliot and South Berwick. I am of the opinion that other shops don’t like any competition. Could there have been competition from South Berwick, Eliot or even the new Medical Marijuana location in York Maine?
Folk lore says Kittery has always been alleged to have a shady past, secrets and back door politics and those back door politics are still cultivated in Kittery.
The list of stories are endless and this is only what leaks out.
- The Dump, allegedly a recent call was made to the EPA by a Town Employee on an unrelated issue to the PFAS’s and coincidentally a few weeks later, the Town tells the press that there are tests for PFASs being conducted around the dump.
- Allegedly private work is still being done on Town Employees personally owned vehicles during work hours.
- A few years ago, a planning Board member (who also hid behind an alias name on Facebook) built an ADA apartment with an expired permit. The Permit was over three years old. He was Busted, the apartment was not even to code.
- The Land Trust received $50,000 dollars from Kittery Taxpayers to buy more land. Then came a complaint from a resident of Kittery Point who made allegations that a planning board member was trying to buy the land for pennies on the dollar and the Land trust was in the red and needed cash. Allegedly the Town Manager stopped it after being given that information.
- The planning board member attempted to thwart contributions from local businesses who wished to donate to the Wood Island Life Saving Project.
- The teachers and their pay. How many have left the district since 2014. Almost 100? Why?
- The Sewer Sticker Shock. Eliot votes NO on funding and Kittery is now short $1.5 million. The 2012 Council flips the cost burden onto the tax payer who needed the sewer. You could not opt out. Elderly, single moms and families could not shell out over $20,000 dollars per hook up. Shapleigh School gets hooked up with no one knowing it, at what cost? This needed to be hooked up to avoid the overpass piping by the Trading Post bridge that keeps freezing.
- Affordable housing, needed, yes, but at what cost? Accessory Dwelling units every where, septic tanks sized to a few rooms and now added rooms with an ADA, are we sure about this? https://www.seacoastonline.com/story/news/local/2021/11/24/kittery-accessory-dwelling-units-program-to-help-affordable-housing-crisis-adu/8722457002/
- Selling foreclosed parcels and buildings now considered Town Property well under market value. These should be sold at current market values to lower the town debt.
- An Ogunquit Maine resident was once sitting on a Kittery Maine residential Town board and voting on spending your tax dollars. Many of the board members and Council knew it when it was happening.
- Residential additions being permitted, built and completed and no change to their taxes assessments.
- The list goes on and on.
As more former employees realize they are now able to speak truthfully about the abuse of power and town funds they witnessed, the truth will eventually be unearthed . It is time Kittery wakes up and asks the questions “What is going on?” It is time for an independent investigator NOT one hired by the Town Manager or by the paralegal from the Town’s Law Firm, to do due diligence. A credible investigation not steered by fear, management or a Council. A real investigator with the sole purpose to investigate and discover the problems and its source, no matter what or who it may be.
There is a COMMON DENOMINATOR. What else is being kept from you?