ACO Voter Rights Denied

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ACO Voter Rights Denied

Postby MKSullivan » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:22 am

Due to the incredible insane actions of the Danville Board of Selectmen in their personal battle against ACO Sheila Johannesen,I believe that they have violated my, and many others, voting rights. I have contacted the American Civil Liberties Union(ALCU) with a complaint. I would urge others to do the same. Trying to convince that their actions are for her(Sheila) own good, is like feeding someone poison and saying it will cure the flu. I hope everyone who voted for Sheila will take this action seriously and demand that their vote mean something.
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Re: ACO Voter Rights Denied

Postby Copper » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:23 pm

...What on earth did they do??
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Re: ACO Voter Rights Denied

Postby SBinRockrimmon » Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:08 pm

Copper wrote:...What on earth did they do??


I'm a bit curious. Threads without details or evidence should be deleted. Either way I would like to see what ever it is your talking about made public. I wouldn't count on the ACLU getting involved in small town politics.
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson

To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. - Thomas Jefferson

Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one. - Benjamin Franklin
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Re: ACO Voter Rights Denied

Postby JC » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:24 pm

I watched the meeting Monday night, this is what I took away from it all......Sheila was told that she would need to wait for the Chief to return to discuss/recieve the job description. This is an elected position now rather than an appointment so there was no job description, and reports directly to the Chief. I believe the town is still accountable for the contract with Plaistow, so this will effect how things are handled, who does what etc. Considering the circumstance with the Chief I would think this would be a reasonable request.
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Re: ACO Voter Rights Denied

Postby LM » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:42 pm

If the ACLU decides to take this on, will they do it for free or is this going to result in a tax increase for us? How were voting rights violated? The ballot I used had Sheila's name on it as one choice for ACO, and the results show that she won.
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Re: ACO Voter Rights Denied

Postby safety frog » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:13 am

If the ACLU sues the town, then of course it will cost the tax payers to hire legal council to fight the ACLU, so instead of a $5,000 bill from Plaistow, we get a $12,000 cost for ACO plus legal costs to fight a frivolous law suit. Good ol' USA.
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Re: ACO Voter Rights Denied

Postby MKSullivan » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:03 am

Some clarification on the ACLU issue. I said I contacted them--that's all. There is nothing happening at this point. So, relax one and all. As long as the BOS carries out the voters' wishes than no damage has been done and we all settle down and life goes on. The comment that the ACLU will not bother with small town politics is totally wrong. Voting is a major issue even in small towns.
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Re: ACO Voter Rights Denied

Postby James Mickalide » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:50 pm

MKSullivan wrote:Some clarification on the ACLU issue. I said I contacted them--that's all. There is nothing happening at this point. So, relax one and all. As long as the BOS carries out the voters' wishes than no damage has been done and we all settle down and life goes on. The comment that the ACLU will not bother with small town politics is totally wrong. Voting is a major issue even in small towns.



So how were your voting rights denied?? Yes voting is a major issue but to make accusations without any thing to back it up and to ask other people to do the same is irresponsible.

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Re: ACO Voter Rights Denied

Postby TomBillbroughJr » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:18 pm

LM wrote:If the ACLU decides to take this on, will they do it for free or is this going to result in a tax increase for us? How were voting rights violated? The ballot I used had Sheila's name on it as one choice for ACO, and the results show that she won.


safety frog wrote:If the ACLU sues the town, then of course it will cost the tax payers to hire legal council to fight the ACLU, so instead of a $5,000 bill from Plaistow, we get a $12,000 cost for ACO plus legal costs to fight a frivolous law suit. Good ol' USA.


I apologize for singling out Lenny and Kermit, but since knowing what you’re talking about isn’t a requirement for posting on this forum, I'd like to help and dispel some misinformation. If the Town were to be sued and found guilty of any wrong doing, any compensatory/punitive damages to be awarded from the judgment would come from the unused funds/surplus account. That means your tax bill will be unaffected. Unspent monies that were raised and appropriated from your taxes go into this surplus account in case of a lawsuit, disaster, etc. I'm not sure exactly how much money is left in this account, as we just used funds from this account to purchase the Fire Association Hall from the Fire Department and then used money from this account to purchase a new rescue vehicle for the Fire Department, but I'd guess there is still close to half a million dollars in that account.
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Re: ACO Voter Rights Denied

Postby SBinRockrimmon » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:55 pm

I just watched the video and I have to ask what rights have been denied? It appears that the town covered the bases and received the opinion of the town attorney. Like it or not the position was not defined, nor did the voters of Danville vote to define the position or the budget. The way I see it the BOS or police chief can decide how the official role is defined. I also believe that in defining the position the Chief or BOS could decide that to preform the functions of elected position requires law enforcement credentials. That would leave Sheila the option to obtain such credentials or be remove from the position.

I'm a bit on the fence about the situation. On one hand I believe the voters have decided, but on the other hand the town is not doing anything illegal. Simply because emotions and feelings come out does not mean that any illegal has happened or that anyone's rights have been violated. I often hear people comment that _____ is illegal, but yet when I ask someone to cite the RSA that has been violated they tend to get real quiet. Not everything you don't like is illegal. There are hundreds of things I don't like, but they aren't illegal. Get over it, or work to change the law.

On a personal level I believe the position should be done by an officer. Let's say our newly elected ACO comes to my door about my dog, I can legally tell the ACO to pound sand and to get off my property. Without any credentials that would exempt the ACO from the criminal trespass law it is no different than me telling anyone else they are not welcome on my property. So in order to address whatever the problem may be, the ACO would then need to contact the PD for any resolution. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of having an ACO in the first place?
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson

To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. - Thomas Jefferson

Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one. - Benjamin Franklin
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Re: ACO Voter Rights Denied

Postby JohnH » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:57 am

TomBillbroughJr wrote:I apologize for singling out Lenny and Kermit, but since knowing what you’re talking about isn’t a requirement for posting on this forum, I'd like to help and dispel some misinformation. If the Town were to be sued and found guilty of any wrong doing, any compensatory/punitive damages to be awarded from the judgment would come from the unused funds/surplus account. That means your tax bill will be unaffected. Unspent monies that were raised and appropriated from your taxes go into this surplus account in case of a lawsuit, disaster, etc. I'm not sure exactly how much money is left in this account, as we just used funds from this account to purchase the Fire Association Hall from the Fire Department and then used money from this account to purchase a new rescue vehicle for the Fire Department, but I'd guess there is still close to half a million dollars in that account.


I know this is off topic but I wanted to clarify, the Fire Association Hall was purchased from the Danville Fire Association and not the Fire Department.
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Re: ACO Voter Rights Denied

Postby Sheila » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:35 am

SBinRockrimmon wrote:I just watched the video and I have to ask what rights have been denied? It appears that the town covered the bases and received the opinion of the town attorney. Like it or not the position was not defined, nor did the voters of Danville vote to define the position or the budget. The way I see it the BOS or police chief can decide how the official role is defined. I also believe that in defining the position the Chief or BOS could decide that to preform the functions of elected position requires law enforcement credentials. That would leave Sheila the option to obtain such credentials or be remove from the position.

I'm a bit on the fence about the situation. On one hand I believe the voters have decided, but on the other hand the town is not doing anything illegal. Simply because emotions and feelings come out does not mean that any illegal has happened or that anyone's rights have been violated. I often hear people comment that _____ is illegal, but yet when I ask someone to cite the RSA that has been violated they tend to get real quiet. Not everything you don't like is illegal. There are hundreds of things I don't like, but they aren't illegal. Get over it, or work to change the law.

On a personal level I believe the position should be done by an officer. Let's say our newly elected ACO comes to my door about my dog, I can legally tell the ACO to pound sand and to get off my property. Without any credentials that would exempt the ACO from the criminal trespass law it is no different than me telling anyone else they are not welcome on my property. So in order to address whatever the problem may be, the ACO would then need to contact the PD for any resolution. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of having an ACO in the first place?



Taken from part of the notes that Selectmen read:

"So, to summarize, the ACO is considered an elected, non-compensatory position without inherent rights or responsibilites and your duties, if any, will be set forth by the Danville PD. Given some of the intangible circumstances, I would ask that until Chief Parsons returns to his post that you address any questions or concerns you have to myself or to Patty and we will work with you for resolution. Upon his return, you can discuss with him any duties he sees fit to delegate to you and you can make him aware of your voluntary capacity.

Going forward, I would encourage residents to notify the Danville PD with any animal issues, concerns or complaints that may arise both for proper handling and public safety. Sheila, should a resident chose to contact you that is absoulutely their choice, however I would caution you that you would be acting as a volunteer and, as such, your access to town resouces will be extremely limited due to liability concerns and pursuant to the contract currently executed with the town of plaistow."
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Re: ACO Voter Rights Denied

Postby MKSullivan » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:02 am

Let me try to be very clear on my view and all that I have apparently unleashed. At this point in time, I am not claiming that my, or anybody else's voting rights were denied. The BOS has put things on hold until the chief returns. I understand that and agree. So, no damage has yet occurred. As long as what was voted on materializes, than no damage--all good, all well. I never mentioned anything about lawsuits, actions, or anything related. I do find it troubling that now, after the vote, the question of job description surfaces. Correct me if I am wrong, but, I believe that Sheila had done this job for seven years previously. No job description, and no problems. Also, realistically, do the police really want to be doing this job. I, for one, strongly support our Danville officers and the excellent job they do. Several years ago we were broken into twice and suffered heavy losses. It was our officers who caught the thieves. The State Trooper that called me said these guys had admitted to over 100 robberies around here and in the Concord/Bow area. Point is, we should all want our police to be doing what they do best and not to have to stop and deal with an animal call. Please, reread my posts and you will see that the topic of lawsuits and actions is not there. People hear "ACLU" and get all panicked. Years ago, I was told by an old friend, "Think of the ACLU as a military without guns. They are protecting your rights."
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Re: ACO Voter Rights Denied

Postby TomBillbroughJr » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:24 pm

JohnH wrote: I know this is off topic but I wanted to clarify, the Fire Association Hall was purchased from the Danville Fire Association and not the Fire Department.


John is right and I misspoke. The money to purchase the FAH was given to the Fire Association and not the Fire Departmrnt. I'm not exactly sure what the tax status of the Firemen's Association is, but I'd imagine that they are a 501(c)(3) organization that is loosely affiliated with the FD, much in the way the Friends of the Library are affiliated with the Library in Town. They are separate entities, but for the sake of naming the recent uses for the unused/surplus account funds, we're just arguing semantics. Think of a Super PAC and how they are not directly working with any candidate.

The unused/surplus account has also been used to defray a small percentage of the effective tax rate.

Scott is correct in that the BOS has not done anything illegal by nullifying the elected ACO position, but the argument could be made that it is a rather unethical move by the selectmen to choose to ignore the Town's directive and obvious intent of both elected ACO warrant articles (2013's and 2012's).

To argue that the voters are getting exactly what they voted for is either lunacy or stupidity. I have no patience for either. The people voted to elect an animal control officer, not an ACO in name only. The Town is not bound to the contract with Plaistow and we can terminate the contract at anytime. The statement made by Annemarie Inman that there is no job description for an ACO in Town is either her own ignorance or a lie. Two years ago, along with a less than satisfactory "independent" wage and salary survey cunducted by a more than incompetent group, MRI, also wrote new job descriptions for every position for every department in Danville. It would be terribly convenient of the BOS to have such a short memory in regards to that, after all it was the Selectmen's idea to spend 8k on that worthless survey (which again is more money than we save by utilizing a regional ACO, but I digress).

The opinion of Peter Loughlin, who has a history of siding with the BOS instead of the townspeople and in my opinion is about as useful as male nipples, that there is no statute granting the people the right to vote an elected official into a 3-year term is regrettable. However, I do believe there was some oversight on his part when drafting that opinion. There are other term-elected officials in Town that he neglected to include in his opinion, namely that of the chief of police himself. And what does it say about our town attorney that he is so willing to usurp the intent of the voters if it is in conflict with the desire of the selectmen? To me it says he's a lousy person, but I am bias as he tried to usurp my right as a private citizen to petition and form an elected body of representatives to see to the then newly acquired town building, the Danville Comminity Center.

Furthermore, I don't understand why we would be waiting for Wade to get back to work for him task Sheila with her duties. Let's give Wade and his family as much time as they need while they deal with tragedy, but let's also ask the officer who is acting in his stead for the interim to act. I believe officer Furman is acting for Wade. If he is capable enough to act on behalf of the chief of police, I'm sure he's capable of carrying out a directive from a warrant article.

This feet dragging is childish and unnecessary. I can't imagine the BOS making this process simple and smooth after so much head-butting and unfortunate publicity over the years, but how many times can you defeat a group of people via the voting process before they act on the will of the people?

How do you defeat a group of people who are too stubborn and not humble enough to admit defeat? Sorry for the hyperbolic conclusion.
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Re: ACO Voter Rights Denied

Postby Copper » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:14 pm

MKSullivan wrote:Due to the incredible insane actions of the Danville Board of Selectmen in their personal battle against ACO Sheila Johannesen,[highlight=]I believe that they have violated my, and many others, voting rights. I have contacted the American Civil Liberties Union(ALCU) with a complaint. I would urge others to do the same. [/highlight] Trying to convince that their actions are for her(Sheila) own good, is like feeding someone poison and saying it will cure the flu. I hope everyone who voted for Sheila will take this action seriously and demand that their vote mean something.


MKSullivan wrote:Let me try to be very clear on my view and all that I have apparently unleashed. [highlight=]At this point in time, I am not claiming that my, or anybody else's voting rights were denied.[/highlight] The BOS has put things on hold until the chief returns. I understand that and agree. So, no damage has yet occurred. As long as what was voted on materializes, than no damage--all good, all well. I never mentioned anything about lawsuits, actions, or anything related. I do find it troubling that now, after the vote, the question of job description surfaces. Correct me if I am wrong, but, I believe that Sheila had done this job for seven years previously. No job description, and no problems. Also, realistically, do the police really want to be doing this job. I, for one, strongly support our Danville officers and the excellent job they do. Several years ago we were broken into twice and suffered heavy losses. It was our officers who caught the thieves. The State Trooper that called me said these guys had admitted to over 100 robberies around here and in the Concord/Bow area. Point is, we should all want our police to be doing what they do best and not to have to stop and deal with an animal call. Please, reread my posts and you will see that the topic of lawsuits and actions is not there. People hear "ACLU" and get all panicked. Years ago, I was told by an old friend, "Think of the ACLU as a military without guns. They are protecting your rights."


Wait, what??
Chaaaarge!! Oh-hehe-jk.
Let's make up our mind, here.

Though I do agree with you, the Danville Police do a fine job.

Also, correct me if I am wrong, but couldn't Sheila have put into the warrant article she petitioned a more descriptive definition of the position or something that would reinstate all of the previous duties so as to not cause this confusion now? Hmm... Kind of opened up an entirely new can of worms now didn't it.
I think that they should wait until Wade is back seeing that he will ultimately be overseeing this position it should be his directive on how they move forward and not have to rely on his stand-in to set this entire thing up to only either have to change it or in the case that it is permanent have to live with it? Just my opinion.

:roll:
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