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Bubier Road: Still Unresolved, Still In Non-compliance

July 25, 2011

Frank McElroy, attorney for the the aggrieved abutter, the Schey’s, has asked three members of the Board of Selectmen to direct the building commissioner to enforce his order. Selectmen Jacobi, Christensen, and Murray met in executive session to discuss the issue. The Schey’s have won a decision to land court, and have weathered an attempt by the owner, Wayne Johnson, to have Town Meeting grant him relief (which was not acted on), and now they want some action. The Town, through the building commissioner, has ordered the house at 74 Bubier Road to be removed or razed. The Land Court gave the owners a deadline of October 4, 2010. Now there is a contempt complaint against Mr. Johnson pending in Land Court. The Selectmen, after their executive session of June 8, have sought additional advice from counsel, which as reported in the Lynn Item, was that they should take no action until the contempt complaint is settled.

It kind of makes you wonder about two things: (1) why do we even have Selectmen anymore and (2) in their minutes of June 8, the stated reason for the executive session was:

for the purpose of discussing pending litigation as it relates to 74 Bubier Road where the public discussion on the same may have a detrimental effect on the negotiating position of the public body, votes may be taken, and if they are votes will be released at a time deemed appropriate by counsel.

… but was that appropriate? If the Schey’s lawyer simply asked the Board to enforce its own rule and the litigation that is pending is a contempt complaint filed by the Schey’s against Mr. Johnson, where is the detrimental effect, when the Town is not even a party to the litigation? Plus, they actually sought Town Counsel’s opinion which was apparently reported in public. So why the executive session? When will the minutes be released?

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