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Failure to address unresolved issues raised by Conley


AYER — At the top of Selectman Pauline Conley’s list of deferred business is her outstanding issue with resident David Bodurtha, who came before the selectmen in September to voice complaints about her.

Conley was constrained by the board from responding at the time, but was told she would have a chance to do so in the future.

Last week, Conley wanted to know when she would get her chance, asking Chairman Faye Morrison when it would be put on the agenda.

Morrison said the board could make time for her to address the allegations made by Bodurtha, but added that he had declined two invitations to hear Conley’s response and that she could not make him come in to do so.

Conley said she was once subpoenaed to appear before the selectmen, but Morrison maintained she could not make him appear.

At that point, Selectman Paul Bresnahan suggested that Conley address the allegations regardless of whether Bodurtha was willing to show, which Morrison agreed was an option.

Conley said she never specified she wanted Bodurtha there to address his charges; a statement Morrison disagreed with.

Conley said it was not the truth, and she could show Morrison the tapes to prove it.

In September, Bodurtha sought details from the selectmen on how he could file a complaint against Conley. He said she wrongly claimed there was a grievance against him when he was seeking re-appointment to the Conservation Commission and that he owed $75 to the town for consulting town counsel.

He termed Conley’s behavior part of a pattern of harassment toward town officials and employees.

During that discussion, interim town administrator Ed McCann said Ayer does not have any mechanism where a private citizen could file a complaint against an elected official.

That being the case, Bodurtha asked for an apology and acknowledgment there was no grievance against him.

While a majority of the board voted for the selectmen to apologize, Conley was not onboard with that motion. Instead she asked she be given an opportunity to respond, which was agreed to.

At the time, Morrison said the item would be put on a future agenda and that Bodurtha would be invited back.

Other unresolved issues were discussed as well. Conley cited police Chief Richard Rizzo’s recommendation to add parking signs in the downtown, the request from the Autumn Ridge development to waive tens of thousands in sewerage connection fees, the legal concerns of Old Groton Road neighbors, and an August memo to then-town administrator Anita Scheipers from Rizzo that outlined a citizen’s complaint against an officer.

She said all of the items were from before Nov. 1. Also, they had not made recent agendas and she wanted that addressed.

Conley was not the only selectmen bringing up old business. Selectman Bresnahan noted the board should have received communication from the Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART) about plans to establish more commuter parking in the downtown area.

The initiative is a joint effort between the town and MART, with the town locating possible sites and providing grant money while MART would build and manage it.

In recent months, the selectmen compiled criteria for acceptable sites that would be incorporated into request for proposals (RFPs) prepared and released by MART.

However, the selectmen had said the RFPs should have been released by then.

The board decided to inquire further with the Office of Community and Economic Development, which is handling the process.