CHELSEA — Residents at a special town meeting Thursday said no to a $25,000 settlement for a former town clerk.

Flavia “Cookie” Kelley and her attorney have threatened to sue the town in a dispute about the validity of her contract.

Town attorney Stephen Langsdorf has said it could cost the town $125,000 to defend the case, which includes legal fees and, if the town loses, $90,000 purportedly due Kelley under a three-year contract Langsdorf has repeatedly said is invalid.

“This has happened to us so many times over the years,” resident Joe Mills said at the meeting Thursday. “What are we teaching our kids? Go to the town of Chelsea, they’ll leave the checkbook out (on the table) . . . here. We’re not that kind of a town. Don’t give her any money. Set an example. We’re not an easy take. We’re going to fight back!”

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