The Readfield selectman who said, “I think I’m going to resign this board,” at a meeting two weeks ago told fellow board members Monday that he’s staying on.

“I’ve heard from a lot of people both in Readfield and outside of Readfield that they want me to stay and say that I’m needed here,” Thomas Dunham said at a regular Select Board meeting that was videotaped and posted on YouTube. “So I guess for now, I’m not ready to turn in my resignation, and I’ll do all I can to hang in.”

Dunham’s abrupt resignation announcement Aug. 8 capped a short, heated discussion about the actions of Lenny Reay, owner of Reay Excavation, who served at the time on the town’s Road Committee. Reay took part in discussions about crafting the bid for Readfield’s snow plowing contract and then said he would bid on the contract.

Town Manager Eric Dyer did not consider Reay’s bid, saying it violated the town’s Conflict of Interest and Recall Process Ordinance. Other board members backed Dyer’s decision, but Dunham disagreed.

Dunham said his resignation statement occurred after he became uncomfortable while sitting through the board’s handling of items involving local residents. Those items included the conflict-of-interest dispute that erupted over the town’s snow plowing contract.

“I think we should be working with the residents and not try to rule over them with authority,” Dunham said. “I will always err on the side of the residents.”


Dunham also said he thinks some board members who also are members of the Readfield Citizens Unite Committee would welcome his resignation.

“I understand that, and I understand the politics in town,” he said. “That sort of makes me want to hang in here.”

Dunham was elected to a three-year seat on the five-member Select Board in June 2014.

Two other bids were submitted for the snow plowing contract. Reay resigned from the Road Committee in a letter submitted Aug. 11 that said he did not realize that serving on that board would affect his or his son’s ability to work for the town.

“Perhaps if I had known that my experience in construction work would not benefit the Road Committee, I would not have applied,” he said. “The town clearly doesn’t wish to keep local tax dollars within town and work with the locals.”

Bruce Bourgoine, chairman of the board, noted he personally asked Dunham to stay on the board.


Dunham had participated in a Select Board retreat the prior week as well.

After Dunham spoke, Bourgoine read his own statement asking for better behavior from people in the parking lot after the meetings.

He said “verbal harassment and bullying” occurred after two meetings and that members of the public told them they felt uncomfortable.

“It really needs to stop,” Bourgoine said, urging “courteous civility” by all. He said he would try to set a example and hoped others would follow. Bourgoine also noted that it appeared only a small number of people were engaging in the harassing behavior.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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