Comments about Selectman Weil and
the reappointment of Burr Taylor (6)

  1. Introduction

  2. Letter to Selectman with request for fulltime Harbormaster

  3. Email to members of Committee informing them of Selectman Weil's offer

  4. Email to Selectman Weil requesting advice on how to present amendment

  5. Flyer given out at Town Meeting

  6. Comments I have received

  7. Comments made to Selectmen 5/26/05

  8. Comments made at hearing for Harbormaster


The government is not just the elected officials. It’s all of us. We each must play a role in our self-governance if we are to remain a free society. This role can be played out in many ways. As watchdogs of our freedoms we must be ever cognizant of the powerful and effective abuses by some who have been given the responsibility of public office.

            Burr Taylor is a respectful, inquisitive, thinking man. He has served and continues to serve our community honestly and well in many capacities. He took on his duties with the Harbor and Waterfront Committee with thoughtfulness and zest…Too much zest for some. At Harpswell’s 2005 Town Meeting the Harbor and Waterfront Committee’s proposal prevailed over the wishes of some of the selectmen. One Selectman in particular did not forget this sting and has undertaken retribution. Selectman Gordon Weil, specifically citing Burr’s role in the course of events, refused to reappoint him to the Harbor and Waterfront committee and seemed to chastise Burr for daring to speak at Town Meeting, so much for diversity of ideas and the freedoms of speech and expression. Selectman Weil surrounds himself only with those who agree with him. Not a healthy plan for a free and open society.


 Selectman Weil handled his “displeasure” of your re-appointment to HWC disgracefully.  The courteous professional thing to do would have been to discuss his perceived problems with you privately.  You both could have agreed to disagree, aired your differences, you could have presented your position on what was said and done (as you have here on your website), or you could have even requested the withdrawal of your application for re-appointment if that was what you decided.  But no, Selectman Weil took the low road and personally attacked you publicly.

 The HWC Selectman lead/liaison has paid you and the HWC a huge disservice by not getting to the bottom of this unkind act immediately.  I believe a major apology from Selectman Weil is in order.

 Selectmen’s Meeting minutes from March 17, 2005:

5. Selectmen Announcements: “….Acting Chairman Weil…In regards to Public Comment portion of the meetings, invitations are extended to the public for questions, comments, or compliments, not for personal attacks.  Public Comments should be limited to the operation of the Town government and also limited to one five minute session.”

 While I agree to a certain extent that public comments should be limited in time and content.  We have all seen how the rules apply depending on whether or not the Chair wants a public discussion on a particular subject.  I guess “public attacks” are reserved for selectmen to issue.

 You stated that you expect to respond to Selectman Weil at the next Selectmen’s meeting. I think you should be given the opportunity to defend yourself and present facts against such an unreasonable personal attack…I wish you luck. 

 I agree with your comment, “…it is a very dangerous precedent for a public official to be allowed to ‘punish’ or target a citizen for what they said at town meeting.” 

 Could our town meetings go the way of attendees consisting of only participants approved by the administration?