Making Lofty Mayor was not the first Fixed Election

Fixing elections has been nothing new in White Springs, especially when it involves Rhett Bullard.  You probably already know that Helen Miller was quite active in trying to improve economic development in White Springs.  Whether or not her goals worked out, she at least was one who made an attempt, which is more than others did..

When Bill Lawrence became manager he was warned about the Griffins; so technically, we really did not have anything to do with him.  Then one day I elected to include the following drawing of him in a frame:

For some reason, things were not going well at Town Hall.  Pam Tomlinson had apparently placed Anita in Bill’s crosshairs and Pam herself was her usual rude self, telling him what to do instead of the reverse.   He told us that when he moved to White Springs and read our  blog, he felt that it was just a “Good ole boy” situation and he could handle it.  Yet, upon arriving here and working for some time, he realized it was not just a Good ole Boy situation but a far worse dysfunctional council and staff.   Although he wished to live in Florida so his beautiful wife could be near her parents, he realized White Springs was not where he wished to be. As it was, Bill did not remain here but some 8-9 months.

On his moving day we offered our home for them to stay the night and to take them out to dinner.  I had heard that Tonja was spending time with them so I did not make or bring food to the two who I understand were starved at lunch because they had nothing to eat all day..  For that I feel badly but I stay away from Tonja as much as I can.

Now whether Rhett Bullard had influence on Bill or whether Bill just felt there needed to be a change in White Springs, he worked out a plan to make Rhett Bullard the Mayor of White Springs.  Tonja Brown and Willie also met with the Two and they had a plan to remove Helen Miller as Mayor…and they managed.

Now in the interim, we had taken Bill and his wife, Kathy, out to dinner and drinks and we had one of the most enjoyable evenings with great people.  They were wonderful people who wish no one harm and actually cared about White Springs and its people.  They didn’t balk about where they would live but moved to White Springs and leased out their gorgeous Maine residence. That means when they moved back to Maine, they could not move into their beautiful home until the lease expired, but they were anxious and the minute they were packed they left into the night.

And so it came to pass, the plan which would make Rhett Bullard mayor; Although green in handling business or being Mayor and using Robert’s Rules of Order, it was Walter and Helen who reminded him of what to do, Mayor Bullard grew to be one of the most coniving people in White Springs.  He, like a dictator, told others how he was going to handle matters and if that meant not following the law due to his benefit, so be it. I recall him treating my husband so poorly when Joe was attempting to make valid complaints.  I will never forget or forgive him for the way he acted.  He was a total jerk.

In any event, Rhett’s mayorship remained until he passed it on to Spencer Lofton.  But unless he somehow is forced to resign as a councilor or decides to do so himself, he will still be telling Mayor Lofty what to do.

When I look back, I find that all of the problems in White Springs among councilors and even with us, could have been handled with communication.  Communication is one of the most important remedies one has.  But in the case of Rhett, it may have been power he sought because of his envy of Helen Miller.  In any event as you can see, Mayor Lofty knowing he was Mayor prior to being elected or voted in, is nothing new in White Springs.

Many of us in White Springs listen to others.  And if those around us have nothing but bad things to say about someone, everyone starts having disdain for someone without knowing them.  It is time to ask someone directly how they feel or what they said and have done so we do not have mis-communications.

 

Karin for the blog

 

These are the types of emails Bill Lawrence also received which were sent to us:.

The amount of camel dung coming from the griffins (we hope that King Camel and the other camels take no offense) is truly unbelievable. The editors wonder if the town will do something about it. Even our most devoted editor has decided that she is tired of reading the cheap sewer (no pun intended) that comes out of Mill St. We hope not since by now the rest of us don’t even open the hateful and envy-full (new word?) blog.

The betting on the honey moon is now skewed to two days after the first 119. We wonder if anybody told the new town manager about the ogre and ogrette of Mill St. The man should get a raise right away for having to put up with the malicious BS that constantly flows from their sick and drug addled brains.

The Editors

 

May 18, 2015

Dear Mayor Rhett Bullard and Council,

This letter is to inform you that I will not be asking to renew my 1 year contract that ends July 20, 2015.  I have accepted another Town Manager position with a Town in Maine that offers a better opportunity for my family.  I will miss working with you, the council and serving the people of White Springs.  My last working day will be June 19, 2015.

 

Best Regards

 

William Lawrence

Town Manager

 

Submitted on 2015/06/04 at 5:12 pm

Unfortunate your community is yet another stepping stone to no where by Bill Lawrence. Did you know that Bill was applying for a town manager’s position in Millinocket, Maine after only five months on the job with your community as well at least looking into four other positions that we have heard about. He has been hired as the next Howland, Maine town manager. He was only on the job ten months in Lincoln before announcing his departure to Florida allegedly to retire near his wife’s parents. The man has little to no credibility with excuses than one can count. Can’t figure out how with his employment record anyone would take a chance in hiring him. Would be interesting as to how his work performance panned out & the credit he took for someone else’s work ( his teamwork plan). Oh well he’s our problem now but if you have any worthy issues bearing attention please respond.

 
Submitted on 2015/06/04 at 8:10 pm | In reply to Phil Dawson.

Bill has done an exemplary job in White Springs with what he has had to work with. We have an extremely corrupt government and Bill has worked through as much as he could. You may have a different view of Bill but for us, he is highly respected. . We are very proud to have known him. He is an asset we are sorry to lose.

Karin Griffin

 

William Lawrence Buy Photo
By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff
Posted May 13, 2015, at 8:01 p.m.

HOWLAND, Maine — Moments after selectmen hired former Lincoln Town Manager William Lawrence to oversee Howland’s government, fire chief Phil Dawson resigned in protest, officials said Wednesday.

When the board voted 4-1 at a meeting Monday to hire Lawrence, Dawson immediately tendered his resignation, saying he was “adamantly opposed” to the hiring “because of past dealings [with Lawrence],” board Chairman Glenn Brawn said Wednesday.

The two clashed when they served together in Lincoln, but Dawson said his resignation also resulted from his “frustration with this whole situation and basically on principle.”

Selectmen on Friday “had advised town employees of their pending decision [to hire Lawrence] and the response I have heard of is largely negative. But despite that, the board has continued to move forward with the hiring process,” Dawson said Wednesday. “Why ask the question if you are going to go do what you are going to do anyway?”

“They [selectmen] are not listening to the employees, and there is plenty of opposition from the employees” against Lawrence’s hiring, Dawson added. “I am concerned that his track record doesn’t suggest that he is the best person that they could have found. His longevity anywhere in a job is questionable.”

A police officer for more than 20 years, Lawrence has about three years of experience as a town manager and presently works as manager of White Springs, Florida, he said Wednesday.

Lawrence impressed selectmen despite his lack of experience, Brawn said.

“The board is not hiring Bill Lawrence on whether town employees like or dislike him. He is being hired based on the merits of his ability,” Brawn said.

The conflict between Dawson and Lawrence occurred in May 2013, when Lawrence was Lincoln’s interim manager and Dawson resigned as Lincoln’s fire chief. Lawrence had placed Dawson on administrative leave with pay the day before to investigate a potential conflict of interest, which Dawson denied.

The conflict claim arose after Lincoln and East Millinocket fire departments had agreed to start an ambulance service, replacing Penobscot Valley Hospital’s service. Lincoln officials had learned Dawson, who served as Howland’s fire chief at the same time he held the Lincoln chief’s position, was negotiating with Millinocket fire officials possibly on Lincoln town time. Lincoln officials hoped Howland would join the communities being served by its new ambulance service.

Dawson said he was negotiating ambulance service with Millinocket because Howland had no coverage.

Lawrence never finished his ethics investigation because of Dawson’s resignation. Lawrence, who left Lincoln in July 2014 to take his present job, said he has no animosity toward Dawson.

“He has a clean state,” Lawrence said of Dawson.

Selectmen haven’t accepted Dawson’s resignation. Brawn said Lawrence will serve a six-month probationary period before his salary will increase from $56,000 to $57,500 and his contract will be extended for three years. Selectman Will Lloyd said he voted against hiring Lawrence because he felt that the job search should have been more extensive.

Selectmen will discuss Dawson’s resignation when they meet May 25. In the meantime, Brawn said, interim Town Manager Peggy Daigle will see whether Dawson will retract his resignation letter.

The 59-year-old Dawson said he is reconsidering because many town firefighters and several residents have urged him to stay on. He has served as fire chief, earning a $3,800 stipend in that position, for 19 of his 46 years as a member of the largely volunteer department.

Brawn said whether to resign is “a personal choice for Phil, and I will accept his choice whatever it will be.”

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