Ex-Tamworth police chief sues town

By Daymond Steer

OSSIPEE — Former Tamworth Police Chief Penny Colby, who was fired last month, is suing the town because she says selectmen failed to provide a reason for her termination.

Penny-ColbyFormer Tamworth Police Chief Penny Colby at a selectman's meeting earlier this year. (DAYMOND STEER PHOTO)Colby, of Albany, served with the Tamworth Police Department since 2008. She was tapped to replace Dan Poirier, who retired Feb. 1, by an independent committee. She was sworn in as chief Feb. 25.

Since being hired, however, she faced criticisms that she wasn't responding to enough calls, lived too far from town, was not a visible presence and may have been billing the town for time she didn't work.

On Sept. 17, selectmen, in a non-public session, extended Colby's probationary period from eight months to 12 months to correct an error.

Selectmen fired Colby in a non-public session Sept. 24. Selectman Jim Hidden made the motion to terminate Colby, with support from Selectman Steve Gray. Selectman John Roberts voted in the minority.

Colby's attorney, Jason Major, of Douglas, Leonard & Garvey of Concord, sued the town in Carroll County Superior Court in Ossipee on Oct. 13.

The suit said the town wrongly classified Colby as a "probationary employee" and was not given a written explanation for the selectmen's decision, contrary to RSA 105:2-a.

"The court should declare her termination unlawful as a matter of law because of the Town of Tamworth's failure to provide her with written specification of the reasons for her termination," the lawsuit said. "The Court should negate the termination as provided for in the statute for the same reason."

The lawsuit underlines the key provision of RSA 105:2-a, which deals with the powers and dismissal of police chiefs.

Walker, Lanoie honored as 'White Mountain Treasures'

By Tom Eastman

BARTLETT — Linda Walker and Russ Lanoie, both of Conway, received this year's White Mountain Treasure Awards, presented during the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce's 104th annual meeting, held Oct. 25 at the Attitash Grand Summit Hotel and Resort.

russ-lanoie-and-linda-walkerLinda Walker and Russ Lanoie receive their White Mountain Treasure proclamations. (TOM EASTMAN PHOTO)The award, sponsored by Memorial Hospital, recognizes individuals who have "demonstrated outstanding and consistent caring for the improvement of the Mount Washington Valley and the quality of life" in the region "without the expectation of reward of commendation."

Married to local veterinarian Dr. Dave "Doc" Walker, Linda Walker in her brief remarks spoke about her late father: "He taught me that you should not live in a community without giving back to it."

Lanoie, married to fellow White Mountain Treasure Joan Lanoie, echoed those comments but also made a joke: having invented the Road Runner device, he quipped, "I just don't want to end up in a ditch and being a 'buried' treasure!"

Both were praised by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), who was on hand, as well as in letters of commendation by Gov. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Ayotte's opponent in the Senate race, who at a candidates' reception earlier in the meeting; and by Chuck Henderson, representing U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).

Ayotte congratulated Walker and Lanoie and recognized their unselfish service.

County commission candidates stump at the Gibson Center

By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — Three of the four candidates vying for two seats on the Carroll County Board of Commissioners made their case to voters during the Gibson Center for Senior Services' Five-Minute Forum on Tuesday.

10-25-16-candidate-forum Mark-Hounsell-1Mark Hounsell (R-Conway) speaks at the candidate forum Tuesday at the Gibson Center. (JAMIE GEMMITI PHOTO)About 20 citizens attend the 75-minute forum. Candidates took their five minutes to introduce themselves, highlight why they running and issues that concerned them.

Mark Hounsell (R-Conway), who is running in the First District (candidate must be from Bartlett, Chatham, Conway, Eaton, Freedom, Hart's Location or Jackson) was on hand.

His opponent for that seat, Bert Weiss (D-Chatham), did not attend.

Jill Reynolds of the Gibson Center said in organizing the forums she reaches out to the party chairs and invites all of their candidates to attend.

Hounsell spoke about the importance of taking care of citizens and doing one's civic duty.

"I see public life as a duty," he said. "It's very clear if you read Part 1, Article 10 of our constitution, which states we are duty-bound to be our government, it isn't something we just get to do.

"It's kind of aggravating when we argue with people about their need and their duty to vote, and they fluff it off. Really, it's our duty to offer ourself to serve. I've been through a lot of elections, I've won, I've lost. I prefer winning.

Meet the Candidates: Gene Chandler, Erik Corbett

CONWAY — Incumbent Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) and challenger Erik Corbett (D-Bartlett) are running in the Republican Primary for one New Hampshire House of Representative seats from Carroll County District 1, which serves Bartlett, Hart's Location and Jackson. Chandler is seeking an 18th term.

The election is Tuesday, Nov. 8.