Ross said he and three or so council members conducted interviews of the candidates in his office. Those meetings were not advertised, he said.
“It wasn’t intentionally done on my part,” he said of the lapse in following the law.
He said Gadway presented her objections “after the fact.”
And, he said in a phone interview Friday, “These problems that she has could easily have been not problems at all. All she had to do was say, ‘You have to advertise this, or whatever ...’”
Gadway says she handed out copies of the state’s Open Meetings Law at a board meeting in the spring, but the illegal activity didn’t stop after that.
Secret meetings are unfair to town residents, who have the right to be informed of town business before decisions are made, Gadway said.
“It’s their (taxpayers’) money you’re spending. Give them the right to appear and to oppose or agree.”
OBJECTIONS OVER LIBRARY
Then there’s the hotly debated issue of the Mooers Free Library.
The town had a chance to bring the library up to date with handicap accessibility standards back in 1996, Gadway said. But that didn’t happen.
And in May of this year, plans to add a ramp to the existing building were presented to the Town Council at a meeting, she said.
“They were for it at that point.”
That all changed when a resident at the meeting stood up and said, according to Gadway, “Why put that kind of money into the older building when you can build a new one for $50,000?”
However, she said, an estimate from Sample Lumber in Mooers said the shell for the new building, with no labor charges included, would cost $32,000, and Gadway doesn’t see how the remaining cost of construction for a new library could be just $18,000 more than that.