Ossipee Selectmen Reverse Direction On Seasonal Sites at Camp Sokokis

Ossipee—October 19, 2017—With the ink barely dry on the judge’s decision, board member Richard Mor­gan announced last week that selectmen will be eliminating the “camp­ground in its entirety” if voters approve $1.2 mil­lion to purchase Camp Sokokis. On Oct. 13, a superi­or court judge heard the selectmen’s request for permission to hold a spe­cial town meeting in No­vember. With a signed purchase and sales agreement that expires on Dec. 31, selectmen argued that the request qualifies as an emergen­cy need as required un­der state law.

That purchase agree­ment, signed by the three-member board Aug. 15 and then by Camp Sokokis owner Dianne Sheehan Aug. 16, has just three con­ditions. First, the main road leading into the campground will remain named Gretchen Road. Second, no birch trees will be removed along Gretchen Road unless absolutely necessary for public safety. Lastly, the town will “continue to allow campers to rent campsites on the proper­ty until at least the 2020 season” and the rents will not be increased for three years.

Since the agreement was signed, Morgan first said 15 campsites would be removed nearest the 200-foot shoreline. On Oct. 13 came Morgan’s announcement that the campground would be eliminated completely. Originally, he said, he thought the town could continue to operate the campground, and that revenue generated from that business could be used to pay the bond pay­ment. Morgan said what changed his mind is “the conduct of some of the people at Camp Sokok­is.” He did not, however, elaborate on what “con­duct” he was referring to.

Sign posted at Camp Sokokis questioning Ossipee’s proposed purchase of the property. The town says it will close the campground if voters approve the purchase.

The Oct. 13 court hear­ing was open to the pub­lic. Two people filed to speak against the town’s petition, both seasonal residents of the camp­ground. Morgan called their effort “pathetic” and nothing more than an attempt to “stop Os­sipee people from having a vote.” Thankfully, he said, their argument did not prevail, and the spe­cial town meeting will move forward Nov. 28.

At the Nov. 28 special town meeting, voters will be asked to approve the town getting a loan for $1 million and taking the remaining $200,000 purchase price from the town’s fund balance. The vote will be by secret bal­lot, and must pass with a two thirds majority.

In the meantime, there will be an infor­mational session Mon­day, Oct. 30 at 6 p.m. at Ossipee Town Hall. Se­lectmen expect to have conceptual drawings of the proposed town beach and adjoining 52 acres as well as provide other information and answer questions. In early November, though no date has been set yet, the budget com­mittee will also conduct a public hearing and make their decision whether or not to recommend the $1.2 million expense.

Selectman Sandra Martin blasted the camp owners opposed to the project, noting the min­imal tax contribution seasonal campers bring to the town.

“People come from away and pay $34 or $50 a year in taxes and try to tell us we can’t dop this,” Martin said, adding that the town can afford to buy the property and should be able to do so. She called opposition efforts “so un-American” and the “Do the Math” road signs that have popped up all over town cowardly because they are not attributed to any person or organization.

She urged Ossipee voters to “Get on your red, white and blue and vote.”


  1. Charlie Smythe 6 years ago October 22, 2017

    I’ve saId it before, and this latest Morgan flip flop beats reiteration: Morgan was a buffoon as a Police Chief and has become a bigger fool as a selectman. Ossipee remains the laughingstock of Carroll County, for three good reasons. Can you say: Board of Selectmen???

  2. Cathleen Sousa 6 years ago October 23, 2017

    My husband and I are residents of ossipee and wholeheartedly support the purchase of Camp Sokokis. We “did the math” an are quite impressed and believe as do others it will bring in revenue for our town to THRIVE instead of just getting by. We stand behind our leaders in selectmans office. Sincerely Nicholas/Cathleen Arone

  3. Leah Frim 6 years ago October 23, 2017

    So if this Morgan character is blatantly disregarding the stipulations of the Purchase and Sales agreement, doesn’t it make that purchase and sales agreement NULL AND VOID?

    “If the party who is responsible for complying with the specific term or condition fails to comply, that party has breached or defaulted on the contract … If the parties can’t agree on how to resolve the matter, the parties must use the dispute resolution process if one has been included in the contract. Usually, this is arbitration, mediation, or small claims court. Such alternative methods for resolving disputes are usually less costly and more efficient than filing a traditional lawsuit. The parties submit the matter to the arbitrator, mediator, or judge, and that person decides which party breached the contract.”

    And what is up with this Sandra Martin person? She definitely has a warped sense of what being an American means. As far as I know, it’s OK to disagree with your government in a peaceful and respectful manner, like erecting informational signs around town to educate people and make citizens ask pertinent questions about up coming issues. It is not cowardly, it’s called freedom of speech. Evidently Sandra Martin has never heard of the first amendment.
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    I don’t know who this Charlie Smythe is, (see comment above) but I believe he hit the nail on the head!
    And I’m urging Ossipee voters to “Get on your red, white and blue and get rid of these selectmen.”

  4. keith 6 years ago October 23, 2017

    Cathleen one question how does it bring revenue if he closes the campground……. if i do the math you lose all the rent and the town will lose revenue from what the campers spend ( groceries,restaurants ,etc..) while they are here.

  5. scott 6 years ago October 23, 2017

    I can’t believe what is going on in Ossipee!……What is the problem with
    Select board…..What makes you think the present owner isn’t going to pull the plug on the whole deal.
    This is one of the worst decisions Ossipee selectmen have been involved in…
    What about the 26,000 the town will lose…..what happened to that?
    The Sheehan’s were trying to do something nice for the town…..and maybe leave a legacy
    for their family….Now look ……
    I’ve been around town a long time and can’t find a lot of people who are seeing things the way the board does. This is going to be very expensive…..how bout saving the money for the rainy day fund,for when its needed….or…..lower the tax rate…..
    I have known many of the campers at Sokokis….nice family campground….lots of them have been there many years….shop in town…have always been involved in town events…good hard working folks..
    I hope the voters take a long hard look at this…..

  6. scott 6 years ago October 24, 2017

    Cathleen….have a few questions for you: How will the town collect revenue if the campground is closed? Will residents have to pay to use the beach/launch a boat?
    Help the town “thrive”….Seems like their doing ok…”Flush with Cash” as was previously stated…
    I can’t see how the math works,no matter which way you do it….
    Just take a look at the Westward shores mess….Poor town management there…..
    When will the budget committee weigh in? After the vote?
    Maintenance alone will be a nightmare….Just look at Duncan Lake Beach…
    The town should hire a professional to look at the whole impact…. But that would cost a fortune!
    I as a tax payer,don’t like what I hear how the town is spending my money….and yours….


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