Ossipee’s town attorney told a Superior Court judge the Select Board is committed to developing a plan to prevent the kind of crowding that occurred at the November 28 special town meeting, at which some people were kept outside during the discussion. The court will consider the town’s plan at a review hearing in August or September. The town attorney also said discussions to resolve legal issues between the town and Camp Sokokis seller Dianne Sheehan are proceeding, with responsibility for legal fees still on the table.
If you hike, chances are good that you’ve encountered a Gray Jay–a smart, impulsive, relatively tame bird that will approach looking for food crumbs from your snack or lunch. Gray Jays hide small caches of food throughout their territories in late summer and autumn so they’ll have a ready larder for winter. As such, they can survive cold winter conditions in which other birds can’t exist. But now, studies show unseasonably warm weather is threatening Gray Jays’ reproductive success.
The sale of the campground is the end of Ossipee’s hopes to buy it, but not the end of the litigation surrounding it. Still to be resolved are Ossipee’s lawsuit against property owner Sheehan to recoup its expenses based on her alleged breach of contract, and Sheehan’s counter-suit for damages alleging breach of contract by the town as well as fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation. Also in the wings is a civil suit by two Ossipee residents who charged the town was unprepared for the turnout at the November 28 special town meeting.
Sheehan didn’t waive her constitutional right to free speech when she signed an agreement to sell her land, the court ruled. Moreover, it would be impossible for the town to prove that 15 people — the margin of loss in the vote — changed their mind because of Sheehan’s actions.
Two Ossipee residents, Joy Gagnon and Joshua Arnold, have filed a civil complaint alleging the right of residents to vote on the Camp Sokokis purchase was compromised by the town’s failure to meet the open meeting provisions of the state’s right to know law. Specifically they said people who waited outside because of a lack of seating could not hear or register as voters or get handouts to explain how the meeting would operate. The complaint asks the court to mandate a new vote to be held in a larger venue.