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.
After an autumn flood, December was snowy, windy and bitterly cold, with power outages and frost heaves galore. It’s the height of winter on the lake.
Ossipee officials claim Camp Sokokis owner Diane Sheehan’s lobbying against the town’s purchase of her Camp Sokokis property was a “blatant contract breach” of her agreement to sell to the town. Sheehan’s attorney said she felt “bullied” into the deal by First Selectman Morgan, and was engaging in “political discourse, which is her right.” A state judge will settle the dispute.