Chided officials fire back at LauzonSeptember 26,2012
By David Delcore
BARRE — The chairwoman of the Spaulding High School Board and the chairman of the Barre Town Select Board crashed this week’s City Council meeting to publicly blast Mayor Thomas Lauzon for having publicly blasted them last week.
The exchange began as something of a lecture from Spaulding Chairwoman Norma Malone and briefly morphed into a debate between her and Lauzon that was followed by what one councilor characterized as an unproductive “inquisition,” then devolved into finger-pointing between Lauzon and Select Board Chairman Jeff Blow.
It all lasted about 30 minutes, included an apology from Lauzon and was awfully uncomfortable from start to finish.
The source of the controversy Tuesday was comments Lauzon made last week after Malone and Blow had rejected the mayor’s request for a joint meeting to discuss the potential for financing long-lingering plans to light the high school football field.
Lauzon ripped both Malone and Blow last week for displaying a “lack of vision and leadership” by opting not to have the conversation that he said he suggested to advance an “important community project.” Lauzon’s invitation came on the heels of the council’s recent offer to cover half the cost of the $180,000 lighting project using some of the money that Barre businessman Charlie Semprebon left the city at his death in 2009.
However, Malone and Blow said Lauzon crossed the line last week.
“You may disagree with my decision, but personal attacks are uncalled for,” Malone told the mayor. “I believe an apology is in order for denigrating members of the high school board and its leadership.”
Blow was even more pointed.
“I was thoroughly disgusted to say the least because I think it’s reprehensible to publicly demean an elected official in a neighboring community,” he said, “especially one that has ties as close to Barre City as Barre Town does.”
Blow went further, blaming Lauzon’s cavalier attitude for fueling the frequently fractious nature of relations between the city and the town.
“If you want to know why the Select Board for the town of Barre doesn’t want to do business with the city of Barre, it’s because we’re tired of picking up the newspaper … and seeing and hearing comments like what I heard last Tuesday,” he said.
Lauzon did offer an apology, though he stopped well short of taking back what he said.
For the complete story, see Thursday's Times Argus.MORE IN This Just In
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