A petition backed by 71 signatures calling for the removal of Linda-Jean Briggs as town manager of Waldoboro was presented to the town’s board of selectmen Feb. 10.
Katherine Winchenbach, of Waldoboro, said she created and presented the petition to “discontinue the services” of Briggs.
Winchenbach, reached Feb. 11, said the petition effort started a few weeks ago after Town Clerk Linda Perry was moved to a desk just outside the town manager’s office, away from the desk she has used for years near the town office’s business window.
Winchenbach asked why Perry was moved, and said she hasn’t been given a reason.
“We’re all so very sad Linda, our town clerk, is being treated this way and we want to know why,” Winchenbach said.
Winchenbach’s understanding is Perry has been put on a 60-day probation period and was moved to the new desk so she could be monitored, which The Lincoln County News was unable to confirm with Perry or Briggs before press time.
Briggs did say it was clear the petition was an attempt to overturn her disciplinary action against a town office employee, but said she couldn’t talk about the details because it is a personnel issue.
“Obviously one side of the issue has gotten out, and has enraged some folks, but my side has not [gotten out] and my side will not [get out] because it’s confidential,” Briggs said.
According to Winchenbach, the petitioners are also concerned about the amount of hours Briggs spends at the town office, and her behavior in dealing with the select board and townspeople.
“It was our hope they would take this petition in great consideration as they talk about the town manager’s evaluation,” which was on the select board’s agenda that night, Winchenbach said.
According to Briggs, her evaluation in executive session was started Feb. 10 but not completed, and the board took no action following the session.
“The board has instructed me to contact a facilitator, at my recommendation, that will help them to go through the process of properly evaluating a town manager,” Briggs said.
Briggs said she had no response to the petition itself.
“As far as I’m concerned, there wasn’t one name on there that understands the dynamics of the job that I do, because there’s only one name on there who I’ve met with, or who has met with me,” Briggs said.
According to Selectman Chair Collamore, the board took no action on the petition.
Collamore said he has never seen a petition like this in his years as selectman, and will likely seek legal counsel on what to do with it.
“I don’t even know if it’s legal,” he said.
Briggs started in her position March 10, 2014.