How the Selectmen Waste Your Money

The selectmen are redacting public information from government records that they have provided to me as the result of a Right to Know request I made for emails between town employees and the town’s IT vendor, Tom Albert of Computer Port, Inc, in North Conway.

In the attached email, the selectmen have redacted the name server for tuftonboro.org.

If you don’t know what a name server is, don’t worry about it. The short version is that when you type “tuftonboro.org” into the address bar of your browser and hit enter, the browser uses the name server to determine the IP address of the web site. If you don’t know what an IP address is, you can think of it as the website’s phone number. In this analogy, “tuftonboro.org” is your friend’s name, the name server is the phone book, and the IP address is the phone number.

The point is, the name server is public — it’s not confidential. There are many tools for looking up a website’s name servers, but to provide just one example you can look up the name servers for Tuftonboro.org right here. (Having two name servers is normal.) The name servers for tuftonboro.org are:

NS1.OXFORDNETWORKS.NET
NS2.OXFORDNETWORKS.NET

Again, this is not secret information. The name servers for this site, tuftonboro.net, are:
ROB.NS.CLOUDFLARE.COM
ROSA.NS.CLOUDFLARE.COM

So why are the selectmen wasting your tax money redacting publicly available information?

The selectmen have spent about $20,000 over the past year attempting to make it harder for the public to know what they’re doing. They filed a lawsuit against Bob McWhirter and me, which they lost, because they wanted to charge us 25 cents per page to inspect government records, even though the law states clearly that “no fee shall be charged for the inspection or delivery, without copying, of governmental records, whether in paper, electronic, or other form.”

Having spent so much of your tax money on their lawsuit, they don’t want to admit that they were wrong, I believe. Thus, they do absurd things like redact Bob McWhirter’s telephone number and mailing address from emails that they provided to Bob McWhirter himself.

The selectmen paid their attorney, Richard Sager, $175 an hour to keep Bob’s email address, telephone number, and mailing address from Bob. One wonders, what they thought would be the consequences of informing Bob what his own phone number is. Perhaps they thought he would do something foolish, like give it out. They surely didn’t want to be responsible for that. People he had given his number to as a result of the town’s actions might then call him!

Published in Board of Selectmen
Max Ledoux

Author: Max Ledoux

I've lived in Tuftonboro since 2014. I grew up in Lisbon Falls, Maine (the Moxie capital of the world). I run tuftonboro.net. If you'd like your own blog here, click the "Get Free Blog" link in the menu at the top of the page. Everyone is welcome to write about anything they like.

16 thoughts on “How the Selectmen Waste Your Money”

  1. You ALL need to grow up, this includes you Max and the Selectmen. The only person making out here is Sager and we the taxpayers get screwed. Please stop this madness.

  2. Who ever Rick is, how the hell can he possibility think that Max is responsible for the current selectmen’s actions. Max this stuff is so funny! Keep going Keep going!

  3. Rick, are you saying it’s childish to look at and review emails and other public documents that the selectmen produce in the course of their work for the town? It would be great if the selectmen proactively made public documents readily accessible to the public — perhaps upload them to the town website on a regular basis, such as every month, or every few months. I’d be interested in seeing contracts, invoices, email exchanges etc. — not because I think the selectmen are untrustworthy but just to see the details of how our money is being spent. The details matter, and the default option should be transparency.

  4. No quarter asked, no quarter given! No surrender until the corruption is exposed and elimiated. In Tuftoboro, in Concord, in D.C.

  5. Skip, remember this could have all been resolved in December of 2016 and 20+K saved if not for ego’s.

  6. No Molly that is not what I am saying. What I am saying is this whole 20+K mess could have been avoided in December of 2016 if not for someone’s ego.

  7. Seeing as our town government has been less than forthcoming in in obeying the law of the land I believe the 20k+ is well spent. Had the selectmen honored the perfectly legal requests initially we would not have incurred these costs. If we do not have a transparent and open government then we don’t have a democracy. The obvious collusion between the town attorney and select board is obvious. He should have been replaced after the property auction debacle. He, our attorney, was either unaware of the law or thought he was above it. Time for a more competent and conscientious town solicitor. One willing to advise and moderate rather than litigate against residents. Max and Bob are holding our leaders accountable. Thank you men for a job well done.

  8. There are two ways that this could have been resolved in December 2016:

    1. The selectmen could have complied with the law (RSA 91-A) and provided us with the records that we requested, instead of suing us.

    2. When they sued us, we could have shown up in court (three days before Christmas) without an attorney and without mounting any type of defense we could have capitulated to their demands.

    It is not “ego” to defend oneself in court.

  9. It most certainly is/was ego. Had you and Bob worked with the Selectmen this could have been resolved without lawsuits and court etc… You will never admit to that Max. and that is troubling. Once again I do appreciate you being a watchdog however remember this, you will catch more bees with honey vs: vinegar and accomplish much more in the end. Take care.

  10. Max, the following are your words.

    “The amount the selectmen tried to charge me to inspect documents was $6.50. They have spent nearly 3,000* times more than that so far on this lawsuit.”

    You should have paid the $6.50 even though it was illegal to charge you that but NO, your ego and I gotcha attitude cost us over 20K. Those are the facts folks.

  11. To avoid a 20K plus burden on the taxpayers of Tuftonboro. You could have worked this out with the Selectmen however you chose not to due to your ego and your I gotcha attitude.

  12. The $20,000 is a result of the lawsuit. I am not responsible for the selectmen suing me. They decided to file a lawsuit. They are responsible for the costs associated with that lawsuit. It’s too bad that you have accepted Rick Sager’s outrageous smear against Bob and me that we are responsible for the Selectmen’s wasteful spending.

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