SB Leaders Caught Covertly Communicating in Meeting

3/25/21 Selectboard Meeting

by Irene Wrenner

April 16, 2021

A public records request has revealed disparaging electronic comments made by elected officials about their peers and audience members, while the Selectboard met on March 25th. [Haney made other comments here.]

 

Elaine Haney, who lost her re-election bid to Tracey Delphia several weeks before, was chairing her last meeting that night. 

 

The public was weighing in on Merger and Separation after the March 2nd election and before the April 13th re-vote. Haney often glanced down, as if looking at a personal device. 

 

Haney’s apparent inattentiveness during the meeting led to the filing of a public records request.

 

That inquiry revealed that Haney described constituents who spoke at the meeting as “assholes on parade” in her message thread with Vice Chair Pat Murray.  

 

Referring to Merger opponents’ comments, Haney messaged, “They’re panicking”, followed by “I’m enjoying this.” She continued, “Let’s talk more about what a corner the TOV is in.”

Captured below are the electronic comments between Haney and Murray.

Key:

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SB Chair Haney and Vice Chair Murray text each other while the Town Manager speaks at 7:41 pm

When Ken Signorello referenced Haney’s derogatory comment from November 16th -- “very back-of-the-napkin” -- Haney messaged Murray, “I never said that / someone else said that”.

 

Murray, re-elected Vice Chair on April 5th, made comments about meeting attendees, as well as fellow SB member and soon-to-be Chair, Andy Watts. After a technology glitch, Murray indicated he might have filled the dead air himself: “I totally could have gone on and on about Andy though <wink emoji>.”

 

As Former 8-1 State House Representative Betsy Dunn spoke, Murray messaged Haney: “You need to go out with a bang. Tell her to f-off.”

 

Referring to the Village’s advisory vote on Separation, Murray messaged Haney about an earlier conversation with SB Clerk Vince Franco. “Vince and I talked last night and said we needed to keep going on with this point. Prep the Town for pain.”

 

Tracey Delphia pondered aloud about providing input as a public member on information she received as a recently-elected SB member. Haney messaged Murray “another ethics person.” Responded Murray: “Convenience ethics.”

 

Referring to Ken Signorello, who had spoken earlier, Murray: “Oh look. His hand is up to apologize. Ken’s an ass.”