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Vernon Board Nixes Complaints About Select Board Chair

Susan Keese
Some disgruntled Vernon citizens hoped to air complaints at Monday night's select board meeting.

More than 40 Vernon residents turned out for their town select board meeting Monday. Many said they’d come to air frustrations with the board and with the leadership of Select Board Chairwoman Patty O’Donnell. Their efforts were stymied when board members declared that public participation at the meeting was limited by law to issues on the agenda.

O’Donnell, a former state legislator, is under investigation for allegedly trying to intervene in a friend’s drunk driving arrest. Since the allegations became public disgruntled residents like Sue Cobb have been showing up at meetings.

"The select board is out of control," Cobb claims. "It's made up of people who overreach their power. They have conflicts and they don’t care. They do what they want to do."

O’Donnell says not everyone feels that way.

"We have heard from many people in this town that enough is enough," she said at the meeting. "There's a ton of business that needs to get done for this town. We can’t get our work done if we’re constantly spinning our wheels and discussing old issues."

O’Donnell is in the middle of a three-year term and says she doesn’t intend to step down.