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Newhouse: MacDonald's Voice No Longer Welcome at Meetings

Chairman Mike Newhouse had strong words for Kevin MacDonald as he told the vocal resident that he will no longer be recognized to speak at future meetings.

The longest Board of Selectmen meeting in recent years was also among the most heated, as board members fired back at arguably their harshest critic on Monday night.

Chairman Mike Newhouse sparked a heated exchange with Kevin MacDonald when he told MacDonald that he will no longer be recognized and allowed to speak at selectmen meetings. Newhouse told MacDonald that would happen when he ruled him out of order multiple times at the last selectmen meeting, and said he will follow through on not recognizing MacDonald until it is legally necessary at a public hearing.

Newhouse said he made the decision because he believes confrontations with MacDonald could escalate to the point where it could become more than a verbal altercation.

“Your bizarre and confrontational behavior has escalated, and at some point I recognized the road we are going down here,” said Newhouse. “As a public servant, I am not going to have it on me and my conscience if ultimately something happens where a situation in this room escalates. And by a situation, sir, I am referring to you. I am not going to risk that.”

MacDonald continued to speak to Newhouse during the exchange, pointing out what he believed was an unnecessary step of having three police officers in the room during the meeting.

“You continuously interrupt, you’re confrontational, you make faces to the board during meetings,” said Newhouse. “I am making a judgment call.”

When MacDonald responded adversely to the prospect of not being recognized at future meetings, Newhouse told him he had already reached his decision.

“It’s a bad decision,” said MacDonald. “I hope the voters recognize that when you are up for election.”

While Newhouse did follow through on his promise not to recognize MacDonald during the meeting discussion that followed, it didn’t stop the town’s most vocal resident from attempting to get his point across.

During debate about the high school appeals, MacDonald scribbled down questions for selectmen on the back of a packet of paper he had, holding it up from his front row seat as board members spoke.

“We’ve been biting our tongue for a while,” said selectman Lou Cimaglia. “I would never say any resident can’t use a process within its laws. But to be the head of a group appealing this project and be such an irrelevant, immature, little man that acts like you do by interrupting and making faces at the board when we’re talking about real money, it’s embarrassing.”

The Board of Selectmen is next scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 28.

G Bizzle January 17, 2013 at 02:53 PM
Norman Bates?
Kevin MacDonald January 17, 2013 at 02:55 PM
A challenge to your pathetic leadership of allowing a 240% increase in spending for window designer services is not unruly or disruptive to town business. It may be disruptive to your unearned respectability and political agenda. The Town should know that the Shawsheen School designer services were reported to cost $84,000 and the designer services for the North Intermediate is $207,000 for the same size school. MASSIVE INCOMPETENCE on the part of the SELECTMEN, the MANAGER, and especially the CHAIRMAN, would have them wanting to hide it by silencing someone outing them.
G Bizzle January 17, 2013 at 03:03 PM
You have made your voice heard. Your poor presentation of your position resulted in you becoming the Town laughing stock. The fact that you can’t let it go is a sad testament to your character. Your reasoning is flawed, and you are too ignorant to recognize that. Thankfully those who are responsible for the operation of this Town have silenced your ridiculous rants to allow for actual progress to be made. Run for office if you want to institute change from the existing direction of the town. You will need more than one vote though, and with your tarnished name, I don’t think you would be elected to Septic Tank Inspector. Go do something productive…stop embarrassing yourself.
G Bizzle January 17, 2013 at 03:27 PM
I think that going forward, those that do not have a basic understanding of M.G.L. c.149A, should stop questioning the process. To think that there is some kind of widespread corruption under the regulations dealing with this type of project, is a tad bit crazy.
Hermine Schima Basso January 24, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Kevin is someone's son, brother, nephew, cousin, friend. If you don't agree with his politics, then do some research and present an intelligent argument for debate. Getting personal is ugly, hurtful and usually a tactic for one who has run out of fact-based, educated arguments to present.

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