July 31--COLUMBIA FALLS, Maine -- The town office likely will be closed for the near future after the sudden resignations of the mother and daughter who were the town's office staff.
Treasurer Lenora Weaver and her daughter Nancy Bailey, town clerk, resigned in letters submitted to the Board of Selectmen last week. Their final day will be Friday. The resignations came to light at a board meeting earlier this week.
Bailey, who is the administrative assistant to the board and whose duties also include tax collector, registrar of voters and assistant treasurer, resigned in a two-paragraph letter that said she had been offered a job with benefits and insurance.
Weaver, however, offered a lengthy explanation for her departure, which she blamed on the recent formation of a new citizens' group dubbed Columbia Falls NOW.
The group, which Weaver blasted in her letter, will seek to promote honesty and transparency in the town's government, according to its chairman, Nancy Bagley.
Both Weaver and Bailey declined to comment Thursday on their resignations. Members of the Board of Selectmen did not respond to messages seeking comment.
In her resignation letter, Weaver wrote that after she learned about the formation of Columbia Falls NOW, she could "see that I am in for continued stress and harassment."
Her husband, doctor and attorney "have all recommended for months that I do not continue to work under these conditions," she wrote.
Earlier this year, some residents raised questions about a bank account over which Weaver had oversight. Machias Savings Bank officials had called to the attention of the selectmen two withdrawals made by Weaver.
She participated in an executive session meeting of the board when it apparently discussed information provided by the bank, but the board subsequently voted 2-1 on two occasions to lay the matter to rest and put it behind them.
"The facts, figures and auditor can defend my work," Weaver wrote in her resignation letter. "There has never been one cent unaccounted for."
She has suffered from personal attacks in local newspapers and online, she wrote, adding, "There is a difference between giving up and knowing you have had enough."
"The cluster of people that has harassed and hounded me for over eight years is merely regrouping and forming yet another committee to carry on the work and malice of the previous groups," she wrote. "I will concede and declare them the winners. ... Simply put: I'm done. They win. It's over."
She apologized, "if my resignation leaves the town in temporary upheaval but it has been in turmoil for several years now. But on the bright side -- according to a certain few, my resignation will surely bring instant peace and harmony to our little community."
Her term as treasurer would otherwise have expired in March 2016.
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