The Maine Education Association’s recent assault on Gorham’s Town Council while representing Janet Kuech in her lawsuit against the town is disgraceful. The MEA’s lawyer, Jonathan Goodman, stated “instead of respecting the town voters and the rule of law, these town councilors have doubled down in their lawlessness.” Likewise, MEA President Grace Leavitt said, “We cannot sit idly by and watch someone try and steal an election away from an educator … ” While I don’t always agree with the council’s decisions, I respect them and believe they are looking out for the town’s best interests. Our councilors are conscientious managers of the taxpayers’ money and the town’s charter, and they did so here.

This case was brought by a town employee who was informed at the outset that there was a town charter that prohibited her from being seated if she continued to work as a town employee. This had been the rule for over 50 years, and the council voted not to seat her in accordance with the charter’s provisions and past precedent. This is not “lawlessness,” and our council didn’t “steal” anything. One wonders if this name calling is the sentiment of all the members of the MEA, even those that teach in our very own town.

While I would have fought this case to the bitter end, I accept that the council decided to seat her in order to end the litigation and get on with the town’s business, particularly where the MEA decided to pay for her lawsuit. I encourage you to read the lawsuit and MEA comments, which you can find at maineea.org/news/lawsuit-filed-against-town-of-gorham-on-behalf-of-ed-tech-elected-into-office.

Ms. Kuech was seated with legal restrictions that she cannot vote on issues involving the School Department. But what happens when another town employee runs for office? Are you willing to have town employees on the council voting for their best interest? Anyone can say they are unbiased and objective, until they aren’t.

Linda Pearson
Gorham