North Yarmouth’s town manager for the past seven years, Rosemary Roy, has been on paid medical leave since after an April 12 Select Board meeting where she and husband lashed out at members of the public and she said she “was going to take this town to court.”

The reason for Roy’s leave is unknown as is when she will return to her duties.

Roy is using accrued sick time for the leave, according to Assistant Town Manager and City Clerk Debbie Grover, who is now acting town manager. Grover would not comment further on Roy’s absence, and Select Board Chairman Steven Berry said he could not comment because it was a personnel matter.  Attempts to reach Roy, whose salary is $76,549 a year with a contract valid until 2022, were unsuccessful.

Roy

Roy has been on leave since after an April 12 Select Board meeting where she and her husband, Daniel P. Roy, angrily confronted members of the public and board members after they questioned the appropriateness of her request for an executive session. Roy also yelled at the meeting that she was “going to take this town to court.”

“I’m quite glad that Rosemary’s gone,” said former Selectman Paul Napolitano. “There was so much hate and discontent in that office.” Napolitano resigned from the board in October after being elected in March 2020. Before that he had served on the board from 2006-2015 and a one-year term from 2016-2017.

Napolitano is part of an informal town watchdog group that includes Linc Merrill, a former Select Board chairman and Planning Board member and June 8 candidate for the budget committee, and Bill Young, also a candidate for budget committee, who was fired in 2014 as deputy fire and rescue chief. Among the men’s concerns with town government, they say, is a lack of transparency on its intentions for development since an update to the comprehensive plan in 2018.

Grover

Napolitano, Merrill and Young attended the April 12 Select Board meeting, which can be seen on a video posted on the town’s website, and Napolitano and Merrill say they were on the receiving end of threats by the Roys at the meeting. The confrontation begins around two hours and 11 minutes into the video.

Young, who was not in the meeting room during the confrontations, said he heard the commotion from another room.

“I just thought it was very unprofessional,” Young said in an interview. “I never have trusted her, and I don’t agree with the way she’s been managing the town.” He and the town reached a settlement in his firing, which he said prevents him from speaking about that case.

Berry

Before being hired in North Yarmouth in 2014, Roy was town manager in Poland. Poland selectmen in October 2013 voted unanimously to place Roy on administrative leave with pay, pending a contract status review. She spent the last four months of her contract in that town on paid leave, and her contract was not renewed.

Early in the April 12 North Yarmouth Select Board meeting, Roy got upset, Young said, when he questioned the use of tax increment financing funds. Young said his comments provoked Roy, who he said took them as a  personal attack on her integrity. Roy apologized at the meeting for her “earlier comments,” but did not specifically say what what she was apologizing for.

Napolitano

Later in the meeting, as seen on the town’s video, Roy made the request for an executive session to discuss what she said was a personnel matter, and Selectman David Reed made a motion to do so. Executive sessions are not open to the public.

When Berry, the chairman, announced the board would be going into executive session and that members of the public needed to clear the room, Merrill objected. “You have to do it legally,” Merrill said. “You have to take a vote.”

A Maine statute outlines the protocol for an executive session, including a formal vote by three-fifths of the council and a specific reason stated for the session.

Merrill left the room with the rest of the audience except for Napolitano. Reed said his motion needed to be moved, and Berry seconded it. Napolitano walked up to board members to discuss, he said, the proper way to move into executive session under state law. As he was returning to his seat, Roy said something to him that is unclear on the video at first, but ends with “if you don’t knock it off.” Napolitano said in a later interview with The Forecaster that he couldn’t hear the earlier part of Roy’s statement.

Merrill

At the same time, the board was arguing over protocol to formally enter an executive session and Berry slammed down his gavel. Roy then said loudly, “Where is my husband? Because I’m not going to tolerate that!” It was not clear from the video what specifically she was referring to.

Roy left the room and returned with her husband. “I am tired of seven years of your bullying,” she yelled at Napolitano, and her husband is seen waving his finger in front of Napolitano’s face.

“I thought he was going to hit me,” Napolitano said later.

Vice Chairperson James Moulton asked who the man was with Roy, and Roy told him it was her husband, adding “you’ll be next with your lying.”  Berry moved to adjourn the meeting, and Roy yelled, “I’m going to take this town to court!”  Her husband yelled at Moulton, “All I hear at my house at night is how much trouble you’ve caused!” Moulton did not respond to a Forecaster request for comment.

Moulton

Someone off camera announced, “We need to clear the room,” but Selectman Reed replied, “We’re in the middle of a motion,” referring to the request for an executive session.

Roy turned to Merrill, who had since returned to his seat, saying, “What are you going to do, Linc? Post that on Facebook? You got nothing better to do?” Merrill later said in an interview that he doesn’t have a Facebook account.

Official minutes from the April 12 meeting do not record the arguments about the executive session or Roy’s or her husband’s comments related to it. The minutes also say no action was taken on Roy’s request for executive session. Minutes from the May 4 Select Board meeting record  Berry saying the April 12 meeting was adjourned in the middle of that motion because “the circumstances were unsafe.”

The town attorney, Matt Tarasevich, and the Select Board met in an executive session April 20 “to discuss the legal rights and duties of the Select Board,” according to minutes.

Grover was named interim town manager at a May 4 Select Board meeting.

Attached to the minutes from the May 4 meeting is a a letter from Merrill about the April 12  meeting. “Before the meeting was adjourned there were several incidents that need to be recorded both for accuracy of what took place in the meeting and the events that impacted members of the Board and the public,” he wrote. The letter then outlines the confrontations.

“Personally, at least twice during the meeting that I am aware of, the Town Manager threatened to take me to court,” Merrill said in the letter.

North Yarmouth will hold its annual town meeting on June 19, which was rescheduled from April 24.

Comments are not available on this story.