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Piscataquis County Commissioners sign controversial COVID-19 resolution, limit public discussion

A group of people are now calling on the commissioners to resign.
Piscataquis County Commissioners
Piscataquis County Commissioners(WABI)
Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 6:14 PM EST
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DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine (WABI) - Piscataquis County Commissioners signed a controversial resolution Tuesday that objects to Governor Mills’ COVID-19 guidelines.

A group of people are now calling on the commissioners to resign.

A Bangor lawyer says the commissioners could be in violation of the Maine Freedom of Access Act.

“My intent going into the meeting this morning was to share the petition and hopefully get a chance to speak, and when I saw that basically they set up the zoom link simply to ignore us, I was rather upset,” said Dover-Foxcroft resident Bobby Keniston.

Several people in Piscataquis County are calling on commissioners to resign after Tuesday’s meeting.

The commissioners signed a controversial resolution after silencing meeting participants on zoom.

A participant on Zoom asked if Commissioner James White would select one of the members with their hand raised to be recognized, and he replied, “No, I will not. You will not run this meeting.”

The resolution demands Governor Mills’ lift COVID-19 mandates and asks the legislature to reconvene.

“It is our desire that all of the science be heard, and it is our desire that the Governor opens the legislature,” White said.

Over one hundred people joined the commissioner’s meeting via zoom with several others attending in person.

The portion of the meeting about the resolution was not listed on the agenda for Tuesday.

Bangor Lawyer Bernard Kubetz says this could violate Maine’s open government laws.

“It’s still a requirement that notice be given that an opportunity to participate be given to members of the public,” said Kubetz.

Dover-Foxcroft resident Bobby Keniston says he has over 600 signatures on a petition that asked commissioners not to sign the resolution.

He says it does not represent Piscataquis County in a positive light.

“I felt like they were silencing a lot of good people who came on in good faith with the idea that they’d be able to have their voices heard to elected officials,” Keniston said.

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