TOWN OF DUNBARTON
Minutes of the Hearing in Terragni case
Minutes of meetings are subject to final approval at the next scheduled meeting
Nick called the meeting to order at 7:30.
Committee members Present: Gayle Troy, Gary Maccubbin, Nick Holmes,
and Brigitte Cook.
Also present: Complainants: Josh and Lynda Gagne, Respondent: Tim
Terragni and the following witnesses: Ken Swayze, Brian Little, Harlan
A few members of the public were also present.
I. Preliminary review of Hearing
A. The committee was introduced and all parties were
B. Recording devices are allowed and must be visible and
disclosed but both parties stated that they did not intend to
record the hearing.
C. There was a verbal reading of the three complaints.
1. Complaint #1 2005
2. Complaint #2 2004
3. Complaint #3 Slander
D. There was a verbal reading of Section I.H., Fair and
Equal Treatment, of the Dunbarton Code of Ethics.
E. There was quick review of the proceedings to date,
specifically the Ethics meeting on 10/27/05 and the Prehearing
Conference on 11/8/05.
F. The procedure for the hearing was stated based on the
document entitled “Rules Regarding the Conduct of Hearing”
and these rules were provided to both parties.
G. It was confirmed with both parties that all their witnesses
were present. An E-mail message was passed out to both
parties. The E-mail message was from John Herlihy, one of
the witnesses for the Gagnes who could not attend tonight’s
hearing because of a prior commitment in his official capacity
as a school board member.
H. Without further questions from the parties the Hearing
A. Opening statements were heard from both parties.
1. Josh and Lynda. Gagne both spoke and handed out
a folder containing information about their home.
2. Mr. Terragni spoke briefly and also handed out
information about himself and the Gagnes.
III. Complainants started by calling witnesses.
A. Josh Gagne was sworn in and stated that he lives at 171
Stark Highway South, Dunbarton.
1. Josh discussed the series of events that has lead to
this Ethics complaint. He primarily stated that there was
breach of a verbal agreement not to reassess his home
until the town wide assessment. He also felt that town
personal personnel were mislead about the Gagnes not
having the appropriate permits and the Gagnes not giving
assess access to their home for inspection. Josh
alleged that Mr. Terragni used his position on the Board
of Assessors to break the verbal agreement and give out
incorrect information to other town personal personnel. B. Linda Gagne was sworn in and stated that she lived at
171 Stark Highway South, Dunbarton.
1. Linda discussed her experience with Mr. Noyes and
Mr. Swayze. Linda expressed the opinion that Mr.
Terragni sent Mr. Noyes and Mr. Swazey to her home
unfairly and with false information. C. Brian Little was sworn in and stated that he lived at 51
Stark Highway North, Dunbarton.
1. Brian was a member of the Board of Assessors
when the Gagnes assessment was discussed. Brian
spoke in favor of the Gagnes home assessment being too
high and recalls calling the Gagnes to tell them of the
verbal agreement not to reassess their home until the
town wide assessment. This verbal agreement was
agreed upon with all three members of the Board of
Assessors at that time.
2. Brian stated that there was tension between the
Gagnes and Mr. Terragni during Board of Assessor
3. Brain Brian stated that he did not normally, as a
member of the Board of Assessors, go out to inspect
homes but he did go out to the Gagne’s home for a walk
D. Harlan “Bud” Noyes was sworn in and stated that he lived at 85 Stark Highway North.
1. Bud stated that he has been a Certified State
Appraiser for 25 years and the Board of Assessors sent
him to the Gagne’s property in 2005. He stated that what
he did was called a “pick-up” and the purpose is to
reassess a house after improvements have been made.
This “pick-up” was not unusual or different from other
“pick-ups” and Bud stated that he was not sent by Mr.
Terragni but the Board of Assessors.
E. Ken Swazey was sworn in and stated that he lived at 105
Grapevine Road, Dunbarton.
th1. Ken stated that on July 29 2005, at 9AM he
received a call from Line Cormone. Line is an
administrative assistant for the building inspector and
also works for the Board of Assessors. Line relayed a
message to Ken to inspect at the Gagne residence
because of activity at the house. Ken stated that he
could not go to the house because of other commitments.
He then received two more calls both communicating
urgency in catching the work in progress.
2. Ken was able to get to the house around 11:15 and
met with Mrs. Gagne. All permits were in order.
3. Ken did not know if Mr. Terragni was responsible
for all three calls.
4. Ken stated that it is very common for him to get
urgent calls similar to this and over half of them are false.
IV. Respondent called witnesses
A. Tim Terragni was sworn in and stated that he lives at 66
Long Pond Road, Dunbarton.
1. Tim read a prepared statement that outlined his
involvement in the town of Dunbarton. He has served on
the Board of Assessors for 12 years.
2. He did want the Gagnes house reevaluated
because it had been so long time since the verbal
agreement (the town wide reevaluation was taking longer
than anticipated) and other Dunbarton residents were
being reevaluated because they did home improvements.
3. Tim stated that when he drove by the house on July
29, 2005 the backhoe was on the left side of the house
(opposite the driveway) and he was concerned that work
was being done. When asked why he did not call the
Gagnes to ask about the backhoe he replied that he
4. When asked why the Board of Assessors did not
respond to the letter sent by the Gagnes, Tim stated that
the Board did not respond to all letters that they receive.
(During all of the above testimonies all of the Parties, along with the Ethics
Committee members, were able to cross-examine witnesses)
V. Josh and Lynda Gagne chose to not go forward with
the Herlihy information.
VI. Closing arguments
A. Mr. Gagne reviewed the facts that the verbal agreement
was broken and the building inspector was sent to the house
under false information.
B. Mr. Terragni spoke to the fact that the Board of Assessors
is not a pleasant Board to work on. And that “you should hear
the phone calls I get”. Mr. Terragni stated that this most recent
reevaluation was the most objective assessment ever done.
A. Nick thanked everybody and moved to go into
deliberations. Gary seconded this. All agreed. The
deliberations were open to the public but no public comments
B. Nick moved to dismiss the section of the complaint which
alleged that Mr. Terragni made slanderous statements because
no evidence had been introduced in support of this allegation.
Gary seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
C. After deliberating on the remaining allegations, the
committee concluded that the Complainants had failed to prove
by clear and convincing evidence that Mr. Terragni had violated
the Dunbarton Code of Ethics. The committee’s decision was
unanimous. The committee will issue a written decision.
VIII. Other Matters
A. The committee decided to hold its next regular meeting in
January 2006. The committee will schedule a meeting in
December only if a new matter arises or if a citizen requests an
opportunity to meet with the committee.
IX. Meeting was adjourned at 10:12pm
For the Ethics Committee