Georgetown BOS Fail to Depose Bancroft

Tuesday April 30, 2024

GEORGETOWN – In one of the most contentious and confusing hearings, the SelectBoard met in executive session last week to oust a fellow SelectBoard member Rachel Bancroft from her position as Vice Chair of the Conservation Commission.
But after an hour of hotly contested debate, the SelectBoard could not even agree on what the purpose of the meeting was. It went into the televised meeting with no resolution on removing Bancroft from her position as Vice Chair of the ConComm.
“What a messy meeting last night…,” wrote Bruce Fried, the Vice Chair of the town’s Planning Board and a candidate for next month’s SelectBoard election. The board had “No cause” and “No authority to ask her to step down as Vice Chair.”
A member of two town committees has petitioned the SelectBoard to remove Rachel Bancroft from her positions on the Conservation Commission and the Community Preservation Commission.
In a complaint of more than 1,300 words, Michael Donahue cited her lack of “professional competence” in making town decisions as the reason Bancroft should be removed.
“Some members of the BoS may think this is a complaint against her reputation and/or character rather than professional competence, (reference to MGL Chapter 30 a section 21); either way the BoS chooses to handle this, this really needs resolution,” he wrote.
This is the second SelectBoard member who has had a complaint filed against him or her. Last year, a group of more than 100 residents filed a petition, asking then chair Doug Dawes to step down as SelectBoard chair. The SelectBoard took no action.
Chair Amy Smith wrote to The Town Common that she has received Donahue’s complaint. “After consulting with town counsel, we are waiting for Ms. Bancroft to be available to meet with the town administrator, Conservation Commission Chair, and me,” Smith wrote.
Donahue accused Bancroft, the ConCom Vice Chair, of violating open meeting laws by talking with other ConCom members when the commission was not in session. He also accused her of filing “retaliatory” police reports against him and his friend Kevin Wood, who has filed a large number of requests against the town under the state Freedom of Information Act.
Donahue based much of his complaint against Bancroft on accusations of payroll fraud by a former staff member against the former town conservation agent Steve Przyjemski. The accusation, which Town Administrator Orlando Pacheco repeated to The Town Common, have been investigated by KP Law, the town attorneys, and dismissed.
The law firm investigation concluded that Przjemski, who resigned more than a year ago citing the toxic work environment at Town Hall, could not have committed fraud on his payroll timesheets because he was an exempt employee and was not required to report his time.
Bancroft, said Donahue’s complaint is based on “a false narrative.”

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