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DPW discussions continue as Goodspeed responds to outbursts

Goodspeed reviewed a recent snow removal incident where he "did not have a handle" on the duties of the Park's Department due to mandatory county budget meetings.

"To me, the man who deals with highways, trucks, and men such as the Highway Superintendent, is better equipped to serve in this capacity than I am," Goodspeed stated.

Following a heated exchange, including concerns over being paid as a salaried employee, Olden punctuated his remarks with two racial slurs that were immediately countered by Goodspeed.

"That's vile and it's racist," Goodspeed asserted.

The discussion regarding a DPW merger in relation to the Park's Department ended a short time later with Olden's sudden departure from the meeting.

In a subsequent letter to Olden obtained by The News Enterprise on Dec. 6 through the Freedom of Information Act, Goodspeed expressed his personal and professional "frustration and disappointment" in regards to Olden's behavior at the meeting and in the course of his work-day.

Speaking as an individual, a member of the Town Board, and as Supervisor, Goodspeed noted "several instances" before the Dec. 2 meeting where Olden's behavior was not appropriate as a Town employee.

"As if those prior outbursts were not enough I found your racial slur at the last Board meeting to be despicable," Goodspeed wrote.

According to Goodspeed, the Town Board would be taking an "unspecified action" against Olden in response to the comments.

In a later interview, fellow Board member Ron Vanselow voiced his support for the letter and expressed his belief that issues like this should be openly discussed and dealt with.

"There are times when you really need to make it clear what is acceptable and what is not," Vanselow said. "What people do in the privacy of their own home is entirely up to them but what people do when they are speaking as a Supervisory employee of the Town is another thing."

Repeated phone messages left with Olden were not returned by press time.

The next regular meeting of the Johnsburg Town Board will be Dec. 16, 7 p.m., in the Johnsburg Library.

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