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Bickering Monterey officials agree to restrict their contacts to emails

By Hannah Shirley

MONTEREY — Months of simmering tensions boiled over at the most recent  select board meeting, where two town officials agreed to limit their communications to email and meetings.

The Jan. 10 meeting was called when Select Board member Don Coburn, who was elected to the board in May, filed a complaint against Melissa Noe, the town’s administrative assistant for 16 years.

Coburn’s complaint came after Noe filed a complaint with the Monterey Police Department alleging Coburn threw an audio recorder at her in her office on Jan. 7.

This is the third complaint against Coburn since he began working at Town Hall, and Select Board member Ken Basler said it has gotten to the point where many Town Hall employees are afraid of Coburn’s next outburst.

“I respectfully ask, how do I go on?” Noe said. “I don’t want to be alone in Town Hall with Don — there are times when he comes in that that may happen. Please tell me how to proceed so we don’t have to keep having these hearings.”

Coburn disputed Noe’s version of events, but agreed it began when he entered her office at approximately 11 a.m. Jan. 7 to listen to the audio recording of the Jan. 3 select board meeting. He also agreed that he became annoyed when she told him she had deleted the recording after sending out the minutes.

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