Police & Fire

Milo official resigns after fallout from ‘illicit’ meeting

MILO — An elected official in Milo has resigned from the town’s Select Board as it tries to move forward from a March meeting that appeared to violate Maine’s public access law.

Stephanie Hurd, who joined the board in March 2023, resigned Thursday morning, May 2 Town Manager Robert Canney said. She shared the news in a Facebook post, where she wrote that the decision was effective immediately.

Hurd’s resignation comes less than a month after a group of residents initiated a process to remove the former chairperson from the Select Board, Donald Banker, following a March 7 meeting. Banker, Eric Foss and Susan Libby met for a half-hour in the “illicit” meeting, where they discussed “many inappropriate things,” said Paula Copeland, who was elected to the board and chosen as its chairperson on March 11, in a statement last month.

The Bangor Daily News obtained a video of the meeting through a records request. In the video, which shows the three board members in the town office lobby, they discuss the town manager’s performance and when to vote against renewing his contract, the police chief’s “whining” and the public works schedule.

Copeland said the meeting created distrust between Milo’s elected officials and the public. It also raised red flags for Carolyn Ball, a retired University of Southern Maine professor who taught courses about local government and is now a Select Board chairperson in Southwest Harbor.

Hurd, who did not participate in the meeting, wrote May 2 that she was surprised to be the “top voted-in candidate” when she ran for a seat on the board in 2022, and she hoped to make a difference in her town.

The fallout after the meeting was among the factors that led Hurd to resign, she told the Bangor Daily News on the afternoon of May 2. She did not watch the meeting, but its release hurt all of the stakeholders involved, she said. 

“It was hard to go into town without being questioned or someone asking me about things I was not a part of or wanted to discuss,” she said. “My sole purpose of being on the board was to create positive change and advocate for what is right. I didn’t feel at this point I was able to do that with everything in turmoil.”

Hurd did not cite the meeting in her resignation letter, but she referred to recent “spiraling events” and a shift in town that “has gone from strengthening the community to retaliation, resentment, hostility and division” as reasons for her resignation.

As May 2, there have been no other resignations of Select Board members in Milo, Canney said.

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