April 02, 2020

`Harassment’ notice issued to Hermon planner

HERMON — A local developer has issued a harassment notice to planning board member Mike Phinney, saying the planner has “crossed the line” in his opposition to residential construction and development in Hermon.

Lee Cliff of H.E. Cliff and Sons, which served Phinney with the notice from the company’s attorney Dec. 31, said last week that Phinney’s “efforts to obstruct our development projects have extended beyond his influence on the planning board and have become personal.”

Phinney said the notice is effective for one year and that it orders him “not to engage in any course of conduct with the intent to harass, torment or threaten” the Cliffs. Attached to the notice is a letter stipulating that Phinney is not to “enter upon” property owned by the Cliffs.

Cliff, who hopes the Town Council “will investigate [Phinney’s] conduct and take appropriate action,” said, “Many other applicants at the planning board meetings have had similar conflicts” with Phinney.

In fact, in 1996 Bangor contractor Sonny Higgins issued Phinney a “peace bond” which warned him to “stay off our property.”

Higgins said Tuesday that Phinney had sent him letters asking about inspections and had thrown barriers in the way of a subdivision he had proposed, but that “ever since [the peace bond was issued], there have been no problems.”

His subdivision has been approved and is under construction, he said.

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