Dec. 10, 2014. Dear Editor,
Jesse Wood’s recent article concerning the resignation of Sam Furgiuele as town attorney also mentioned Gregg Young’s simultaneous departure on Dec. 31 of this year.
Ironically, the “toxic political climate” Furgiuele referred to hardly existed until he was ushered in as town attorney. Most will recall that Sam took on the role of an unelected council member promoting the agenda of local political activists. His flawed legal counsel and political activism caused much of the toxic political climate of which he speaks. Maybe the Town of Boone can now return to a five member Town Council and the new Town Attorney will limit his role to what the law intended. Influencing town policy or acting as a trial attorney at town meetings and advocating, as instructed, for or against issues important to special interest groups or individuals is not part of the Town Attorney’s job description.
Sam was quoted as saying, “I guess I learned about one percent of the law I know in law school. I learned about 10 percent in the first 25 years of practice and the rest I learned from Greg Young.” – “the rest” would be 89 percent! While most would agree with Sam’s admitted minimal knowledge of the law, it’s sad for anyone to confess that, after 25 years of practice, he had learned so little (11 percent).
Many agree that Greg Young was ill-equipped for the position of Town Manager. Sam’s reliance on someone like Greg to teach him the other 89 percent of the law is comical until you realize that the taxpayers footed the bill for both men’s on-the-job training! In light of Sam’s admissions, the town should demand a refund of 89 percent of the hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars Sam has been paid over the past 13 years.
A lot of the blame for the “toxic political climate” Sam referred to must be assigned to Greg Young. His atrocious business judgment, repeated failure to consider opposing viewpoints and his failure to stand tall for the best interest of the town were of concern to many over the years. He often caved into political pressure and remained silent when strong leadership was desperately needed!
On a more positive note, the day Sam Furgiuele and Greg Young retire will be a great day for Boone. A going away party will be well-received by many town residents.