Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Feel the love

I just spoke to John Welch about an exchange that took place between him and fellow councilor Andy Upham after a recent council workshop. The meeting had included discussions of the town budget and the role of Mitch Berkowitz, two subjects on which Welch and Upham disagree.

According to Welch, he was about to head down the ramp at Stimson Hall following adjournment when he was unexpectedly confronted by a visibly angry and agitated Upham, who got within 8 inches of Welch's face and began yelling at him without pause. Among other things, Upham called Welch a "turd-stirrer", "chicken" and accused him of "running away from things". Welch responded by telling Upham "You don't know what the facts are" and "You're a bully."

Accompanying Upham were council chairman Gary Foster and Monument editor Elizabeth Prata. Foster reportedly said nothing during Upham's outburst, while Prata told Welch "You should be ashamed". Upham's final words to John were "Don't bother coming to any more council meetings. Stay away." The incident apparently ended there.

At an earlier council meeting, Welch also remembers Upham telling him that "if you don't stop asking questions you're really going to piss me off."

Finally, Welch described an exchange between him and Upham that occurred at the dump this past weekened. As Welch was helping with Earth Day recycling efforts, Upham (who was at the facility campaigning against recall) approached him and said "I'm glad to see you've found something you can handle." John reponded by wishing Andy a good morning.