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Charlestown’s Ring Seeks Return to Board

Charlestown — Former Selectman Doug Ring, who is embroiled in a legal fight with the town over a pool cover, has signed up to run again for the board.

The filing period opened Wednesday and concludes Friday. Incumbent Brenda Ferland has also filed.

Ring, who was defeated last March in his re-election bid, said he has been unfairly characterized by the town and Selectboard over the pool cover incident and wants an opportunity to speak directly to the voters.

“There is no reason why I shouldn’t sign up,” Ring said, adding that the pool cover incident is not how it has been portrayed by the town.

Ring is being sued by the town, which has alleged in court documents that he accepted a deposit of $6,000 in January 2012 to provide a pool cover valued at $9,000 for the town through his business Ringscape Pools and Spa.

The town says Ring, after cashing the check, never ordered the cover, even though he told the town he did.

The town is asking the court for triple the damages to include the deposit, legal fees and added maintenance costs because a different cover had to be ordered and was installed last fall after leaves and other debris got in the water.

Ring, who has yet to file a response in court, said the town severely hurt his business by going public last September with its allegations. Furthermore, he said the town’s version of what happened is full of inaccuracies.

“I have spoken to the supplier and they know I did order the cover,” said Ring, who is opening an office for his business in West Lebanon.

Ring thinks the board and town do not operate in an open and transparent fashion and will look to change that if elected.

“I will try to do what I did before, but before it was 2 against 1,” Ring said, referring to chairman Steve Neil and Ferland. “Now Arthur is there and he is more level-headed and opened minded so maybe after 20 years, the good old boy network will be gone.”

Ring said he is ready to meet the other Selectboard candidates face to face.

“I challenge Brenda, or anyone else running for selectman, to a public debate,” Ring said yesterday.

Ferland said last night said she is not interested in a debate.

“I feel to debate you have to have something to bring to a debate,” Ferland said. “Doug has nothing to bring. He spins the truth to his truth. So no, I would not debate him.”

Ferland was also critical of Ring’s performance when he was last on the board.

“He never attended outside meetings of town committees he was appointed to so he did not convey the wishes of those committees back to the selectboard and that caused a lot of problems,” Ferland said.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at ogrady56@yahoo.com.