By PAULA TRACY, InDepthNH.org
HOLDERNESS – The state’s Fish and Game Commission took a private vote in September to not support another term for Glenn Normandeau as director of the Department of Fish and Game, prompting an angry response from him at Wednesday’s meeting.
Normandeau accused the commission of being unprofessional, disrespectful and lying to him in the process at Wednesday’s meeting.
Normandeau, who has held the job for 12 years, said he was told the commission wanted to go “in another direction” by Gov. Chris Sununu.
“As someone who was on the commission, I have always respected everyone,” Normandeau said.
“However, I have to say that what went on last month, I found to be less than professional. In the past, and I was on two searches, my expectation would have been that I would have had an opportunity to hear from the commission what the issues were with me and an opportunity to respond to them,” Normandeau said.
Normandeau continued: “I am well aware these jobs have a shelf life and I have been fortunate to have been on a lot longer than others in the country, but I think I earned that. I think I earned that, not a lie,” Normandeau said, referring to the commissioners for not telling him about the vote.
“I also didn’t need to be told about this by the governor rather than you,” Normandeau told commissioners. The meeting was held at the Owl Brook Hunter Education Center in Holderness.
Chairman Robert “Moose” Phillipson of Cheshire County, said: “We were requested by the governor to not say anything to you until it was done. The actual decision was made between you and the governor.”
Normandeau said that was not the case, that the actual decision was made by the commission. Phillipson said that was not true, referring to a meeting between Sununu and Normandeau where an exit plan was allegedly discussed.
The minutes of the non-public meeting where the vote was taken to not support Normandeau for another term are sealed so the names of those who voted are not made public, Phillipson said.
One member of the public who attended the meeting said that such a big decision should be made public.
Kristina Snyder of Chester said, “I am pretty upset” with the decision to drop Normandeau, and she said the governor stacks the commission with people who are not connected to what is going on in the state.
The commissioners are Paul Debow of Grafton County, Bruce Temple of Sullivan County, Fred Bird of Strafford County, Paul McInnis, of the Seacoast, Christopher Hodgdon of Merrimack County, Christina Luppi of Rockingham County, David Patch of Carroll County, Eric Stohl of Coos County, Ray Green of Hillsborough County, and Marc LaChance of Belknap County and Robert Phillipson of Cheshire County, who is serving now as chairman.