Kent’s tenant refuses to sign paperwork

By Dawn De Busk
Staff Writer

NAPLES – It came as a surprise to the Naples Board of Selectmen that the Kent’s Landing tenant – who had been given a delay on his eviction — had decided not to put a pen to the paperwork he agreed to sign.

Instead, Kenneth Burnham has decided to hire a lawyer to argue his life-time occupancy on the parcel, Town Attorney Geoff Hole reported to the board on Monday.

Even though a Maine Superior Court judge had ruled otherwise, Burnham is trying to prove his case in court, Hole said.

“I thought this was all taken care of,” Chairman Dana Watson said.

The town purchased the Kent’s Landing parcel in late 2010 – once the process of settling the estate was completed. Earlier in the year, a Superior Court ruling determined Burnham was not the owner of the property, and an earlier deed would be honored in the estate of Helen Dingley.

In late January, the eviction paperwork was started; but because of the hardship of making the move in February, selectmen said it could wait until springtime.

During Monday’s meeting, Town Manager Derik Goodine said Burnham’s change-of-mind caught himself and the town attorney off guard.

Hole explained the flip-flop.

“Mr. Burnham on Monday (Feb. 28) agreed to May 1. When Derik and I went to court, he changed his mind,” he said.

“He said he is paying someone in Naples to look into this for him. Mr. Burnham is still pursuing that he has a life estate,” Hole said, adding there will be another legal meeting on April 13.

The judge told Burnham that if the mid-April ruling was not in his favor, he could be evicted seven days later. Therefore, he would lose the 10-day comfort zone of being off the property by May 1.

However, the owner of the mobile home and outbuilding has agreed to have those structures removed by that date.

“We have protection of the court from the person who owns the mobile home,” Hole said.

“She was extremely cooperative, and wants to get off the property by May 1,” he said.

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