Select Board Recommends Seven Town Meeting Articles

The Select Board voted 4-0 to recommend seven of the eighteen warrant articles to November Town Meeting on October 15. Select Board member John Halsey was not present. The board chose to recommend articles five, eight, ten, eleven, twelve, seventeen, and eighteen. These include articles regarding the payment of bills from prior years, allowing the town to enter into longer refuse collection contracts, and seeking to extend a home rule petition allowing for senior tax relief. The board also recommended article seventeen which seeks funding for the discovery of natural gas leaks in town. The board postponed votes on articles three and four until after the Finance Committee votes on them on October 16. It chose not to vote on the four zoning articles appearing on the warrant.

Town Accountant Sharon Angstrom presented her quarterly report to the board. Her analysis of both revenues and expenses through the first quarter of the fiscal year shows no signs of concern. She also reported on the close of Fiscal Year 2019. The auditors have completed their work with the report due soon. Angstrom also reported that free cash should be certified in time for November Town Meeting, allowing the funds to be allocated by Town Meeting.

The Select Board voted 4-0 to accept a declaration of the OPEB trust document as written. This will allow the funds to be invested with greater income potential. The board voted 4-0 to assign Town Treasurer Endri Kume as custodian of foreclosed town properties. This administrative action was needed to allow the town to manage any issues with properties that may occur.

A public hearing on Select Board liquor license policies was continued to November 19 at 8:00 pm. The board also approved the town manager’s goals for the current fiscal year. There was a discussion about including the search for the new police chief in the goals. Member Mark Dockser noted that the search, “Is the most important thing to take place this fiscal year.” Chair Vanessa Alvarado pointed out that, while important, the search was more of an operational matter and such matters were intentionally left out of the goals. She did affirm that the town manager would still be evaluated on operational matters.

The board voted 4-0 to reduce the number of members on the Human Rights Advisory Committee from seven to five. The committee has had difficulty achieving a quorum, and there is business, such as the upcoming Martin Luther King Day celebration, that needs work. The board spent time discussing goal priorities that will help them have more productive meetings. The board is likely to set a retreat in the near future to focus on the issue. 

Town Manager Robert LeLacheur shared that there is one candidate for the open seat on the School Committee and that the board along with the School Committee should be meeting on Wednesday, October 23 to determine if the applicant will be appointed.

The Select Board adjourned at 10:30 pm.

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