Selectmen’s Meeting July 24, 2017

0:00:0 CALL TO ORDER / PLEDGE
0:00:45 PUBLIC COMMENT
Max Ledoux: You’re breaking 91-A in regards to nonpublic meetings
0:14:10 PUBLIC HEARING: Thompson-Moulton Cemetery “unabandonment”
0:14:50 Sue Weeks: legally there are two cemeteries
0:20:49 Scott Thompson: no problem with Moulton Cemetery being abandoned legally. We’d be happy to also maintain it.
Cross talk
0:25:00 suggestion to continue meeting
0:30:40 Lloyd: It’s a cemetery!
0:34:35 Bill: motion to “unabandon” both cemeteries.
0:35:25 motion passes
0:35:40 APPOINTMENTS
0:36:05 CHRIS SAWYER
Requests reappointment to board
0:38:32 Fenton Varney speaks
0:41:25 Tony Triolo speaks
0:42:30 Lee Ann Hendrickson speaks
0:43:10 Tony & Fenton again
0:44:30 Steve Brinser: Why’d this happen?
0:45:42 Chip: “Tension great enough that previous vote happened.”
0:46:20 Guy Pike
0:46:49 Sue Weeks: When did you make the decision?
0:48:00 Fenton: I never filled out a paper to be reappointed
0:48:28 Lee Ann: in the past I have prepared a memo on behalf of members who express a desire to be reappointed.
Lee Ann: Did you send a letter to John Cameron?
0:51:20 Lloyd: “in the lack of a motion let’s move on.”
0:52:35 Chip we have to have a vote
0:54:39 Bill: Planning Board mishandled Master Plan survey mailing by sending it from General Store post office instead of using town office postage meter from Melvin Village
0:57:57 Chip: motion to reappoint Chris to Planning Board
0:59:10 Chip: Aye, Bill & Lloyd: Nay
1:00:00 Fenton resigns
1:00:25 Guy: “COWARDS!”
1:01:46 DEPARTMENT UPDATES
Chief Thompson (FIRE&RESCUE)
1:13:30 Chief Shagoury (Police)
1:19:00 felony burglary suspect under influence of drugs, had to be taken to hospital then arrested.
1:23:10 Chip: Why are you getting protective gear for fentanyl? Is there a need reflected in crime statistics?
Andy: A lot of the statistics aren’t necessary marked as drugs but the underlying cause is drugs
1:30:49 REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES
1:31:05 July 10 Public
1:32:25 July 14 Public
1:33:32 July 10 nonpublic (no changes)
1:33:58 SIGNATURE FILE
1:36:45 Chip next year we should get the discounted oil price for everyone in town
1:36:40 $7,896.75 to SMP for plans for the proposed library renovation
1:40:30 Appoint John Cameron to Planning Board
1:41:05 SELECTMEN’S UPDATES
Bill: Old Homes Days
1:41:58 Chip: Welfare, ambulance
1:42:30 Lloyd:
1:48:05 Chip: Health Insurance provider wants a meeting
1:49:20 Talk about Road Agent
1:50:20 property cleanup
1:52:00 utility poles in poor repair
1:54:45 CORRESPONDENCE
1:57:00 PUBLIC COMMENT
Elissa Paquette
1:57:45 Sue Weeks: Ambulance
2:06:00 Max: Mutual agreements
2:07:40 Elissa: Have other towns sent Tuftonboro bills for mutual aid?
2:08:20 Liane: Planning Board — As staff for PB how do I proceed. If we have no quorum what happens?
2:09:55 Guy: I apologize for outbreak. Bill and Lloyd should resign.
Joe Kowalski: Spectrum
Max: 91-A violations

The Selectmen “Cede” Authority They Did Not Possess

The May 19 edition of the Granite State News carries a front page headline: “Tuftonboro Selectmen Cede Authority for all Cemetery Operations to Trustees.”

The Selectmen never had authority, under the law, for the operation of town cemeteries, and therefore can not be said to have ceded that power. Indeed, Selectmen Bill Marcussen is quoted as saying, during the impromptu May 13 meeting, “The cemetery trustees have clear authority.” This is clear under a plain reading of the law. I don’t claim to be a legal expert, however, and have always stated that I could have been wrong about the law. The selectmen have now essentially acknowledged, however, that they agree with my interpretation of the law.

And yet, the selectmen appear to have asked Cory Hunter to do more work at the Town House Cemetery.

The Granite State News reports, “Selectman Lloyd Wood asked that Hunter be contacted to take care of the cemeteries at least through Memorial Day in honor of the holiday, and he has agreed.” Contacted by who? The May 13 meeting’s minutes (currently in draft form, subject to revision) state, “it was agreed by the Board of Selectmen to ask Mr. Hunter to mow the cemetery at the Town House in time for Memorial Day before completely removing himself from cemetery maintenance.” If Selectmen asked that the cemetery trustees contact Mr. Hunter, then that is fine. If “it was agreed by the Board of Selectmen to ask Mr. Hunter to mow the cemetery at the Town House,” then that is not fine, by the selectmen’s own admission.

No one is against, certainly I am not, maintaining the cemeteries, especially in advance of Memorial Day. That is not the issue. The issue has always been whether the selectmen had the authority to direct the maintenance of the cemeteries. That is no longer in question. The town’s attorney, Rick Sager, has advised the selectmen to follow the law. Selectmen Marcussen has stated that the cemetery trustees have the authority. Selectmen Carolyn Sundquist has acknowledged that no contract exists between the town and Mr. Hunter.

N.B.: The Granite State News printed my letter (“Why It’s Important“), but accidentally cut off the final paragraph and didn’t give me attribution. Amusingly the letter directly below mine is from Barry Ennis, criticizing the paper for a layout error in last week’s addition.

Despite Advice from Attorney, Selectmen Continue to Violate State Law?

On Friday, May 13, in a hastily scheduled meeting not on the regular calendar, the selectmen reviewed “advice from Attorney Rick Sager that the Selectmen divorce themselves from the Cemetery Trustees in regards to clerical type responsibilities.” Yet during the same meeting, “it was agreed by the Board of Selectmen to ask Mr. Hunter to mow the cemetery at the Town House in time for Memorial Day before completely removing himself from cemetery maintenance.”

Stay tuned for more information on the advice from Rick Sager. I will be requesting a copy of it.