Present were Guy Pike, Joe Kowalski, Elissa Paquette, Carla Lootens, Betsy Frago, Christie Sarles, Adam Thompson, Andy Shagoury, and Gordon Hunt.
Minutes from previous the meeting were approved with minor corrections.
Chief Thompson presented fire department statistics highlighted by his arriving on crutches with a broken Achilles’ tendon acquired while off duty. He will be on light duty for eight weeks.
Chief Shagoury encountered computer issues and was unable to give a police statistics update. He did, however, announce a drug take-back day at the transfer station on October 22 from 10am-2pm.
Gordon Hunt and Christie Sarles presented the proposed library budget for 2017. Total budget $204,502 from $199,492. Approved by Selectmen 3-0.
Executive salaries were approved at $95,819 with a 2-1 vote. Selectman Lloyd P. Wood moved to add $1000 to the overtime line since our secretaries had so much extra work. Carolyn Sundquist disagreed as the work was in their job descriptions. She lost. 2016 budget was $87,970.
The Town’s insurance budget was approved at $60,916. This is up about $18,000 since the refunding of over charges has expired.
The Lang’s Pond Road project is almost done and looks good.
A letter is being sent to the Steinmans (the people who had the stones placed in the Town’s right of way on Brown Road). Discussion revealed that the Road Agent has concerns with being able to keep the road open!
Public input was interesting. Guy Pike referred to selectman’s chair Carolyn Sundquist’s statement questioning what the public might say that would change the Budget Committee members’s minds on votes? He commented that Max Ledoux’s questioning of the board of selectmen’s authority to sell property had apparently resulted in the board changing their mind. Carolyn Sundquist replied that “that was taken out of context.” (Watch the full video and decide for yourself if there’s sufficient context.) Guy Pike then suggested that before the board consulted with Attorney Sager in the future they should seek legal advice! Blank stares followed.
Elissa Paquette asked about the Selectmen’s being restricted in the selling of town-owned properties. Carolyn Sundquist responded that the 2003 Town Meeting was presented with a warrant article to rescind a former vote to give the selectmen pertpetual authority to sell and it passed. Elissa asked who the selectmen were at that time. Carolyn replied Susan Weeks, Rick Chellman, and Bill Stockman. Carolyn also said she didn’t know why the then-selectmen put the warrant article before the town!
Those are the highlights. Administrative secretary Karen Koch’s excellent minutes will chronicle the mundane details.