It was a sparse group with only three of the five Selectmen present. Sarah Silk, Linda Murray and Chuck Storm. Sarah chaired the meeting and there was no discussion of changing it. I suspect that will happen next meeting or when everyone is back.
The monthly budget report was favorable as there has been minimal snow removal work.
The review of election results was predictable. The chairman asked the Town Manager to give the run down. He basically played it straight and named the failed articles.
Linda Murray did her usual schtick by rattling off statistics about letters to the editor and then proclaimed the issue of BMH to have been totally aired. Of particular note was 13 editorials about it. Her take was that the town needs to be proactive about getting private money for restoration. She pointed out that building new and moving out got even less support than the 48% for restoration/renovation.
Sarah Silk only said that the turnout was poor at 29%
Chuck Storm said he agreed with Linda.
Dave Ford gave an update on the the work being done downtown. Things are on schedule and they did receive the funding for the sidewalk project on Lehner St. He also described a makeover that they are designing for Depot Square. They have a concept for making an accessible stop for the trolly and the regional transportation bus, as well as reconfiguring the handicap parking spaces and adding some green space. Currently, that area is just a big open roadway.
The town manager informed us that the assessor that we use has switched companies and so we will too. We have dropped Cross Country and now have Murdough (may have spelled wrong).
Sue Ryan spoke at public input to ask that the Selectmen be more forthcoming about their intentions regarding the future of BMH, rather than drop a new plan on us in November.
Tom Bickford spoke to announce that he had resigned from the town volunteer fire squad, citing what he perceives to be inadequacies in staffing and preparedness. Some of the allegations are alarming and I hope that the Selectmen take the time to look into them and inform the public as to their findings.
Tom says that there are only two firefighters available for a major emergency at any time, thus placing the burden of multiple events on mutual aid, with the inherent long response time.
I don’t know if I have this right but he also described a study done by Assistant Chief Zotti where it was found that the FEMA volunteer standards were met in only 3 out of 9 of the events that were examined.
The board retired to non-public session to discuss litigation.