By S.D. Plissken | Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Last February, a Milton resident missed the deadline for a petitioned warrant article that would have made access to the Milton Town Beach free to residents.
On Monday, April 2, 2018, Selectman Lucier questioned the purchase of a $12,000 tractor for that same Town Beach. He had been unable to find any authorization for its purchase in warrant articles or in the minutes of either the Board of Selectmen’s Meetings or the Recreation Commission. “Who signed it, who signed the check for it?,” he asked.
He got his answer in the Milton Board of Selectmen [BOS] Meeting of Monday, April 16, 2018.
The BOS have been trying to ascertain the status of its various town committees and commissions, be they active or defunct. Four are listed in the 2017 Town Report: the Conservation Commission, the Economic Development Committee, the Recreation Commission, and the Townhouse Stewardship Committee. Some residents have questioned whether any of them fulfill any legitimate governmental functions.
It emerged that the Recreation Commission was authorized by warrant article in 1948. Since then, it seems to have been reauthorized in 1977. It got a sibling Beach Committee or Commission in 1997 and the two were merged together in 1999. Or so it would seem from the rather spotty records.
The Recreation Director, Karen Brown, added that “the ’99 vote gave the Commission the right to oversee a revolving fund. The 2004 vote gave the Commission the full authority over the beach, the maintenance, all using the funds taken in, and that was elected and both passed, and that’s where the authority came from.” “And then in 2006, there was a vote to try to bring the authority back to the Board of Selectmen and that failed, leaving it as not an advisory committee, but as a committee overseeing and having full access to the money.”
And it would seem that the BOS has little to say about it – the Recreation Commission is its own beach government, established by the voters and authorized to collect its own revenue (sorry, no free beach access) and allocate that revenue just as they see fit (say, on tractors). One of the BOS sits on the Recreation Commission “ex officio” and the BOS fill vacancies to the Commission.
Unless the Recreation Commission is defunct. There seemed to be some doubt as to whether they have met often enough to remain an active commission.
But that remains to be seen…