Non-Public BOS Meeting Scheduled (August 6, 2018)

By Muriel Bristol | July 31, 2018

The Milton Board of Selectmen (BOS) have posted their agenda for a Non-Public BOS meeting to be held next Monday, August 6, at 4:00 PM. The agenda has two items: a Non-Public matter classed as 91-A:3 II (c) and another matter classed as 91-A:3 II (d).

91-A:3 II (c): Matters which, if discussed in public, would likely affect adversely the reputation of any person, other than a member of the public body itself, unless such person requests an open meeting. This exemption shall extend to any application for assistance or tax abatement or waiver of a fee, fine, or other levy, if based on inability to pay or poverty of the applicant.

91-A:3 II (d): Consideration of the acquisition, sale, or lease of real or personal property which, if discussed in public, would likely benefit a party or parties whose interests are adverse to those of the general community.

The first matter relates to the recent tax abatement process. In November, the BOS made an error in setting the 2017 tax rate. It affected all of the taxpayers, i.e., about 2,700 taxpayers, to a large degree. Various figures have been given. In December, the BOS suggested that those affected should file for abatements.

This would be case of apples and oranges. Abatements are intended to resolve errors in particular property assessments or to address the personal circumstances of particular taxpayers. For this purpose, the town typically allocates or holds back a very small percentage – less than 1% – for abatements. (They had allocated only $20,000 to cover all abatements). The BOS’s very large town-wide rate error could not possibly be corrected through granting a few abatements.

The difference between the BOS error and their proposed “solution” is separated by several orders of magnitude. The BOS may or may not have known that back in December, but they surely do know it now.

Only 56 taxpayers filed for the suggested abatement. Of those, 39 (69.6%) received abatements, while 17 (30.4%) were rejected. This Non-Public matter before the BOS is likely an appeal by one of the 17 whose abatement was rejected.

The second matter relates to the buying, selling, or leasing of property. Several property matters have been in the wind over the last few months. The sale of the old fire station, acquisition of conservation land, and the proposed purchase of parking spaces have been much discussed lately.

The BOS intend to adjourn their Non-Public BOS meeting by 5:00 PM. Their prior public meeting was held on Monday, July 16. Their next public Meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 20.

References:

Town of Milton. (2018, July 31). BOS Non-Public Agenda, August 6, 2018. Retrieved from www.miltonnh-us.com/bos_agendas.php

State of New Hampshire. (2018, February). Revised Statutes Amended Online. Retrieved from gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/indexes/default.html

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

6 thoughts on “Non-Public BOS Meeting Scheduled (August 6, 2018)”

  1. That meeting was about tax problems yet we have no rights to receive a copy of the minutes they are sealed to protect one’s privacy? This is insane there is no privacy in Milton and if you do speak up you get attacked and bullied. I’m living in a nightmare because of things going on here. You can’t make all this craziness up.

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    1. That particular session concerned the abatement of an individual, rather than the whole $1,4 million mess. The Board of Selectmen are not permitted by law to have that individual’s information appear in the public record. That is not their fault.

      What is their fault is advising people to seek redress for a $1.4 million town-wide error through an individualized abatement process. The abatement fund had only $20,000 and is designed for a different level and type of problem. That is what they insisted upon in the Joint BOS/Budget Committee meeting of December 4, 2017. It sounds as if it is not working for you. I am not surprised, but I can sympathize. You can still hope – in the short time remaining – that the current BOS will correct the error and return the money taken last year without authority.

      If not, I suggest that you remember them on election day.

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  2. When one files timely applications and those applications go missing or get tossed aside then something is seriously wrong. I believe most residents have no idea what is going on in Town Hall and it is a mess. I can’t have my minutes to protect my privacy yet a Town Offical can alert his members to such? Being told to shut my mouth, pull my weight and I had no rights in Milton plus a lot of other things he said is far from how a Budget Committee member should be acting. At the very least I should have been able to defend myself and not be stopped from commenting, while he continued on with his rant. I have been watching some of the Town Meetings. I believe we need a Town Manager who has the education and skills to do the job to turn Milton around. It would worth the expense in the long run.

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