By Muriel Bristol | September 7, 2018
The Milton Board of Selectmen (BOS) have posted their agenda for a BOS meeting to be held Monday, September 10.
The meeting is scheduled to begin with a Non-Public preliminary session at 5:00 PM. That agenda has eight Non-Public item classed as 91-A:3 II (c), 91-A:3 II (j), 91-A:3 II (j), 91-A:3 II (e), 91-A:3 II (j), 91-A:3 II (c), 91-A:3 II (a), and 91-A:3 II (c).
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.
The first, sixth, and eighth matters (the “c” items) appear to relate again to the recent tax abatement process.
In November, the BOS made a serious error in setting the 2017 tax rate. It affected all of the taxpayers, i.e., about 2,700 taxpayers, to a very large degree. Various figures have been given, ranging as high as $1.4 million. In December, the BOS suggested that those affected should file for abatements, which was a bit of shell game. An abatement fund of $20,000 could not possibly resolve an unauthorized tax levy of $1.4 million. This would be the third meeting that devoted agenda time to hearing abatements or appeals of rejected abatements.
91-A:3 II (j). Consideration of confidential, commercial, or financial information that is exempt from public disclosure under RSA 91-A:5, IV in an adjudicative proceeding pursuant to RSA 541 [Rehearings and Appeals in Certain Cases] or RSA 541-A [Administrative Procedure Act].
The second, third, and fifth items (the “j” items) might also relate to abatements. Of couse, they could be anything at all. The BOS has been sorting out matters related to the title of the old fire station.
91-A:3 II (b). The hiring of any person as a public employee.
The third matter (the “b” item) relates to the hiring of one or more additional town employees. This does not suggest that the BOS intends to either cut the budget through attrition or even level fund it.
91-A:3 II (e). Consideration or negotiation of pending claims or litigation which has been threatened in writing or filed by or against the public body or any subdivision thereof, or by or against any member thereof because of his or her membership in such public body, until the claim or litigation has been fully adjudicated or otherwise settled. Any application filed for tax abatement, pursuant to law, with any body or board shall not constitute a threatened or filed litigation against any public body for the purposes of this subparagraph.
The fourth matter (the “e” item) suggests that somebody is seriously dissatisfied with the results of their abatement hearing. On some level, it makes no sense. It was the BOS that actively encouraged all taxpayers last December to seek abatements as an imperfect solution to their own $1.4 million rate-setting error. One would think they would be handing them out like candy.
91-A:3 II (a) The dismissal, promotion, or compensation of any public employee or the disciplining of such employee, or the investigation of any charges against him or her, unless the employee affected (1) has a right to a meeting and (2) requests that the meeting be open, in which case the request shall be granted.
God only knows to what the seventh matter (the “a” item) relates. This might be somebody’s promotion, such as a police officer (to make room for the one being hired). It might be something from the Mi-Te-Jo hearings. One of the many issues discussed there was a dispute involving some town employee defining things without authority to do so. It could be anything.
The BOS intend to adjourn their Non-Public BOS session at approximately (*) 6:00 PM, when they intend to return to Public session.
The Public portion of the agenda has new business, old business, and the approval of minutes.
Under new business is scheduled: 1) Swearing in Police Officer (item posted by Chief Rich Krauss), 2) Update Personnel Policy (Heather Thibodeau), 3) Insurance Buyout Discussion (Heather Thibodeau), 4) Recreation & Boat Launch Discussion (Andy Lucier), 5) Town Report/Election Dates (Andy Lucier), and 6) History of Milton (Andy Lucier).
Selectman Lucier is back from his hiatus. He evidently plans to weigh in on the Town boat ramp. Also, the History of Milton. Get your popcorn ready. There is also the swearing in of a new police officer, which explains one of the prior 91-A:3 II (b) items.
Under old business is scheduled: 7) Cruiser Lease Purchase Discussion Follow up (Rich Krauss), 8) Downtown Winter Parking Discussion Follow up (Rich Krauss), 9) 2018 Dog Warrant List Update (Rich Krauss), 10) Previously Appointed Economic Development Committee Member Terms/Recreation Alternates (Ryan Thibeault), and 11) Townhouse Heating Discussion (Erin Hutchings).
Townhouse heating problems appear for the third time. Winter parking rears its head again too. Watch this one, the BOS was shopping for parking lots last May.
State of New Hampshire. (2016, June 21). RSA Chapter 91-A. Access to Governmental Records and Meetings. Retrieved from www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/VI/91-A/91-A-3.htm
Town of Milton. (2018, September 7). BOS Meeting Agenda, September 10, 2018. Retrieved from www.miltonnh-us.com/bos_agendas.php