Thank you for the kind words. We appreciate your interest. I will try to address your several Comments in turn.
You commented first about your own abatement hearing. You revealed some few details (you probably should not do so, except maybe to a lawyer). It would be impossible for us to comment. You see, Chairman Thibeault and the BOS cannot respond, the law forbids it. So, it would be unfair for a newspaper to say much, when the complete facts cannot be known.
However, you mentioned Chairman Thibeault’s manner as having been dismissive. It is possible to cite a public instance of that. I refer you to the BOS meeting of March 5, 2018, in which he said the then Treasurer was “lying” (see “Old Business” in References). He did this shortly before the election of March 13, 2018, in which she was a candidate. Whether his characterization was true or not, we cannot know. It is not difficult to see how this might have influenced the election.
That remark alone would be considered completely unacceptable in any legislative body in the world. I believe they call it “unparliamentary language.” At the very least, he would have been strongly censured, if not expelled.
The other two Selectmen (then Chairman Rawson and Selectman Long) said nothing. They sat there like bumps on a log. Absolutely disgraceful. It fell to a citizen to call him on it (see “Public Comments” in References).
You asked next why the Selectmen serve on so many committees. They participate on those committees “ex officio,” a Latin phrase that means “by reason of their office,” i.e., by virtue of their being Selectmen. I believe it is intended to help them oversee and coordinate with those committees. And to keep the other Selectmen advised of the committee activities. That is a integral part of their function.
Another instance of this would be our state representatives. By virtue of being state representatives, they serve also “ex officio” on their county delegation (or county convention). Something to consider when voting for a state representative.
You put forward a suggestion that Milton would be better served with a Town Manager, rather than a Town Administrator. I will have to disagree with you there. I think that would be very much a change for the worse. But the issues might be worthy of their own article. Thank you for the suggestion.
You asked finally why more people do not comment here. Some readers have, such as yourself, and we do like to hear from our readers. We try to respond, to the extent possible, in a reply or in an article.
Your comment suggests that you would prefer a format that has the posting and commenting – the give and take, if you will – of social media. That would be exciting, but here we have only the more limited Comment form similar to that of newspaper letter to the editor (or publisher). And, frankly, we have not quite figured out how to make those comments appear with their articles.
Staff effort is devoted mostly to researching and writing their next article (and they are stretched pretty thin). Being such a small endeavor, it has to be that way.
I hope that answers your questions.
John S. Frum, Publisher
N.B. This has been corrected through a comment from a state representative (and county delegate). The state representatives serve on their county delegation (or county convention), and not their county commission.
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, March 5). BOS Meeting Agenda, March 5, 2018 – Old Business. Retrieved from youtu.be/F6wbcKpHQSk?t=3194
Town of Milton. (2018, March 5). BOS Meeting Agenda, March 5, 2018 – Public Comments. Retrieved from youtu.be/F6wbcKpHQSk?t=6757
Wikipedia. (2018, July 26). Ex Officio Member. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_officio_member
Wikipedia. (2018, July 28). Unparliamentary Language. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unparliamentary_language