By Muriel Bristol | September 21, 2018
The Milton Board of Selectmen (BOS) have posted their agenda for a BOS meeting to be held Monday, September 24.
The meeting is scheduled to begin with a Non-Public preliminary session at 5:00 PM. That agenda has three Non-Public items classed as 91-A:3 II (c), 91-A:3 II (j), 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 and third matters (the “c” items) appear to relate again to the recent tax abatement process.
To Repeat. 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 fourth 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 item (the “j” item) might also relate to abatements. Of course, it could be anything at all. It has been suggested to us since last time that it might have to do with discussing revisions of employee manuals and employee insurance buyouts, issues that have been mentioned in the open sessions.
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) Recording Clerk Agreement (Danielle Marique), and 2) Milton EOP Acceptance (Nick Marique).
We tried to research the somewhat cryptic acronym EOP, which will no doubt be explained (and accepted) in the meeting, but cannot decide to what those initials might refer. Possibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Early Oil Project (the development of the Chirag oilfield),
- Earth orientation parameters, a collection of parameters that describe irregularities in the rotation of the Earth,
- Electroosmotic pump, a device that generates flow using an electric field,
- Enhanced Outpatient Program, a program in the California Department of Corrections to provide care to mentally challenged inmates,
- Ethernet over Power, a type of home networking in power-line communication,
- Executive Office of the President of the United States, a part of the executive branch of the United States government often referred to as the White House,
- Exchange Online Protection, an email filtering service, part of Microsoft’s Exchange Online family,
- External occipital protuberance, part of the human skull, and
- Hellenic Cycling Federation (Greek: Ελληνικη Ομοσπονδια Ποδηλασιας), the governing body of cycle racing in Greece.
None of these seem to be likely. It could refer to anything at all. Bureaucracies love their alphabet soup (and chapter heading numbers).
Under old business is scheduled: 3) Employee Handbook Update (Heather Thibodeau), 4) Insurance Buyout Discussion Follow up (Heather Thibodeau), 5) Town Report Printing Cost Discussion (Heather Thibodeau), 6) Building Permit Fees & Policy Discussion Follow up (Heather Thibodeau), and 7) Townhouse Heating/Cooling Discussion Follow up (Erin Hutchings).
The Employee Handbook and Employee Insurance Buyout items return from last time. Townhouse heating problems appear for the fourth time.
The Town Report Printing Cost discussion will be where they break it to Selectman Lucier that printing two Town Report publications could not possibly be cheaper than printing one. (After a diversion of staff resources to confirming the obvious). He has not noticed evidently that the tax assessment information he remembers as being in the back of the Town Report in days of yore is now available in an online system (Avitar) instead. A system for which we are already paying quite a bit.
Perhaps we could save the cost of printing two reports by just printing the URL of the Avitar database in the one report?
As for wanting to publish the names of tax delinquents in the Town Report. It is not difficult to see where that might end badly, very badly.
Mr. S.D. Plissken contributed to this article.
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 24, 2018. Retrieved from www.miltonnh-us.com/uploads/bos_agendas_828_71713156.pdf