By Muriel Bristol | October 27, 2018
The Milton Board of Selectmen (BOS) have posted their agenda for an “Extra” BOS meeting to be held Monday, October 29.
The meeting is scheduled to begin with a Non-Public preliminary session at 5:45 PM. That agenda has a single Non-Public item classed as 91-A:3 II (j).
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 sole Non-Public item (the “j” item) might be a further discussion of revisions of employee manuals and employee insurance buyouts, issues that have been mentioned in the open sessions. The old fire station us still out there. And, of course, the budget.
There seem to be quite a few critical budget issues that remain unresolved. When last seen, various BOS meeting participants were declaring that aspects of the budget were “out of control.” It does make one wonder how and when overall budget solutions get discussed. In a Non-Public meeting?
Do phone calls between them constitute a 91A Public or Non-Public Meeting quorum? Chance meetings at public events make for a BOS meeting, but not phone calls between Selectmen? That seems peculiar. Or is it all done by playing “telephone” through the Town Administrator?
The BOS intend to adjourn their Non-Public BOS session at approximately (*) 6:15 PM, when they intend to return to Public session.
The Public portion of the agenda has new business and old business only.
Under new business is scheduled a single item: 1) Purchase of 1994 Spartan Pumper Truck (Nick Marique).
A new $500,000 leased pumper was rejected by the last ballot, yet it reappeared as a CIP plan item, and now it arises yet again as an agenda item regarding an older and, presumably, somewhat cheaper one. (Perhaps they should have started with a cheaper one last year?). The fire chief missed perhaps the dramatic conclusion of the last meeting. Or perhaps he just does not understand the meaning of the word “no.”
Under old business is scheduled a discussion of some of the departmental budget submissions of October 15: Recreation, Cemetery, and Insurance / Benefits.
Insurance / Benefits seems to be the item that drove the budget beyond anyone’s wildest imaginings. This should be interesting.
On a side note, Ms. McDougall published her notes from a preliminary meeting of her new ad-hoc brainstorming group, the Milton Advocates. Insurance and other possibilities were discussed. It seems that there is not a single insurance plan or rate prevailing across, or even within, departments. Consolidating them all under the least expensive alternative would be difficult, as their terms do not coincide. It would have to be done gradually as they separately expire over the 2019-20 time frame. It would seem that no immediate relief is to be found in consolidation of insurance plans.
The usual approval of prior minutes, expenditure report, Town Administrator comments, and BOS comments are not scheduled. Nor are any Public comments scheduled, either before or after.
Mr. S.D. Plissken contributed to this article.
Milton NH Community News. (2018, October 22). Lynette McDougall Posting. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/ourmiltonnews/posts/2221777698147264
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, October 26). BOS Meeting Agenda, October 29, 2018. Retrieved from www.miltonnh-us.com/uploads/bos_agendas_835_529023279.pdf