By Muriel Bristol | November 3, 2018
The Milton Board of Selectmen (BOS) have posted their agenda for a BOS meeting to be held Monday, November 5.
The meeting is scheduled to begin with a Non-Public preliminary session at 5:00 PM. That agenda has nine Non-Public items classed as 91-A:3 II (d), 91-A:3 II (j), 91-A:3 II (j), 91-A:3 II (c), 91-A:3 II (j), 91-A:3 II (g), 91-A:3 II (c), 91-A:3 II (c), and 91-A:3 II (j).
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.
One would certainly hope that nothing additional is being acquired or leased. And most of what the Town has acquired already might be difficult to sell: used police pistols, used police cruisers, old fire stations, used pumper fire trucks, GIS systems, spare copies of Robert’s Rules of Order. There are a lot of things that could go on the block, at discount prices.
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].
There are four of these. This appears so frequently that it might be worthwhile to look up the three RSAs to which it refers.
91-A:5 IV. Records pertaining to internal personnel practices; confidential, commercial, or financial information; test questions, scoring keys, and other examination data used to administer a licensing examination, examination for employment, or academic examinations; and personnel, medical, welfare, library user, videotape sale or rental, and other files whose disclosure would constitute invasion of privacy. Without otherwise compromising the confidentiality of the files, nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit a public body or agency from releasing information relative to health or safety from investigative files on a limited basis to persons whose health or safety may be affected.
RSA 541 defines the various aspects of hearings. It defines hearing, rehearing, motion, appeal, petition, arguments, burdens of proof, evidence, exceptions, even contempt of court. This seems tough going for anyone not trained as a lawyer. The next one is even worse.
RSA 541-A begins with a lot of legal definitions. If you are permitted, or required, to take a drink of water, this is the sort of text that would define “you,” “drinking,” and “water.” Definitions, a lot happens with definitions and redefinitions. The remainder of the chapter is taken up with over forty sections explaining how rules and procedures may be created, how they must relate to county, state, and federal rules and regulations, emergency rules, interim rules, rules for sunny afternoons. A real mare’s nest.
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.
There are three of these. Good luck to those seeking abatements or other relief under these conditions..
91-A:3 II (g) Consideration of security-related issues bearing on the immediate safety of security personnel or inmates at the county or state correctional facilities by county correctional superintendents or the commissioner of the department of corrections, or their designees.
This would seem to be a County matter. Did someone escape? Perhaps threats have been made against County personnel that reside here and need additional police protection.
The BOS intend to adjourn their Non-Public BOS session at approximately (*) 6:30 PM, when they intend to return to Public session.
The Public portion of the agenda has new business, old business, and housekeeping items.
Under new business are scheduled two items: 1) Purchase of Grant-Funded All Hazard Response Trailer (Nick Marique), and 2) Update on Past Board of Selectmen Meetings (Andy Lucier).
The obvious question regarding the purchase of a grant-funded All Hazard Response Trailer is: does it have an entail through the coming years of any not grant-funded expenses? For instance, will any paid personnel have to be redirected from their current duties, or hired, to maintain the “free” All Hazard Response Trailer? Will it have any maintenance expenses? If so, then we simply cannot afford to accept a grant-funded All Hazard Response Trailer.
It is difficult to imagine what Selectmen Lucier might have to say about past BOS meetings. Maybe, “we were just kidding,” or, “we are so sorry,” or even, as staunch proponents of accountability, “we are all resigning to make way for replacements that can ‘get the job done.'” More likely it will be some sort of excuse, deflection of responsibility, or inadequate solution. But, there could be a surprise. We shall see.
Under old business are scheduled two items: 3) Board of Selectmen By-Law Adjustment Acceptance (Ryan Thibeault), and 4) Town House Heating/Cooling Discussion (Erin Hutchings) .
Upon due consideration, the BOS will likely allow concluding Public Comments, to which they will pay the same degree of attention as they have the introductory Public Comments. The Town House heating/cooling discussion continues from past meetings.
On a side note, Ms. McDougall has called a second meeting of her Milton Advocates group. She struggled for a while in finding a suitable location. It seems that citizens groups are not authorized to meet in most Town buildings. She finally obtained permission to meet in the Nute Library’s Community Room, tomorrow (Saturday, November 3), at 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM. All town residents are invited. Bring your best manners. (Not her words).
Finally, there will be the approval of prior minutes (from the BOS Meetings of October 15 and October 29), the expenditure report, Town Administrator comments, and BOS comments. A second Public Comment section is not listed.
Mr. S.D. Plissken contributed to this article.
Milton NH Community News. (2018, November 2). Lynette McDougall Posting. Retrieved from www.facebook.com/ourmiltonnews/photos/a.1555177584807282/2229426870715680/
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, November 2). BOS Meeting Agenda, November 5, 2018. Retrieved from www.miltonnh-us.com/uploads/bos_agendas_836_1230989733.pdf