By Muriel Bristol | January 26, 2019
The Milton Board of Selectmen (BOS) have posted their agenda for a BOS meeting to be held Monday, January 28.
The BOS held an flurry of Non-Public meetings since their last full meeting on January 7. Such meetings took place on Tuesday, January 15, to deal with 91-A:3 II (b) and 91-A:3 II (c) issues, Thursday, January 17 (rescheduled from the previous day), to deal with a 91-A:3 II (b) issue, and Thursday, January 24, , to deal with a 91-A:3 II (c) issue. (Ed. note: Has this been the least transparent administration in Milton history?)
This meeting is scheduled to begin with a Non-Public session beginning at 5:30 PM. That agenda has two Non-Public items classed as 91-A:3 II (a) and 91-A:3 II (b).
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.
The whole increased hours issue for the Town Clerk’s office was to be resolved by the department heads, rather than the BOS, “by the end of January.” The solutions posited were increasing the available hours for the Town Clerk’s office or removing the tasks added last summer.
91-A:3 II (b) The hiring of any person as a public employee.
The Town Administrator is leaving after the Deliberative Session. Evidently, the BOS intends to fill the position, as opposed to reducing the budget through attrition.
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, a smörgåsbord of Outstanding Items, and some housekeeping items.
Under New Business are scheduled four agenda items: 1) 1992 Resolution Re.: Code of Ethics for Town of Milton (Larry Brown), 2) Public Involvement in Board of Selectmen Meetings (Humphry Williams), 3) Procedures Re. Committee/Board Postings to Town Website (Heather Thibodeau), and 4) Town Report Discussion (Heather Thibodeau).
1992 Resolution Re: Code of Ethics for the Town of Milton. One imagines Mr. Brown favors ethics. He will apparently refer on this occasion to an ethical code from 1992, which predates the arrival in town of two of the three selectmen.
Mr. Brown has in the past argued publicly that the BOS is entitled to retain and spend taxes collected in error, and that the BOS alone determines what is ethical. One must always be wary of confusing legalities with ethics. Otherwise, slavery and internments, which were all perfectly legal, might be supposed to have been ethical also.
Public Involvement in BOS Meetings. One imagines that Mr. Williams will speak in favor of more public involvement.
Procedures Regarding Committee/Board Postings. One supposes that this BOS will want to restrict public statements to themselves.
A Town Report Discussion will no doubt have to do with the procedural mechanics and timelines of producing Town Reports that include property valuations that duplicate online information. Also Selectman Lucier’s oft-stated intention of “shaming” tax delinquents.
Under Old Business is scheduled a single item: 5) Deliberative Session Speaking Assignments (Heather Thibodeau).
Deliberative Session Speaking Assignments. Planning of this year’s Washington Monument presentation is to be discussed in public.
There is also the boxed item list at the margins entitled Outstanding Items, as held over from prior BOS sessions. It features much from Selectman Lucier’s Bucket List. They include this time: Town-Owned Property, Recreation Revenue and Office Discussion, Website Update, Property Maintenance Code, Town Report (see above), Atlantic Broadband Contract, NH Listens, Junkyard, and Town Deposit Location Policy (see above). In no particular order.
Finally, there will be the approval of prior minutes (from the BOS Workshop Meeting of December 17, BOS Meeting of January 7, and the Non-Public BOS Meetings of January 15 and January 17) (but not those from the Non-Public Meeting of January 24)), the expenditure report, Public Comments “Pertaining to Topics Discussed,” Town Administrator comments, and BOS comments.
Ms. McDougall has called a sixth meeting of her Milton Advocates group. It will take place again in the Nute Library’s Community Room, on Saturday, February 2 (Groundhog Day)), at 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM. All town residents are invited. Bring your best manners. (Not her words).
Mr. S.D. Plissken contributed to this article.
NHMA. (2015). 16 Things Every Citizen Should Know About Town Meeting. Retrieved from www.nhmunicipal.org/TownAndCity/Article/600for
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
Steigerwald, Lucy. (2018, January 22). During Government Shutdowns, Look Out for Washington Monument Syndrome Scare Tactics. Retrieved from www.washingtonexaminer.com/during-government-shutdowns-look-out-for-washington-monument-syndrome-scare-tactics
Town of Milton. (2018, January 25). BOS Meeting Agenda, January 28, 2019. Retrieved from www.miltonnh-us.com/uploads/bos_agendas_873_4087670386.pdf
Wikipedia. (2018). Washington Monument Syndrome. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Monument_Syndrome
Youtube. (1965). Cone of Silence. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1eUIK9CihA&feature=youtu.be&t=19