By Muriel Bristol | February 15, 2019
The Milton Board of Selectmen (BOS) have posted their agenda for a BOS meeting to be held Wednesday, February 20.
This meeting is scheduled to begin with a Non-Public session beginning at 5:30 PM. That agenda has one Non-Public items classed as 91-A:3 II (a).
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 agenda has the additional notation that, in this case, the Non-Public session concerns “Employee Compensation.”
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 some housekeeping items.
Under New Business are scheduled seven agenda items: 1) Approval of Motor Vehicle Registration Fees Abatement (M. Beauchamp/D. Owen), 2) Annual Wastewater Operator Contract Renewal (Dale Sprague), 3) Approval of Town Planner to Serve as Spokesperson for Bridge Projects (D. Owen), 4) Approval of Town Planner to Serve as Spokesperson for Transportation Advisory Committee for Strafford Regional Planning (Dave Owen/Bruce Woodruff), 5) Sale of Old Fire Station 460 White Mountain Highway (Dave Owen), 6) Snowmobile Club Winter Beach Access (Andy Lucier), and 7) RFP For Legal Services.
Motor Vehicle Registration Fees Abatement. Wonders never cease.
Town Planner to Serve as Spokesperson for Bridge Projects and Town Planner to Serve as Spokesperson for Transportation Advisory Committee for Strafford Regional Planning. By now, most will have heard that the Milton-Lebanon bridge replacement has been put off by the State for a predicted two years. (Sympathies for the store owner who needed the new bridge as soon as possible). The Town proposes and the State DOT disposes. What are planners to do?
Sale of the Old Fire Station. If this time the BOS really means it, they will be accepting finally a market-clearing price. Assuming someone will make such an offer again. Time for selling near a peak is running out for this, as the current housing bubble cannot last forever.
Snowmobile Club Winter Access. One assumes the same beach-access fees apply in winter as they do in summer. Or perhaps all such fees are hereby cancelled.
RFP for Legal Services. Previous Town Lawyers have had some interesting legal opinions. One thought that Town edicts, rather than those of the State, have legal pre-emption. Another thought that the Town could impose parking restrictions on a State highway. And other novel ideas. Now we are shopping for other advice.
Under Old Business are scheduled three items: 8) Review and Approve Adjusted 2019 Town Warrant (Dave Owen), 9) Review and Approve 2019 Voters Guide (Dave Owen), and 10) Discussion of Town Owned Properties Available for Disposition (Dave Owen).
Adjusted 2019 Warrant. Tune in for the final adjustments. One supposes budgets and taxes have not been adjusted downwards.
Approve 2019 Voters Guide. Presumably held for final adjustments to the warrant.
Town-Owned Properties Available for Disposition. When last seen, the Little-Endians seemed to be having the best of the argument.
The boxed item list entitled Outstanding Items, as held over from prior BOS sessions, is no longer present. Its Town-Owned Property item appears under Old Business, elements of the Town Report item appear under Old Business, and the Website Update item presumably dropped off because the Town Website was updated.
The last BOS meeting informed us that Milton has no hand to play in the matter of Atlantic Broadband. One hopes at least that the contract term is a short one, allowing for future developments.
The Property Maintenance Code item, as well as the Recreation Revenue and Office Discussion item, were Selectman Lucier’s particular hobby horses, unlikely to have much traction without him.
The Property Maintenance Code was particularly ill-advised. You knew something dreadful was afoot when Selectman Lucier introduced it with, “Yes, I know, that whole ‘Live Free or Die’ thing, but …” And that “but” tells a tale. He evidently thinks there is a third choice that is neither freedom nor death: slavery, perhaps? Hopefully, it will never again see the light of day.
The Junkyard and NH Listens items might continue in some form.
The Town Deposit Location Policy was to be sorted out by department heads before the end of January. One of the proposed solutions had the Town Clerk, an elected official in her own right, being forced to break her own campaign promises regarding office hours. Let us hope that was not the solution.
Finally, there will be the approval of prior minutes (from the BOS meeting of February 4, and the Deliberative Session of February 9), the expenditure report, Public Comments “Pertaining to Topics Discussed,” Town Administrator comments (on the Town Election), and BOS comments.
The BOS will disappear into yet another Non-Public session at the conclusion of the Public session. The reason was not fully coded, so it might be any one of the coded reasons under which they justify these secret sessions.
Ms. McDougall has called a seventh meeting of her Milton Advocates group. It will take place again in the Nute Library’s Community Room, on Saturday, February 23, 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.
NH Magazine. (2016, January). Losing Your Home. Retrieved from www.nhmagazine.com/January-2016/Losing-Your-Home/
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, February 15). BOS Meeting Agenda, February 20, 2019. Retrieved from www.miltonnh-us.com/sites/miltonnh/files/agendas/2.20.19_bos_agenda.pdf
Youtube. (1965). Cone of Silence. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1eUIK9CihA&feature=youtu.be&t=19