By Muriel Bristol | April 13, 2019
The Milton Board of Selectmen (BOS) have posted their agenda for a BOS meeting to be held Monday, April 15.
The BOS meeting is scheduled to begin with a Non-Public session beginning at 5:30 PM. That agenda has one Non-Public item classed as 91-A3 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.
This would be the third meeting of the Town year that begins with a secret meeting about hiring or raises. The new BOS has already hired people at amounts that approach the difference between the proposed budget, which was rejected, and the default budget, with which they are supposedly working.
If this Town were floundering financially, which it is, and sought out professional advice, which likely it will not, it would be advised first to just stop spending.
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, Other Business, and some housekeeping items.
Under New Business are scheduled seven agenda items: 1) Swearing in Milton Police Officer, 2) Discussion and Potential Approval of 2019 Mileage Rate Reimbursement, 3) Request for Yard Sale on Town Property (Richard Lover), 4) RSA 79-E Application Process, 5) Request to Remove Properties From List of Auctioned Town Properties (Larry Brown), 6) Town Administrator Selection Process Status Update, and 7) Discussion Regarding Street Parking located at Former Rays Marina Location.
Swearing in of New Police Officer. Here we find one of the reasons for last week’s secret meeting. This would be the second new police officer within two weeks. Our “Thin Blue Line” seems to be putting on some weight.
On his deathbed, the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus advised his sons: “Be harmonious, enrich the soldiers, scorn everyone else.”
Discussion and Potential Approval of 2019 Mileage Rate Reimbursement. One imagines that future reimbursements will be larger than before and that the BOS will approve that increase.
Request for Yard Sale on Town Property (Richard Lover). A likely approval for what sounds like a neighborhood yard sale.
RSA 79-E Application Process. “RSA 79-E is a property tax relief program that seeks to encourage investment in town centers and to rehabilitate under-utilized buildings within these areas. The application process is made to the governing body by property owners desiring to make improvements that meet 79-E guidelines as well as the public benefit test. In return, the governing body may provide tax relief at a pre-rehabilitation value for a finite period.”
The “investment” is to be made through the mechanism of most taxpayers paying yet higher taxes, so that those in the designated area of interest may pay lower ones. That is the encouragement. Note the caveat of guidelines and public benefit tests. Our wise overlords will decide whether a particular proposed use is within their guidelines and constitutes a public benefit. This is not how the free market works. (See PawSox Put One Over the Fence, the Milton Mills Shoe Strike of 1889, and Milton and the Knowledge Problem).
Request to Remove Properties From List of Auctioned Town Properties (Larry Brown). One supposes that Mr. Brown will attempt to throw a “Hail Larry” pass to save the Blue House. We know already that Chairman Thibeault would smile on this.
At a prior meeting the Chairman actually said that it would be a less preferable for a family – with children – to occupy that space. Yes, he said that out loud, in a public meeting, on video. (Shaking my head).
But what of the rest of the board? They might stick to their guns, or they might fall in line to spend our quarter-million dollars on yet another shiny “attraction”? Remember the chain of reasoning: we take your tax money for an “attraction,” which might encourage people to stop here, which might encourage them to spend money here, which might encourage businesses, which might help with the taxes (businesses not having any children).
Note that the only definite link in this chain of possibilities is the first one: taking your money for another round of SimCity games.
Town Administrator Selection Process Status Update. If they are determined to take on yet another salary, just start the secret 91-A3 II (a) and 91-A3 II (b) meetings already.
Discussion Regarding Street Parking located at Former Ray’s Marina Location. It seems like we have done this before, several times. Perhaps our State or Town overlords have waived something.
Under Old Business are scheduled four items: 8) Approval and Signing of Adjusted Board of Selectmen By-Laws, 9) Follow Up Discussion & Potential Decision of RFP for Legal Services, 10) Follow Up Discussion & Potential Decision of Board/Committee Vacancies, and 11) Follow Up Discussion on Town Issued Email Addresses.
Approval and Signing of Adjusted Board of Selectmen By-Laws. “Adjusted” would be the key word, but adjusted in what manner?
Follow Up Discussion & Potential Decision of RFP for Legal Services. Are we expecting more lawsuits?
Follow Up Discussion & Potential Decision of Board/Committee Vacancies. Question: Is it still democracy when the BOS appoints the boards and committees? Maybe second-hand democracy: 1) a majority of a minority of the electorate chose the selectmen, and 2) a majority of those minority-majority selectmen choose the board and committee members. Presumably, they will then act in our interests, rather than that of those that appointed them.
Follow Up Discussion on Town Issued E-mail Addresses. Private sector entities provide these on a first day of employment, if not before. The Milton Town government likes to talk about it first, talk about it at length. We would not want to rush into anything.
Other Business That May Come Before the Board has no scheduled items.
Finally, there will be the approval of prior minutes (from the BOS meeting of April 1 and the Workshop meeting of April 3, 2019), the expenditure report, Public Comments “Pertaining to Topics Discussed,” Town Administrator comments, and BOS comments.
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. (2019, April 12). BOS Meeting Agenda, April 15, 2019. Retrieved from www.miltonnh-us.com/sites/miltonnh/files/agendas/4.15.19_bos_agenda.pdf
Youtube. (1965). Cone of Silence. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1eUIK9CihA&feature=youtu.be&t=19