By Muriel Bristol | October 19, 2019
The Milton Board of Selectmen (BOS) have posted their agenda for a BOS meeting to be held Monday, October 21.
The BOS meeting is scheduled to begin with a Non-Public session beginning at 5:45 PM. That agenda has one Non-Public item classed as 91-A3 II (e).
91-A:3 II (e) Consideration or negotiation of pending claims or litigation which has been threatened in writing or filed by or against the public body or any subdivision thereof, or by or against any member thereof because of his or her membership in such public body, until the claim or litigation has been fully adjudicated or otherwise settled. Any application filed for tax abatement, pursuant to law, with any body or board shall not constitute a threatened or filed litigation against any public body for the purposes of this subparagraph.
The BOS had the same item on the agenda of its previous Non-Public meeting. It would seem that the Town faces still – or faces again – litigation by someone who does not agree unanimously.
Might it be that it is the litigator that is correct and the Town that is in the wrong? So much of what they do is wrong, and this secrecy might have us paying to defend errors and injustices that we might not want to defend if we knew the nature of the issue. Maybe it should be discussed or at least explained to some degree in a Public session. Not the legal strategies, which may remain confidential, but the nature of the suit.
[Added from the court filings database, October 23, 2019: “New Hampshire Supreme Court, Report on Status of Cases, As of September 30, 2019. Case 2019-0278. Three Ponds Resort, LLC v. Town of Milton. 05/15/2019 – Case Filing. 06/04/2019 – Accepted.”]
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 ten agenda items: 1) Outside Agency Presentation; HAVEN (Debra Altschiller), 2) Economic Development Committee Member Resignation & Appointment (E. Hutchings), 3) Cemetery Trustee Alternate Member Appointment (John Katwick), 4) Silver Street Reconstruction Discussion (David Cormier Jr.), 5) Approval of in Town Trick or Treat Crossing Guard (Jeffery Zajicek), 6) Fire Chief N. Marique a. Approval of Partial Winding Road Renaming b. SCBA Air Pack Discussion, 7) Police Chief R. Krauss a. Phone System Discussion b. Request Finalization of Car2 Replacement c. SRO Warrant Article d. Winter Parking-Town Hall Lot, 8) Library CRF Spending Request (Betsy Baker), 9) Casey Road Committee Discussion of Tax Map 41, Lot 81 (Karen Golab), 10) 460 White Mountain Highway Discussion.
Many items are characterized as “discussions,” which we may take as “proposals to spend money.”
Outside Agency Presentation; HAVEN (Debra Altschiller). Debra Altschiller is Community Liaison for HAVEN, which provides domestic and sexual violence support services. They have a Rochester office at 150 Wakefield Street, Suite 16 (and others in Portsmouth and Epping), with banker’s hours, but also a 24-hour confidential support line at 1-603-994-7233.
Economic Development Committee Member Resignation & Appointment (E. Hutchings). It would seem that someone has developed some sort of scheduling or other conflict, or perhaps has withdrawn their support, and that a replacement is to be [s]elected in their place.
Cemetery Trustee Alternate Member Appointment (John Katwick). Another [s]election.
Silver Street Reconstruction Discussion (David Cormier Jr.). A correspondent has passed along a rather wide-spread rumor that this project has seriously outpaced its cost estimates. Color us surprised.
Approval of In-Town Trick-or-Treat Crossing Guard (Jeffery Zajicek). Per usual.
Fire Chief N. Marique: a. Approval of Partial Winding Road Renaming b. SCBA Air Pack Discussion. One hopes any new name does not “honor” in any way some former tax raiser. That was the initial impulse in Boston, much disputed, before they settled on the “Ted Williams Tunnel.” Most people had favored “The Taxpayers’ Tunnel,” with Ted Williams being merely a better choice than some politician.
Breathers for firemen was much discussed last year. For some reason, a phased replacement of this very expensive equipment was rejected.
Police Chief R. Krauss: a. Phone System Discussion, b. Request Finalization of Car2 Replacement, c. SRO Warrant Article, d. Winter Parking-Town Hall Lot. The chief’s request for a new phone system is carried over from a prior meeting, as is Car 54.
The School Resource Officer (SRO) position was formerly said to be jointly funded by the Police and School budgets. And now that position will feature in some way in its own warrant article.
Winter parking restrictions were never actually resolved, just shuffled around and papered over.
Library CRF Spending Request (Betsy Baker). Presumably, paying for library renovations from the fund put aside for that purpose. “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” You put the “Free” in Milton Free Public Library.
Casey Road Committee Discussion of Tax Map 41, Lot 81 (Karen Golab). Something to do with the Casey Road conservation land. When last heard, trees were being displaced for a parking lot.
460 White Mountain Highway Discussion. Otherwise known as the old fire station. Workers have been shingling its roof and making other repairs or renovations. A passer-by might assume that the property had been sold and the new owner was working on it. But there seems to be some need for a discussion.
The Old Business portion of the agenda will be displaced into an after-meeting workshop meeting. That will be followed by another Non-Public session.
Other Business That May Come Before the Board has no scheduled items.
There will be the approval of prior minutes (from the BOS meeting of September 23, 2019) [already scheduled last time], the expenditure report, Public Comments “Pertaining to Topics Discussed,” Town Administrator comments, and BOS comments..
Under Old Business is scheduled but one item: 11) Budget Progression.
Budget Progression. This turn of phrase was perhaps intended to signify a third joint budget meeting. Coincidentally, it is also a rather accurate assessment of the likely outcome: a “progression” or increase over last year’s bottom line, which hardly sounds like “progress.”
The BOS meeting is scheduled to end with another Non-Public session. That agenda has one Non-Public item classed as 91-A3 II (a).
(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.
Promotion and pay raise would be the safe bet. The BOS’ budgetary arrow points only one way.
Mr. S.D. Plissken contributed to this article.
Haven. (2019). Haven. Ending Violence, Changing Lives. Retrieved from havennh.org/
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, October 18). BOS Meeting Agenda, October 21, 2019. Retrieved from www.miltonnh-us.com/sites/miltonnh/files/agendas/10.21.19_bos_agenda_0.pdf
Youtube. (1965). Cone of Silence. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1eUIK9CihA&feature=youtu.be&t=19