By Muriel Bristol | August 2, 2020
The Milton Board of Selectmen (BOS) have posted their agenda for a BOS meeting to be held Monday, August 3.
The BOS meeting is scheduled to begin with a Public session beginning at 5:30 PM. There will be a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance before the BOS disappears into a Non-Public session. That session’s agenda has one item classed as 91-A3 II (a) and one item classed as 91-A3 II (c).
(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 last time this particular code was invoked the Non-Public session was able to begin only when Chief Krauss arrived. And he will evidently be on hand on this occasion too, at least later, in order to present the Police Department budget in the public session.
(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.
This will be another secret confab likely affecting adversely someone’s reputation, someone who did not request an open meeting, assuming that the someone in question even knew they were to be discussed or that they had the option to request an open meeting.
Due to their concerns regarding Covid-19, seating will be limited to allow spacing. (This limitation would be unnecessary if the meeting were held at the Nute High School gym). Should a larger number of attendees appear, the meeting will be adjourned. The session may be watched remotely through the usual YouTube means or by teleconference. The links are in their original agenda, for which there is a link in the References below.
From the Town website we learn that at some point the BOS designated at some point Chairman Andrew Rawson as its ex-officio representative to the Local Government Efficiency Task Force; Vice-Chairman Matt Morrill as its ex-officio representative to the Local Government Efficiency Task Force, and the Planning Board; and Selectwoman Claudine Burnham as its ex-officio representative to the Budget Committee. Former Chairwoman Erin Hutchings is still designated as the ex-officio representative to the Milton Economic Development Committee. There would seem to be some omissions relative to prior years.
The quasi-Public portion of the agenda has Old Business, New Business, Other Business, and some housekeeping items.
Under Old Business are scheduled five items: 1) Update Regarding Covid-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Operational Activities / Plans; 2) Ordinance Updates Status (Currently Under Final Review); 3) Status of Following Tax Deeded Structures: 20 Dawson, 79 Charles and 565 White Mountain Highway (No Change from Previous Meeting); 4) Adoption of By-Laws for Local Government Efficiency Task Force; and 5) Schoolhouse Roof Repair.
Update Regarding Covid-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Operational Activities / Plans. Anyone with their ear to the ground in Milton will have heard rumblings regarding waiting outside the Emma Ramsey Center in the hot sun to conduct bureaucracy there. At the last BOS meeting, a system of numbers, like that employed in bakeries, was put in place. Those waiting might wait in their automobiles in the parking lot or some other shadier spot. While certainly better than before, the rumblings we hear want better solutions.
Ordinance Updates Status (Currently Under Final Review). Chief Krauss sought a review and revision of the Town’s ordinances. Keep an eye this one. Let us hope they are cleaning out old ones, rather than adding a bunch of new ones. But fear not, ordinances can be repealed if necessary, even despite the wishes of chiefs and selectmen.
Status of Following Tax Deeded Structures: 20 Dawson, 79 Charles and 565 White Mountain Highway (No Change from Previous Meeting). These are troubled properties, long overdue to make their appearance at an upcoming auction.
Adoption of By-Laws for Local Government Efficiency Task Force. Because not having them might be inefficient?
Schoolhouse Roof Repair. Prior discussions included the warning that this should be done before winter.
Under New Business are scheduled four agenda items: 1) Dog Licensing (Claudine Burnham); 2) Explanation of Sewer Treatment Plant Issues and Process for Consultant Presentations / Interviews on August 4th with the Select Board (Dale Sprague); 3) 2021 Budget Presentations: a) Library – Betsy Baker, and b) Police Department – Police Chief Richard Krauss; and 4) Proposed Employee Travel Policy – Covid-19.
Dog Licensing (Claudine Burnham). This appeared last time as Warrants for Dog Licenses.
Explanation of Sewer Treatment Plant Issues and Process for Consultant Presentations / Interviews on August 4th with the Select Board (Dale Sprague). The last few issues of which we were aware involved something like a skin-diver on one occasion and a break in a water main on another.
2021 Budget Presentations: a) Library – Betsy Baker, and b) Police Department – Police Chief Richard Krauss. Assuming the method of last year is to be followed again, this would be the first in a series of these departmental budget presentations before both the BOS and the Budget Committee at the same time.
Proposed Employee Travel Policy – Covid-19. Perhaps travel by Town employees to Wuhan – or any of the subsequent urban loci – will be restricted. Or perhaps those traveling to such places will be quarantined upon their return. God only knows, we can only guess. Tune in to find out.
There will be the approval of prior minutes (from the quasi-Public session of July 20, 2020, the non-Public session of July 20, 2020); an expenditure report, as of July 31, administrator comments, BOS comments, and Other Business.
Under Other Business there are no scheduled agenda items.
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. (2020, August 1). BOS Meeting Agenda, August 3, 2020. Retrieved from www.miltonnh-us.com/sites/g/files/vyhlif916/f/agendas/a_08-03-2020_bosagenda.pdf
Youtube. (1965). Cone of Silence. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1eUIK9CihA&feature=youtu.be&t=19