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October 8, 2012

Selectmen disagree on allotment of excess funds


“That’s why you have Town Meeting to establish appropriations,” he said.

Kemper then responded that philosophically, he believes “just because we can, doesn’t mean we have to tax our people 2 1/2 percent every year” — referring to the annual limit on increased taxes that a municipality is permitted to levy under state statue.

Selectmen plan to review the warrant for the Oct. 29 meeting with the town moderator and the Finance Committee Wednesday.

In other business, selectmen accepted with regret the resignation of Susan Follansbee from the Historical Commission due to ill health. Kemper’s motion to appoint Erin Rich as a replacement that night received no second. Selectman Dick Cushing said that while he agreed with Kemper’s assessment that Rich was a well-qualified candidate who had applied for the post before and would bring a new perspective to the board, he preferred to “give it a week in the newspapers” before filling the spot.

Wendy Reed was appointed as a full member of the Mill Pond Committee for a three-year term. The committee has an additional opening, which Kemper expressed interest in filling. Anyone else interested should contact the selectmen’s office.

Public Works Director Gary Bill reported that he is investigating options with the Department of Transportation for proposed sidewalk repairs and installations along Main Street. Because the state road has not been upgraded since the 1970s, Bill said one option may be for the DOT to add West Newbury’s section of the state highway to its project list. Sidewalks would also be addressed under that scenario with the state paying for the entire cost. Selectmen will meet with state Sen. Bruce Tarr at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday to discuss the sidewalk issue.

Cushing and Kemper voted in favor of a proclamation to recognize United Nations Day on Oct. 24. However, Knowles abstained from the motion, saying, “Quite frankly, I would kick the UN out of the country and send it some place else.”

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