, Newburyport, MA

Local News

September 12, 2013

Selectmen agree to changes in Whetstone St. plan


The developers hope to have permitting approvals from the Planning Board within the next two months, but because the deadline with National Grid for applications for utility main work has passed for this year, the earliest the project could get under way is next spring.

In other business, selectmen agreed to more strictly enforce a town policy requiring annual employee evaluations after learning that the process is not being followed consistently in all town departments.

A recent survey indicated that several departments and committees believed they didn’t have to conduct evaluations because they voted not to do so. Noting that taxpayers had a right to expect town policy was being followed when they voted for annual salaries and raises, Kemper said, “There is no choice on this.” Selectmen agreed to “phase in” the process for the upcoming budget season.

In other employee news, the board reiterated a town policy that requires employees to sign off on payroll sheets prior to getting paid. Department heads are not allowed to sign for the employees who work under them, selectmen stressed.

Organizers got approval to hold another Turkey Trot on Pipestave Hill this Thanksgiving. The use-of-facility fee was waived. Instead, selectmen asked the nonprofit organization to make a donation to the Historical Society in memory of longtime resident and local historian, Susan Follansbee, who passed away last week.

Noting Follansbee’s dedication to the town, Kemper said, “she will truly be missed.” A memorial service for Follansbee is planned for Saturday at 11 a.m. in the Congregational Church on Main Street.

LOCO Sports got the OK to use portions of town roads for an “All Women and One Lucky Guy” half marathon on Nov. 3. The one man running in the race is selected by raffle lottery. In lieu of a usage fee, the for-profit group will make a donation to the annual All Sports Breakfast held at the American Legion Hall on Thanksgiving Day.

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