NEWBURY — Residents at a Special Town Meeting tomorrow will consider turning the elected positions of town clerk, as well as tree warden and shellfish commissioners, into appointed roles.
Proponents of the warrant article say taking the town positions from elected to appointed ones will save both time and expense.
The article is one of 17 that will face voters at the Special Town Meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. at Newbury Elementary School on Hanover Street. All residents are encouraged to attend. A quorum of 40 people is needed to vote on the issues at hand.
In addition to the proposed move away from the elected town positions, Article 17 would add assistant harbormasters to the list of appointments the town administrator is authorized to make.
According to Town Administrator Tracy Blais, appointments of assistant harbormasters was not included in the original legislation that created the selectmen-town administrator form of government.
"This was the cause of some confusion in town earlier this spring when the assistant harbormasters were up for reappointment and it wasn't clear who the appointing authority was," Blais said. "Ultimately, the selectmen made the appointments, which is an authority they hold according to general law."
The purchase of new police and public works vehicles and a new roof for Town Hall will also be put to a vote of the Special Town Meeting tomorrow night.
Several of the articles on the warrant reflect maintenance and capital expenditures deemed necessary by town officials.
"The facilities maintenance and capital asset replacement is going to be a priority in the budget recommendations that I provide to the Board of Selectmen in the near future," said Blais, who is working to recommit the town to these initiatives.
Other standard articles residents will be asked to vote to pay include increases in wages and expenses, long-term debt and financing changes, and technical services costs.
Residents will also have the chance to vote on the release of money from the free cash account to update the town code books at a cost of $5,600, pay firearms licensing fees of $22,016, fund the $25,000 replacement of the Town Hall roof, and pay for a new $37,000 police vehicle and new $36,142 utility body truck for use by the Department of Public Works.
Blais said the free cash account can be used for the proposed purchases and payments because they are considered one-time expenditures.