SALISBURY — The Board of Selectmen underwent a metamorphosis Monday night as a new member joined, and a new chairman and vice chairman were appointed at a meeting that also saw revenue concerns discussed.
Terry Marengi Jr. debuted as a selectman after being elected May 9. He steps in for Wilma McDonald, who retired from public office after 38 years of service.
In keeping with the board’s tradition of rotating positions each year, Chuck Takesian stepped down as chairman, thanking fellow members for allowing him to serve in that role and sharing his appreciation for everyone who helped him.
“The chair does have a lot of responsibilities, a little bit more than the regular selectmen, more than being on the board. So that’s why it’s a pleasure to pass it on,” Takesian said with a laugh.
Former Vice Chairwoman Ronalee Ray-Parrott was appointed as the new chairwoman. Ronalee Ray-Parrott shared her excitement at being able to step into her new position with the support of her colleagues.
“In all of my years that I’ve been on the Select Board, I’ve always enjoyed working with everybody that I work with,” she said.
Ray-Parrott explained why she believes the board is effective.
“The thing that I love about Salisbury Select Board is we find a way to be able to respect people’s opinions. I think we’ve also done a nice job of having people become experts in certain areas and then trusting them,” she said.
“If it’s the liquor licenses and liquor laws, Chuck is really kind of the guy. When it is affordable housing or education, it is me, if it is conservation, it is Mike,” she added, referring to Selectman Michael Coburn.
Colburn was appointed vice chairman. Ray-Parrott and Colburn both joked during and after the meeting about how they will now see even more of each other since both already serve as members of the Parks and Recreation Commission.
“Just another stop for the duo,” Colburn said after the meeting.
At the conclusion of the meeting during his regular report, Town Manager Neil Harrington said that he and Finance Director Karen Snow have concerns about the revenue side of the recently approved budget. He said the biggest factor is the decline in revenue from the town’s recreational cannabis facility.
“If the trend continues, we may have to come back and revise the budget in the fall before the tax rate is set,” Harrington said.
He said they recently received good news about revenue.
“The excise tax bills were coming in a little stronger than we thought,” Harrington said. “And the attorney that represents us on delinquencies sent out more notices for people who were delinquent in their taxes, and we got a little bump there from people who were behind in their taxes who have started to pay up. So it’s starting to look a little bit better.”
Matt Petry covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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