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Selectmen pull warrant articles out of a basket to determine order at Town Meeting  

Credit:  By Peggy Aulisio, Editor | The Advocate | February 07, 2013 | www.southcoasttoday.com ~~

FAIRHAVEN – Warrant articles, written on slips of paper, were picked randomly by the three selectmen Feb. 4, taking turns. Chairman Brian K. Bowcock said the tradition originated from concerns that the order of warrant articles was rigged. He said Town Meeting members suspected some articles were targeted for an early vote so members could go home for lunch and not return.

“Some people thought it was fixed,” Mr. Bowcock said, so they could “do some before lunch and leave.”

One of the main warrant articles, for the wind turbine bylaw changes proposed by the Planning Board, was pulled at #19. Selectmen picked slips for just under 40 articles, starting after the ones for the town budget.

Selectman Robert Espindola proposed four articles, including one to form a Capital Improvement Planning Committee, but it was pulled when Mr. Bowcock said the board could create it without Town Meeting approval. Another article, to establish a special stabilization fund targeted to capital items, was placed on the warrant although selectmen said they could decide to pass over it. Mr. Espindola said they could use it for big ticket items like a new fire truck. He said they could designate income from the solar project on the landfill to the new fund.

(The town of Acushnet has an article on its special Town Meeting warrant for Feb. 11 that would allow the town to place solar farm revenues in a fund for large ticket capital items.)

Article #21 will be for the Emergency Management Agency’s request for funding for cots. This article was passed over at the fall Town Meeting.

In the executive secretary’s report, Jeffrey W. Osuch said they would be meeting with FEMA Feb. 6 to talk about Hurricane Sandy. Mr. Osuch also gave an update on progress at the new Wood School, saying the mason has finished, windows are being installed and sheetrock is about a month ahead of schedule. He said the electrician can’t work until the roof is watertight. Roof work is continuing but it was stalled during weather that was too cold to apply adhesives.

Also on Monday, selectmen went into executive session to discuss candidates for finance director/treasurer, to discuss an issue involving police personnel and to talk about union negotiations with the police and clerical unions. Mr. Osuch said they also would discuss a proposal from a company named Secure Benefits.

Selectmen plan to meet with major town departments on Feb. 11, including the School Department, to discuss budgets.

Source:  By Peggy Aulisio, Editor | The Advocate | February 07, 2013 | www.southcoasttoday.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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