The Falmouth Board of Selectmen unanimously voted in Brent Putnam as their new chairman during a June 3 reorganization, while the board also named Doug Jones as vice chairman. Rebecca Moffitt was welcomed to the board as its newest member, following the May 21 election, while Mary Pat Flynn was welcomed back following her re-election to the board.
Former chairman Kevin Murphy reflected on his leadership prior to the reorganization. “I’d like to thank the board for their cooperation while I was chairman. We took an approach that included everybody. I’d like to say we did accomplish major issues,” he said.
Under Murphy’s leadership, selectmen hired a finance director to help with the town’s long-term stability, appointed Acting Police Chief Edward Dunne permanently to the same position, and merged the Department of Natural Resources with the Harbor Master’s office. “We were able to accomplish that and have a department that is little more streamlined,” Murphy said.
But other issues remain unresolved, such as how to unite the community around keeping or removing the wind turbines that remain at the Falmouth Wastewater Treatment Facility. Putnam will face the challenge of tackling the divisive issue following the town election in which voters rejected removal of the turbines.
Due to reorganization, selectmen did not address the turbine issue publicly on June 3, but they are expected to do so in the near future. Meanwhile, they discussed the issue in executive session, after which time Putnam made a brief statement that selectmen would appeal a recent Zoning Board of Appeals decision that Wind 1 is a nuisance.
The selectmen’s appeal of that decision is to protect the interests of the town in response to a pending lawsuit based on the nuisance law, Putnam said. “The board of selectmen will continue to seek resolution of all issues pertaining to the turbines,” he added.
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