Friday, August 13, 1999
News briefs from the selectmen
Town counsel seminar
On September 16, town counsel will give a seminar for all volunteers on town boards and commissions on such topics as the open meeting law, quasi-judicial decision-making, making required findings and writing minutes. All boards, departments and commissions are strongly encouraged to attend.
Agreement for new trail
The trails committee reported to the selectmen on August 3 that Dick and Carolyn Shohet have suggested entering into a licensing agreement with the town for the trail through the woods from their property off Bedford Road to Kimball's Ice Cream. Steve Tobin of the trails committee reported that the trail coincides for the most part with the Shohets' driveway. The license, which can be revoked at will by either party, was suggested primarily to acknowledge use by the public of the trail. Tobin noted that a state law protects landowners from liability for injury when they allow the public to use their land for recreation. Selectmen approved the agreement in concept and the trails committee will follow through with the final draft.
Grappling with personnel raises
The selectmen opted to postpone a decision on a four-percent raise for members of the building and fire departments. Every town department, other than the library, gave staff a four-percent raise. Selectman Michael Fitzgerald said, "I don't want to nickel and dime the staff, but I'm not sure whether these increases across the board will tap into the reserve fund."
During budget hearings, the selectmen had agreed that departments could go beyond the three-percent raises suggested by the finance committee guidelines and issue an additional one-percent merit raise. The additional raise was meant to apply only when the entire department was within the budget guideline and only for meritorious service. The problem, according to selectman Vivian Chaput, was that there was no procedure set for a merit review. "Our policy was not implemented as successfully as we would have liked." The board will review the pay increases of all town departments so that they may, in the words of Fitzgerald, "try to make some level of consistency out of a very inconsistent program."
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito