Friday, August 18, 2000
Shorts from the selectmen
· Updates from committees. The municipal land committee is reenergized and is developing a preliminary plan. They are planning a Saturday "Town Planning Day" in the fall. The recreation commission expressed a need for more tennis courts, as people are being turned away from tennis league and lessons. The Carlisle School expansion group is formulating a request for proposals. The expectation that over 100 students would be entering kindergarten in the fall is no longer a concern, as ten students have decided not to attend this year. Nina Ostrom resigned from the Finance Committee.
· Town counsel fees. A review of fees paid to the town counsel is underway. Approximately $36,000 was spent on legal fees last year, an amount the selectmen view as excessive. Itemized invoices sent to committees seem to be accurate; retainer hours are still under investigation. Committees circumventing the selectmen and going directly to counsel have been a problem. In the future, boards will first need to receive an estimate for non-retainer work and then the request must be signed-off by the selectmen. "If it's not approved beforehand, we're not paying," announced selectman Doug Stevenson.
· Town tower sites. In response to a letter from Omnipoint seeking a request for proposals to lease town land either at the fire station or the library for installation of a communications tower, wireless communications advisory member Paul Gill suggested that the town needs more information on viable sites for constructing such a tower consistent with town bylaws. This would give the town more bargaining room in the event of a legal challenge, he pointed out. Referring to the Telecommunications Act, advisory member Don Allen added, "We can't prevent them whether we want to or not." Not wanting to appear as promoting a particular site, the selectmen agreed to have interim town administrator Madonna McKenzie make a short list of possible sites while overtures are made to the cellular phone companies to find out their plans and requirements.
· Know Your Town. Resident Verna Gilbert was thanked for her revision of the Know Your Town pamphlet, which explains Carlisle town government and is now available at Town Hall.
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito