Montville adjusts salaries, donations in town warrant
Montville — Montville residents passed their town warrant quickly, with some adjustments to salaries and charitable donations and an amendment to the amount of notice given for sale of properties obtained by the town for non-payment of taxes.
About 90 people gathered in the Montville Meeting House on a beautiful spring day, Saturday, March 29. The meeting began with elections. Abbie Hills was elected town clerk, a position she has held for nine years, after five years as deputy clerk. An amendment was passed that increases her compensation by $2,000 making it equal to the compensation for the position of town treasurer. Mary Thompson was also re-elected as town treasurer/tax collector.
Jay LaGore, Cathy Roberts and Robert Price were re-elected as first, second and third selectmen, respectively. An amendment was proposed to change the compensation structure from $3,300 each to $4,000 for the first selectman and $3,000 each for the second and third selectmen, because the first selectman often takes on more responsibility. Roberts and Price were supportive of the amendment, which passed.
Peter Kassen and Casey Martin were elected to the planning board, and Charles Fletcher was elected planning board alternate. Glen Whitmere was elected to the budget committee.
Stanley P. Zeigler, elected to the school board, spoke before the vote about his background as a teacher, merchant marine, and professional logger. He has also worked with the National Science Foundation and as a board member of Columbia University.
During ballot counting, various members of the community took the opportunity to speak to the town. Christopher Birge and Kathy Foley spoke about the need for more licensed medical providers to volunteer to lighten the load of the few EMTs and for non-medically-trained volunteers who can assist with secretarial work. Spreading the work would reduce burn-out, Foley said.
Fire Chief John York spoke about the proper response to a carbon monoxide alarm: leave your home and call 911. He emphasized that it is not a burden to the fire department to come check out the house and determine the cause for the alarm, even if it is just a low battery. Doing this could save your life, he said. He also informed the town that Engine 3 which the town has had since 1986 needs a lot of work. The department has applied for grants to cover the cost of a new engine, but if those don’t come through, it will be a future cost to the town. He also requested that people clear brush from around their homes before the time of year when brush fires are a threat. The fire department would be able to help clear brush from around residents’ homes before that time.
After the elections, the town moved through the warrant at a good clip with few amendments.
Article 16, which authorizes the select board on behalf of the town to sell and dispose of any real estate acquired by the town for the non-payment of taxes, was amended to require the town give 60 days notice of the sale, rather than 14 days notice.
Article 27, donations to organizations, was amended to raise the amount to be donated to Liberty Library from $2,000 to $2,500 of the requested $3,000 because Montville residents use the library extensively, and the story time the library offers for preschoolers is only attended by Montville residents. Roberts said raising the donation amount would be a good start in forging partnerships with nearby towns.
A proposed amendment to raise the amount to be donated to MPBN from $0 to $100 was defeated.
The meeting adjourned before lunch.