News

Selectmen's Update: January 5, 2022

The Board reviewed the many accomplishments of 2021 and our significant progress in the areas of: Human Resources, establishing a Town Vision, Mission, and Core Value Statement, responsiveness to resident concerns, multiple staff transitions, and improving several policies. The Board discussed 2022 priorities emphasizing being proactive in the coming year. Key areas of focus will include: addressing significant budget items such as rising employee health insurance costs, the future replacement of a fire truck and bridge, and adopting updates to the Town’s Employee Handbook. The Board will also formalize the periodic review of vendors and contractors to ensure high quality service at the lowest price.
 
The Board reviewed the Town complaint policy. The Board enacted a formal written complaint policy earlier this year (see here) to ensure a fair and consistent approach when responding to complaints fielded by the Selectmen’s Office.
 
The Trustees of the Quimby Fund joined the regular meeting to discuss the Selectmen’s recent funding proposal for the 2022. The Board emphasized their gratitude for the Quimby Trustees’ generosity in donating so much time to serve our community and the positive impact to the community of the Quimby Fund grants. In discussing general challenges that our community faces, the Trustees reviewed concerns regarding affordable housing and the importance of historic preservation.
 
 
Ashley Bullard and Rebecca Cole joined the meeting on behalf of the Off the Dock Players to discuss use of the Town Hall for a spring performance. The Board has been considering requests to utilize the upstairs at Town Hall on a case-by-case basis with particular consideration of impact to Town business; many Town Boards and Committees have been using the upstairs as a meeting room space due to COVID related spacing concerns.
 
The Board approved meeting minutes, signed AP and payroll manifests, and signed an employee thank you letter.
 
The Board accepted the Land Use Secretary’s resignation letter and thanked Monty Carlson for her many years of service to the Town serving both the Zoning Board of Adjustment and Planning Board.
 
The Town is seeking interested applicants for the Land Use Secretary position. Interested applicants should submit a signed acknowledgement of the position requirements and employment application to the Selectmen’s Office by 5:00 PM on January 20th, 2022. A position description and the employment application are available on the Town’s website or at the Selectmen’s Office. For questions, please reach out to the Selectmen’s Office at 284-7701 or tos@cyberpine.net.
 
The Board discussed ongoing correspondence related to requests to utilize a short segment of Dinsmore Pond Road for winter recreation trails. The Board has received several requests to forego plowing a segment of the road during the winter months. The Board will continue discussion during their work session of January 18th at 4:00 PM.
 
In other business, Town Hall staff will be working with audio/video specialists in the coming weeks to assess opportunities to improve audio and video for in-person and remote meeting participation. The Board recognizes the value of remote meeting participation but faces significant audio and video challenges with the current configuration of the meeting room and upstairs at Town Hall.
 
Police Chief Shawn Varney has shared his gratitude to the community for their profound generosity and extensive outreach. The Board and staff are in touch with Chief Varney and will communicate updates to the public as additional needs on behalf of the Varney family are shared. Thank you Sandwich community!
 
The Board appointed Selectman Haight as the Selectmen’s alternate Planning Board representative.
 
The Board reviewed several upcoming dates of importance:

·         Budget Hearing: Tuesday, February 8th at 5:00 PM at Town Hall, with a second hearing scheduled for Wednesday, February 9th at 5:00 PM at Town Hall if needed.

·         Petitioned Articles: due to the Selectmen’s Office no later than Tuesday, February 1st. Petitioned articles require no less than 24 signatures from registered voters to qualify.

·         Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Town offices will be closed on Monday, January 17th.

 
The Board will reconvene next week at 4:00 PM with a Budget Advisory Committee meeting at 4:30 PM to wrap up 2022 Budget discussions.
 
Best regards,

Board of Selectmen

P.S. - Need sand for your slick walkway? Sand is available at our Highway Garage and Transfer Station for community use -- please note the sand shovel at the Transfer Station should remain there for public use!

© 2021 Sandwich, NH Physical: 8 Maple St, Center Sandwich, NH 03227
Mailing: PO Box 194, Center Sandwich, NH 03227
Phone:  603-284-7701

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