Selectmen's Update - November 21, 2023
Selectmen’s Update – November 21st, 2023
The Board held a work session last week to discuss proposed boat launch improvements for 2024 at Squam Beach. The Board also discussed the need to enhance existing parking lots to increase capacity as usage of the facilities appears increased. More research is needed for some considerations including relevant shoreland permits required for changes.
In last night’s work session, the Board began 2024 employee contract discussions. As the end of 2023 nears, the next few Board meetings will include discussions about employee contracts, performance reviews, wage adjustments and the 2024 budget. As a reminder, the Budget Advisory Committee is meeting bi-weekly on the Selectmen’s “off” week (Nov. 27th, Dec. 11th…) and will continue until the budget is finalized, likely in mid-January. All meetings can be found on the town calendar.
The Selectmen’s Office has been working diligently to finalize the new website for implementation by year-end; we hope the new website will make it easier for users to access meeting information, pertinent updates, and our town calendar(s). Note that shortly after the rollout of the new website, communications on the SandwichBoard will cease. Existing departmental social media pages will be maintained.
In the regular meeting, the Board reviewed and approved a Home Occupation Questionnaire for a pottery studio; our Home Occupation Questionnaire form can be found here.
The Board discussed several updates for 2024 budget planning. The Budget Advisory Committee will meet on Monday, November 27th to discuss the 2024 library budget and capital planning/purchases.
In items for review/signing the Board signed: an employment offer for a temporary Highway Maintainer role; correspondence regarding a resident complaint; a letter of support for Lakes Region Planning Commission’s annual grant application to the US Dept. of Agriculture.
The Town is still seeking a permanent Highway Maintainer and encourages all interested community members to reach out to the Road Agent at 603-520-1538. The Town is an equal opportunity employer that provides competitive compensation, a positive workplace and opportunities for professional growth.
The Board discussed community correspondence and other business including:
- A resident complaint regarding the school district’s bussing route. As a rural community with narrow roads and limitations to improvements due to our Scenic roads, bus routes are partially influenced by road topography.
- The Board reiterated their consensus that Remick Park is not suitable for a skating rink. Among other issues, lack of access to hot water to ensure a frozen surface has been a challenge historically. The Board will work with the Parks & Recreation Director to brainstorm better suited and sustainable alternative locations/infrastructure in hopes of providing a venue for this program in the future.
- The Board revisited discussion about correspondence regarding a community movement to reconsider the name of “Eastman Cove” (formerly Sq___ Cove); while the Board supports such reconsideration, they agreed discussion is not appropriate at this time as the issue works its way through applicable federal and state government procedures.
- The Board reviewed a draft consent decree for its pending perambulation litigation; the Board anticipates the litigation will successfully conclude by year-end.
- The Board discussed year-end meeting schedules, noting additional meetings may be required outside of their regularly scheduled Monday evening meetings to address time-sensitive employee matters (wages, contracts, etc.). All meetings require public notice 24 hours in advance of the meeting (link to 91-A). Note that some discussions may be discussed in non-public session per RSA 91-A.
The Board will reconvene next Monday with the BAC as previously mentioned. Reminder: town offices will be closed Thursday, November 23rd in observance of Thanksgiving. The Selectmen’s Office will also close early Wednesday at 1 PM; the Selectmen’s Office regular schedule is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM and Wednesdays by appointment.
The Transfer Station will be open tomorrow for regular business hours (8 AM – 4 PM). While we do not anticipate a delayed opening due to the impending weather, any updates will be posted on our website (under News & Announcement).
As we expect our first measurable winter storm tomorrow, please take caution and plan extra time for any travels. Please report all emergencies to 911 and as always, do not assume that a downed power line is safe simply because it is on the ground or not sparking!
Board of Selectmen