Mailloux mulls the matter of meeting minutes

ORANGE — Selectboard chairman Ryan Mailloux wants to crack down on committees not turning in their minutes, starting with the selectboard itself.

Mailloux told fellow board members that the issue of committees not turning in their minutes needs to be resolved, especially in light of the recent change in state records-keeping laws last November. Recently he was perusing the town’s website when he noticed that the minutes from 10 separate sessions are missing under the selectboard site. As five of the sessions were public there isn’t much to excuse the absence. As for the five that are from executive sessions, Mailloux asked if the board would agree to an executive session at next week’s meeting, on Wednesday, Jan. 17, to go over the minutes from those meetings to determine if they can be released. In all, he would like all of the missing minutes that can be made public from the selectboard to be posted to the website by the end of the month.

As for other committees, Mailloux asked Town Clerk Nancy Blackmer if she would work with him to create a template that the other committees could use so there would be uniformity across all town committees, making it easier for residents to understand them.

Blackmer noted that all committees need to be keeping hard copies of their minutes and turning them over to the town clerk’s office. Putting them on the website is not required, it is only done as a convenience to site visitors. Public records law does not allow minutes to be stored on any type of portable electronic storage medium, like flash drives or other disks, because a change in technology can result in the inability to recover those records. So currently, there is an issue of finding a place to keep the minutes, as storage place is limited in both the town hall and the storage area of Butterfield School.

Blackmer added that she has reached out to a company about going through the old records and determining what can be destroyed, but the work can run as much as $27,000.

Town Administrator Search

As the search for a new town administrator continues, the selectboard voted to remove treasurer Gabriele Voelker from the search committee as she has decided to throw her hat into the ring of applicants.

Since the departure of Diana Schindler, the work of the town administrators position has been split up among other town hall employees, but most notably that of Voelker, who has served as the board’s liaison to the other employees and residents alike.

With Voelker no longer serving on the search committee, the selectboard agreed to appoint William Wrigley as the new liaison between the town administrator search committee, of which he is the chairman, and the selectboard.

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