Kelly remains on Seabrook board until election recount
A bizarre chain of events surrounding a vacant selectman's seat made for an unusual and at times volatile selectmen's meeting Wednesday night, and while reminiscent of the temperament of the board's last meeting two weeks ago, this time there was the added presence of a Seabrook police officer.
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#1 Mar 22, 2013
#2 Mar 22, 2013
Maybe we need a town manger that can read and doesn't have to call an attorney all the time. You could kill two birds with one stone if you make Jeff Brown the town manager!!
#3 Mar 22, 2013
Then the fire dept can really break the bank
#4 Mar 22, 2013
The town charter states how a situation like this should be handled: swear in the runner up. If the town of seabrook is going to ignore their own charter (which many good people spent a very long time redoing the town's charter in the 1980's)then that doesn't say much for the selectman. If you don't agree with the charter, then form a committee and redo it. But as it stands now, the right thing to do is appoint the runner-up.
#5 Mar 22, 2013
If you feel that the firefighters in your town are over paid, then find out how to become apart of the negotiation process. The contract for firefighter pay is negotiated it isn't one man who sets the scale. the same goes for the police department, or any other union job for that matter.
#6 Mar 22, 2013
the only people involved in the contract negotiations are the Selectmen.
#7 Mar 23, 2013
A ex firechief as town manager. Now we have a volunteer fireman as a selectman, i am sure everything will be ok in negotiations
#8 Mar 23, 2013
Then run for selectman. Or have you already.
#9 Mar 23, 2013
get rid of all the unnecessary women in town hall and maybe we could pay the police and fireman the same as other towns (Amesbury) pays there's then maybe we wont loose the good ones that we do have!
#10 Mar 23, 2013
You all ready for this! Follow the Town Charter. YES YES YES! Next we will elect our Fire Chief, Police Chief, Road Agent now known as Highway Dept. Head, Pay the constables, Town Manager Form of governments should be gone and our Town will once again work just like it did in the 80's. Awesome!
#11 Mar 23, 2013
you obviously have never read the charter. the police chief is appointed and musy reside in town, the fire chief is appointed and must live in town. the only mention of constables is that the town will bond them. Road agent is not in there. and the townmanager form of govt is also in there.
do your research before spouting off.
#12 Mar 24, 2013
no need to sweat the small stuff. We will do what we want so get over yourself
#13 Mar 24, 2013
Do you ever get tired of everyone laughing at your Town. Smarten up.
The circus is already in town
AMSelf-proclaimed "lame-duck selectman" Brendan Kelly said at Wednesday's Board of Selectmen meeting that he worried if someone else got elected to the board on March 12 it would bring the "circus" back to town.
We think it's already a circus, especially with what has transpired in the last week regarding how to fill the now-vacant selectman seat.
Former Hampton Falls Town Administrator and Seabrook resident Eric Small who beat Kelly in the six-person selectmen race declined the position due to heart issues.
Despite the election results being put on hold after a recount was requested by candidate Paul Knowles, selectmen held what they called an "emergency non-meeting with legal counsel" last Friday to discuss the vacant position.
The meeting was never posted and we question why it couldn't be done at a public session.
A Hampton Union reporter and editor attended the Wednesday selectmen meeting to see first-hand what's going on. The matter wasn't even an item on the agenda.
The issue came up after some prodding from residents. Had they not spoke up, we would still be in the dark.
Kelly who came in fourth place at the election said he was offered the position but said he would only accept it if the second runner-up, Raymond Smith, did not accept it.
The town charter recommends that when a vacancy arises, selectmen move to appoint the runner-up for the seat whenever possible.
Smith apparently accepted the offer and signed a letter of intent after being contacted by the interim town manager.
Here is our issue: This all occurred behind the scenes and we strongly believe it should have been done during a televised public session that was properly noticed.
There is no reason why the attorney couldn't come to a meeting and explain the process of filling a vacant seat. It's not a top-secret legal opinion that will jeopardize any legal case and, after all, it's the taxpayers who are paying for this legal opinion.
Secondly it appears the board made a decision to appoint Smith behind closed doors.
Appointing the runner-up to serve the one-year term until the next election seems like a rational decision.
However, selectmen apparently didn't reach that conclusion at first, because they asked Kelly if he wanted to continue serving in that role.
By doing so, they made it clear they were willing to overlook the recommendation in the charter if it came to that.
So now the fair thing to do would be to open it up for all the candidates to write a letter of interest and for the board to make a decision during a public meeting.
Even if it's still Smith they select, there will be no question of shenanigans going on behind closed doors.
Selectman Aboul Khan last month admitted that the board as of late has not been as transparent as it should be and vowed as one board member to do a better job.
This latest debacle doesn't help.
Which begs us to bring up an even bigger question. Who is running the town? Is it the town manager or the selectmen?
The board essentially paid off former Town Manager Barry Brenner with $129,000 of taxpayer dollars to make him go away.
Selectmen have their own desks at Town Hall and so far have not been in a rush to find a permanent town manager.
Forget the threat of the circus coming back to town. It's already here and it's been here for a while.
#14 Mar 25, 2013
If the people that attend the meetings, stop going and bringing up pointless questions and false accusations, then maybe bussiness can go on without it being a circus. The selectmen were faced with an odd circumstance when the winner declined the position. The selectmen decided to do what any normal person would do and make the runner up the next selectman. Calling for a recount was circus act, brought on by the "carney".
The "hampton onion" feeds of the carney's and should be exused from the meetings as well.
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