BOS Meeting Starts New Year With A Bang

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BOS Meeting Starts New Year With A Bang

Postby joe179 » Thu Jan 02, 2003 9:48 pm

Tonight's BOS Meeting was definitely high on emotions.

Among other things, there was a strong discourse between Dave McCray and
Norm Carr regarding the apparent misuse of authority by the BOS Chairman. Apparently, Dave had asked that the Director of Public Works and the Consultant be present to answer questions regarding item 2 of New Business titled "Transfer Station Permitting". From what I could gather, Norm Carr directed Dean Shankle to not ask these people to attend the meeting. This was evidently done without Dave's consent.

My question to this is; Does the Chairman have this authority, or for that matter any authority to usurp or negate these types of requests by other board members?

There was also a motion which carried that the upcoming Warrant Article for a Transfer Station specify that it will be sited on Lawrence/Fearon Road.

My question to this is; Does the BOS have the authority to negate Article 25 which passed last spring, by specifying the Transfer Station will be sited in a residential zone? When I voted for this I was under the impression that the article specifically prohibited the siting of such a facility from that location, or any other residentially zoned locale.
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Postby Mark Fitzgerald » Fri Jan 03, 2003 9:09 am

Joe,

You wrote:

My question to this is; Does the BOS have the authority to negate Article 25 which passed last spring, by specifying the Transfer Station will be sited in a residential zone?


They (that being the BOS) don't even know this answer, but I assure you they're going to find out.
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Postby Brian McCarthy » Fri Jan 03, 2003 10:57 am

Chariman Carr has given this answer over and over again. In this form of government, items that are defeated once, can be brought up time and time again. His examples are the School District putting a new school proposal out there several years in a row, along with the Library (Trustees?) asking for a new library.

I suspect he is correct in that even if something passed this year, there is nothing stopping people from putting forward something to repeal it.

The only issue I would think are items controlled by contracts and/or state or
federal laws.

JMHO,

Brian
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Postby Mark Fitzgerald » Fri Jan 03, 2003 11:13 am

Brian,

There is a difference between putting an Article that failed before the voters a 2nd time and putting an Article that PASSED before them a 2nd time. Lets use Greens Pond as an example:

Imagine the resident's outrage if they simply refused to sign the P&S because they wanted to give the voters another shot at turning the idea down. Thats exactly what they have done with Article 25. They are desperate to give the voters a chance to undo the mandate they gave them last year. Have you ever heard of this being done before? Its one thing to have an article fail and place it on the warrant again in hopes of it passing, its quite another to ignore an Article that passed and put an Article out the next year that would "undo" it. Would ANYTHING ever get done that the BOS didn't want done if this was allowed?
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Postby Brian McCarthy » Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:55 pm

In general I think you are correct but I also think it depends on which side of the fence you are on when it comes to the issue and of course the implication of the issue (building things/wording etc).

If law suits are brought forward over something passing, or if conditions arise in the future, passed items are always up for reconsideration. If they were not, then things like putting a traffic light up at an intersection 10 years ago failed, so now that the traffic has doubled, it can't be brought up again.

Take Greens Pond - lets say an overwelming number of voters wanted to pave the entire thing (I'm really going for the extreme here huh!). Did the passage of that and any subsiquent (sp?) action by the BOS make that impossible? Maybe, but since its in the control of the town, I suspect not.

We all know this is a nasty situation, for many reasons and the fun is going to start when the warrants are all written down and the spin doctors go to work.

Brian
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Postby pnaber » Fri Jan 03, 2003 5:02 pm

This may be off topic, but here goes

I belong to an organization that has business meetings monthly. I laugh every time a decision is negated the following month when the supporters who pushed through the original issue stay at home, thinking thier job is done.

Maybe a warrant article is needed again to keep the transfer station off Fearon Rd? At least a handout with all the costs of Fearon Rd such as bridge replacement and auto miles.
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Postby joe179 » Fri Jan 03, 2003 7:40 pm

As far as Article 25 is concerned, my personal interpretation was that it's intent is to prohibit the siting of a Transfer Facility or Station from residential zones. My thinking is that this was meant to be long term or permanent--not to be raised again and again every year like a traffic light, school, or other rather contemporaneous matter.

I don’t think anyone wants such a facility near his or her home. It is clearly the type of operation that should be located in an industrial area as far from homes and food processing or storage facilities as possible. I shall attach an excerpt from the letter Anheuser Busch sent to the town regarding their specific issues with a Transfer Facility:

…We produce a beverage for human consumption. Placement of a waste transfer station in close proximity to our food processing plant will increase vector and pest infestation concerns and will inevitably require increased reliance on pesticides to control such infestations. This proposal would needlessly increase ingredient and product contamination risks.

· Odor could become a major issue. Our Brewery and Clydesdale Hamlet tour facilities bring thousands of people each year to Merrimack who contribute to the local economy. We do not want Garbage odors overwhelming the delicate aroma of hops and fresh grains for our guests. We are also concerned that odors from a transfer station could adversely impact our product.

· Our peak Tourist day is Saturday. We are concerned that the transfer station would add 2,600 vehicle trips per day to the area on Saturday’s.

· We are also concerned that the operation could result in both surface and groundwater contamination concerns. Our adjacent groundwater wells could be adversely affected by seepage and runoff from transfer station operations...


I believe Anheuser Busch has stated the facts regarding the hazards of this operation.

Why is there any different concern from anyone-- about locating this type of facility near or within a short distance from residential homes?

I conclude that the spirit of Article 25 prohibits such an occurrence for obvious reasons. To dismiss the will of the people, and diminish the quality of life that a segment of our population wishes to enjoy, is a heinous act!
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Postby Muriel Lortie » Fri Jan 03, 2003 8:09 pm

The Chairman of the BOS (Norm Carr) seems to have a memory lapse.

In the Special BOS Session minutes of May 28, 2002 he states towards the end of the session: With regard to the warrant article issue and Lawrence Road ever coming forward, he stated he will not put a warrant article out that has Lawrence Road as a choice for a transfer facility. By studying the Lawrence Road numbers, we are trying to protect the citizens from a petitioned warrant article, so it is a defendable issue.
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