Canton selectmen laud longtime resident

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CANTON — Board of Selectmen Chairman Donald Hutchins asked for a moment of silence at Thursday night’s meeting in memory of longtime resident and postmaster Colby Davis, who died Saturday at the age of 90.

Hutchins said Davis wanted to see the town go in a positive direction. He was responsible for American flags all over town, rarely missed a selectmen meeting and was the first to volunteer when help was needed.

The board recessed its meeting for 35 minutes after calling law enforcement to have resident Percy Butler removed for loud outbursts accusing the board of failing the town.

“In my opinion, the selectmen do not represent the townspeople,” he said.

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Hutchins ordered Butler to leave and when he didn’t, Hutchins instructed Administrative Assistant Scotty Kilbreth to call authorities.

Butler left on his own and the board called off the law enforcement and reconvened its meeting.

“This board will not be treated like that,” Hutchins said. “We have a responsibility to run this town in the best possible way.”

Moving on to other matters, selectmen voiced their opposition to Tuesday’s vote to elect the fire chief instead of selectmen appointing one.

Selectman Malcolm Ray said he was not dissatisfied with Chief Shawn Gallant and hoped the measure would be defeated.

Selectman Robert Walker said members of the Fire Department have to trust their chief and selectmen should appoint that person with input from the department.

Hutchins said fire chiefs have to be trained and qualified and therefore should be appointed. He said he thought it was a personal issue to get rid of Gallant, “and I’m not on board with that.” 

The measure was put before voters by a citizens’ petition.

In other business, the board approved a tax abatement for Stan Dyke because his garage fell down because of heavy snow.

Regarding complaints about driveway aprons on Staples Hill Road, Ray, whose firm donated the engineering for the road work, said some aprons were required because of drainage. In the spring before the final coat of paving is done, officials will take another look at the driveways that did not have aprons done, he said.

The board voted to continue holding open town meetings, rather than voting on the warrant at the polls. Selectmen agreed residents should have a chance to discuss articles before they vote.

The board agreed to put the five acres used for sand storage off Route 10 out to bid for a minimum of $12,225.

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