BYRON — Newly elected Selectman Linda Joyal was voted chairwoman of the board Thursday night.
Joyal and James Ramey, who was also elected in March, had chosen Anne Simmons-Edmunds to be chairwoman April 2 because of her experience and seniority. She has been on the board since 2008.
Selectmen on Thursday clarified the process for choosing the chairman: either election by residents at a town meeting or balloting by the board.
Along with being chairwoman, Joyal will be the “point person” for the Maine Municipal Association, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization offering professional services to municipalities and other local governmental entities. Byron is a member of MMA.
Meanwhile on Friday, Town Clerk/Treasurer and Tax Collector Rosie Susbury was getting reacquainted with those positions she held in the 1980s.
She was named one day after Allison Freeman handed in her resignation, writing, “due to the many recent changes in the Town Office and the issues that have been brought to light.”
After five years on the job, Freeman’s resignation came a week after auditors began checking town financial records for the past five years.
The last audit was in 2013.
Ramey told the board Thursday night, “There’s money missing — quite a lot. We’re going to have a town meeting when we get the results back. There will be a lot of shocked ears when this happens.”
Susbury told the board, “I’m willing to do it short term to help the town out.”
She will serve until her replacement is elected at a special town meeting in June.
Susbury also will adhere to the new payroll policy that became effective shortly after the annual town meeting in March.
The former policy allowed Freeman to cut and send checks to pay bills and to process payroll for herself and the Public Works director, before the payments were viewed by selectmen.
Simmons-Edmunds said the former policy was in place because payroll was being processed weekly, but selectmen met every other week. To avoid interruptions and maintain the weekly payroll, Freeman was authorized to pay the town’s bills and employees — she and the Public Works director are the only ones — before those payments were approved on the warrants by selectmen.
The new policy makes the payroll biweekly, so the town’s bills can still be paid by Susbury weekly, but payroll will first have to be approved by selectmen.
The board voted Thursday night to change its meetings to the first and third Tuesday of the month. Susbury will attend the meetings as part of her regular work day until May, when the dates and times will have to be revisited because of changing work schedules for selectmen.
The board will meet next at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, at the Town Office.