Peru board to draft policy on recording meetings

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PERU — The Board of Selectmen voted 4-0 Monday night to draft a policy on recording and archiving board meetings.

The decision came after resident Don Roach asked if selectmen planned to stream their meetings via a webcam in the Town Office. He was told they did.

He also asked if there was a policy regarding recording and archiving the meetings.

Chairwoman Raquel Welch said there was not.

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Selectwoman Carol Roach said the board never voted on recording the meetings. She cited the July 17 meeting minutes, which stated the board voted to grant Selectman Kevin Taylor permission to look into additional phone lines through Spectrum, and that Taylor said there was potential for recording the meetings with a webcam, and streaming them for residents to view.

Resident Martha Witherell, who records selectmen meetings with her camera for herself, said the minutes are incorrect, and that the board voted to record the meetings.

Those minutes were approved by members John Witherell, Larry Snowman, Welch and Taylor. Roach was not at the July 17 meeting.

Carol Roach said there should be a policy in place before any recordings are done, and that she was shocked to discover a sign on the meeting room door in the town office stating that the meeting was being recorded.

“We need to back it up, and do it right,” Carol Roach said.

Taylor, who had purchased the webcam with his money, stopped recording, took the webcam and left the meeting.

Pressed by Don Roach and Carol Roach, Witherell made a motion to create a policy on recording and archiving meetings. The motion was approved by the four selectmen.

In other business, Road Commissioner Brad Hutchings said sand will only be applied to the town’s paved roads during ice storms.

When Snowman said that made him uncomfortable, Hutchings said sand has no melting agent, and it doesn’t belong on paved roads.

“It just gives people a false security that they’re driving on a safe road,” he said, adding that salt mixed with sand will be applied on dirt roads.

emarquis@sunmediagroup.net

Peru Selectman John Witherell made a motion at Monday night’s board meeting to develop a policy for recording and archiving meetings. (Liz Marquis/Sun Journal)

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