NEWRY — Selectmen on Tuesday night took under advisement a request to consider increasing the number of board members from three to five.

Chairman Gary Wight said he wanted to know what was next since Virgil Conkright didn’t provide any reasons for his request, other than to say that the board might have trouble with a quorum if some members couldn’t attend meetings.

“We can look into it,” Selectman Wendy Hanscom said.

Selectman Jim Largess wanted to know what was driving Conkright’s request. “It’s hard when we don’t know what’s coming,” Largess said. “But it’s certainly worth considering.”

“We’ll give it some thought and consider it,” Hanscom told Conkright.

In other business:


* Selectmen voted 3-0 to approve a catering liquor license for Gourmet in a Pinch, which Paul and Charisa Legault opened in December 2009 at 312 Route 2 in Bethel.

They do wedding reception catering at The Ski Esta on Powder Ridge Road in Newry and offer freshly prepared, takeout gourmet food in the Sunday River area, according to their website.

* The board adopted a Privacy and Network Security Policy at the behest of the town’s insurance provider and approved bylaws for selectmen.

Tuesday’s meeting was the board’s last review of its bylaws document, approval of which has been held up for some time while selectmen debated whether they wanted to include a clause that allowed the board to reconsider a decision if they waited 30 days.

Largess wanted it stricken. “I just don’t want to hang somebody up for 30 days. Is it necessary?”

They voted 3-0 to remove the paragraph, and asked Administrator Loretta Powers to bring the finished document before the board to sign at its next meeting.


* The board voted unanimously to accept a mission statement for the newly formed Road Committee.

* Selectmen continued discussion on possibly changing the town’s fiscal year to improve cash flow. Newry holds its town meetings in March. It runs on a calendar year, January through December.

Hanscom said all they have to do is change when they collect taxes rather than change the town fiscal year. She said they could send tax bills in March and September to improve cash flow.

School Administrative District 44 runs on a fiscal year that starts July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year, Hanscom said. “So we would know six months of the school’s budget.”

She advised the board they should have Woodstock Town Manager Vern Maxfield share his insight about this at a future meeting.

Hanscom said she was not opposed to any other suggestions, but agreed that “cash flow is the crux of it.”


Largess said changing the annual town meeting date isn’t the issue, but rather, “spending money we haven’t quite voted on yet.”

“I love that town meeting is in March, because it means we’re going to get released from winter,” Hanscom said.

Administrator Powers suggested holding an informational meeting to learn what taxpayers have to say.

“When taxes go out, it causes a cash-flow problem,” Hanscom said. “We’re in June now, but we haven’t collected any taxes yet. If we did it in March, we would have to collect two times a year.”

* The board asked Powers to do a records search and get advice from the town lawyer about possibly discontinuing from 400 to 700 feet of Sunday River Road in the Letter S area. Code Enforcement Officer David Bonney said it hasn’t been maintained by the town since the 1950s.

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