Paris selectmen meeting, Sept. 19, Town Office

Lawyer’s bill/town manager’s contract

What happened: Selectman Chris Summers and former interim Town Manager Bill Guindon met separately with the town’s attorney, Matt Tarasevich of Bernstein Shur, for more than four hours, acquiring a bill of $1,457. Summers wanted to discuss the matter in public at Monday’s meeting, saying he asked the town’s attorney about the legality of new Town Manager Vic Hodgkins’ contract.

What it means: The town will have to pay the bill. Board of Selectmen Chairman Mike Risica read Tarasevich’s letter to the board, saying the lawyer deemed the contract to be legal.

What’s next: Summers will not be able to consult with the town’s attorney in the future without the backing of the rest of the board.

Town meeting format 

What happened: Selectmen unanimously voted to place a question on the Nov. 8 ballot to ask voters if they prefer to have a secret ballot vote for annual town meeting and local ordinances over several hours.

What it means: Selectman Scott Buffington wants to get more participation at town meeting, after hearing complaints from people who were not able to make the usual time and place on the third Saturday in June. Budget articles on the warrant would have to be capped articles, meaning they could not be increased as they could with the current town meeting format.

What’s next: Hodgkins and Town Clerk Liz Knox will make sure this is feasible for the town to pursue and report back to the board.

Code enforcement officer

What happened: Selectmen unanimously voted to allow Hodgkins to interview for a new code enforcement officer and to offer previous code officer Fred Collins’ salary and benefits package to the candidate. Collins made more than $40,000, which did not include benefits.

What it means: Selectmen will allow Hodgkins to hire the candidate if he wants to because they passed a policy earlier this year to review hires.

What’s next: Hodgkins will interview the only candidate for the position on Friday.

Fireworks ordinance?

What happened: Risica presented a modified fireworks ordinance, using the template from Lisbon. The board voted 3-1 to ask voters in November if they would support an ordinance to limit fireworks in Paris.

What it means: Paris could limit fireworks times and add distance requirements if voters support an ordinance. This stems from a large fireworks display on the Fourth of July at an Oxford Street residence.

What’s next: If voters support an ordinance, the board will craft one and have residents weigh in on it in June.

Selectmen goals

What happened: Selectmen discussed their goals for the upcoming year, including creating an economic development committee and developing a policy for guidelines for decorating and events in Moore Park. Selectmen voted unanimously to form the committee.

What it means: Selectmen hope to attain these goals, which include increasing economic development in town and creating a better sense of community.

What’s next: Hodgkins will write a charge for the Economic Development Committee, which will include five members, plus two alternates. The town will ask for members to join the committee.

Highway Department retirement

What happened: Longtime highway employee Roger Fogg submitted his resignation effective Sept. 30. Hodgkins thanked Fogg for his 23 years of service and asked for a round of applause for him.

What it means: The town is looking to replace Fogg in the Highway Department as the summer winds down and winter approaches.

What’s next: The town will advertise for the position and hold interviews.

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