Paris Board of Selectmen

Nov. 28, 2016

Paris Town Office

Special town meeting

What happened: Selectmen voted to set a special town meeting for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 9, 2017, to deal with issues discovered in the draft financial audit for fiscal 2016.

What it means: An article to authorize the town to use surplus money to cover overdrafts was accidentally left off the June town meeting warrant. The town needs after-the-fact approval from voters, even though the $168,319 in overdrafts were paid during the previous fiscal year, which ended June 30. The town also needs approval from voters to appropriate roughly $94,000 in surplus money for contingency, capital funds and a bond payment that was already made. This surplus is over and above the recommended amount for the town’s Designated and Undesignated Fund Balance policy. Selectmen voted to move the money in May, but it’s still sitting in the undesignated fund balance and was not moved because voters must approve doing so.

What’s next: Town Manager Vic Hodgkins and Town Clerk Liz Knox will provide warrant articles to selectmen at their Dec. 27 meeting.

Federal labor law

What happened: Two selectmen changed their Nov. 14 vote to bump Town Clerk Liz Knox’s salary to the federally mandated wage under the new labor law for salaried employees, which was supposed to go into effect Thursday, but was stayed by a Texas judge last week.

What it means: Selectman Rusty Brackett and Board of Selectmen Chairwoman Janet Jamison changed their votes, which defeated the original motion to increase Knox’s salary. She will remain at her current salary for the time being.

What’s next: Selectmen agreed to get more information and revisit the issue in the future.

CEO candidate

What happened: Hodgkins told selectmen he narrowed down code enforcement officer candidates to one man whom he wants to bring before selectmen so they can ask questions.

What it means: While selectmen technically do not have to sign off on the new code enforcement officer because the position isn’t a department head, Hodgkins wanted to give them the chance to interview the candidate. Paris has been without a full-time code officer since Fred Collins left in August.

What’s next: Selectmen will meet with the candidate before their next meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12, at the Town Office, 33 Market Square.

Police grants

What happened: Selectmen gave their blessing to Police Chief Harley “Skip” Mowatt to seek additional grants for cardiac defibrillators.

What it means: Mowatt announced he received two grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the Oxford County Emergency Management Agency, which did not cost the town anything. The Police Department received one grant for $2,595 for scene lighting and one for $2,490 for two heart defibrillators.

What’s next: Mowatt will apply for an additional grant in hopes of getting three more devices. If approved, he plans to have one at the Police Station and Town Office and the rest in police cruisers.

Phone lines

What happened: Hodgkins told selectmen he’s talking with vendors about the town’s landline phone service.

What it means: Hodgkins, Knox and Bookkeeper Paula Locke are exploring ways to save the town money, because it spends between $400 and $500 a month for landline service.

What’s next: The trio will continue to meet with vendors to try to find the best deal for the town and bring it to selectmen at a future meeting.

Meeting changed

What happened: Selectmen opted to change their second December meeting from Monday, Dec. 26, to Tuesday, Dec. 27, at the Town Office.

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