Paris Board of Selectmen

Aug. 28, 2017

Paris Town Office

Special meeting

What happened: Selectmen voted to hold a special board meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31, to discuss formal complaints against former board Chairwoman Janet Jamison. She is a member of the Norway-Paris Solid Waste Board and Norway-Paris Community Television Committee.

What it means: Board Chairman Scott Buffington said he would not read the content of the complaint letters, but asked Town Manager Vic Hodgkins to make sure Jamison received a copy of them. Buffington originally wanted to have the meeting at 5:30 p.m. but Jamison objected, asking if she was allowed to give input and saying she couldn’t make a 5:30 p.m. meeting.

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What’s next: Hodgkins found two documents on the issue of selectmen appointing and removing committee and board members. Selectmen will discuss the issue at Thursday’s meeting. Jamison asked people to show up to support her and said the complaints were retaliation for her speaking up.

Petition

What happened: Selectmen voted to send a citizen petition to restore funding to the Fire Department to the town’s attorney. The petition was submitted by Budget Committee member Richard Merz. 

What it means: Buffington is concerned because it asks to restore the exact amount — $145,629 — that was cut by voters at the June town meeting, and because of the potential for future petitions on the matter.

What’s next: Selectmen have until Oct. 13 — 60 days from when the petition was certified — to act on it. They will revisit the issue after the attorney reviews the document.

Flyers

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What happened: Selectmen unanimously approved a motion to investigate and denounce a controversial flyer circulated to residents last week criticizing Buffington and Budget Committee Chairman Rick Little.

What it means: The motion includes Hodgkins investigating whether or not taxpayer money was used in creating, printing or distributing the flyer, along with drafting language to post on the town’s website to state the document is inaccurate. At the annual town meeting in June, Little made a motion to cut the Fire Department budget by $145,629, which was seconded by Buffington and passed. The flyer was distributed to residents in town and partially paid for by Teamsters Local 340, which is negotiating with selectmen on behalf of the town’s per diem firefighters.

What’s next: The town is moving toward returning to a volunteer department. Sixteen volunteer firefighters were recognized by Buffington earlier in the meeting.

Bid

What happened: Selectmen approved a bid of $359,190 for the stormwater separation project from Pratt & Sons, pending Department of Environmental Protection approval. It was the lowest offer.

What it means: Other bids included St. Laurent & Son for $427,755; Cross Excavation for $510,250; T-Buck Construction for $590,222; The Nelson Companies for $609,120; McGee Construction for $651,976; Ranger Contracting for $661,891.50, and C. H. Stevenson for $680,790. At a special town meeting in October 2016, voters approved an 18-year bond for up to $737,000 to remove 22 catch basins from the sewer system so the Paris Utility District would no longer unnecessarily treat stormwater.

What’s next: If the project is not completed by 2019, the district could face fines from the DEP and could have its license renewal denied. 

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