SABATTUS — The Board of Selectmen agreed Tuesday to update the town’s purchasing and harassment policies.

The purchasing policy has required all department heads to submit purchases of more than $500 to Town Manager Tony Ward, but the purchase did not require prior authorization from him.

The policy update changed that amount to $1,500, and added the need to have all orders exceeding that amount be approved beforehand.

Mark Duquette, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said the purchase orders have been “coming after the horse and we want to make it come before the horse.”

Duquette said Sabattus must control spending so the town manager knows where every dime is going without tying department heads’ hands.

“We should be able to trust a department with $1,000 or $1,500,” Ward said.

Selectman Guy Desjardins agreed, saying, “I don’t think you’re going to have a $1,500 bill, that’s going to sink the town.”

Duquette said the town could test the policy changes and if they do not go well, the policy could be revisited.

The board also updated the town’s harassment policy to be more descriptive of harassment and how employees can report harassment if they do not feel comfortable addressing it with a supervisor.

“Also, if the employee feels the town isn’t doing enough, they can go to the (Maine Human Rights Commission),” Ward said. “That’s Maine law.”

Selectman Connie Castonguay requested harassment training be done annually instead of once, when an employee has been hired. Ward agreed the training could be done every year.


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