New Roles and New Issues

Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Marion Board of Selectmen opened with a reorganization of the Board. Jody Dickerson is the new Chairman, Steve Cushing is the new Vice-Chairman, and recently re-elected John Henry is the new Clerk.

The Board then went through how the Selectmen sit on the various boards and events in town, including Dickerson to represent the Board at the ORR graduation ceremony. The commitments of the Board are vast and varied, with Chairman Dickerson representing the Buzzards Bay Action Committee and serving as the School Committee Liaison. Vice-Chairman Cushing will be the representative for the Music Hall Committee and the Capital Improvement and Planning Committee, as well as other boards. John Henry will represent the Board on the SouthCoast Commuter Rail Task Force, the Marion Pathways Committee, and the Plymouth County Advisory Committee, as well as other boards.

The first appointment the agenda was a discussion regarding Sherman Briggs’ status on town boards. The discussion was continued until June 4 at 7:05 pm.

Next up was an approval to send letters to Marion residents who were found to be in violation of connections to the Marion septic system. Thirty-four residents were in violation, and the Board approved the letters of notification that the residents have 180 days or six months to remedy the situation prior to a re-inspection by the town.

The fall town meeting was determined to be held on October 28 at 7:00 pm.

The Board reviewed the draft of a proposed drug and alcohol testing policy for current and prospective employees. The Board will study the proposal and make comments for discussion at the next meeting.

Ambulance rates were discussed and approved by the Board. According to Town Administrator Paul Dawson, Medicare reimbursement rates have undergone various changes, and the base rates proposed represent an “average compilation” of various towns in the area. The Board voted to adopt the measure as presented, effective June 1.

A proposal was made to honor Helene Craver, former secretary to the Selectmen. Several Town House employees proposed to plant flowers and install a birdbath in honor of Craver, who passed away earlier this month. The Board agreed to support the effort. Only private donations, not town funds, would be used for the beautification project in Cravers’ name.

Correspondence from resident Tom Magauran was discussed, with Magauran speaking to the Board. At issue was a question posed at Town Meeting regarding health insurance for elected town officials. Magauran asked about two town-elected officials who were “grandfathered” for health insurance through the town health insurance program.

“The associated benefits of these policies reflect approximately $ 5,600 in one case and over $11,000 in the other case,” Magauran said, “and the only way to end this [grandfathered] practice is to fail to re-elect them, so they would no longer qualify as elected officials for town insurance participation.”

By Joan Hartnett-Barry

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