Stricter Agenda for Agendas

            Rochester’s Board of Selectmen won’t find it as easy anymore to bring up topics on the spur of the moment in its meetings.

            Town Administrator Glenn Cannon informed the board Monday that the new Town Counsel has said that from now on, every meeting topic must be on the agenda, no exceptions.

            To adhere to the state’s Open Meeting Law, the Old Business and New Business items on a meeting agenda must never be blank. Board members must call the town administrator before the closing of the agenda to have a topic placed on the warrant. The selectmen can no longer include “Any Topics the Chairman did not reasonably anticipate would be discussed” on its agendas.

            Of the latter requirement, Cannon explained that anything important enough to be a last-minute topic should require an emergency meeting instead.

            Select Board Chairman Woody Hartley and member Paul Ciaburri, who attended the meeting in person, and member Brad Morse, who was attending on Zoom, seemed happy with this change.

            In answer to Hartley’s question seeking clarification, Cannon told the board that should a member request that the town administrator put an issue on the meeting agenda, “I’ll be glad to do it.”

            Cannon was also upbeat in acknowledging that next Monday, May 22, is the date of the Annual Town Meeting, to be held at 7:00 pm at Rochester Memorial School, 16 Pine Street.

            “We’re excited for it,” he said. “It’s a big warrant, 32 articles. But we hope to get it done in one night.”

            The warrant features a $25,000,000 FY24 budget and a move to cease the town’s participation in the Green Communities program and rescind its adoption of the Stretch energy codes that tighten the base building codes in the name of more energy-efficient construction. Proponents of the exit strategy assert that the Stretch Code makes Green Communities participation too expensive, especially for a town studying potential expansion of its public-safety facilities. Other articles will include a move to change the town clerk’s position from elected to appointed.

            In other business on May 15, the board approved a draft letter to the regional planning agency SRPEDD, requesting assistance for collecting data for a study of Route 28. “This study will make way for a better corridor,” Cannon said, noting the review will also affect, positively, Lakeville and Middleboro.

            The board reappointed Stanley Moszczenski to the Historical Commission, after he noted in a letter that he had failed to reapply for the seat in time for the last appointment cycle.

            The board appointed Rochester Police officers Don Kemmett and Steve Reimer to provide police details during the Wednesday, May 24, Town Election to be held from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm at the Senior Center on Dexter Lane.

            The board voted to not exercise its right to purchase 2.45 acres of Mary’s Pond Road under 61A regulations. The board had to revote this action after the property owner’s attorney had reported the previous vote did not specify only a portion of a larger parcel.

            The next meeting of the Rochester Select Board is scheduled for Monday, June 5, at 6:00 pm at Town Hall, 1 Constitution Way.

Rochester Select Board

By Michael J. DeCicco

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