HANSON — Selectmen on Tuesday, July 12, clarified its June 28 appointments to the Conservation Commission.
At the June 28 meeting, there were four applications for two positions up for a vote, but selectmen had received the resignation of another Conservation Commission member at the same meeting.
Selectmen voted against re-appointing Conservation Commission Chairman John Kemmett and Vice Chairman Frank Schellenger. The appointments replacing incumbent members had an effective date of June 30, 2016. Conservation Commission Clerk Brad Kirlin’s resignation left a vacant seat that expires in 2017, noted Selectmen Chairman James McGahan.
“Based on that, I believe the appointments were for [William] Woodward and [Sharon] LePorte … and that stays, however there is an open position at the Conservation Commission,” McGahan said.
Applications are being accepted toward filling the vacancy on Tuesday, July 26.
In other business, Town Administrator Michael McCue advised selectmen and the public about a recent incorrect press report, based on an erroneous decision by the state Attorney General’s office, concerning an open law violation by the Capital Improvement Committee. The decision wrongly faulted Town Clerk Elizabeth Sloan for allegedly destroying minutes from meetings in 2013.
“That was actually due to an error on the part of [the committee’s] clerk, not the town clerk,” McCue said. “I think it’s important for the townspeople to be aware of the fact that the town clerk has been fulfilling her role very dutifully.”
The author of the Attorney General’s office decision has apologized for the error. A corrected decision will be issued that will not cast any aspersions on the town clerk’s conduct.
“The AG’s office had received a number of calls stating that people could not believe, and would not believe, that our town clerk would have done something incorrect like that,” McCue said.
Selectman Bruce Young noted that minutes are intended to be a permanent record.
“I know that the town clerk, and the former town clerk, know that records of minutes filed with the town clerk are a permanent record that can’t be destroyed or discarded,” he said. “That gives credence that that part of the Attorney General’s determination was totally bogus.”
McGahan noted that, by law, the missing minutes will have to be recreated.
McCue also reported that state Rep. Josh Cutler, D-Duxbury, had reported to him about budget vetoes by Gov. Charlie Baker regarding $20,000 that had been earmarked for water quality testing of Wampatuck Pond and $30,000 for improvements at Camp Kiwanee.
McCue said the vetoes are not unusual and that Cutler had indicated that both vetoes will be considered for potential override votes in the next couple of weeks.
“I don’t mean this in an incorrect way, but basically, the governor went through and slashed everything he could do without hitting essential services,” McCue said, noting the state budget still has a shortfall of nearly $1 billion.