Three Selectmen met for a quick 10 minutes Thursday night to re-vote a press release into circulation because they had not correctly posted their meeting a week ago. A week ago Selectmen voted 5-0 to issue the press release.
At this week’s meeting Selectman Martha Gjesteby voted no. Select Vice Chair Diane Kennedy and Selectmen Fred Koed voted yes. All three Selectmen noted that some information they had received from Town Counsel might well impact on-going negotiations with their Town Manager.
Kennedy: That E-mail is something we need to discuss. It does impact on-going negotiations. We are in the process of coming to terms with Milanoski’s contract through 2015. We’re working on making that happen.
Gjesteby: I’m wondering if by voting in favor I’m approving the extension.
Kennedy: Absolutely not.
Gjesteby: I’m more than a little concerned, so I think I’ll vote against it.
Fred: Is there any editing we can do to change Martha’s vote?
Gjesteby said she would need advice from counsel.
Kennedy: “We’re between a rock and a hard place.” Kennedy then told Gjesteby that the board signed the contract after speaking with counsel.
Gjesteby: I re-read the contract and I don’t think town counsel even approved that contract. Who wrote the April 3rd contract? It doesn’t appear town counsel was involved. If I say no, you’ve got two votes.
Kennedy: That contract was reviewed by town counsel.
Gjesteby: Usually if counsel reviews it he signs off and it wasn’t signed off. If he did he would have seen town manager (not acting town manager) throughout the contract (actually 13 times).
Kennedy: Martha, at time we were working with counsel on almost a daily basis. There were a lot of other issues at the time. There was sloppiness for sure, and we need to make sure that never happens again.
Gjesteby: At another time I might change my vote if I get other information down the road.
Koed: This is already issued, it’s in the paper tomorrow. I guess (vote for it) for the purpose of making legitimate…but I do have some questions based on that memo, but that needs to be addressed by the full board.
Kennedy: The memo was more related to on-going negotiations.
Koed: We had an open meeting law request today…she wants to know where’s the authority for all this? We have 10 days to address that….she’s not asking for correspondence per se.
Kennedy told Gjesteby that they had come together to issue a statement based on information they had last week.
Gjesteby: But now we have new information.
Kennedy: But that happens on every vote.
Koed moved to approve the press release.
Koed and Kennedy voted yes.
Gjesteby voted ney.
Kennedy adjourned the meeting
Tinytown Unleashed: Can we ask any questions?
Tinytown Unleashed: Do you think you’ll ever have a press conference in your lifetime?
Koed: What do you want to know?
Tinytown Unleashed: Will you have an article on the Special Town Meeting Warrant (asking for a change in the Town Manager’s Act)? Governance said it will not be recommending anything for the upcoming special. But you can.
Kennedy: We haven’t discussed it. It hasn’t come up. I feel uncomfortable discussing anything without the rest of the board