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Board gets back to business
PERU- Following last week’s vote to replace four selectmen citizens recalled last month, the four new members and standing selectman Laurieann Milligan sat through their first regular board meeting on Monday night after beginning an hour earlier to discuss budget items.
The new board; Danny Wing and Larry Snowman, with 169 and 164 votes, respectively, were awarded the 26-month seats, with John Witherell taking 97 votes and former Chairman, Tim Holland, being written in for 54 votes. Lee Merrill took the 14-month seat with 204 votes (the most overall), over Kevin Taylor, and James Pulsifer beat out Tammy Ferland with 164 votes to her 149.
Last Thursday, the newly-elected board met at the town office to receive budget information and other materials they needed to review before Monday’s regular meeting.
“Budget season is here,” stated Town Clerk, Vera Parent. “They need to get to work on it right away to make deadline.”
On Monday, the new board briefly, but cohesively reviewed Road Commissioner, Joe Roach’s, budget for fiscal year 2013-2014.
Selectman Pulsifer stated, “We have a rough year coming up with lack of revenue sharing and other cuts. Joe, I’m not picking on you, but we need to reduce your budget by $50,000 right off the top. We’ve got to look wherever we can for places to cut.”
Roach stated that he would be willing to cut back the $16,000 that he was figuring for this year to bring his budget back to the 2012-2013 amount, but if the board wanted anything more than that they would have to just cut him and he would make it (board recommended budget) work.
Selectmen convened their short budget meeting, agreeing that they would have to bring the rest of their questions to the finance meeting on Thursday at 6 p.m.
The selectmen agree that they have their work cut out for them, since the budget needs to be finalized by the end of the month to be in accordance with state law for the June vote.
Switching over to their regular selectmen’s meeting, Laurieann Milligan nominated Selectman Pulsifer as Chairman of the Board and Selectman Pulsifer nominated Selectman Danny Wing as Vice-Chair. The board voted unanimously to both.
Chairman Pulsifer informed the board that their first order of business was to review town warrants that have piled up over the last six weeks with the absence of town government. The five paired off and got through the information.
Chairman Pulsifer took a minute to note to those present that the new ordinance of an elected secretary was going to hurt the town, stating, “Electing the secretary will cost us, it’s not a practical move.”
They proceeded through the rest of the lengthy warrant with ease.