One Selectman’s Report 4/20/13

by on April 21, 2013 in Selectmen

Well, it’s been about a month since my last report, and your Select Board hasn’t been short of things to do during that time. Our major activities have been related to collaborating with our Fire Chief to develop job descriptions for the Fire Chief and for two new positions that we call Deputy Chief of Operations and Deputy Chief of Administration. Also, we’ve been working with the Old Home Day Committee to define how the Select Board can sponsor the Old Home Day events that make use of Town property. And lastly, I’m writing to announce a one-time special program to help landowners, those with mowed lawns that merge directly with our dirt roads, with Spring clean-up of rocks and gravel left there by our snow plowing operations this past Winter.

As you may know, our Fire Chief, Rick Lothrop, will be retiring from his position as Chief on the 30th of this month. Before we could proceed with electing Rick’s successor, we agreed that we needed to have a job description, for the Fire Chief, that would allow both the Select Board and the candidates for the position to understand our performance expectations. During our discussions with Rick we began to appreciate the broad range of duties that a Fire Chief is expected to perform. From that understanding, we have decided that two additional leadership positions should be added  to our Fire and Rescue Department organization. These two new positions will be Deputy Chief of Operations and Deputy Chief of Administration. The Deputy Chief of Operations will have essentially the same duties as those of the Fire Chief in the delivery of fire and rescue services to the community. The Deputy Chief of Administration will be responsible for the business side of the operation including maintenance of personnel records, training, licensing and certifications for staff members, risk management, and budget development and reporting. To date, we have completed and approved the job description for the Chief and that for the Deputy Chief of Administration. To finish the work of electing these new officers to our Fire and Rescue Department, Rick will present our job descriptions to the members of the Department and ask those who wish to be candidates to contact Edie to schedule an interview with the Select Board. We will be as flexible as possible in scheduling our interviews, considering our goal of having all three positions, those of Chief, Deputy Chief of Operations, and Deputy Chief of Administration, filled by April 30.

Our research and discussions with members of the Old Home Day Committee have lead us to conclude that the Old Home Day Committee is in fact a private organization not affiliated with the Town government. As such its events, those that make use of Town property, require the approval of the Select Board. Also, as a private organization it would need to demonstrate proof of adequate liability insurance per Town policy. We have been told, by our legal advisers at the Local Government Center, that if a Town agency sponsors an event that our Town liability insurance coverage can be in force for the event provided that the activities are known to and approved by our liability insurer. The Select Board has agreed to sponsor the Old Home Day events that make use of Town property and will work with the Old Home Day Committee and our liability insurer to make sure that those events are safe and enjoyed by all.

Finally today, I’d like everyone who mows a lawn that directly abuts a dirt road in Town to be aware that we will be providing a raking service for three days beginning on this coming Monday April 22 and continuing through Wednesday April 24. We will be employing the services of inmates from our County jail for this work. As you may recall, this past Winter has been extremely challenging for our Highway Department with multiple mud seasons followed by freezes and snowfalls. So first the gravel and stones were spread to tighten up the roadbed and then some of those materials were plowed, along with the snow, onto the roadsides and onto folks’ lawns. As a result, we have organized some help in removing stones and gravel from those lawns. If you would like to request this service please contact Maury Collins at 847-3321 or Barry Tolman at 827-3226 to schedule the work. Please be aware that this is a rather limited program and will be provided on a first-requested first-served basis. So if you are interested, please contact Maury or Barry as soon as possible.

That’s all for now. Spring in Nelson is a great time. Enjoy and take care.


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