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Hawley board back to work

HAWLEY — Despite their differences, both members of the Board of Selectmen attended Tuesday night’s meeting, signing warrants to pay town bills, allowing a snowmobile club to groom trails that cross town lands, and addressing residents’ questions before adjourning.

A week earlier, Selectman Tedd White had said he saw no reason for the board to meet until a third selectman is elected on March 12, and he had walked out of the meeting. White had said he would pay bills and do what is necessary to keep the town running, but thought that “anything that is not vital to running the town should wait until a new selectman is elected.”

Selectmen’s Chairman Philip Keenan said afterwards that he hoped White would continue coming to the meetings, provided the agenda was limited to bill-paying and crucial town matters. Regarding the snowmobile trails, both selectmen agreed that grooming the trails was a benefit to the town — especially since state-owned roads in the Hawley State Forest are in such poor condition.

Other items that may require selectmen’s votes are to wait until three members are on board, to avoid possible tie votes. Items on hold include reviewing and approving past meeting minutes for both open and executive-session selectmen’s meetings, discussion about forming a bylaw review committee, and scheduling a town audit.

The last town audit was done for fiscal year 2007, and a few residents wanted to know when the next would be scheduled.

Treasurer Charles Stetson, who is also one of the three candidates for the vacant selectman’s seat, said the audit should wait until the town knows how much Federal Emergency Management Agency funds it will get for road repairs related to Tropical Storm Irene. He said the town doesn’t have information on whether FEMA aid will be forthcoming for Forge Hill and East roads, and he thought the audit should wait until all the information was complete.

Roughly 20 residents came out in the fog and sleet to attend the meeting, including all three selectmen’s candidates. The residents also asked if there could be a selectmen’s candidates night, so that they could meet Stetson, Hussain Hamdan and John Sears. The event is tentatively set for Feb. 11.

You can reach Diane Broncaccio at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 277

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