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Hawley to keep regular meetings

HAWLEY — Selectmen’s Chairman Philip Keenan says he will call the board’s regularly scheduled meetings, in hopes that Selectman Tedd White will participate — despite White’s walking out on Tuesday night’s board meeting.

“I have just sent a letter to Mr. White explaining my intention,” Keenan said, in a message to The Recorder. “I am hoping he will agree to attend the meetings and address a limited agenda consisting of only the signing of warrants and addressing any other vital business. Mr. White had previously suggested that he may be amenable to this limited agenda, and it is my hope that he will at least attend to the most pressing town business.”

“I am hoping that we can keep the town moving forward, although I know there will be a growing backlog of non-vital, yet important, business to attend to when we have a full board.” Keenan added, “I continue to search for a resolution to the sadly divisive situation in town.”

On Tuesday night, White said he saw no point in holding selectmen’s meetings until a third board member is elected on March 12. White left in the middle of the selectmen’s meeting, for the second straight meeting.

Three candidates are running in the March 12 special election, to fill the balance of the term of Selectman Richard Desmarais, who died Dec. 24.

The two January board meetings have been especially contentious, according to several residents who have attended them or who have recorded them.

Among their disagreements has been whether the board should be reorganized, with a new chairman or with both board members sharing that role. In December, all three board members voted 2-1 to reorganize the board based on the calendar year, rather than the fiscal year. Keenan was the current chairman, and a reorganizational vote would have taken place in January.

But after Desmarais’s death, White believed the board should still reorganize its chairmanship, while Keenan maintained, after checking with the Secretary of State’s Office, that he has the right to remain chairman, at least until a third member is elected.

This week, Keenan received a letter of support backing his chairmanship by 105 people, in this town of about 330.

The next selectmen’s meeting is scheduled for tonight at 7 p.m.

Keenan said the town’s administrative assistant will be compiling information for the budget, so that the annual town meeting warrant can be finalized in April.

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

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