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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December Meeting of Commissioners

Last night (Dec. 1, 2009), the outgoing commission cleaned up some remaining loose ends, County Commissioner Paul Delamar III swore in newly-elected commissioners, and the new commissioners began their own term.

There were four loose ends: outgoing commissioners approved November minutes of regular and special sessions; commissioners formally opened some previously closed minutes and agreed to the eventual release of minutes relating to South Avenue litigation; amended the town's fee schedule to include a parade permit fee of $10 (to cover the cost of insurance rider for the event); and the commissioners granted formal authority to the mayor to exercise day to day supervision of the town manager. Commissioner Styron asked why the board was opening closed minutes, which the town had never done in the past. I explained that the County Commissioners had begun the practice and I thought it appropriate for more open government. Mayor Sage observed that it removes some of the mystery surrounding government actions. The town's attorney explained that many of his clients do this and expressed the view that it should be done every six months or so.

After the new board assumed office, the most interesting exchange took place when Commissioner Warren Johnson drew attention to the audit report, recently received by the town in draft form. Commissioner Johnson found some of the findings disturbing. This will undoubtedly be addressed in more detail at the January meeting when the auditor will formally present the report to the board.

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