Abbreviated council meeting begins with Public Forum clarification - October 10th 2022
By Cynthia Drummond for BRVCA
October 10th 2022
RICHMOND – At a meeting that lasted less than 20 minutes, members of the Town Council approved several business items. Outgoing Council President Nell Carpenter also addressed a subject that had been discussed at the Oct. 3 “Meet the Candidates” event.
Former council member and council candidate Mark Trimmer questioned the placement of the Public Forum segment of the meeting at the end, recalling that it had formerly taken place near the beginning. Trimmer said that if elected, he would try to restore the forum to its earlier slot, to give residents the opportunity to comment on items on the agenda and ask questions before the council discussed and voted on them. Council member Ronnie Newman, who is running for reelection, said at the forum that he supported Trimmer’s proposal.
At the Oct. 4 council meeting, Carpenter attributed the placement of the forum to rules and procedures adopted by a Town Council that preceded, by several years, her election to the council.
“Due to the apparent confusion on public forum agenda placement expressed at last night’s candidates’ forum, I felt compelled as President to inform publicly that Richmond council adopted rules and procedures that were drafted by our Solicitor [Karen] Ellsworth and unanimously adopted by the Town Council in 2015,” she said. “Councilman Newman served on that council. I recall being in the audience, giving a report as a Recreation Director. The ‘rules and procedures’ outlines how items should appear on the agenda…I’d like to note that Public Forum is placed before ‘closed for executive session,’ just before adjournment. This has been council procedure for seven years, with no amendment, adjustment, and any suggestions otherwise. To make any suggestions otherwise is inaccurate at best or a lie at worst. As President, I decided to allow public comment in Public Forum, with no restrictions of time, and I will continue this policy and remain consistent as I am President.”
In other business, during a public hearing, the council adopted a resolution amending the zoning ordinance to give the Town Administrator the authority to approve requests to post temporary signs on town-owned property.
The council also heard updates from Town Administrator Karen Pinch on contracts with several vendors, all of which had been previously approved.
“You approved a new water vendor and we had our previous vendor for five or six years,” Pinch said.
Northeast Water Solutions is now the town’s water supplier, replacing LaFramboise Water.
In addition, the town has a new information technology provider, Uplink IT, which replaces Vertikal6.
Pinch also briefed the council on the new paving contract.
“You also approved a paving contract for Beaver River Road, Sandy Pond Road and Woodland Drive,” she said.
The work is expected to take place in the coming weeks.