Welcome to 2024! While January seems to be flying by, I'd like to take a minute to provide a few updates.
The focus of the first Board of Selectmen meeting of the year is always on reappointments and appointments to town boards and commissions. The meeting on January 4th was no different. Check out the complete list in the meeting minutes. The vast majority of the appointments received unanimous support but there were a couple exceptions.
One that raised concerns involved the Board of Ethics. After many public comments, we reappointed Vivian Hardison to another term. She’s been serving as co-chair of the board and was the target of an online post that revealed her personal information. She was targeted as a result of her role on the Board of Ethics. I am grateful my fellow selectmen joined in supporting her reappointment as she is a dedicated volunteer. That’s not the one that raised concerns.
A second seat on the Board of Ethics also expired the beginning of this year. Taking a look at that seat, the person holding it attended just one of the board’s four meetings between July and December. She was appointed in July, and the meeting she attended immediately followed her appointment. All of those Board of Ethics meetings were also held via Zoom. For background, the Board of Ethics only meets when it has business to address. There are no procedural meetings. I think repeated absences are a major concern. We need to appoint people who are dedicated and committed to their positions. While my colleagues agreed with the concern, they still appointed her to another term despite having another proven candidate on the table.
The tree warden was also up for reappointment at the meeting. Dick Dina has held the position for the last ten years but two other candidates also expressed their interest in the job. Those candidates nominated themselves directly through the first selectman's office, but that information was not shared with the board until a few hours before the meeting. Not having had the time to review the candidates, I requested that we postpone the nomination to the next meeting.
That meeting is on January 18th if you'd like to join us in person or on Zoom.
Easton Board of Selectmen