KENT—In its inaugural meeting last week, the Board of Selectmen took care of housekeeping, making appointments, setting its meeting schedule for the coming year, and discussing tax abatements for volunteers.
The newly configured board of First Selectman Marty Lindenmayer, and Selectmen Lynn Mellis Worthington and Glenn Sanchez made short work of approving Lee Sohl in her continuing role as animal control officer; James Sohl as her assistant; Bruce Bennett as tree warden; Samantha Hasenflue, municipal agent; Anne McAndrew, Chris Harrington and Anthony Palumbo as alternates on Planning and Zoning, and Eric Epstein as emergency management deputy.
The position of emergency management director and a second deputy remain vacant and Worthington suggested advertising for someone to fill the post of director.
Lindenmayer suggested continuing the current contract with the firm Cramer & Anderson for six months. Worthington asked if he was interested in finding a different firm and Lindemayer said he just “wanted to look at what they were doing.”
“In my observation, it has been incredibly helpful to the town to have access to all the lawyers at Cramer & Anderson,” Worthington said, but voted with Lindenmayer and Sanchez to continue the contract short-term.
Meetings for 2024 will continue to be on the fourth Wednesdays of the month, except for Nov. 29 and July 28. Worthington suggested that there might be two meetings per month and that, if there is only one, that it be earlier in the month. She noted meetings were traditionally held the first Wednesday of the month. “By shifting to the fourth Wednesday, we are the last group to meet,” she said, “and a lot of stuff has happened by the time we meet.”
Lindenmayer took the opposing view, however, saying the late-month meeting set the tone for all the groups that would then follow.
Sanchez was lukewarm to the idea of two meetings a month “as long as we are efficient and get everything done,” but Worthington argued that two meetings make it easier to get items on the agenda. “The first half of the year there is a lot going on,” she said, “and it’s easy to cancel a meeting.”
Lindenmayer said he believes the new board will be “fairly efficient” and said he liked the flexibility of calling special meetings when necessary.
Meetings will continue on the fourth Wednesday with a preference for the second Wednesday if special meetings are needed.
Tax Collector Debbie Devaux reported that there are 10 firefighters eligible for $1,000 tax abatement checks for their service to the town. An 11th volunteer’s bill is not large enough for the full abatement, but a check will be issued for the lesser amount.
The Selectmen will next meet Dec. 12 at 4:30 p.m. to discuss the Capital Plan.