Fire Task Force Must Reaffirm Votes Due To Technicality
by Connie Sartini,
Select Board Chairman Barry Pease advised his colleagues that there was one item not on the March 18 agenda and he wanted to make the Board aware because of legal reasons. He said it was brought to his attention that a member of the Fire Department Task Force had not been duly sworn in by the Town Clerk.
He stressed that Mass General Law #41, Section 107, requires that every elected and every appointed member of every Board has to be sworn in before entering into their official duties. At that time, they also receive a copy of the Open Meeting Law requirements.
Pease said the person not sworn in was involved in the formation of the final report and that if this member is not sworn in, that member may not participate in the discussion.
The Board sought an opinion from Town Counsel, who recommend that “the Committee Member be immediately sworn-in and sign the certification required by the OML. The Committee, at its next meeting, should reaffirm and ratify all votes taken during the term and attendance of the member who was not sworn.”
Select Board member Alison Manugian said she was confident that no vote would change as a result of this member. “The Committee is done with their
work. I don’t think it’s worth reappointing all of them, and re-voting on everything.”
Pease said that he reached out to the individual advising them to get sworn in.
The Town Clerk’s office advised that Fire Department Task Force appointed member, Jenifer Evans, was not sworn in to that Committee as of Monday, March 25.
The Fire Department Task Force voted 4-1 (Jenifer Evans) to support hiring of two additional Firefighter/EMTs to the budget. Supporting members included Chairman Peter Myette, John Kane, Ryan Monat and An Hee Foley.