China select board tours Thurston Park, makes appointments

Hikers on Bridge in Thurston Park (Photo courtesy: Town of China)

by Mary Grow

China select board members and Town Manager Rebecca Hapgood began the June 17 select board meeting with a motor tour of Thurston Park, in northeastern China.

Afterwards, board member Blane Casey expressed approval of the way the park is being maintained. Others agreed.

In the town office meeting room, board members:

Allocated an additional $1,000 from the fire department reserve fund to help pay for the South China Volunteer Fire Department’s planned addition of a three-phase converter at the fire station on Route 32;
Approved minor clarifications to the transfer station access policy, dealing with temporary passes for renters; and
Acted on a long list of re-appointments to town boards and committees before the new fiscal year begins July 1.

Hapgood explained that town office staff had asked each board or committee member whose term ends June 30 if he or she would serve again. Those who said no, and those who did not reply, were not on the appointments list.

In an unusual move, board members declined to re-appoint board of appeals chairman Spencer Aitel, who has held the position for at least a decade. A motion to re-appoint him failed for lack of a second. No one offered an explanation.

In addition to the vacancy on the board of appeals, there are openings on the comprehensive plan review committee, which has one member, and the recreation committee, which has two. All other committees that lost members kept at least five.

There are also two vacancies on the town planning board, which, under the new ordinance voters approved June 11, consists of five regular members and one alternate appointed by the select board. Planning board appointments were not on the June 17 list.

Board members re-appointed Hapgood to eight positions. They re-appointed town clerk Angela Nelson; codes officer Nicholas French; animal control officer Joshua Barnes; superintendent of cemeteries Adam Ellis; and China’s three fire chiefs, Richard Morse (South China), Joel Nelson (China Village) and William Van Wickler (Weeks Mills).

Votes were not all unanimous. Select board members who serve (mostly in non-voting capacities) on a committee being re-appointed abstained; and board chairman Wayne Chadwick voted against committee lists that included non-resident members – on principle, he stressed, not because he objected to any individual.

The next regular China select board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, July 1.


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