Categories

Home » News » Town Government » Board of Selectmen Meeting 11/19/14

Board of Selectmen Meeting 11/19/14

Submitted by Meghan J. Bowden.

On November 19, the Board of Selectmen (BOS) held its second of monthly meeting of November. 

The recap of this meeting follows below. The full agenda can be accessed here.

All BOS members were present: First Selectman Melissa Schlag, Selectman Sean Donlan, Selectman Robert Duval. Ms. Alice Zanelli, Assisstant to First Selectman Melissa Schlag, took minutes.  Haddam’s town attorney, Mike Wells was present. Liz Glidden, Haddam’s town planner, was also in attendance. In addition, several residents, including the author, were present.

The BOS accepted the resignation of Heather Batzner, a member of the Economic Development Commission (EDC).  Batzner’s resignation takes effect November 30. According to the town charter, the EDC must have a minimum of 7 members. Currently, there are only four members.

The Board of Trustees of Brainerd Memorial Library (BML) recommended Tammy Moriarty to the library board. Moriarty was a former selectman and possesses extensive grant-writing experience according to First Selectman Schlag..

After dispatching with the first few items, the BOS spent the remainder of the meeting addressing road and property ownership matters. First Selectman Schlag indicated that she would like to make a more formal policy of addressing road issues. According to Schlag, selectmen in the past would deal with residents’ questions about whether a road was town-owned or not by informally deciding an answer – sometimes conducting a title search, sometimes not. With the assistance of town attorney Mike Wells and town planner Liz Glidden, Schlag advised the Board that she would like to formalize a way of handling these matters. As Wells explained, town roads no longer retain town ownership status when they are either abandoned or discontinued. In the former scenario, the town no longer maintains the road. In the latter scenario, the town discontinues utilizing the road. Consequently, it no longer conducts road maintenance and repairs on the discontinued road. In any event, the road is not formally within the town’s purview or cognizance. Attorney Wells recommended that Haddam take road ownership issues on a case-by-case basis, beginning with a thorough title search and query of legal records on hand.

At the time of this writing, an inquiry surrounds the status of  Old County Spencer Road.  Property owner Ralph Rand Sr. wants the town to recognize the road as town-owned and therefore subject to regular maintenance, including seasonal treatment (e.g., snow removal during winter months). According to the  owners and their attorney, the road is a town road. They attended the meeting. The attorney informed the Board that the road had been recognized on a town map dating to the 1800s. First Selectman Schlag, along with Attorney Mike Wells, dispute this. Schlag’s position is that the road was never a town road; the town is not obligated to maintain the road. The dispute may be litigated, if a resolution is not achieved.

Several other roads or segments of roads were discussed as potential issues where residents want the Town to maintain and/or provide snow removal services.

During final public comments, Ed Munster requested that it would be helpful for town residents to have access to the different legal categories of road statuses as described by Atty Wells, possibly as an attachment to the formal minutes when they are  prepared, or posted online. First Selectman Schlag indicated her agreement to this point.

Please follow and like us:

One Response to Board of Selectmen Meeting 11/19/14

  1. MaryAnn Rand

    December 3, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    No mention was made of the TOWN SURVEYOR CHECKING OUTTHE ROAD,OR OF THE DEC. 17th DEADLINE. LOOKS LIKE THEY PARTS OF THE MINUTES ARE MISSING. THE PERSON WHO TOOK THE Official MINUTES WAS Alice Zanelli.
    Mary Ann Rand
    – – – – – – – –
    Ed note: The reporter for this item was Meghan Bowden. These minute are meant to give a quick look and are unofficial.
    The official minutes can be found at http://www.haddam.org/documents/BOSMinutes-November192014.pdf