Board puts off electing chair

FRANCESTOWN — The Planning Board attempted to elect a new chair at its meeting last Tuesday, but after a tie vote and lively discussion, the vote was postponed and a board member walked out.

Two people were nominated for Planning Board chair: Linda Kunhardt, the current chair — nominated by ex-officio member Abigail Arnold of the Select Board — and board member Sarah Pyle, who was nominated by Bob Lindgren.

Following the nominations, Lindgren proposed a motion to continue the meeting until a full board is present, as Sarah Pyle was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

The board debated whether to postpone the vote, but eventually voted down Lindgren’s motion, and discussion over the nominees ensued.

Ames said that Kunhardt may have stepped out of bounds with advising residents about Planning Board matters in the past, however, he said he is impressed with her effort to organize the board’s files, her diligence, and attention to details.

Arnold said that the relationship between Kunhardt and Pyle can sometimes interfere with meetings in a negative way, but she considers both women her friends. She also described Kunhardt as “very zealous.”

Kunhardt, Lisa Bourbeau and Prescott Tolman voted for Kunhardt; and Arnold, Lindgren and Larry Ames voted for Pyle, resulting in a tie.

The final decision, was to wait until an odd number board members are present. Until then, Kunhardt remains chair. The next scheduled meeting is April 15, however, Bourbeau said she will be out of the state on that date, so a vote may be continued again. No decision was made.

Kunhardt moved on to the next item on the agenda, which was file management. Following difficulty in clarifying the classification of Cressy Hill Road, which cannot be found in town documents, Kunhardt said at a March 4 board meeting that she wanted to go through all Planning-related files, remove duplicates, and properly file the records. She said having better records and inter-department communications will help with situations like Cressy.

At this time, Lindgren got up and left the meeting without saying anything.

The board did not make any decisions regarding its goal of going through all Planning Board files on Tuesday night. The board agreed at its last meeting that organizing records and removing duplicate documents would help with the town’s overall file keeping. The board plans to continue this conversation at their next meeting.

In a previous discussion, Kunhardt said this could be a job done by the board, but Arnold also mentioned they could hire someone, which has been done in the past.

In other business, the board voted unanimously to have Ames serve another term as the board’s secretary. Three alternate positions for three-year terms are still open on the Planning Board, Kunhardt said. The deadline to submit a letter of interest for a position, either by email or otherwise, is due April 15.

Lindsey Arceci can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 232, or

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