Dublin special Town Meeting moves forward despite notification mistakes

  • The Dublin Select Board announced they will continue with the planned Special Town Meeting on Nov. 8, despite learning of violations made accidentally while posting notices of the meeting. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, November 07, 2018 11:15PM

Dublin will move forward as planned with a special Town Meeting, despite discovering several mistakes in noticing the meeting.

Dublin has scheduled a special Town Meeting on Thursday to ask voters to approve $225,000 to fix roads damaged by heavy rains and floods in August.

However, by state statute, the town was to post the notice for the meeting on the building where it is to be held 14 days in advance. The meeting was posted on the fire station 7 days in advance. Also by law, the meeting much be noticed in a local paper 7 days after it is posted on the building.

The meeting had been announced and noticed earlier on other public forums, including the town website, town offices and post offices, and in the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, according to the board.

Thomas said no one on the current Board of Selectmen had ever been on the board when a special Town Meeting was called, and didn’t have knowledge of the correct noticing process. 

Dublin resident Geoff Pinney alerted the Select Board to the noticing errors, and appeared before the board during its Monday meeting, asking that they call of the special Town Meeting in light of the failure to follow noticing requirements.

“Well, that’s not happening,” Select Board Chair Sturdy Thomas said.

The board decided Monday to continue with its original plan to hold the Town Meeting. Twenty-one days after the meeting, there will be another Town Meeting to ratify the decision of the first, which is the process for rectifying mistakes in the process.

While Pinney pushed for the board to hold off on requesting the funds until the regular Town Meeting in March, Thomas said the point of applying for a special Town Meeting was to try to address the roads before the winter, when the conditions could deteriorate.

Now, Thomas said, the town will have to wait until the ratification meeting, scheduled for Nov. 29, to spend those funds, if they are approved, but he hopes there will still be enough time to do some work on the roads before the ground freezes.

“That work – weather dependent – will still happen this year,” he said. “The whole purpose of this Town Meeting and holding it now was to try to repair the roads for the snow season. 

Pinney protested the board’s decision to move forward with the meeting on Thursday.

“The roads are in better shape than they have been a lot of times,” Pinney said. “We have time between now and [March] Town Meeting to deal with this at the normal time.”

Thomas told Pinney while the board heard his concerns, they had to “agree to disagree” and that it was the board’s intention to move forward with the meeting, and to, as soon as possible, ratify the results.