Rochester Selectmen recommend 19 articles for Town Meeting

Jun 8, 2020

ROCHESTER — In a joint meeting between Selectmen, the Finance Committee and the Capital Planning Committee, Town Administrator Suzanne Szyndlar took members through the 20 articles on the warrant for the June 22 Town Meeting, with a majority of them being recommended by all.

At the June 8 meeting, there were only two disputed articles between the two committees and the board. 

Article 10 would give the town’s Board of Assessors $15,000 to supplement the future costs of outsourcing assessments. The Board of Assessors also has $10,000 saved up from last year, and anticipates more funding with the retirement of Principal Assessor Charles Shea.

Selectman Woody Hartley said that he “would like to see a more definitive plan” in place for what to do with the funds next year. The board recommended the article with an understanding that there would be a plan in place.

Unlike Selectmen, the Finance Committee did not recommend the article. Committee member Peter Armanetti said that he is “not a fan of creating a war chest” for an expense that the board may not even have to deal with. The committee did not recommend a similar article for funding last year. 

Article 20 is a citizen’s petition to use $50,000 of the town’s free cash to lower taxes for residents. Selectmen and the committee both voted to not recommend the article as it would be an improper use of the town’s free cash.

Selectman Woody Hartley was of the opinion that the funds should be used elsewhere.