PLYMPTON — Selectman Chairman John Traynor said he thinks that the town is operating too many vehicles and Town Administrator Elizabeth Dennehy disagreed. The at times tense discussion came up at the Monday, Jan. 7, Plympton Board of Selectmen’s meeting.
Two vehicles too many?
Two vehicles operated by the town, a 2011 Ford Taurus and a 2012 SUV, shared between the Town Administrator, Assessors and even at times the Police and Fire Departments are getting older and have significant number of miles on them, said Dennehy.
“I don’t see the need for the Taurus … two cars to repair, register, insure, it doesn’t make sense to me,” said Traynor.
At the times when there are competing needs for a vehicle, Traynor suggested employees put in for mileage on personal vehicles, a solution that Dennehy didn’t find tenable.
“I’m not going to nickel-and-dime the town [for miles],” she said, noting that putting in for mileage is an involved process involving filling out vendor forms, and expensive to the town.”
Traynor insisted that he sees the vehicles remain parked in front of the Town House, while Dennehy argued that they are in heavy use.
Dennehy explained that she did not believe that selling a vehicle, possibly the older Ford Taurus, would create much savings for the town, either through insurance because of the way rates are set for the town, or because the procurement process would take up so much time and the older vehicles would have such little value.
“So if we deleted that from our insurance policy the insurance policy wouldn’t go down one iota?” asked Traynor. The answer from Dennehy was no.
“So that’s where you and I have a difference of opinion,” said Dennehy. She added that all things considered, the town might get a few hundred dollars for working vehicles that are being used by the town.
“I don’t think that two vehicles are too many for a town the size of Plympton,” said Dennehy.
Russel Keirstead Right of First Refusal
The board, despite their best efforts to move the process along for Russell Keirstead, of Crescent Street, could not accommodate a Friday closing date on a parcel of his Chapter 61A property that he is attempting to sell as a 1.5-acre buildable lot. The town has the right of first refusal on the property because in order to be sold it must come out of the tax-saving state program.
Keirstead said he thought this would be a “three-minute” process before the board, but because of a strict protocol set up by the board for “chapter property,” a public hearing has to be advertised and scheduled so that the public has an opportunity to comment on the land sale. The hearing was set for the next Selectmen’s meeting, Jan. 28.
Keirstead was visibly disappointed that his deadlines would not be met, although he said he was eager to take whatever steps were necessary to properly sell the lot.
The board began to discuss their requests for the upcoming FY’20 budget, and Dennehy noted that the Finance Committee was asking boards and departments to estimate their budgetary needs very accurately, and not allow excess for unexpected items. She said that the FinCom would rather deal with unexpected extras that come up on a case by case basis via the transfer request process.
Selectmen are asking for a legal budget of over $10,000 more than last year, citing ongoing litigation the town is engaged in, including at least one case in federal court where a Marshfield cellphone infrastructure company is suing the Zoning Board of Appeals for refusing them variances to build a cellphone tower on a parcel that is not zoned for the purpose.
In Other News
• Scott Varley was appointed Wiring Inspector to replace the late Robert Karling.
• The board will next meet Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, at 6 p.m. in the Large Meeting Room of Town House.