Board of Civil Authority – November 20, 2014 – Minutes

Board of Civil Authority

November 20, 2014 – Minutes

Present: Fred Bacon, Mary Ann Clarkson, Priscilla Cotton, Gloria Cristelli, Christine Druke, Gary Katz, and Todd Lawley

Absent: Ellen Darrow, Sandra Dowley, Mike Fitzpatrick, Richard Marek, and Greg Record

Priscilla Cotton, chair, called the meeting to order at 6 p.m.

Gloria Cristelli related that Richard Marek and Greg Record were out of town; Sandra Dowley and Ellen Darrow cannot drive at night. All four contacted Gloria and said that the scheduled times were fine. Ellen Darrow attempted to get a ride with Chris Druke.

The Chair brought the venue of the polling place for January 22, 2015 vote into discussion. She related that in her conversation with Greg Record he indicated that he would be in favor of using the town office. Discussion ensued including the fact that the town office space would be the board room, not the town clerk’s office and that three office personnel could not work that day. Todd Lawley suggested NewBrook Fire Department. Discussion ensued. The polling place decision was tabled until later in the meeting.

The Chair initiated the discussion of the appointment of a presiding officer for January 22, 2015 vote. Mary Ann Clarkson expressed her lack of understanding as to why the town clerk was not going to be the presiding officer. Gloria Cristelli, as town clerk, expressed her concern that there would be a repeat of a concern of an “appearance of unfairness” in the vote if she were the presiding officer. She also expressed the need for the BCA to oversee early/absentee ballots so that there would be no repeat of the distrust expressed about early/absentee ballot handling as there was after the Town Meeting vote. Chris Druke outlined her thoughts on how the two votes were different: one a contested race; the other not contested and including the treasurer in the outcome. Additional discussion ensued. Mary Ann Clarkson moved to have Gloria Cristelli, town clerk, be the presiding officer. Fred Bacon seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously with Gloria abstaining.

The Chair returned to the issue of the polling place. Todd Lawley moved and Gloria Cristelli seconded having the vote at NewBrook Fire Department. The motion passed unanimously.

The Chair proceeded to discussion of the roles and responsibilities of the BCA for January 22, 2015. Priscilla Cotton announced that she would not be available for the 22nd. Todd suggested that it would be best to get someone else to do early/absentee ballots on the 21st, given possible weather problems. Gloria will ask either Richard or Greg, both of whom have done this before. Gary Katz said that he would assist Gloria at 8:15 a.m. on the 22nd to finish set up and attest to there being no ballots in the ballot box. Gary also agreed to take Priscilla’s spot for 9-11 a.m., and Gloria will ask either Art Schubert or Larry Robinson to fill Gary’s slot in the afternoon.  All those not present, except Mike Fitzpatrick, had indicated the assignments were fine.

Chris Druke moved to adjourn and Todd Lawley seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned at 6:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by,

Gloria J. Cristelli