2021 Raymond Board of Selectmen Meetings

Raymond Board of Selectmen Continue Discussion of Cable Committee Budget
By Penny Williams   1-13-21

The Raymond Board of Selectmen read into the record a letter stating its position regarding the Raymond Community TV (RCTV) Cable Budget issue on Monday night, January  11.

The premise of the letter, read by Chair Scott Campbell was, "However, as stated above, RCTV is government service that funds itself through fees imposed on our residents and therefore must be subject to the same oversight, transparency, and controls as all other governmental services”.

The letter goes on to state, it is the opinion of this Board that all governmental entities must be accountable to the residents and subject to same level of checks and balances and scrutiny in fiscal practices.

The board takes exception to the request for a 30% increase in pay through RCTV saying “in a year when so many of our residents are struggling”, they don't agree with this request.

The reason for the disagreement, according to the letter, is the "revenue for RCTV is based on a 2% fee (or tax) on our resident cable subscribers; and despite the economic realities of today of the families we all serve, the over $300,000 in RCTV’s cash reserves in the Revolving Account and a nationwide increase cable billing; there is no discussion or recommendations put forth regarding this fee and how we can provide relief to our residents while still sustaining high level of service."   

The letter then concludes by saying, however, it is recommended that the Board of Selectmen reconsider the last Capital Investment proposal from the Cable Committee after the Cable Committee submits it to the CIP Committee and the Board of Selectmen have the benefit of their recommendations.  (The entire letter can be read at the end of this article.)

Selectman Kathy Hoelzel said the letter as read was well put and should be submitted to the CIP Committee at their next meeting and then brought back to the Selectmen at their next meeting.

The names of those who sent emails to the board regarding the Cable issues were read into the record by Deborah Intonti. Letters were received from Alaya Chadwick, Deb Doda, Kevin Woods, Art Wolinsky, the Dickerson Family, Susan Hilchey, Kathleen McDonald, Pat Popieniek, Kathy Pouliot, Robert McDonald, John Beauvilliers, and Raymond Area News. Some letters can be read on the RCTV News page.

The board discussed at length the Protest Warrant Articles regarding Zoning Amendment Articles 3 and 4.

 Keith Smith submitted the Petition Protest Warrant Articles because he believes that the Planning Board's Zoning Amendment Articles 3 and 4 negatively impact 140 properties by restricting property owners rights and impacting their property's market value.

The articles concern water quality and remapping of Raymond wetlands. Specifically, Amendment 3,  is "To amend the boundaries of the Shoreland Protection area to include any area within 100 feet of any priority wetland" and  Amendment 4  is "To increase the setback from wetlands in the Conservation District from 25 to 75 feet for regular wetlands and to 100 feet for Priority Wetlands, and to relocate this requirement from Section 15.3.2 (which will be deleted) to a new section 15.1.4."

Smith collected 97 verified property owner's signatures of the 140 property owners in opposition to Article 3 and collected 96 verified property owner's signatures in opposition to Article 4. In addition he had 31  other concerned property owners in support of the Protest Petition Articles that indicate the proposed Zoning Amendment Articles are not the best way to support Conservation in Raymond.

Patricia Bridgeo prepared a power point presentation in support of the Protest Petition Articles. The Power Point presentation noted that there is a concern about using updating wetlands mapping of water sources to limit development and questions  its legality and reasonableness. While water quality is critical she questioned how the  wetlands around the dump and pig farm area were included. She also questioned the use of outdated data since much of the data in the report used by the Planning Board to develop the Zoning amendments was from 1993.

Selectman Barnes questioned why this was before the Selectman and he was informed it is because the law that states if 20 percent of impacted property owners petition it, the Protest Petition must come before the Board of Selectmen prior to the Deliberative Session.

Town Manager Joe Ilsley also noted that the Zoning Articles now must receive a 2/3 majority not just a simple majority for approval.  The board approved moving the two Protest Petition Articles forward.

Moderator Wayne Welch gave the board options regarding how  the Deliberative Session could be held. After going over the possible options the board unanimously approved moving forward with the Deliberative session being held as usual on February 6, with the appropriate COVID-19 guidelines in place.

The board approved continuing the contract for Utilities with George San Soucie since the Town is still in litigation over the utilities and Ilsley didn't recommend switching contractors mid litigation.

The board approved the building permits on private roads and approved the Intent to Cut permit requests. They accepted the donations of $200 each for the Fire and Police Departments from the Chadwick family and  $202.33 from the State for the General Fund.

 Tina Thomas expressed her concern over the inability to be able to find email or telephone  information allowing residents to directly contact many members of the different boards in town. She noted, for example,  that the Ethics Committee even has a Yahoo email address which concerned her. She complained about the inconsistency and questioned why it is this way.  Bob McDonald questioned protest petition article signer verification.

The board went into non-public and when it emerged  the board voted not to seal the minutes. The board then  approved the Social Services Agency Warrant Article in the amount of $40,000 and approved dedicating the Town Report to Frank and Page Case.

Click on Raymond Board of Selectman Letter about Cable Budget to read the entire letter.








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