By Beth David, Editor
At its meeting on 9/19/22, the Fairhaven Select Board decided to attend the MassDOT meeting about the bridge replacement, with all five members saying it was important for the board to be there. The meeting is on 10/3 at 6:30 p.m., at Fairhaven High School in the auditorium.
Select Board chairperson Stasia Powers said it was “really valuable for all of us to be there and be part of the conversation.”
The board already had set aside that date for a meeting. They will meet earlier if any matters come up that cannot wait.
Town Administrator Angie Lopes Ellison said was important for the public to attend the meeting to learn about the project and provide input to the state.
Drivers, boaters, walkers, businesses, anyone who uses the bridge should offer input while it is still in the planning stages.
The board also discussed an incident involving the rainbow Pride sign at the Visitors Center. The rainbow colors are a sign of LGBTQ+ pride.
In her report, Town Administrator Angie Lopes Ellison told the board that the pride sign in the visitors center was turnd around so the colors could not be seen after a townn board met in the space. (See related story on page 19.)
Ms. Ellison said she wanted to address the incident as TA and to tell the community about it.
“You’re saying a lot by doing that,” she said, whatever the intentions it is how it’s being received.
The people in the community that the sign is for are “marginalized folks,” she said, people in a “position of vulnerability.”
She said the action does not show the values of Fairhaven and “not the values you guys brought be on” for
She said the town is supportive and inclusive.
“It’s not the community we live in,” said Ms. Ellison, “We are better than that.”
She said they will deal with it as it goes, but she did not want to ignore it.
“Sometimes silence is acceptance,” she said. “And it’s not acceptable at all for me.”
She added that she hoped it was a “mishap,” and intention was not as it was perceived.
Later in the meeting, SB member Leon Correy, who is the board’s representative on the Belonging Committee, said it was “not acceptable at all.”
“I don’t care about your intentions,” said Mr. Correy.
In another matter, the board briefly discussed a Mass. Department of Revenue Financial Management Review Update, a report to assess the town’s implementation of changes form the 2012 review. s
Ms. Ellison said there were some changes that the finance department wanted, and some errors and omissions. The board will read the report and make recommendations, and discuss it in more detail at a future meeting.
In another matter, Ms. Ellison said she wanted to assure the community that staffing levels at the Fire Department are not causing a safety issue. She said the town has been able to handle the calls coming in and relies on mutal aid from surrounding communities when all ambulances are tied up.
The town is in negotiations with the firefighters union, she said, and sometimes things get out to the public that normally would not.
“At no point at any time are you unsafe,” said Ms. Ellison. “We are staffed. There’s mutual aid.”
When you call 911 for an ambulance, and ambulance will go, fires will be put out.
During committee liaison reports, SB member Bob Espindola said the presentation for the Safe Routes to School public hearing on 9/15/22 is available online. The project will resonstruct the sidewalk between the bike path on Sconticut Neck Road to the LL Wood School. Comments are open until 9/25.
In other business the board:
• Appointed Diane Hahn to the Belonging Committee
• Approved a name change for Pasta House to Bocca. The ownership has not changed.
• Approved the expenditure of $58,000* from the Special Education Stabilization Fund
• Aporoved the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan.
• Approved changes to the Broadband Study Committee’s mission statement, which had to be changed because of the transition to a municipal light board.
*Fixes error from previous version, $58,000, not 580,000.
Click here to download the entire 9/22/22 issue: 09-22-22 Auction
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