By Katina Caraganis
ASHBY -- The Board of Selectmen is pondering implementing a policy that would have individual board members pay for copies of all documents they request outside of meetings.
Selectman Steve Ingerson had requested from Town Administrator Bob Hanson copies of all employees' W-2 forms from the past five years for a project he's working on for the board, but declined to elaborate on the type of project.
Each member of the board receives agenda packets for every meeting free of charge, but whenever anybody requests copies of public documents from Town Hall, they are required to pay $0.20 per page.
Ingerson believes that he and the other members of the board should not have to pay for copies of documents relative to work being done for the board.
Selectman Mike McCallum said that while he agrees that members of the board should not have to pay for copies of things they request as a collective board, if individual members wish to request documents, whether it's for something the board is working on, they should be required to pay for the copies.
McCallum proposed allowing members to request copies and only pay for copies after the first 20 pages, but the motion failed to get a second from the other two members.
McCallum said he believed in the instance Ingerson was requesting information for, the amount of work that would go into preparing all the documents for him was unreasonable.
Last year, he said, 94 W-2 forms were given to employees, and if the town maintained a 90 average over the span he was requesting, there would be approximately 450 W-2s.
The amount of time it would take to copy every document, redact the information not allowed to be released, and then re-copy then would take at least a full day and would not be a good use of an employee's time.
Ingerson said he would rework his request, and ask for less documents, and the board would revisit the topic if needed.
The selectmen also unanimously voted to appoint Sgt. Fred Alden to police lieutenant.
The appointment had come before the board in May, but because there was an open position on the board, Ingerson and McCallum opted to hold off on making the appointment permanently.
Police Chief Edward Drew, who was not at Wednesday night's meeting, recommended Alden to the position in May, saying he'd done "exemplary work" as the department's sergeant and that Alden takes on a lot of responsibility.
The position and its salary had been approved at the annual Town Meeting in May.
Follow Katina Caraganis on Twitter @kcaraganis.