DEVENS -- The Joint Boards of Selectmen, which dates back to the early days of post Fort Devens reconstruction, has evolved into a smaller body with representative members. It generally meets once a month.

But at its March session, the three members present decided to forgo the April meeting for a date in early May, after the three towns JBOS was formed for -- Ayer, Harvard and Shirley -- hold their elections, perhaps with new selectmen seated.

Tom Kinch, of the Devens community, Enrico Cappucci, representing Shirley selectmen and Ayer Selectman Frank Maxant, presiding as chairman, agreed to meet on May 2 rather than next month, citing uncertainty about the post-election makeup of the boards of selectmen in the three towns.

Cappucci introduced the idea, reiterating as agenda items came up that it might be better to discuss those issues once the three towns held their elections on April 30.

This body could hash something out, take a vote, and then find out that the boards they represent don't support it, he said. He advocated that JBOS "go easy" until May.

After some discussion, the others agreed, setting the next meeting for Thursday, May 2, at the usual time and place, 7 p.m. at Mass Development headquarters, Andrews Parkway, Devens.

In the meantime, Maxant and Kinch plan to write up a kind of white paper on a subject near and dear to both of them, "exploring self-determination options" for the Devens enterprise zone, which is now governed by Mass Development, the state agency charged with the redevelopment of the former military base.


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Briefly, that might not mean Devens becoming its own town, an initiative that has failed in the past. But it could be an arrangement that gives Devens residents some say in the governance and destiny of their small community.

"We need to flesh out this idea," Kinch said. He and Maxant agreed to do so and to present the result at the next meeting, so the board can discuss it.