AYER -- The Jan. 7 meeting of selectmen ended with an exchange among board members sparked by complaints from Pauline Conley about selectmen sometimes being left out of the loop in email exchanges emanating from the selectmen's office.

To make sure lines of communication are always left open, Conley asked that all email passing through the selectmen's office be forwarded to selectmen themselves.

Other members of the board felt that they did not need to know every little thing that passed from various departments to town administrator Robert Pontbriand with Selectman Jim Fay boiling the opinion down to simply expecting the town administrator to "keep the boss informed," meaning selectmen, of what was going on.

Conley next brought up the issue of meeting schedules, demanding that all members be asked first if they could attend before scheduling one.

By then, however, some of Conley's fellow board members began to express impatience with her concerns with Jannice Livingston characterizing them as "kindergarten stuff."

"I don't know why we have to nitpick everything," complained Livingston. "This is getting painful going over things like this over and over again. Sometimes you can make a meeting and sometimes you can't. If there's a quorum, then it can go on."

But Conley insisted that advance notice and asking if members can make it or not is only "common courtesy."

-- Pierre Comtois


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