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Topsham seeks members for Town Meeting improvement committee

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Topsham seeks members for Town Meeting improvement committee

TOPSHAM — The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously July 1 to have Town Manager Jim Ashe form a committee to improve Town Meeting.

The ad-hoc committee will consist of between five to seven members and implement suggestions made by the Topsham Government Improvement Committee to better involve citizens in Town Meeting, other public hearings and meetings of town boards and committees.

“Whatever educational process that can be established during this is certainly going to be warranted,” Selectman Don Russell said.

Selectman Sandra Consolini, who placed the item on the agenda for consideration, suggested the committee could involve three town staff members: Town Clerk Ruth Lyons, Town Planner Rich Roedner and Parks and Recreation Director Pam LeDuc.

But Russell preferred not to include town staff, noting that there would be a cost involved in doing so. He suggested it would be better to form the committee first and determine later whether the group needs staff assistance.

John Rensenbrink, who chaired the Government Improvement Committee, said that regardless of whether staff serve on the panel, the employees would be vital as consultants to that committee.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.