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Resignations, Appointments Top New Council's Agenda

The Portsmouth Town Council will hold a meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

The new Portsmouth Town Council is taking on several important issues at the first weekday meeting of the new session. 

Portsmouth School Committee vacancy

The new members on the council will consider steps to replace a vacancy on the Portsmouth School Committee. Member Jonathan Harris stepped down a day after the General Election. 

The committee will receive his resignation letter and consider steps to advertise. The town council is responsible for appointing new members to the school committee. 

Ballot Question for Toll Issue? 

The town council will also discuss proposing a ballot question on the controversial issue of bridge tolls. Two hearings were recently held on this issue in Portsmouth and Tiverton.

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority will place tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge once transfer of ownership is complete. The governor authorized the transfer of ownership in the 2013 budget. 

Resignations and Appointments 

The council will also discuss the appointment of a new town solicitor tonight. The council will also receive a letter of resignation from Portsmouth Police Chief Lance Hebert. 

Hebert is retiring after 25 years with the Portsmouth Police Department. 

The council meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at Town Hall. To view the full meeting agenda, click here

Concerned Observer December 10, 2012 at 03:57 PM
FYI - I did not think it was a wise decision to rehire D'Andrea when the past council did so. Bids should have been taken at that time as well. As far as hiring other lawyers, hiring lawyers with certain areas of expertise for certain legal issues makes perfect sense. Hiring lawyers for a two year contract is a different story. It is who can do the best job representing our town. The least expensive is not always the best answer. Staven and Pedro voted against rehiring D'Andrea and requested at that time that the proper process be taken when appointing the solicitor and the prosecutor. So now let's talk about facts. My original post was hoping that the new council would go through the process of appointing the solicitor in a manner that would be most beneficial to the town. My fear is with the majority that holds the seats is that the process will not be done as it should be. Let's wait and see tonight if they take the proper course or if the games have begun already.
old timer December 10, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Concerned Observer you say "hiring lawyers with certain areas of expertise for certain legal issues makes perfect sense". I agree, but why does that mean there shouldn't be a bid process for that also? You claim that is the process "as it should be". If that's the only way to find the person "who can do the best job representing our town", then why shouldn't that be the process for other attorneys whose bills to the town will far exceed that of the Town Solicitor? You can easily check the websites of RI attorneys and see several who have expertise at least on paper equivalent to the ones hired. Certainly seems to me you think selecting an attorney through a formal "bid process" is "as it should be" when Staven and Pedro want to, but in other instances it's the beginning of "games".Your arguemnt that the Solicitor's position is a "different story" because it's for a 2 year term is false. The charter says the Solicitor serves at the pleasure of the Town Council. Therefore his/her contract cannot have a specified length and he/she can be terminated without cause at any time. There is more than one way to select an attorney and whatever the Council chooses to do tonight at least it's on the open part of the agenda and they will be doing it in public which is more than I can say for the previous council's hiring of Mr. Liberati or the labor law firm.
Robert E December 10, 2012 at 06:25 PM
When you go with the low bidder you get what you pay for. Just look at the wind turbine.
Bill Carson December 10, 2012 at 07:23 PM
The Town Administrator should have some information on the broken turbine tonight. There should be some discussion on the wind turbine RFP, Request for Proposal. It will be interesting to see if a new turbine is built in place of the old one how the siting will affect the residential homes around the turbine. Today much more is known about ice throw,infra sound, shadow flicker and fall zones close to the town water tank .
Publius the 2nd December 10, 2012 at 09:04 PM
@ Bill Carson: It would have been nice if you had told the town this back in 2004 or 2005 or 2006 or 2007 or 2008.

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