Update from the town manager

Town Manager Brenda Fox-Howard shared several updates in a conversation with NGX on December 9th.

Chief Toby Martin has resigned, effective Monday and a search is underway for his replacement. Deputy Chief Craig Bouchard has been acting chief while Martin was out on medical leave, and will continue in this role until a new chief is appointed. He has passion for the job and cares about the community, so we’re in good hands and don’t need to rush the hiring process, she said. Several applications have already been received and she’ll put together an interview panel including people with experience with fire, with rescue, maybe someone who has been a chief. This is expected to take 4-6 weeks, on the same timeline as hiring for the library.

Brenda has been working with Ted Shane on strategies to improve the safety of the Lower Village intersection, after a series of accidents. Adding rumble strips was considered but this can’t be done now due to the winter weather. Four 30” diameter stop signs with solar-powered flashers have been ordered for Cobb’s Bridge and Gloucester Hill Roads to increase visibility and keep people from driving into traffic on Route 231 without stopping. Some smaller signs warning of the intersection ahead will also be added in the next month or so.

The budget season is just getting started. The CIP committee’s first meeting was scheduled for December 9th, and the process for budget development was recently reviewed by the select board. The proposed schedule is on the board’s December 14th agenda. The board’s last meeting of 2020 will take place on December 28th. Finalizing the budget schedule and review of personnel policies are on the agenda.

COVID precautions
So far, there are no plans to close the town office due to COVID-19 concerns, though Brenda is keeping a close watch on numbers as other town offices have closed around us. To keep the office as safe as possible, they have purchased a sanitation machine and hired a cleaner who is very conscientious about cleanliness.

Holiday schedule
The town office will be closing at noon on December 23rd through the 25th for Christmas. It’s always closed on Fridays. The transfer station will be closed the 24th and 25th.

Voting on the library budget will take place in the community building on December 15th from 10 am to 7 pm. Town office will be closed that day, and COVID precautions will be in place. Voters can also vote absentee at the town office, by mail or drop box (in front of town hall). If you need a ballot, call the town office at 926-4126 or submit a ballot request form online (see There is a sample ballot on the town web site as well.

After the December 15th election, the ballot box in front of town hall will be removed until the next election. Town office staff would like to put something important to the town on the platform that the box sits on temporarily. Something historical, or symbolic of the community? If you have suggestions, email them to Brenda at

~Debra Smith