Fair Haven officials reviewing town policies
By Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | April 02,2013
FAIR HAVEN — Town officials are in the midst of reviewing town policies to make sure they are up-to-date and relevant.
Board members started reviewing more than 40 policies a couple weeks ago before picking a handful to discuss at upcoming meetings. Some of the policies have been in existence since the 1960s. So far they have reviewed four policies, though as of Monday afternoon, no suggested changes had been made.
Town Manager Herbert Durfee said Select Board members came to a consensus to review the policies when they started to discuss the possibility of establishing a policy to extend credit to businesses at the transfer station.
He said several board members felt that it made good sense to review the policies and make sure they were “up to snuff.” He said he could not agree more.
Durfee said there are several binders full of policies — about 45 that he has found so far — that are under review by the board. He said some pages in the binders include some rules and regulations and such.
The oldest he has come across is a sidewalk policy from 1963 which states that if a house has a sidewalk in front, the resident is responsible for the basic maintenance and upkeep of the sidewalk.
“There may be others out here,” said Durfee, adding that the binders are not all that organized and jump around. “I certainly have some of the recent past ... the most relevant ones.”
He said there have not been any red flags or conflicts among the policies, adding that they all focus on very specific issues. He said the only potential conflicts he can see coming up are related to personnel and union contracts.
Durfee said board members have chosen to pick two or three policies they believe to be priorities to review at each meeting. Once those are done, he will recommend them to continue until they have gone through all of them.
Once they review a particular policy, board members and residents have the opportunity to suggest changes or amendments. The town manager said he has not received comments or recommendations for the policies already reviewed.
At its meeting two weeks ago, the Select Board discussed the HRA Account Reimbursement policy and the vehicle take home policy, which were recommended by Selectman Robert Richards. Also on recent agendas were the policy on the use of banners over Main Street and the Commercial Tax Stabilization policy, which interested several board members.
Comments from residents are welcome during this review process, Durfee said.
Some of the town’s policies can be found on the town’s website, though the majority of them only have print copies and can be found at the town offices.