Tremont to rework its Planning Board ordinance

TREMONT — Shorter terms, fewer members and an excused absence provision are ways selectmen are hoping to attract and keep more people serving on the town’s Planning Board.

The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously Tuesday to ask Town Manager Chris Saunders to prepare modifications to the town’s Ordinance to Establish the Tremont Planning Board. Any changes made would have to be brought to voters for approval.

Changes to the ordinance would include reducing the terms of service to three years instead of the current five years and reducing the number of members from seven to five.

“I do think it might be a good idea to re-write the policy,” said Selectman Kevin Buck about adding a provision for excused absences.

In the last couple of months selectmen have had to waive the attendance of more than half of the seven members of the Planning Board. Members are required to attend at least 75 percent of meetings within the last 12 months, according to the ordinance.

At the Aug. 13 planning board meeting, members passed a motion “to request the Select Board to either suspend or waive the attendance rules and regulations until such time that a more workable solution is found and new rules drafted, approved and adopted.”

Saunders agreed to present changes to the ordinance to members of the Planning Board for approval before coming back to selectmen for approval of changes. Residents would vote to grant final approval for any changes to the ordinance.

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