Present: Selectboard: Christopher Dargie, Chair, Sheila Lawrence, David Bugbee and Nancy Bushika.
Visitors: Ben Austin, Lynn Austin, Paul H. Austin, Carolyn Bloniasz, Nancy Dargie, Bill Levine, CJ Vadnais and Rachel Vadnais. Lori Shepard, Administrative Assistant.
Chris Dargie called the meeting to order at 6:45 p.m.
FINDINGS OF FACT
The members of the Selectboard met on August 28, 2014 in the Stamford Town Office to hear testimony on complaints of a vicious dog submitted by CJ and Rachel Vadnais. The board made the following conclusions:
1. Paul and Lynn Austin are the owners of labrador retrievers which are licensed with the Town of Stamford.
2. CJ and Rachel Vadnais are the owners of a large boxer mix and a yorkshire terrier which are also licensed with the town.
3. An incident occurred on July 10, 2014 when the Vadnais’ yorkshire terrier was bitten by one of the Austin’s labradors when Mrs. Vadnais was walking her dogs on Poplar Drive.
4. Both parties were notified of the hearing.
1. Mr. Austin read a statement, a copy of which was given to the Selectboard. He stated that when Mrs. Vadnais was walking her dogs on Poplar Drive, her small dog ran onto his property and was bitten by his dog.
2. Mrs. Vadnais also read a statement which was given to the Austins afterward stating that the Austin’s dog ran through their electric fence and attacked their dog on the road. Her dog was shaken back and forth and was only on the Austin’s property because their dog carried it back up the driveway.
3. Carolyn Bloniasz stated that she witnessed the attack.
4. Ben Austin spoke in support of his parents and made some personal statements but was not home and did not witness the incident.
5. Nancy Bushika asked about the electric fence. The town has previous complaints on file about the Austin’s dogs being loose from 2003 through 2007. The fence was installed about 7 years ago.
6. Mrs. Vadnais stated that she will no longer walk her dogs on Poplar Drive.
7. Dave Bugbee acknowledged that it was difficult to determine exactly what happened and felt if there was another incident involving either of the dogs, it would create a pattern that would call for action by the board.
8. The board took no action at this time, but stated that this incident is now documented.
CJ expressed his frustration with the board in allowing personal comments to be made which did not relate to the dog hearing. The chair put an end to the statements as soon as it was evident that it was not pertinent to the case.
MOTION by Dave Bugbee that the comments made by Ben Austin of a personal nature be stricken from the record. SECONDED by Chris Dargie. All in favor. Motion APPROVED.
WINTER SAND BIDS
Invitations to bid on winter sand will be mailed to the same parties as last year. Bids will be due on October 2, 2014 and will be publicly opened at the Selectboard meeting at 7 p.m.
TAX BILL INSERT
MOTION by Chris Dargie to accept the tax bill insert as written. SECONDED by Nancy Bushika. All in favor. Motion APPROVED.
TOWN HEALTH OFFICER
Maura Hawkins has been the town health officer for 25 years and has chosen not to pursue another 3 year term. Anyone interested in serving as the Town Health Officer should submit their name to a Selectboard member for consideration.
MOTION to adjourn by Chris Dargie. SECONDED by Dave Bugbee. All in favor. Motion APPROVED. The meeting was adjourned at 7:45 p.m.
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