Chair Randall Terk read Cerchio’s resignation letter aloud. “I am resigning my positions as zoning administrator, town health officer, keeper of the septic records, and sign ordinance officer effective March 31. It has been a pleasure serving Dover for the past eight years.”
Cerchio’s impending retirement has been no secret. At Town Meeting, the board thanked Cerchio for his years of service and presented him with a gift on behalf of the town. At Tuesday’s meeting, his resignation was accepted in good spirits.
In February, Cerchio brought his successor Wayne Estey on as a trainee, with the intention of passing the torch full time upon Cerchio’s spring retirement.
“The training is going excellently,” said Cerchio. “Wayne has made several suggestions that will improve the operation, I must say. His legal background has already saved the town some money because we didn’t have to go to the town attorney on a couple of occasions. I recommend that you appoint him as zoning administrator, et cetera, et cetera, effective April 1.”
A motion from the board to follow Cerchio’s recommendation carried.
Werner appeared before the board to present three bids for generators and recommended that the board accept a bid from Brookfield Service. The majority of funding for the generator will come from a grant. (The board agreed and passed a motion to accept the bid contingent upon Werner’s satisfactory conversations with references provided by Brookfield Service.)
With a new generator to be purchased, Werner suggested that the town consider donating an existing generator to a group in need. Werner said the existing generator is manual, which means it needs to be physically switched on and off, but other than that, it’s a good generator. Terk said the board would certainly consider donating it. Those who have an interest may contact the board in writing.
Economic Development Director Ken Black recommended that the board consider paying Rich Caplan a flat fee of $1,500 to use a tent behind The Dover Forge as rain cover for the town’s summer concert series, which, weather permitting, happens in Dover Park.
In previous years, the town used the tent free of charge because it was already set up for ITVFest. “With ITVFest going to Manchester, I wasn’t sure he wanted to use the tent again,” said Black. He said he spoke with Caplan and told him the town could help with costs if Caplan decided to put the tent up this summer.
“Keep in mind we’ve had at least two if not three concerts last summer in the tent,” said Black, “and a couple the year before. It does get used. We talked about $1,500 for use of the tent, which is certainly worthwhile considering we’ve been using it for free for three years.”
The board agreed to use economic development funds to cover the fee for the tent. Ten Sunday afternoon concerts are planned for this summer along with one Wednesday evening concert the week of the Blueberry Festival.
Police chief Randy Johnson filled the board in on an unfortunate series of events involving one of the town’s police cruisers. In September, Sgt. Michael Arbogast was in an accident that totaled his cruiser. In October, Johnson told the board that due to that accident, he was not going to sell an old Chevy cruiser as he originally intended so that the department was not down a car while they waited for a new cruiser to replace the car Arbogast totaled.
Johnson said that this past Saturday the new replacement cruiser “finally” got its lights and radios. Then, during Tuesday’s snowstorm, Arbogast was driving a resident home when, Johnson said, it seemed a driver in another car ran a stop sign and, possibly to avoid an oncoming MOOver, swerved. The car slid and began traveling southbound in the northbound lane, headed toward Arbogast and his passenger in the new cruiser. The vehicles collided. No one was hurt in the accident.
“Which brings me to this cruiser that doesn’t seem to want to leave us,” said Johnson, referring to the old Chevy he originally intended to sell six months ago and is now driving again while the new cruiser is repaired.
“We have it, and Rich Werner came up with the idea today that maybe we should just keep it as a town car,” said Johnson, suggesting that the car could be used for town business on an as-needed basis.
Johnson said the town usually gets about $3,000 for an old cruiser, and he wondered if the car could be more of an asset than $3,000 would be.
“I just figured I’d throw the idea out there, rather than putting the car out to bid,” said Johnson.
Terk said that in order for the board to fully consider the matter, he’d like more specifics outlined in terms of logistics, costs, and potential benefits.