Cheshire Sets Special Election to Fill Out Select Board
Cheshire has set a special election for Tuesday, Aug. 13, to determine who will be the two new selectmen.
iBerkshires.com reports the Board of Selectmen made the decision Tuesday to hold a special election sooner rather than later and agreed to put both a debt exclusion vote and the selectmen seats on the same August ballot.
The increase from three to five selectmen goes back to a 2014 citizen's petition. After multiple town meetings and ballots, the legislation to allow the increase was finally accepted by the town during an election in early May.
To stagger the terms, one of the additional selectmen will be a three-year term and the other will be two. After this election, those seats will continue on the regular town election at staggered dates.
Now with a firm date, the town clerk can determine when nomination papers can be taken out and when they are due.
In other business, the Selectmen heard from Eileen Quinn and Michele Francesconi about designating part of the Cheshire Elementary School's campus for Appalachian Trail hikers camping.
Francesconi, the business manager of the parish, said they used to leave the doors unlocked for hikers but the diocese asked them to stop this practice because of the security risk.
Since then, they have allowed through-hikers to camp on the parish grounds but this, too, is no longer possible.
She said they did look at setting the campsite in back of the community center but noted this would cause issues with abuttors.
Francesconi said the current spot in mind is the old skating rink area on the former school grounds near the storage shed -- 100 feet from where they previously camped.
The Appalachian Mountain Club is willing to gift picnic tables for the area and a "bear box" to keep hikers' food safe from critters.
St. John said he liked the idea but still had questions and wanted to clear the concept with the town's counsel and insurance provider, and make sure there are no conflicts with sports.