By Katina Caraganis
ASHBY -- The 250th Start-up Celebration Committee and the Friends of the 250th Start-up Celebration Committee are looking for ways to raise money for the celebration, which will happen in 2017.
Catherine Biliouris, a member of the Friends of the 250th Start-up Celebration Committee, has spearheaded much of the fundraising effort and went before the Board of Selectmen Wednesday night, asking for financial help to get the group off the ground.
"We quickly discovered we would run in to trouble if everyone who wanted to be involved was on the committee. It could be difficult to fundraise," she said.
She said they've thought of different fundraisers they could do to raise money, including selling T-shirts and bumper stickers, hosting chili cook-offs and other events, with all the proceeds going to the celebration.
However, she said, the group would need seed money, preferably from the town.
"It would be our intent to replenish that money once we starting making a profit," she said.
Selectmen took no action on the request Wednesday night, but did not rule it out. They suggested putting together a presentation to get the celebration put into the operating budget for fiscal 2016.
That way, the group could draw upon any funds allocated without having to get board approval or Town Meeting approval to spend it.
They did, however, give the group ideas on other ways to raise funds, including setting up a booth at Saturday's Spring Festival, have a table at the annual town band concerts, and start making phone calls to residents in town.
In other news, Selectman Steve Ingerson voted against signing the payroll warrant and vendor warrant Wednesday night, saying he feels uninformed.
When asked by Selectman Michael McCallum why he voted against signing then, Ingerson read from a prepared statement.
"In the year since I was duly elected a member of the Board of Selectmen, I have been systematically denied timely access to important pubic documentation and other information relevant to the regular ongoing, or special business," he read.
In his statement, he alleges that the two other members of the board "voted among themselves" to remove him from the position of procurement officer "without cause."
One member of the board annually is appointed as a procurement officer, but does not regularly handle large price tag items for the town that would need to go through the procurement process.
Instead, the procurement process would be handled by the town administrator.
He went on to say that when he does receive information, it doesn't give him sufficient time to review them to make informed decisions.
"Any information that I have received, I have either had to pay for, been verbal, or incomplete, and I have received it in such a time that I am forced to exercise the duty of my office without comprehensive knowledge of whatever imminent or pressing issue may be at hand," he said.
Additionally, he said that "not having free and timely access to public town documents," and other documents he feels important to running the town, prevents him "from exercising my fiduciary responsibility, as a board member on behalf of the town, and its people."
At the end of his statement, he said that he could no longer, "in good conscience cast any vote on any subject which comes before the Board of Selectmen as long as the other members of the board and town personnel willfully keep me ignorant of important and timely documentation."
Selectman Janet Flinkstrom did not comment on the issue, and McCallum only replied he thought it was important to pay the town's employees.
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