Fishing permission clause fails vote on Chester Town meeting

Chester – Hunting will not require written permission from the property owner, after a wide majority vote on June 13.

Only 15 of the 86 voters at the annual city meeting in Chester supported a motion requiring the city’s fishermen to carry a permit slip and vehicle tag obtained from the city clerk and signed by the property owner.

Proponents said many fishermen were ignoring the “no hunting” signs placed on trees and fences, but opponents said the proposed regulation would place too much burden on people exercising a traditional right.

Melvin Hook said those who don’t want to fish on their properties need to make sure their boundary lines are drawn up correctly, and that responsible fishermen will adhere to the “no fishing” sign. He said that irresponsible fishermen who do not obey the signs will not abide by this regulation.

He also said that many of the landlord’s complaints relate to hackers in general, including motorcyclists, hikers and horseback riding, and that the hunting permission system won’t stop trespassing.

“We’re trying to pass a regulation that won’t solve the problem,” Hook said.
Florence Bolduc said the proposal would simply bring Chester in line with its neighbours.

“Every town around us is closed – [hunters] “Need written permission,” she said. “All hunters who don’t care about permission, come to Chester. My land has been spread. People don’t respect it.”

Opponents also raised questions about the cost of the proposed bylaw, where a city clerk would be required to file a standard permit form, and police would need to spend time outside their patrol schedule to enforce the law. They said that many landowners who allow hunting on their property as a courtesy to their community would not want to take the time to fill out forms and visit Town Hall to grant individual permission to each poacher who requests it.

Also at the city meeting, voters passed the city’s $3,457,779 budget, rejecting appeals to two of the largest proposed salary increases.

City Manager Katie Warden will receive a 33 percent increase under the budget approved on June 13, from $46,589 to $62,000, though she noted that a large part of that increase is a longer work week, from 32 hours to 40 hours.

Judith Delsandro broke with the rest of the Finance Committee in asking voters to reject the increase.

“In these tough times, this is a massive amount of money that could be asked for in one year,” she said. “We couldn’t give everyone what they asked for.”

Warden said she actually works 40 hours a week, even though she’s only paid 32, because her job is impossible to do on a part-time schedule. She said that even at $62,000, she would be one of the lowest paid full-time town managers in the area.

Echoing the actions of Blandford Town voters, Chester approved a 21 percent increase in the police budget in two towns, which would raise the president’s salary, increase part-time officers’ hours and wages, hire a part-time administrative assistant and the result. In more patrol hours. The Finance Committee and many voters opposed the increases as too large a jump in a single year, and suggested a smaller increase.

Voters also approved the appointment of an energy committee to study the operations and future needs of the town’s owned electricity utility, including seeking grants, promoting green energy, and “the advantages, disadvantages and feasibility of merging the Chester Municipal Lighting Division with the larger Electric Utility Corporation”, although That Selectmen President John Baldasaro said “Nobody says we’re selling CMELD, here, that’s not what we want to do.”

The city also voted to support moving the council of residents into certain positions. The city will have to petition the state legislature to make the change. If passed, the current elected evaluators would serve their three-year terms, with each individual reappointed—or replaced—by the vote of the selectors.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: