Lack of quorum delays Granby budget vote

By Scott Allardice

The Granby town board, already shorthanded due to a resignation, was forced to cancel its meeting Wednesday Nov. 13 when only two of the remaining four board members showed up.

Supervisor Ed Williamson and Councilor Matt Callen sat on the dais at the Granby town hall with the empty chairs and nameplates for councilors Lori Blackburn and Sue Richardson, the two missing board members.

The board lacked the required quorum of three members, so Williamson thanked the 10 members of the public in attendance for coming and announced the meeting was canceled.

Richardson was absent due to a family illness, Williamson said, and she had emailed the town to inform them she would be unable to attend.

At about 7 p.m. when the meeting would normally have started, Deputy Supervisor John Snow texted Blackburn to ask if she was planning to attend. Blackburn’s response, Williamson said, was “no.”

Frustrated, Williamson said, “I can’t imagine why anyone would run for office and then not want to serve.” Blackburn also did not attend an Oct. 9 board meeting and a Sept. 25 meeting, which was also canceled for lack of a quorum. She did attend an Oct. 23 meeting.

The board was scheduled to adopt the town’s preliminary 2014 budget during the regular meeting. State law requires towns to adopt a budget by Nov. 20, which the town may yet do.

Williamson said there’s a public hearing at 6 p.m., Nov. 20 in the Granby Community Center on a proposal to create a new water district. After that meeting, if there are three board members present, Williamson could call an emergency town board meeting to adopt the budget.

But the town’s preliminary budget, Williamson said, “was all set.” The board was set to adopt it and now, with or without a vote Nov. 20, the budget discussed at an Oct. 23 public hearing will become the town’s 2014 spending plan.

The budget holds the line on taxes for the third year in a row, Williamson says. The project town tax rate is $2.46 per $1,000 of assessed value.

In late September, Councilor Joseph Cortini resigned from the board. His seat on the board and Susan Richardson’s were up for election this year. The winners of the Nov. 5 election, Republicans Brenda Frazier-Hartle and Eric Clothier were in attendance at the Nov. 13 meeting.

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