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Selectmen take steps toward increased transparency

April 17, 2019
OSSIPEE — Selectmen here are making public information more accessible at their meetings and on the town Web site.

Ossipeee's selectmen have, for many years, done a notable job of encouraging public input at their weekly meetings. They have also openly reviewed their mail and approved payments during the meeting for the public to hear. Their weekly meetings have been filmed by GovernmentOversite.com since September 2014 so folks who cannot attend can keep up with what is going on. Ossipee also gets high marks in promoting public access by having it's assessing records and interactive property tax maps on the Town website.

At their first meeting following the election, incumbents Sam Martin, Martha Eldridge and newly elected Susan Simpson unveiled their new way of conducting meetings. The trio is now reading aloud the weekly highway department and transfer station reports, each taking turns to share the work.

All town department heads, including the police chief and town clerk, now attend the weekly meetings to give a report and answer any questions the public may have. Citizens unable to attend the meetings can submit their questions ahead of time to be answered at the meeting.

The town Web site, www.ossipee.org is, according to Chairman Martin, who is also the town's Webmaster, undergoing a major renovation soon. But, for now, there are new features. The public can now follow the town budget throughout the year. Under the "Monthly Reports" section updated expense reports for each department will be added monthly as well as activity reports for several departments.

Varney Smith
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