By Paul Conyers
The Utilities Committee came together for its April 26 meeting to discuss some new administrative work to improve communication.
The first item on the agenda was a new email system for Londonderry officials. Londonderry
nh.org email accounts are now available to every Committee member and Chairman, Lynn Wiles, confirmed that the new system was ready to go. However, some members couldn’t access their accounts, and technical issues remain.
Wiles expressed interest in setting up a Facebook page for the Committee. Member, Jeff McGraw, volunteered to set up the page and keep the public updated.
“It’s a way for us to get information out to the community on what we’re doing and what we’re working on,” said Committee member Anne Fenn.
Wiles also hoped to add structure to the Utilities Committee with a new set of rules and procedures.
“Judging from some of the meetings I’ve attended over the past six months, I think it makes sense for us to have that,” explained the Chairman. “It doesn’t have to be complicated, but I think it’s important to have something in writing as to how we run our meetings.” He jokingly added, “I don’t know Robert’s Rules of Order” and hoped to introduce a procedure with a simpler structure.
After getting feedback from members, the Utilities Committee unanimously agreed to hold meetings on the first Tuesday of every month starting in June.
The initial plan was to create four or five subcommittees with three members each to deal with significant topics. The idea is to have subcommittees make informal recommendations to the full Committee.
“The way to get a lot of these jobs done that we’ve been tasked to do is with a small group of people,” said Wiles. “A group of three people can sit down and come together a lot easier than ten people. I think it’s going to work, and I think it’s the only way we’re going to get anything done.”
After discussion, a tentative plan was created to include energy, liquid fuels, water, sewage, and cable tv/Internet subcommittees. Some members will be on more than one subcommittee.
The main advantage of smaller groups is the ability to hold working group meetings without putting out a formal meeting notice.
There was also concern that too many subcommittees would complicate things.
“I just worry we’re going to get super bureaucratic,” stated Fenn.
Lynn assured her that each subcommittee would manage its own communication with time management as a priority. Member, Paul Ramsey, added, “If we need to adjust, we’ll adjust.”
One idea to improve the Committee was to invite expert speakers to brief the Utilities on topics like water or energy.
“Having somebody come in to address the Committee would be great, we all need that education,” said Wiles.
The meeting is Tuesday, June 6, at 7 p.m., in the Moose Hill Conference Room.