BOS to discuss recent move to terminate town attorney

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Attorney Jim Sessler (Courtesy photo)

MILTON - Selectmen on Monday will discuss whether they should reconsider the termination of the town's attorney.

One of the items for discussion under New Business is the "Request to reconsider motion to terminate Attorney (Jim) Sessler."

Town Administrator Heather Thibodeau confirmed on July 27 that Sessler of Sessler Law Offices of Franklin had terminated his relationship with the town, but she couldn't disclose the circumstances under which the termination occurred.

During the July 24 meeting prior to a nonpublic session at which the decision was likely made, Selectmen Andy Rawson and Mike Beaulieu approved a motion to arrange a settlement with the owners of the property at Three Ponds Automotive over a rock wall behind the business, which Selectman Ryan Thibeault strongly disagreed with.

Thibeault, an abutter to Three Ponds Automotive, had wanted to pursue a course that would've forced the business to hire an engineer to document the stability of the wall, while Rawson and Beaulieu at the meeting called for an arrangement that would allow the business to keep the wall as is with no engineering report mandated if they held harmless the town from any liability associated with the 20-foot wall.

That enraged Thibeault who has been a longstanding critic of the wall dating back prior to his becoming selectman. He vowed to selectmen during the public portion of the meeting that he would be getting back in touch with Sessler over Rawson's motion.

Rawson said during the public portion of the meeting that he, himself, had talked to Sessler and said he had advised the town to come to an agreement with the business rather than proceed in a more aggressive fashion.

Thibodeau said she was already looking to find another lawyer to act as town attorney.

In the meantime, she said the town would rely on the New Hampshire Municipal Association for legal advice.

Rawson said today that a lot more would be divulged at selectmen's next regularly scheduled meeting on Monday. Another item on the agenda is a request to unseal minutes of nonpublic session of July 24. (The agenda says July 25 nonpublic but it is a typo.)

Rawson said he's pushing for them to be unsealed.

"For there to be transparency, they should be released," he said today.

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