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Vernon briefs

Town seeks options for selling off guns

VERNON—VERNON — After the dismantling of the town Police Department last year, the Selectboard has worked to liquidate its former assets. One sticky point has been what to do with the guns.

Citing concerns with liability, the town has hesitated to sell the firearms, even to another police department.

Selectboard Secretary Catrina Lawley recently contacted Lieutenant Mark Anderson with the Windham County Sheriff’s Department for his advice. At the July 6 board meeting, Lawley reported the results of the conversation.

She said Lt. Anderson offered two options. One, the town can sell the firearms to “anyone, but we must keep the bill of sale forever.” This way, if the guns are used in a crime, the bill of sale mitigates the town’s liability.

The Selectboard preferred the second choice offered by Lt. Anderson: use a dealer as either an intermediary, or sell the guns directly to the dealer. This option transfers the responsibility, and liability, to the dealer.

Lawley said Lt. Anderson gave her a list of three dealers, two of which have experience working directly with law enforcement agencies. The board authorized Lawley to contact the dealers to determine their interest, and for their possible bids to sell the firearms.

Lawley said it is in the town’s best interests to sell the guns sooner rather than later. She explained the weapons need to be cleaned periodically, maintained, and kept in a climate-controlled environment. She added none of those things are happening now, and this will cause the guns to lose their value as they deteriorate.

“They have value now,” she told the board.

Resignations and appointments

VERNON — Former interim Selectboard member Steve Skibniowsky has resigned from the Planning Commission, effective June 30.

Skibniowsky had previously resigned as representative to the Windham Regional Commission (WRC) on June 15 [“WRC rep resigns,” Town & Village, June 15].

At the July 6 board meeting, Skibniowski mentioned the “positive movement” of the commission, and noted his pleasure at seeing “many people” interested in serving. He said in the letter he looks forward to Vernon’s future and wants to step down to make room for the newcomers.

Skibniowsky had served on the Planning Commission since 2008. Although the board accepted his resignation, members did so with “sadness.”

“‘With regrets’ doesn’t say enough,” said Board Chair Christiane Howe. “Steve Skibniowsky has done a lot for the town. It’s sad to see him go.”

The Selectboard unanimously voted —€• minus board member Michael Courtemanche, who was absent — to appoint former interim board member Munson Hicks as the town’s WRC representative. “He could hit the ground running immediately,” Howe noted.

She asked any parties interested in serving on the Planning Commission to contact Selectboard Secretary Catrina Lawley (802-257-0292).

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Originally published in The Commons issue #315 (Wednesday, July 22, 2015). This story appeared on page C3.

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