FARMINGTON — Selectmen voted unanimously Thursday to allow Meetinghouse Park to be used for a march supporting those affected by the shooting deaths last month at a Parkland, Florida, high school.

Mt. Blue High School senior River Lisius is organizing March for Our Lives. She requested the closure of downtown streets March 24 for a march from Mallett School to the park.

“The march in Franklin County is part of a national movement in solidarity with students from Parkland, Florida, to raise awareness and echo their demands for policy changes,” she said. “As the plan progressed, we will now march on the sidewalks to Meetinghouse Park for songs and speakers. We know people have a wide variety of views on guns and safety. We hope the town will respect our right for civil engagement and peaceful assembly.”

Selectman Scott Landry said he was pleased to see Lisius worked with the Police Department on an inexpensive plan.

Farmington police Chief Jack Peck said previously that four officers would be needed to close the march route, at a cost of $1,220.

In another issue, selectmen voted unanimously to approve a five-year contract with the Jive communications company for a new phone system at the Police Department. The cost is $24,336 with a monthly fee of $405.60.


Town Manager Richard Davis said the board must approve long-term contracts.

Farmington Deputy Chief Shane Cote said the department’s system is failing.

Cote said the Jive system includes recording phone calls, which is required when speaking with a felon.

“Leading companies in the United States all use Jive,” said Larry Jordan, the town’s energy consultant. “Society is changing. The federal government is making more demands. This system is meeting those demands so the department can function with the tools they really need.”

Cote said money for the system is in this year’s budget.

The board also proclaimed September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month; approved signing three municipal quitclaim deeds; and appointed Heather Huish as interim Regional School Unit 9 director to replace Ryan Morgan, who resigned.

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