Salem Selectmen moved forward with a Casino Advisory Committee on Jan. 28, opting to increase the amount of citizen participation for the group.
The new committee, which was suggested to the town by the local casino advocacy group N.H. Casino Now, will be comprised of six residents, a total that was amended after board Chairman Pat Hargreaves suggested that five citizens be involved.
The nine-member organization will also include one selectman, one Salem School Board member and one legislator – either state Sen. Chuck Morse (R-Salem) or a representative of Salem.
The additional citizen came at the suggestion of Selectman Jim Keller. He also called for a member of the Budget Committee to participate, but Hargreaves was against it, noting that they don't meet in the summer and are only consulted at the end of the year during budget proposal season.
Selectman Everett McBride Jr. noted that it doesn't preclude a Budget Committee member from applying in a citizen capacity.
Other individuals who didn't make the final cut were Salem Community Development Director William Scott and Town Manager Keith Hickey.
Dan Norris, chairman of N.H. Casino Now, said that the most important thing is that the board moves forward with the committee as it deems suitable.
During a meeting on Jan. 14, Norris said that the goal of the committee is to quantify the gaming revenue amounts from a casino as well as how that revenue would be used in Salem.
Board member Stephen Campbell will serve as Selectman representative. McBride will serve as alternate.
The board didn't give a specific time for the first committee meeting, but said that it will likely take a couple of weeks to put out a call for citizen candidates and conduct interviews.