Rockport’s Select Board tabled a decision May 10 to renew a contract with Town Manager Robert Peabody, as well as to renew a peddler’s license for Queenie’s Weenies, until Monday, May 24, when the full board will once again be intact.

The board convened May 10 for a regularly scheduled meeting at the Rockport Opera House, minus two members, Tom Farley and Alexandra Fogel.

The May 24 Select Board meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House and will be televised on Channel 22. The three board members present at the May 10 meeting agreed to postpone voting on the two matters until a fuller board is present. The May 24 meeting may follow the special town meeting that evening for voters to consider a Community Development Block Grant for Avena Botanicals, Peabody said.

Peabody’s current agreement expires June 30.

At the May 10 meeting, the board discussed whether the town’s charter requires a contract between the town and the manager, Peabody said.

Article III, Section 1 of the Rockport charter describes an initial contract that must exist when a town manager is hired, but does not mention any renewal contract.

“The Select Board shall appoint a town manager for a specific term, as specified by contract, the first six months of which shall be probationary,” the charter states. “The Select Board shall, by contract, fix the compensation, benefits, holidays, vacation, and other terms, and provide for the reimbursement of the actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of the town manager’s duties.”

Select Board member Dale Landrith said May 11 that he wanted to be sure that any agreement or contract with the town manager was aligned with the provisions of the charter. He said the main reason the issue was tabled was due to the absence of two of the board’s members.

“Some have had questions as to whether we need a written contract,” he said. “We wanted all five members there.” He said that while it appeared that Article III, Section 1 called for a contract, he wanted to review the document before making a decision.

Chairman Duke said May 11 that it appeared a contract was required.

“If the charter states that, we’ll have a contract with the town manager,” Duke said. “I don’t think any other Select Board member is going to feel differently. I don’t think a town of our size needs a contract with the town manager. Let it be what it is.”

“Mr. Duke said I was doing a fine job,” Peabody said of the discussion at the May 10 meeting. “His concern is whether the town of Rockport, given the charter, needs a contract with our town manager.”

Peabody said the board also approved the wastewater budget, with a rate of $46 for the debt portion and $9.30 for usage, per 100 cubic feet. The debt rate per equivalent user was set at $46, Peabody said.

The board also voted to accept the stipulation that Old Town Road, which runs between Mt. Pleasant Road and South Hope, was abandoned. That road has not appeared on a town list since the end of the 19th century.

The board approved a request from the Gateway 1 Startup Committee to extend the agreement’s startup period from its original expiration date of October to June 30, 2011.

Edith Caldwell was appointed to serve on the Opera House Committee.

The Herald Gazette Reporter Shlomit Auciello can be reached at 207-236-8511 or by e-mail at sauciello@villagesoup.com.