SELECTMEN’S MEETING

DECEMBER 6, 2004

 

 

Chairman Perkins called the meeting to order at 7:04 PM.

 

Selectman Bond, Selectman Wiksten, Selectwoman Brunelle, and Selectman Andrews were present.

 

Chairman Perkins welcomed Boy Scouts who were present for their meeting as part of their working on the Merit Badge for Citizenship in the Community.

 

 

SELECTMEN’S MINUTES

 

Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Andrews, the Board

            VOTED:  To approve the Minutes of November 29, 2004.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

HEARINGS, MEETINGS & LICENSES

 

Request for Title V Variance -13 Mill Street

 

Chairman Perkins opened the hearing.

 

Mr. Healey told the Board that this was a standard request to allow a sieve analysis.  The Health Department recommends favorable action.

 

Hearing no further comments, Chairman Perkins closed the hearing.

 

Upon motion by Selectman Andrews and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, the Board

VOTED:  To approve the request for a Title V Variance for property located at 13 Mill Street, Middleboro, MA as follows:

1.                  A variance from 310 CMR 15.104 allowing a particle size analysis in place of a percolation test.

Unanimous Vote.

 

Meeting with Finance Committee – RE:  Appointments

 

Members of the Finance Committee were present.

 

Mr. Studley told the Board that, after conducting interviews, the FinCom was recommending appointing Robin Akers and Peter LePage.  Both candidates were present.

 

Ms. Akers addressed the Board, explaining she is a lifelong Middleboro resident, and wanted to be involved in the Town.

 

Mr. LePage told the Board that he is an 18 year resident.  Past employment did not offer time for him to volunteer.  A new career has made his time more flexible.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle noted the appointments are only until the next election.

 

Motion was made by Stephen Studley and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, to appoint Robin Akers and Peter LePage to the Finance Committee until the next election.

 

The Board suggested that any candidates who apply be present for future appointments.

 

Nancy Thomas told the Board that there will be four (4) vacancies at the next election.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Request to Rent Meeting Room – Cranberry Ridge Composting

 

Upon motion by Selectman Andrews and seconded by Selectman Bond, the Board

VOTED:  To approve the request of Cranberry Ridge Composting to rent the Selectmen’s Meeting Room on Wednesday, December 8, 2004 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

A custodian will be present.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

There was no ‘Old Business’ discussed tonight.

 

TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT

 

Class II License Inspections

 

Mr. Healey told the Board that three (3) of the Class II License holders were not operating when he visited the site during the required hours of operation.  He recommended holding hearings.

 

Mr. Healey told the Board that Rte. 28 Auto Works has no cars for sale and no one was there during operating hours.

 

It appears that Gratuity Motors and Tom Auto are not being operated as principle businesses.

 

Chairman Perkins asked about a ‘For Sale’ sign on Bob Weaver’s property. 

 

Mr. Healey said he had not noticed, but said that Mr. Weaver is in compliance at this time.

 

Selectman Bond suggested that the Board check to see if the required $25,000 Bond that Class II operators must have, is in place.  He also suggested reviewing the fee, currently at $100.  He said in July of 2003 the statute was changed to allow up to $200 to be charged.

 

Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Wiksten, the Board

VOTED:  To request Rte. 28 Auto Works, Gratuity Motors, and Tom Auto to attend the meeting of December 20th to discuss their Class II Licenses.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Discussion ensued on how an operator could “prove” it’s his/her principle business.

 

Chairman Perkins said the license holders would make their case at the meeting.

 

Upon motion by Selectman Bond and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, the Board

VOTED:  To discuss the proposed increase for Class II Licenses at their December 20th meeting.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Collaborative Leadership Group

 

The first CLG meeting will be held at the Nichols School Media Center at 7:30 PM on December 15th.

 

Town Hall Lawn Christmas Decorations

 

Mr. Healey told the Board that he had met with Ted Eayrs last month to view the crèche scene.  Mr. Eayrs’ is “touching up” some of the figures.  Crutchfield Sign is preparing a 4’x8’ “Season’s Greetings” sign with snowmen on either side.  In addition, Mr. Healey has purchased six (6) Christmas trees and Lisa Higgins has donated six (6) boxes of clear lights for the trees.  This will form a backdrop and the sign will be placed out front of a number of donated decorations, which have bee promised by parishioners of several churches in Town.  Brian Wiksten’s “Santa” will be waving from the balcony, and the 4’ square Dreidel and 4’x8’ Menorah will be placed on the lawn as part of the display.

 

Mr. Healey said the crew at the Electric Station are expected to put the crèche up by mid-next week.

 

Selectman Bond thanked Tracey Moquin for his work in preparing the decorations.

 

 

 

 

 

Landfill Update

 

The DEP, Weston & Sampson, Waste Management, Don Boucher, and Mr. Healey met at the Landfill earlier this week and determined that in order to eliminate odors and properly re-grade the active cell and put down a soil intermediate cover to seal the Landfill until the cap is placed on it, the Town must find another place to dispose of the residential waste brought to the Landfill and the WWTP sludge.

 

Mr. Healey told the board a “plan” has been developed.  He will request, from the FinCom tonight, a $50,000 Reserve Fund Transfer for a new line item in the Purchase of Services ledger to be named “waste disposal”.  $1.00 will also be requested to a new line item in the Purchase of Services ledger for the WWTP sludge. 

 

Mr. Healey said he has spoken to Bill Wyatt who says that Bill Morgan has offered to dispose of animals and road kill normally disposed at the Landfill.

 

The sludge will be picked up by Snagro, a RI Company.  The estimated cost is $116,916.58 until the end of April.

 

Residents will continue to bring items to the Landfill.  Roll-offs will be hauled to Waste Management’s Raynham facility at a cost of $75.00 per ton, or approximately $50,642.

 

Chairman Perkins questioned the math.  Mr. Healey said he would go over it with him.

 

Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Andrews, the Board

VOTED:  To support the Town Manager’s request for a $50,000 Reserve Fund Transfer and to establish a $1.00 line item for Wastewater.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked for an update on the WMAC negotiations.

 

Mr. Healey said the final revision of the Agreement has been set to members of WMAC to deal with final issues.  He said there has been some delay in trying to get numbers from insurance companies.  The estimate is to get it done by the end of January.  However, the second cell will not be ready until some time in the spring.  The “trigger” for activating the new contract will be operational certification of the new cell by the DEP.

 

Local Receipts

 

Chairman Perkins asked that a comparison of at least 1 year, preferably 3 years, be given from the Town Accountant with Local Receipts updates.

 

Chairman Perkins said he has observed that we are “ahead of last year” on Local Receipts.

 

Mr. Healey reminded the Board that the Town will have to exceed last year’s figures by $2 million.

 

Pictometry

 

Mr. Healey told the Board that Pictometry is an aerial photography program that Mass Highway has provided on a hard drive to any municipalities that want it, free of charge.  Mr. Brunelle has the hard drive and is going to set it up next week.

 

Selectman Bond asked if this would slow down the GIS system.

 

Mr. Healey said he would ask.

 

Selectman Andrews noted a letter from the Assessor’s Office to Mr. Brunelle asking for new computers.  He suggested asking Mr. Brunelle to meet with the Board to find out why there is a delay.

 

Selectman Bond suggested that Mr. Healey research other Massachusetts towns to see if they “outsource” their IT Department.

 

The Board will invite Mr. Brunelle to meet with them on January 3rd.

 

Mr. Healey said he has asked Mr. Brunelle for an update on projects.  He noted that, in recent months, there has been a reduction in available staff hours.

 

SELECTMEN’S BILLS

 

Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Bond, the Board

VOTED:  To pay five (5) bills submitted by the Middleborough Gas & Electric Department in the amounts of $5.35, $5.35, $39.94, $214.41, and $35.46, totaling $300.51.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

OTHER

 

Discussion – Vehicle Use Policy

 

The Board reviewed a Draft Vehicle Use Policy for Town employees.

 

Discussion ensued on whether the Town Manager should be excluded, as the Fire and Police Chiefs.  Selectman Bond amended the section to read:  The entire policy applies to all General Government employees (unless contracted otherwise), excluding the Police Chief and the Fire Chief.”

 

Chairman Perkins suggested the Town reimburse employees, upon receipt of verification of payment of a deductible (comprehensive or collision) to cover part of the cost of repair, up to a maximum of $500 or the amount of the deductible, whichever is less, per occurrence.  The original amount was $250.

 

After discussion, the Board determined that they would be the designated authority for assignment of vehicles.

Discussion ensued on what amount employees should be required to maintain as minimum levels of insurance coverage for Bodily Injury and Property Damage.

 

Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Wiksten, the Board

VOTED:  To require the following minimum levels of insurance:

a. Bodily Injury: $50,000/$100,000     

b. Property Damage $25,000

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Selectman Wiksten suggested employees should be required to produce a license on a regular basis, noting there is no current policy for this.

 

The Board suggested the document be reviewed by Town Counsel and Labor Counsel for their input.

 

Selectman Bond suggested that parameters need to be set up for a supervision system.

 

Selectman Andrews agreed, noting an employee could challenge the policy.

 

Selectman Wiksten said he had no problem with developing a supervision system. 

 

Selectman Wiksten questioned not allowing police cruisers to transport civilians, noting that this is something they sometimes do.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that the Police Chief has control of his department’s vehicles and equipment.  She suggested attaching a separate sheet to incorporate this into the policy.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that responses are being collected from Town departments to analyze mileage vs. the cost of using a vehicle.

 

Selectman Wiksten said the policy should be implemented as it still gives flexibility to go either/or mileage vs. vehicles.

 

Chairman Perkins agreed, saying the policy could be modified when surveys and cost estimates are completed.

 

Selectman Andrews asked if it would apply to all facets of government.

 

Chairman Perkins noted it would not apply to the G&E or School Departments.

 

Selectman Wiksten suggested adding language regarding reporting motor vehicle accidents.

 

Selectman Bond suggested having a signature sheet where employees would state they have seen and read the policy.

 

Chairman Perkins also suggested a training session could be done under EAP.

 

Harry Pickering questioned how much of the information that was completed through a survey was put into the policy.  He also questioned having to regularly view an employee’s license.

 

Mr. Pickering also noted that he currently has an employee who transports his wife to the Park to volunteer as a clerk. 

 

Mr. Pickering suggested contacting the communities from which the policy was derived to see what their experience has been.

 

The policy will be forwarded to Counsels for review.

 

Discussion – Town Manager Search Timeline

 

Selectman Andrews told the Board that hiring a new Town Manager would be the single most important job as a Selectman.  He said there is a question whether a search committee should be formed, or done within the Board.  He said he had spoken to all Selectmen, individually.

 

Selectman Andrews said his personal opinion is that a search committee is needed.  He said the biggest reason would be the “continuity of process”, noting that the Board may change with elections.

 

Selectman Andrews said the second problem was that a Selectman might seek the position.  He questioned if that would be a conflict if the Board was conducting the process.

 

Chairman Perkins disagreed.  He said the people of Middleborough elected the Selectmen to do a job.  He said one of the Board’s biggest responsibilities is hiring and supervising the Town Manager.  He said changes because of elections have happened before.  He noted this happened with the hiring of the Police Chief.

 

Selectman Bond disclosed that he is interested in the position of Town Manager.  He believes a search committee should be formed because it would have more flexibility in terms of time and experience.  He noted that the last two (2) Town Managers were hired through a selection committee.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said she had no doubt that the Board is capable of selecting a Town Manager.  She believed a committee is warranted, with the Board making the final decision.

 

Selectman Wiksten said he felt it was important that the Board should do the search.  He said he would like to interview each person, not being limited to the final 5 or 6.  He noted the Board has to work with the Town Manager, and he knew what he did and didn’t want in a Town Manager.  He said the Board could take input from people.

 

Selectman Andrews said there was no reason the Board couldn’t be part of the Committee.  He said the make-up of the committee would be determined at a later date.

 

Upon motion by Selectman Bond and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, the Board

VOTED:  To go forward with the Town Manager search by way of a selection committee.

            VOTE 3 – 2 (Selectman Wiksten and Chairman Perkins opposed)

 

Selectman Andrews reviewed the proposed timeline.

 

Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Bond, the Board

            VOTED:  To adopt the timeline target as presented.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Selectman Andrews said the first thing the Board needed to do is decide how to advertise.

 

Selectman Bond suggested that Mr. Healey be working on an Exit Memorandum, which would include deadlines, form files, and any other information for a successor.

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

·        The Board was asked to consider who to dedicate the Annual Report to.

 

Upon motion by Selectman Bond and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, the Board

VOTED:  To dedicate the 2004 Annual Report to the men and women from Middleborough who have served in the military since 9/11.

      Unanimous Vote.

 

Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Bond, the Board

VOTED:  To use a cover photo of the groundbreaking for the Veterans’ Memorial for the 2004 Annual Report.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

·        The Board received a letter of support for the Host Agreement for the Composting Facility from Darin Morano.

 

·        Upon motion by Selectman Bond and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, the Board

 

VOTED:  To forward correspondence from the Town of Halifax regarding a Presentation on Regional Paramedic Service to the Fire Chief for comments.

Unanimous Vote.

 

·        Correspondence marked ‘Confidential’ was questioned.  The Board’s Secretary will submit it to Town Counsel for a determination.

 

Discussion ensued on a motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss Contract Negotiations.  Jane Lopes told the Board it is required to negotiate public contracts in public.  She questioned the Board’s entering in Executive Session to discuss Negotiations with National Development.  Town Counsel will be contacted for a determination.

 

 

 

Upon motion by Selectman Bond and seconded by Selectman Wiksten, the Board

VOTED:  To enter into Executive Session at 9:30 PM, not to return to Open Session, to discuss Contract Negotiations.

A poll vote was taken.  Selectman Bond, Selectman Wiksten, Selectman Andrews, Selectwoman Brunelle and Chairman Perkins approved.

            VOTE 5 – 0

 

 

                                                           

Diane Henault, Secretary

BOARD OF SELECTMEN