SELECTMEN’S MEETING

DECEMBER 13, 2006

 

Chairman Perkins called the meeting to order at 7:10 PM.

 

Selectman Andrews and Selectwoman Brunelle were present.

Selectman Spataro entered the meeting at 7:30 PM.

Selectman Bond was absent.

 

 

Meeting with Personnel Board

 

Kevin Cook, Chairman of the Personnel Board, and Kristian Gustaitis, Personnel Board member, were present.

 

Mr. Cook introduced Kristy Fiore, who has applied for one of the vacant positions.  The other applicant, Talli Jones, will be at Monday night’s meeting.

 

Ms. Fiore works at a law firm as a director of human resources. 

 

Selectwoman Brunelle, who sat on the Committee that created the Bylaw, said she was pleased with the human resource background.

 

The Bylaw and charge of the Personnel Board was discussed.

 

Chairman Perkins said he had not seen Minutes from the Personnel Board.

 

Mr. Cook explained that Steve Callahan, the previous Chairman, had filed in the past. 

 

Chairman Perkins said there is a problem with the Personnel Board being “all but defunct”.  He said the last conversation with the Board was in regards to an evaluation document.  There was no follow-up from either side. 

 

Mr. Cook said he is committed to making sure the avenue of communications stays open.  He said he is “email friendly” during the day.

 

Chairman Perkins suggested communication for the Board go through the Board’s Secretary.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said she wanted the Personnel Board to understand that it needs to work under the guidelines of the Bylaw, and understand that municipal government is different from private industry.  Changes cannot be made overnight.  The laws for municipalities are different than private industry.  She said this can cause frustration.

 

Chairman Perkins asked if the Personnel Board has met the required 10 times/year.

 

Mr. Cook said they had.

 

Chairman Perkins asked what has been done.

 

Mr. Cook said the Personnel Board has looked at different issues, including the evaluation process and updating grids that were supplied on the compensation plan.  He said it has been difficult to get department heads to meet and give input.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if the Job Descriptions had been reviewed.  She said they should be current and up-to-date with what is happening now.  She noted that they had been drafted a long time ago, and may not reflect the technology component of a job.

 

Mr. Cook noted the lack of cooperation from department heads.  He said the Personnel Board was looking for direction from the Board to set goals.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if the Personnel Board had been given copies of the Job Descriptions.

 

Mr. Cook said they had.  He said department heads need to meet whether or not they agree or not.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said it is not an issue or a debate.  She said the Personnel Board should be getting updated information for the Job Descriptions. 

 

Chairman Perkins said he knew of at least three (3) positions that had changed completely:  Town Accountant, Town Clerk, and Veterans’ Agent.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked about membership in the MMPA. She said this was a great resource.

 

Mr. Cook said the budget of $200 had been cut from the Personnel Board.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said she would support putting that small amount of money back into the budget.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said people who are part of the association can be contacted for job descriptions.  She cautioned that each town is unique and positions may have a different authority, responsibility, or interaction level with other departments.

 

Mr. Cook said the Personnel Board had looked for communities with equivalent size, population, budget, etc. when the last plan was drafted.

 

Chairman Perkins said if there is a communication problem getting department heads to talk to the Personnel Board, the Selectmen need to be made aware of it.

 

Mr. Cook said his “tenure has been evident”.  He said it was thought that he didn’t want to interact or was more critical, both remarks made without merit.

 

Selectman Andrews said he found the remarks to be accurate.

 

Mr. Cook said he has found that every time he has met with department heads, they are looking for a way to increase what they’re already getting.  He said there is no concern for what is best for the town.  He said employees need to “look at the handwriting on the wall”.  He said less State funding is a “ticking time bomb on many levels”.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said the function of the Personnel Board is not to worry about finances of the town.  She said that’s the Selectmen’s worry.  She said the Personnel Board is to develop a good job description regardless of what’s happening financially.  She said this has been part of the issues with the department heads.

 

Mr. Cook said the Bylaw says to recommend what it sees is best for forward practice for the Town of Middleborough.

 

Selectman Andrews said department heads don’t need to know what the Personnel Board is going to recommend.  He said department heads have been approached in an adversarial manner and have met with resistance.  He said the approach needs to be reassessed.  The Personnel Board is an info-gathering body, not a policy-setting body.

 

Mr. Cook says he had not been the Chair of the Personnel Board until now.  HE said he “wants to do something differently”.

 

Selectman Andrews said he believed atonement needs to be made with department heads that are very weary of the Personnel Board.

 

Mr. Cook said he is “weary of them”.  He said communication is expected of department heads regardless of what has gone on prior to now.  He said, as Chairman, he is not holding any grudges.  He said the Personnel Board is not charged to do things unless directed by the Board.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said that was not true.  She said the Personnel Board operates by the Bylaw.  She said specific duties under Section 4 of the Bylaw were established for a reason.  She said the Selectmen don’t have the time to deal with all of these issues, and an independent committee has been established to give recommendations.  She said the Selectmen may or may not agree.  She said she didn’t want to sound critical, but urged the Personnel Board to remain unbiased in its opinions.

 

Chairman Perkins said the Board also works closely with a labor counsel.  Recommendations will be incorporated into a contract by him.

 

Chairman Perkins said he wanted to give feedback regarding the evaluation that the Personnel Board proposed.  He said it was copied from a Gorham, ME evaluation.

 

Mr. Cook said it was used as a template.  He said it wasn’t copywrited, so it was used as a beginning document.  He said the make-up of Gorham is close to Middleboro.

 

Chairman Perkins said the perception was that it was a “fluff job”. 

 

Mr. Cook said that the document should be reviewed, and, if without merit the Personnel Board would “go back and start over”.  He said they want to give a relevant document that is user friendly and meets the criteria.

 

Mr. Cook said a “policy document” should be in each office.

 

Chairman Perkins explained that different unions have different contracts.

 

Mr. Cook said there was also a compliance issue with record keeping requirements.  He said there needs to be central record keeping.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said the Board is aware of this problem.

 

Selectman Andrews suggested scheduling a future meeting in March for a progress report.

 

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

            VOTED:  To have the Personnel Board meet with the Selectmen on March 12,             2007 at 8:00 PM.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Proposed Alcohol Rules & Regulations

 

The Board reviewed proposed Rules & Regulations for liquor establishments.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle had gathered information from the Town of Dennis and the City of New Bedford.

 

Selectman Bond had previously given the Board suggested protocol for compliance checks.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said the information was gathered several years ago.  She said she didn’t know if communities had updated the information.  She noted there were some “typos” in the document that needed to be corrected.

 

Chairman Perkins said he had looked at the draft and thought they were “good the way they are”.

 

Comments had been submitted by the Fire Chief and Building Commissioner.  These will need to be incorporated.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked the Board’s Secretary to check the regulations regarding holidays.

 

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

            VOTED:  To send the document, as modified, to Town Counsel for review for comparison against existing State regulations, item by item.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Chairman Perkins also suggested sending the compliance check information to the Police Chief to see if it would “tie his hands” in any way.  He noted that Selectman Bond has suggested penalties in the document.

 

The ABCC will also be referenced for any regulations for stings.

 

 

 

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

            VOTED:  To enter into Executive Session at 8:45 PM, not to return to Open     Session, for the purpose of discussing Contract Negotiations and a Labor   Grievance.

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

            VOTE 4 – 0

 

 

                                                           

Diane Henault, Secretary

BOARD OF SELECTMEN