SELECTMEN’S MEETING

FEBRUARY 23, 2004

 

Chairman Perkins called the meeting to order at 7:03 PM.

Selectman Rogers, Selectman Wiksten, Selectman Eayrs, and Selectwoman Brunelle were present.

 

SELECTMEN’S MINUTES

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

VOTED: To approve the Minutes of February 9, 2004.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To approve the Executive Minutes of February 9, 2004.

Unanimous Vote.

HEARINGS, MEETINGS & LICENSES

Meeting with First Unitarian Universalist Society – RE: Crèche Display

Jeff Stevens, representative of the Parish Committee of the First Unitarian Universalist Society, was present.

Mr. Stevens read a letter that he had sent to the Board, asking that the crèche display be expanded to meet the letter of the law. Mr. Stevens said it is not the intent of his Committee to not display the crèche.

Chairman Perkins asked if Mr. Stevens had any suggestions.

Mr. Stevens said his Committee would be willing to participate with a group of Town officials and citizens to help expand the display, but noted that it is the Town’s issue, not the Town’s citizens.

Selectman Eayrs agreed with Mr. Stevens. He noted that this was first brought to the attention of the Board in the Summer of 2001. He had hoped for public support to add to the display.

Selectman Eayrs explained to Mr. Stevens that he had read an article in the Boston Globe regarding this issue, and had volunteered to prepare a list of things that should take place to correct the situation. Selectman Eayrs’ recommendations were as follows:

OBJECTIVE: Create a varied, seasonal display combining religious and secular symbols conveying a message of kindness, charity, toleration and world peace.

  1. Illuminate both deciduous and evergreen trees on the Town Hall grounds with colored light strings.
  2. Purchase a large banner illuminated from the ground reading, SEASONS GREETINGS to be hung from the Town Hall balcony.
  3. Construct a large Menorah (8’x8’) for placement on the lawn.
  4. Locate the Santa House apart from the Town Hall, near the parking lot. Decorate house with lights.
  5. Add to existing decorations with wreaths, swags and candles on Town Hall doors and windows.
  6. Erect a large snowman near Santa House.
  7. Erect a model of the Earth with a sign saying, "Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward Men" surrounded by cut out choir figures representing different races.
  8. Purchase and erect a Santa in a sleigh with reindeer for placement near Santa House.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  1. Write a letter to the G&E asking them to underwrite the cost of stringing lights in the trees and to illuminate the various displays.
  2. Ask the Peirce Trustees to cover remaining expenses (approx. $4,000.00).
  3. Complete at least half of these items in 2004.

Mr. Stevens said he appreciated Selectman Eayrs’ consideration. He noted this was not an easy issue. In his research, he discovered an instrument to use as a "lemon test". It is a three (3) pronged piece including the following: The display must have secular purpose, not religious; it must note advance or prohibit religion; and it must not foster excessive entanglement with religion.

Mr. Stevens said, personally, he was concerned with the purchase of a menorah, or any other religious pieces. He said the Town government should not purchase it, create it, or place it there.

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if he would approve if the piece was donated by a Jewish organization.

Mr. Stevens said the he was concerned with government agencies bringing in religious symbols.

Selectman Eayrs clarified that there would be no objection if he were to create the menorah, but Peirce Trustees could not pay for it.

Mr. Stevens agreed, as a citizen.

Selectwoman Brunelle said she would support Selectman Eayrs’ recommendation. She also suggested adding community activities, such as tree lighting.

Mr. Healey read from the Lynch vs. Donnelly case, a U.S. Supreme Court decision concerning the City of Pawtucket, RI. Specifically, the Court rules that it is permissible to erect a crèche scene as part of the community’s overall holiday display "…to celebrate the Christmas Holiday recognized by Congress and National tradition and to depict the origins of that Holiday"…."The Constitution does not require the complete separation of church and state; it affirmatively mandates accommodation, not merely tolerance, of all religions, and forbids hostility toward any".

Mr. Healey said he support Selectman Eayrs’ ideas.

Neil Rosenthal said he appreciate the motive, noting the separation of Church and State, but said he was confused over the differentiation of secular and religion. He pointed out that the crèche scene is a historical event, and not necessarily a religious belief. He noted that the "tree" could be considered part of paganism, and Santa Clause a primitive representative of a God figure. He said spirituality is important to civilization. The issue of separation of State and religion is in respect to the State not choosing one religion over any other.

Selectman Rogers said he felt what we currently have is "fine". He said the Board would be "opening a can of worms" to allow every group that wishes to display something on the lawn. He said this is the only group that has complained.

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

VOTED: To support the proposal made by Selectman Eayrs in an effort to foster a more acceptable Christmas display by going forward with the recommendations, and contacting the G&E and Peirce Trustees for funding for this purpose.

Unanimous Vote.

Public Hearing (cont.) – Infiltration & Inflow Policy and New Sewer Rates and Charges

Upon motion by Selectman Rogers and seconded by Selectman Eayrs, the Board

VOTED: To continue this hearing for one (1) week.

Unanimous Vote.

Meeting with Veterans – RE: Memorial

Paul Provencher, and many Veterans, were present to update the Board on the Memorial.

Mr. Provencher said there have been presentations from landscape architects and Linc Andrews and Mr. Barnicoat in regards to bricks and granite. He said nothing has been finalized, and there remains a 2-year plan.

Mr. Provencher said there has been no finalization on whether or not bricks or granite blocks will be used. He said the group is still looking for vendors and contractors for donations of service and time. The target figure is $200,000 to get the Memorial off the ground. He said donations have been received for purchasing bricks for the Memorial. Mr. Provencher said the bricks are not limited to Middleborough residents.

Mr. Provencher spoke of upcoming fundraisers, including a concert and wine tasting.

Mr. Provencher said the Memorial has been moved 25’ closer to the Town Hall, but will still remain 40’ – 50’ from it. He spoke of the possibility of a retaining wall surrounding the Memorial, and benches that would be memorialized with the various conflicts.

Mr. Provencher said there has been some concern as to what might be under the ground. Dig Safe and other Town Departments will be contacted.

Applications for donations for the bricks are available in the Town Hall, Bank Building, Maria’s Card Shop, Muckey’s, Savas Liquors, the Elks, the COA, and Sovereign Bank. Anyone who wants more information can email midvetmemprk@comcast.net.

Mr. Provencher said a meeting will be scheduled with the Historical Commission to discuss the moving of the Park.

NEW BUSINESS

Update on Budget – FY’05

Selectmen’s Budget

Chairman Perkins noted that the FinCom has asked for level-funded budgets. Because of a contractual salary increase for the Board’s Secretary, $2841 in cuts is necessary.

Chairman Perkins suggested taking the money from the SEMASS line item.

Mr. Healey suggested he check the balance on this line item. He said it has been kept under budget in recent years by bringing some flow to the Landfill. He said there are currently two (2) grants, and there may be others.

Selectwoman Brunelle said there are two (2) areas of the Board’s budget that are discretionary spending: Engineering & Consulting, and In-State Travel. She suggested these items be adjusted.

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

VOTED: To reduce In-State Travel by $1000, and reduce Engineering & Consulting by $1841.

Unanimous Vote.

It was also the consensus of the Board for the Chairman to meet with the FinCom next Monday night to present the Board’s budget.

Town’s Option to Purchase Chapterland – Erving – Old Center Street

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

VOTED: Not to exercise their option, under Chapter 61A, to acquire the land located at 206 Old Center Street – Assessors Map 039 Lot 497, owned by Michael Erving.

Unanimous Vote.

Re-Appointment of Constables for 2004

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

VOTED: To reappoint the following individuals as Constables for the Town of Middleborough for 2004:

Karen A. Blair 11 Robin Hood Avenue

Timothy A. Bryant 1 Rice Street

James P. Carey 1004 Pheasant Lane

Margaret C. Carey 1004 Pheasant Lane

David A. Shanks 646 Plymouth Street

Mario R. Diliddo 6303 Island Drive

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Place Article on Town Meeting Warrant – Petition

The Board received a Petition asking for $2,500 to contract with South Short Women’s Center for domestic violence intervention and prevention services to residents.

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

VOTED: To send the Petition to the Town Clerk for certification of the signatures.

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Approve New Street Name – "Silo Lane"

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

VOTED: To approve the street name "Silo Lane" for a cul de sac to be built off Tispaquin Street on Map 72 Lot 2288.

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Reappoint Trustees – Middleborough Public Library

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

VOTED: To reappoint Edward Pratt and Nancy Legan to the Middleborough Public Library Board of Directors for three-year terms.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To appoint Keith MacDonald to the Middleborough Public Library Board of Trustees for a three-year term.

Unanimous Vote.

Request for Second-Hand License – "Yesterdays" – John Rea, Jr.

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

VOTED: To approve the request made by John Rea, Jr. to conduct a second-hand business at property located at 461 Center Street, subject to verification of the payment of taxes.

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Accept Bid – Middleborough Landfill Interim Phase I Gas Management System

Mr. Healey explained that is part of the Administrative Consent Order with DEP to eliminate the gases that could cause odors at the Landfill. Only one (1) bid was received, and it was approximately 20% lower than what was estimated.

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

VOTED: To send a "Notice of Intent to Award" to Recovery Drilling Services, Inc. for the bid of $41,600.

Unanimous Vote.

The whole project will cost approximately $365,000.

Request to Approve Bids – Treasurer/Collector

Upon motion by Selectman Eayrs and seconded by Selectman Rogers, the Board

VOTED: That the sale of the $10,177,000 Municipal Purpose Loan of 2004 Bonds of the Town dated March 1, 2004, to Roosevelt & Cross, Inc. at the price of par and accrued interest, if any, is hereby confirmed. The bonds shall be payable on March 1 of the years and in the principal amounts and bear interest at the respective rates, as follows, subject to earlier redemption at the option of the Town as provided in the Preliminary Official Statement dated February 4, 2004:

Interest Interest

Year Amount Rate Year Amount Rate

2005 $842,000 2.00% 2015 $455,000 3.50%

2006 825,000 2.00 2016 450,000 3.50

2007 820,000 2.00 2017 440,000 3.75

2008 715,000 2.00 2018 440,000 3.75

2009 550,000 2.25 2019 440,000 4.00

2010 540,000 5.00 2020 440,000 4.00

2011 540,000 2.75 2021 440,000 4.00

2012 465,000 3.00 2022 440,000 4.125

2013 465,000 3.25 2023 270,000 4.25

2014 465,000 3.375 2024 135,000 4.25

I further certify that the vote was taken at a meeting open to the public, that no vote was taken by secret ballot, that notice stating the place, date and time of the meeting was filed with the Town Clerk and a copy thereof posted in the office of the Town Clerk or on the principal official bulletin board of the Town at least 48 hours, including Saturdays but not Sunday and legal holidays, prior to the time of the meeting and remained so posted at the time of the meeting, that no deliberations or decision in connection with the sale of the bonds was taken in executive session, and that the official record of the meeting was made available to the public promptly and remains available to the public, all in accordance with G.L. c.39, s.23B as amended."

VOTE 4 – 0 – 1 (Selectwoman Brunelle abstained)

Request to Form Needs Study Committee for Police Station

The Board received correspondence from the Police Chief asking that a Committee be formed to study the need for a new police station. Chief Russell sited several existing problems with the current station.

Selectman Wiksten noted that the entire process would take approximately two (2) years, and said it was not too soon to start.

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

VOTED: To place an Article on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant to form a Committee to study the need for a new Police Station.

Unanimous Vote.

Selectman Rogers said that a Police Station was always part of the Capital Planning Projects. He said the Chief had been asked to wait until the Fire Stations were completed.

Selectwoman Brunelle said a Committee would look at the current facility, see what’s needed to upgrade for the current activity, determine if the building is still useful, and make a recommendation.

Selectman Eayrs said he felt a new building would be necessary. He said there would be two (2) principle issues: the cost of the building and the cost of the property acquisition.

Selectman Eayrs said it would make sense that the Library would have interest in the current Police Station building in keeping with preserving the historic nature of the building.

OLD BUSINESS

There was no ‘Old Business’ discussed tonight.

TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT

There was no report from the Town Manager, who was on vacation last week.

SELECTMEN’S BILLS

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

VOTED: To pay the bill submitted by SEMASS Partnership, Inc. in the amount of $11,144.65 for January 2004.

Unanimous Vote.

Two (2) bills from Consultants to Management were held pending additional information, including the number of hours being billed.

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

VOTED: To pay the water bill for 63 Miller Street submitted by the Town of Middleborough in the amount of $18.03.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To pay the bill submitted by ADT Security Services, Inc. in the amount of $109.11.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To pay the bill submitted by The Enterprise in the amount of $880.42.

Unanimous Vote.

OTHER

Town Manager’s Evaluation

Chairman Perkins asked that this be put on the agenda to keep the process on track.

Forms for Mr. Healey’s evaluation were given to each member. They will fill them out and return them to the Chairman. Once this is done, the Chairman and Selectman Eayrs will produce a composite of the evaluations.

The evaluation will be made public after the process is complete.

Chairman Perkins asked that the evaluations be completed by next week.

Recognize Kramer Park Sponsors

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

VOTED: To authorize the Chairman to sign Certificates of Appreciation for the following Kramer Park Sponsors: Days Inn, Harbor One Credit Union, and Kahians Carpet One of Middleboro.

Unanimous Vote.

CORRESPONDENCE

Selectwoman Brunelle said she attended the last meeting of the Cable Committee. The discussion centered around Comcast being responsible to provide coverage for the G&E, Board of Selectmen, and School Committee meetings. She said this had previously been done by volunteers.

Selectwoman Brunelle said money had been set aside for volunteers to cover those things Comcast is not required to cover.

Selectman Wiksten said that Mr. Murphy has gone above and beyond in filming community programs. He said, if there is money available, Mr. Murphy should be compensated.

Selectwoman Brunelle said that, part of the problem, is that Comcast is required to tape Selectmen’s meetings. Mr. Murphy had volunteered.

Mr. Healey said that the problem is that Mr. Murphy had volunteered to do the Selectmen’s meetings and other events. He said he hoped that Comcast would "help him out".

Selectman Eayrs said that this matter is between Mr. Murphy and Comcast, and the Board should stay out of it. He said the situation was unfortunate.

Mr. Healey said he disagreed with Selectman Eayrs, saying it’s an equity matter, and the Board is a beneficiary of his services.

VOTED: To accept the recommendation of the Personnel Board that the Town Clerk’s position be classified as a Department Head, with the new hire starting at Step 1, 40 hours/week.

Unanimous Vote.

It was noted that the Non-Union Bargaining Committee had sent a letter in opposition to the Personnel Board’s recommendation.

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

VOTED: To authorize the Chairman to proceed.

Unanimous Vote.

 

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

VOTED: To enter into Executive Session at 9:04 PM, not to return to Open Session, to discuss a Grievance.

A poll vote was taken. Selectman Rogers, Selectman Wiksten, Selectwoman Brunelle, Selectman Eayrs, and Chairman Perkins approved.

VOTE 5 – 0

Diane Henault, Secretary

BOARD OF SELECTMEN