FEBRUARY 14, 2005



Chairman Perkins called the meeting to order t 7:01 PM.


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





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

            VOTED:  To approve the Minutes of February 7, 2005.

            Unanimous Vote.


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

            VOTED:  To approve the Executive Minutes of February 7, 2005.

            Unanimous Vote.





Meeting with IT Director – RE:  Update


Selectwoman Brunelle did not participate in this meeting.


Roger Brunelle was present.  The Board invited Mr. Brunelle to meet to provide an update for the IT Department.


Mr. Brunelle said his department is back to full staffing.  He explained that one employee had been out for 22 weeks. 


Mr. Brunelle identified several projects that were planned for this year.  Some are scheduled to take up to two (2) years to complete.


The Building Department has new equipment and software which was funded through the Peirce Trustees.  The project was expected to take 6 to 12 months.  It was completed early.


The “Dog Program” for the Town Clerk’s Office has been held up because the person who wrote the original program no longer is available to do maintenance.  Mr. Brunelle has asked for funding to replace the program.  This will take 3 – 6 months.  Installation of software and programming data regarding licensing, rabies, restraining orders, etc. is now interfaced with the Police Department.


The Fixed Asset Program for GASB 34 is completed and has been installed. 


A program for vendor payments should be completed in two (2) months.  This will allow continuous form checks to be laser printed.


The ‘Cash Registers’ equipment and software was projected to be completed in 4 – 8 months.  There are two (2) months remaining.  The equipment will be permanently installed on the countertops of the Treasurer and Town Clerk’s Offices.  Mr. Brunelle has been in contact with these departments.


New equipment is coming in to replace various PCs.  Two (2) more are now ready to be installed.  The Treasurer/Collector’s Office will be completed.


A Real Estate Bank Payment Program is one (1) month away from being finalized.  This will allow banks to make electronic payments for those residents who have mortgages with them.  Mr. Brunelle noted that one (1) bank alone has over 3,000 payments.  The final test for this will be completed next week.


Central Archiving will be completed in three (3) weeks.  This will allow data conversation of all bills to our own form.  The Collector’s Office will be able to bring up a bill no matter when it was produced and printed.  This was funded in the IT Department’s Budget.


There are five (5) months remaining on the equipment upgrade that was funded at the past Town Meeting. 


Chairman Perkins asked how old the equipment was that is being replaced.


Mr. Brunelle said equipment prior to 2000 is being replaced.  Some equipment dates back to 1996, 1997 and 2000.  He said 11 units were purchased in 2002.


Discussion ensued on the amount of space on the computers.  Mr. Brunelle said they are being replaced with Pentium 4.


Mr. Brunelle said monitors are also being replaced with flat screens which will take up less room.


Selectman Bond asked if the equipment was purchased or leased.


Mr. Brunelle said the Board did not want to continue leasing the equipment.


Chairman Perkins asked about the main server.


Mr. Brunelle said it is an AS 400, which operates payroll, taxes, and production of bills.  It also serves financials and utility billing.  He said the service is PC based; email and web service are done in house.  He said every department has a unique program.


Mr. Brunelle noted a law program which is updated every 6 months.  This is on the main server and includes 34 programs.


Mr. Brunelle said the AS 400 is a “tremendous machine’ that is used by many companies.  He said PC servers are just catching up to the security and operating activity of the AS 400.  At least 30 banks in the area have AS 400s.  The machine was purchased seven (7) years ago.


Chairman Perkins asked about the software.


Mr. Brunelle said the biggest problem is multiple operating systems, such as replacing Windows 97 with 2000.


Selectman Bond asked how the update was done.


Mr. Brunelle said 60% is pushed across the network; the other 40% is done by hand because of the different ages.  He said multiple systems require more manual assistance.


Mr. Brunelle said everything is now being converted to ‘XP’ which should cut down on problems.


Mr. Brunelle said he is also working on an upgrade for the I-Loop.  This would save at least $50,000 and perhaps as much a 6-figures.  It has been in the planning stage for two (2) years and is within 6 months of the actual upgrade.


Mr. Brunelle noted that 12 projects have been worked on in addition to everything else that has been done.  He said the Board has also asked for, and will receive, central depository for benefits.  This will take approximately $2,000 to $3,000 to do.


One line payments requested by the Treasurer should be completed within one (1) month.  This will reduce the workload for that department and also provide a savings.


Mr. Brunelle said he is also working with a major department in Town to share GIS.  This would also be beneficial to the Town.


Chairman Perkins asked how frequently Mr. Brunelle reports to the Town Manager.


Mr. Brunelle said “whenever he asks”.  He said this is not an issue.


Mr. Healey said he understood Mr. Brunelle to be responsible for reporting to him for purposes of his time.  He said those records are kept.  He said he didn’t know if he had full supervisory authority, noting that Mr. Brunelle still reports to the Board regarding work done in his department.


Mr. Brunelle said a commitment had previously been made between Mr. Healey and himself that he would respond to the Board.  He noted that if he worked for one (1) particular department, other projects would not get done.  He said the Board had voted to give the Town Manager the responsibility of the day to day attendance.  He said he meets with Mr. Healey at least every second day, and normally speaks to him on a daily basis.


Chairman Perkins said that he has heard more frequent complaints about his availability.


Mr. Brunelle explained that he had been sitting at his desk with he got a call, but the Nextels don’t always work well in the basement.  He said he sometimes doesn’t get messages until two (2) hours later.  He said his job isn’t at the desk, noting he is there for planning and dealing with issues that are brought to him.  He said that he had been at the Police Station at 7:05 this morning.  He said he is out of the office 3 – 4 times a day dealing with various departments.


Chairman Perkins said that someone in the department needs to answer when a call is made.


Mr. Brunelle said the problem is that others in the office cannot pick up his extension, and voice mails cannot be left through the inter-office system.  He invited the Board to visit the IT Department to “come down any day to see what goes on on a daily basis”.


Chairman Perkins said the point is the problem needs to be dealt with.


Mr. Brunelle said that the problem “exists in certain people’s minds” because they are trying to make contact at that 1 point and then move onto something else.


Mr. Healey suggested Mr. Brunelle make him aware of his work schedule for the week to be able to answer questions on where he might be.


Chairman Perkins said that would be okay.


Selectman Bond asked how Mr. Brunelle prioritizes his projects.


Mr. Brunelle said it is based on the best return to the town.  Also, it is based on what has been given prior notification so that it could be budgeted.


Selectman Bond asked how the communication is between Mr. Brunelle and the Treasurer/Collector.


Mr. Brunelle said it may have been poor in the past, but it has improved within the last 3 months.


Selectman Bond asked how much upgraded hardware is sitting idle.


Mr. Brunelle said there are 11 units that need to be brought online.  He explained that it takes 2 ½ hours to set up a standard unit.  Eleven different programs need to be loaded.


Selectman Bond said he was concerned that these units sit, noting that they become obsolete very quickly.


Mr. Brunelle said he had projected 12 months at the Town Meeting to implement all 49 units.  Five (5) months remain.


Chairman Perkins suggested someone come in and do an overview for recommendations for the IT Department.


Mr. Brunelle said if he had not lost an employee for 22 weeks, he would be in a different position.  This equals 700 hours of work time.


Selectman Andrews suggested doing an overview and hiring an outside consultant at the same time.  He suggested having someone learn the process of what the Town needs to help Mr. Brunelle out of a bind.  An outsider could give an opinion as to the needs of the Town.


Mr. Brunelle said he did not disagree with Selectman Andrews.  He said he would like a consultant to load computers.  He said the biggest problem is not the projects, but the equipment.  He noted viruses and spyware problems.


Selectman Andrews said this is an everyday challenge facing every business.


Mr. Brunelle said the biggest challenge is email.  He suggested a policy where, if it doesn’t have to do with the Town, it doesn’t get downloaded.


Selectman Andrews said that would be difficult to enforce.


Mr. Brunelle said good policies minimize impact.


Selectman Wiksten asked for an update on GIS.


Mr. Brunelle said that, in 1995, it had been projected to be completed in four (4) years at a cost of $90,000.  Money was proposed in 1997, and tabled at the Town Meeting.  $571,000 is needed to implement the system.  He said GIS “hasn’t died”.  The Town has a good database, and is being used by the Assessors’ Office through the Vision program.


Selectman Wiksten asked about having departments “fund their layer”.


Mr. Brunelle suggested having a person contract for 1 year to do the program.


Chairman Perkins said he would like to see a presentation, in writing, with Mr. Brunelle’s recommendations as to what is wrong within his department and how to fix it.  It should include what the cost will be, and if outside people will need to be involved.


Chairman Perkins said he was concerned with equipment breaking down and not being fixed.  He also said there were issues with Department Heads not being able to access the equipment on weekends.


Mr. Brunelle said the system is usually upgraded on weekends.


Chairman Perkins suggested letting people know when maintenance was going to be done on the computers.


Meeting with Frank Albani, Director of Soule Homestead – RE:  Annual Reports


Frank Albani was present.  He submitted information to the Board that included the Annual Report, Farm Plan, Program Plan Report and Capital Improvement Plan.


Mr. Albani gave an overview of the programs available at the Homestead.  He noted that it is “mainly there for the children”.  He said last year, 1,632 kids visited the Farm.


Mr. Albani said volunteers are critical to the Homestead.  He noted that students from Bristol-Plymouth are also working on the Farm.


Mr. Albani told the Board of the many events held at the Homestead, including the Harvest Fair in September.




Request to Use Town Hall Front Lawn – Antiques, Etc.


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

VOTED:  To grant permission to Antiques, Etc. to use the Town Hall front lawn on Saturday, September 17, 2005 for their second annual one day outdoor antiques show and sale.

            Unanimous Vote.


Notice will be given to the Police and Fire Departments. 


Request to Rent Town Hall Auditorium – Boy Scout Troop 20


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

VOTED:  To allow the Boy Scouts, Troop 20, to use the Town Hall Auditorium on March 5, 2005 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM for an Eagle Court of Honor.

            Unanimous Vote.


Tracy Moquin has volunteered to open and close the building.



Request to Rent Town Hall Auditorium – Joseph Thomas


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

VOTED:  To allow Joseph Thomas to rent the Town Hall Auditorium on Saturday, February 26, 2005 from 12:00 Noon to 6:00 PM to hold a “Rock the Vote” promotion.

            Unanimous Vote.


Discussion ensued on why the Board oversees the rental of the Town Hall.


Selectwoman Brunelle explained that the Board is in charge of all public buildings.  The Board had also created a Policy for the rental.


Request to Renew Constable Licenses for 2005


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

            VOTED:  To reappoint the following individuals as Constables for 2005:

                        Karen A. Blair              11 Robin Hood Avenue

                        David A. Shanks          646 Plymouth Street

                        James A. Carey            1004 Pheasant Lane

                        Margaret C. Carey       1004 Pheasant Lane

            Unanimous Vote.


Request to Approve Street Names – E911 Database Coordinator


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

            VOTED:  To approve the following street names:

v     Bittersweet Lane as the name of an access path with one home to be built off Murdock Street;

v     Sarah Reed Hunt Way & Balmy Lane as names of access paths for the South Purchase Estates condominium development located off of Wareham Street

Unanimous Vote.


Request to Place Non-Binding Question on Ballot – Town Clerk


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

VOTED:  To place the following non-binding question on the upcoming election ballot:

Should the date of the Annual Town Meeting be changed from the first Saturday in April to the second Tuesday in April?  Yes or No

            Unanimous Vote.


Request to Award Bid for Morgan Mobile Home – Conservation Commission


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

VOTED:  To enter into negotiations with Tammy Horsman who submitted the high bid for the Morgan property mobile home at $15,000.

            Unanimous Vote.


It was noted that the agreement should give a time limit for removal of the home, and will not include any warranties.


Town Counsel will be notified.


Request to Prepare Selectmen’s Budget for FY’06


Discussion ensued on what amount to budget for Labor Counsel.  $20,000 was budgeted last year, and approximately $2,000 remains to date.


Selectwoman Brunelle suggested budgeting $50,000.


Selectman Bond suggested asking Labor Counsel for an estimate.


Selectman Wiksten said he would rather the Board submit its “best guess”.


Mr. Healey noted that either a supplement to this year’s budget, or an Emergency Fund Transfer will be necessary to budget for the remaining fiscal year.


Selectman Bond noted that $50,000 averages about 23 hours per week.


Mr. Healey suggested budgeting money for a secretary for the Town Manager Search Committee.


It was the consensus of the Board to add $100 for “Dues”, noting this line item is $25 short this year.


Selectwoman Brunelle said a separate article should be placed on the warrant.


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

            VOTED:  To approve the FY”06 Budget as amended.

            Unanimous Vote.


Ratification of Library Contract


Chairman Perkins announced that the labor contract with the Middleborough Library Staff Association has been finalized.


Selectwoman Brunelle noted that the COLA is 0% - 4% - 4%, which is consistent with other unions.  An additional step increase was given, as well as a small education incentive.  Language changes were also made.


Longevity payments have been deleted.


Chairman Perkins said the DPW Contract and the Clerical/COA Contracts have not been signed yet.


Request to Approve and Sign Title V Septic Betterment Program Loan – Treasurer/Collector


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


1)                  That the Town shall issue a bond or bonds in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $200,000 (the “Bonds”) pursuant to Chapters 29C and 111 of the General Laws and a vote of the Town passed October 18, 2004 (Article 4), for a community septic management loan program (the “Project”);

2)                  That in anticipation of the issuance of the Bonds the Treasurer is authorized to issue an interim loan note or notes (the “Notes”) from time to time in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $200,000;

3)                  That each Bond or Note shall be issued as a single registered security, and sold to the Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust (the ”Trust”) at a price determined pursuant to the Loan Agreement;

4)                  That the Treasurer is authorized to determine the date, the form, the maximum interest rate and the principal maturities of each Bond and Note, and to execute a Loan Agreement or Agreements with the Trust with respect to the sale of the Bonds and Notes, such date, form and maturities and the specific interest rate or rates of the Bonds and Notes to be approved by a majority of the Board of Selectmen and the Treasurer and evidenced by their execution of the Bonds or Notes;

5)                  That all action taken to date by the Town and its officers and agents to carry out the Project and its financing, including the execution of any loan agreement by the Treasurer, are hereby ratified, approved and confirmed; and

6)                  That the Treasurer and the other appropriate Town officials are each hereby authorized to take any and all actions necessary and convenient to carry out the provisions of this vote, including execution and delivery of the Loan Agreement or Agreements and the Project Approval Certificate and Regulatory Agreement or Agreements relating to the Project.

Unanimous Vote.


Request to Appoint Special Counsel for Planning Board


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

VOTED:  To appoint Attorney Mark C. Gildea as Special Counsel for the Planning Board to give an opinion of a Conflict of Interest with GAF.

            VOTE 4 – 0 – 1 (Selectman Andrews abstained)


Request to Appoint Acting Town Accountant – Town Accountant


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

VOTED:  To approve the request of the Town Accountant to appoint Nancy Robbins as Acting Town Accounting while she is out of the office on February 24, 25 & March 14, 15, & 16, 2005, limited to signing strictly payroll and expenditure warrants in her absence.

            Unanimous Vote.


Request to Declare Surplus Property – Fire Chief


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

VOTED:  To authorize the Chairman to ask the Fire Chief to supply the minimum bids for the property he has asked to be declared surplus.

            Unanimous Vote.


Request to Issue Duplicate License for Storage – Fire Chief


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

VOTED:  To issue a Duplicate License for Storage to Naji Khouri, 5 Station Street.

VOTE 4 – 0 – 1 (Selectman Wiksten abstained)


The Board had originally approved the License on April 16, 2003.




There was no ‘Old Business’ discussed tonight.




Landfill Update


Mr. Healey told the Board that there have been no odor complaints for the past 6 days.


Chairman Perkins told the Board he had contacted the ‘Grace’ family in regards to their letter to the Board. 


Mr. Healey said the work to prevent the Hydrogen Sulfide gas from escaping into the atmosphere should be completed, weather permitting, within the next 3 to 4 weeks.


The Town received the Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO) in regards to “overfilling” the southeast corner of the Landfill and pumping “contact water” out of the ponding area and “eliminating the Storm Water Control System by filling it”.


Selectman Wiksten asked if the contractor, Welch, would be put on notice for the fine.


Mr. Healey said there is no fine at this time.


Selectman Bond asked if the information in the UAO was inaccurate.


Mr. Healey said it is, and has informed the DEP.  He said he didn’t’ know if the DEP would file an Amendment.  If not, the Town would have to appeal, which would involve Town Counsel.  It costs $100 to file an Amendment.


Selectman Wiksten said Welch should pay for the Amendment.


Mr. Healey said if the Town doesn’t have to appeal, it shouldn’t.


The Town is still waiting for the Administrative Consent Order with Penalty (ACOP) being prepared by the DEP.


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

VOTED:  To pass the UAO onto Town Counsel to ask for direction on whether or not to appeal, and if Welch should be notified.

            Unanimous Vote.


Peterson’s Motel


Mr. Healey provided correspondence from Town Counsel. 


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

VOTED:  To contact the Zoning Enforcement Officer regarding any action to consider zoning enforcement.

            Unanimous Vote.


Comments from WMAC


Selectman Bond told Mr. Healey that he had not received any correspondence from WMAC or Attorney John Giorgio regarding his comments on the Landfill Contract.  He asked Mr. Healey to follow-up on this.


Lakeville IMA


The Board received a “final offer” from the Lakeville Board of Selectmen in regards to IMA Water Agreement.


Mr. Healey informed the Board that Lakeville does not want Middleborough to assess 53A Fees, and wants the assessment to be the same as with Middleborough residents.


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

VOTED:  To cease all IMA talks with Lakeville, sending a letter saying that the Board finds their “best offer” unagreeable, and hereby rejects it.

            Unanimous Vote.


Wood Street Property


Chairman Perkins asked the Board’s Secretary to contact Arlene Dickens, Chairperson of the Housing Authority, in regards to a meeting to discuss the request to transfer property.  Ms. Dickens will be asked if she would like to attend a Board’s meeting, or have the Board attend a Commission’s meeting.




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

VOTED:  To pay the balance on the bill submitted by Hathaway Publishing in the amount of $9.92.

            Unanimous Vote.


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

VOTED:  To pay the bills submitted by SEMASS Partnership in the amount of $10,160.39.

            Unanimous Vote.


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

VOTED:  To pay the bill submitted by Collins, Loughran & Peloquin, P.C. in the amount of $6,120.00.

            Unanimous Vote.


Selectman Bond asked if the Board was “doubling up on efforts”, explaining that the Board had asked Town Counsel and Labor Counsel to review the draft Vehicle Use Policy.


It was explained that Labor Counsel was reviewing the document for any issues that may arise with Unions.




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

VOTED:  To ask the Town Accountant to forward all bills that were submitted and paid to Thevenin, Lynch, Bienvenue, LLP for services rendered in preparation of the FY03 GASB financial statements, which will then be sent  to the Auditors for an explanation of why it exceeded the terms of the original contract.

            Unanimous Vote.



Special Town Meeting


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

            VOTED:  To hold a Special Town Meeting on Monday, May 2, 2005.

Unanimous Vote.


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

VOTED:  To notify all Department Heads that the Warrant for the Special Town Meeting has been opened and will close on March 31, 2005.

Unanimous Vote.


Review Applications for Water, Wastewater, & Health Department Committee


The Board received five (5) applications from employees of the Water or Wastewater Departments.


Selectman Bond suggested that more information be given by the other candidates, such as backgrounds.


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

VOTED:  To table this item for three (3) weeks, asking for more information from the applicants who are not Town employees.

            Unanimous Vote.


Selectwoman Brunelle suggested Richard Tinkham should be an ex officio member.  Chairman Perkins said this could also be done with the employees.


Mr. Healey recommended that employees should not be put on the Committee.




v     The Treasurer/Collector attended a meeting in regards the FY’06 Plymouth County pension assessment.  It was explained that severe market losses during 200, 2001 and 2002 make it necessary to recoup these losses through an increase in the assessment.


v     Discussion ensued on correspondence from the Town Clerk suggesting a meeting between the Selectmen, Finance Committee, Town Accountant, Town Treasurer, Town Clerk, Town Manager, and Moderator a few days prior to Town Meeting to discuss the warrant.


Chairman Perkins noted that this was attempted in the past, and had not worked well.  He said he was no opposed to trying again, but was not in favor of “wasting a lot of time”.


Selectman Bond suggested all these departments be invited to meet with the Board anytime prior to Town Meeting.


Mr. Healey said meetings have been held on how to approach the issues.


Selectwoman Brunelle said there is normally not a problem within the Annual Town Meeting.  She said the problem is for supplemental budget articles, and the FinCom not approving Department Heads requests.


The Board asked its Secretary to provide a copy of the motions that are given to the Board prior to Town Meeting to the Town Clerk.


v     Discussion ensued on a TIF Application from the Holiday Inn Express.


Mr. Healey said he could provide the Board with guidelines as to what types of restrictions can or cannot be put on such things as employment.


Mr. Healey will recommend no TIF for the Holiday Inn Express, noting it is usually requested prior to construction.


v     A Job Posting for the COA was noted.



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

VOTED:  To enter into Executive Session at 10:20 PM, not to return to Open Session, to discuss Contract Negotiations.

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

            VOTE 5 – 0





Diane Henault, Secretary