SELECTMEN’S MEETING

OCTOBER 30, 2006

 

 

Chairman Perkins called the meeting to order at 7:02 PM.

 

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

 

 

SELECTMEN’S MINUTES

 

Selectman Andrews made a change to the Minutes of October 23, 2006.

 

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

            VOTED:  To approve the Minutes of October 23, 2006 as amended.

            VOTE 4 – 0 – 1 (Selectman Bond abstained)

 

Selectman Spataro said he needed to make a correction to the Executive Minutes of October 23, 2006.  The Minutes will be held until next week for approval.

 

Rally on Town Hall Lawn

 

The meeting began with Selectman Bond telling of a recent event regarding Rev. Hailani Chan-Williams of the Methodist Church receiving hate mail.

 

Selectman Bond said this was an ignorant action taken by an individual.  He said he saw the item that was sent and it is “beyond description”.  He said this is not indicative of the mentality of this town or town government.

 

In response to the action, a rally in support of Rev. Chan-Williams and his family will be held on the Town Hall Lawn at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, November 1, 2006, which is All Saints Day.

 

Chairman Perkins said that type of activity is totally unacceptable and not indicative of Middleborough or its citizenry.  He said the individual should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle agreed saying she hoped Middleborough didn’t get looked upon badly because of one isolated incident.  She said nothing like this has happened before.

 

Selectman Spataro agreed with the rest of the members.

 

Mr. Healey said this was an unfortunate incident that is not representative of how the Town of Middleborough views the world.  He said the perpetrator should know that it will not go unresponded to and he prayed that the individual would learn that love is a lot better than hate.  He said this community would not stand for that kind of activity.

 

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

            VOTED:  To pass the following resolution:

            “Be it resolved that the Town of Middleborough warmly welcomes the Reverend   Hailani K. Chan-Williams and his family to our community and that the Town of         Middleborough rejects discrimination and hate in all forms.  The Revered Chan-     Williams is invited to join with his congregation and all the caring citizens of our             community in working together in build understanding, acceptance, and support   for all individuals of the Town of Middleborough.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

HEARINGS, MEETINGS & LICENSES

 

There were no ‘Hearings, Meetings & Licenses’ scheduled tonight.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Request to Relocate Poles – Middleborough G&E Department/Verizon

 

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

            VOTED:  To approve the request of the Middleborough G&E Department and             Verizon, to relocate poles 1 and 2 on East Grove Street, poles 99 and 100 on West             Grove Street and poles 27, 28, 29 and 29A on South Main Street.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Chairman Perkins noted this is the first major step in Mass Highway’s renovations on Rte. 28/105.

 

Request to Rent Town Hall Auditorium – Whitman-Hanson Regional H.S.

 

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

            VOTED:  To approve the request of Whitman-Hanson Regional H.S. to rent the           Town Hall Ballroom for a Semi-Formal Dance to be held on Friday, December 8,            2006.  The time requested was 6:30 PM to 11:00 PM.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Selectman Andrews questioned if the fees covered “all costs”.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said the School is responsible for paying custodial fees and a police detail.

 

Request to Carry-Over Vacation Time – Library Director

 

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

            VOTED:  To approve the request of Danielle Bowker to carry-over 5 vacation             days to the next calendar year.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

It was the consensus of the Board that future requests should go before the Library Board of Directors.

 

Ms. Bowker said she would continue to notify the Selectmen when she would be out of the office.

 

Requests for Christmas Parade – Greg Thomas, Chairman

 

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

            VOTED:  To approve the request from Greg Thomas for a parade permit for the           Christmas Parade to be held on Saturday, November 25, 2006 at 1:00 PM (Rain     date Sunday, November 26, 2006), a parking ban to be issued on the date of the   parade on both sides of Centre Street, from the four corners to Pearl Street, from          noon to 3:00 PM., and the use of a fire engine to escort Santa Claus.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Selectman Andrews commended Mr. Thomas for his time in organizing the Christmas Parade.

 

Request to Approve & Sign Agreement – Edgewood Development Company, LLC

 

The Board was asked to sign an Agreement with Edgewood Development Company, LLC in regards to a municipal water line extension on Wareham Street to Sippican Commerce Park.

 

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

            VOTED:  To take the request under advisement to allow the Town Manager to             review the proposed agreement with Town Counsel and the Water    Superintendent.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle noted there is no mention that the water line would be turned over to the Town once it is completed.

 

Request to Sign Extension – OECD Director

 

Chairman Perkins explained that the Housing Rehab Assistance Program is due to expire on 12/31/06.  Not all funds have been expended.

 

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

            VOTED:  To sign the Extension.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

12 Highland Street (waiting for decision)

 

There was no discussion on this item tonight.

Downtown Parking

 

There was no discussion on this item tonight.

 

Lakeville IMA

 

The Draft IMA will be sent to Selectman Andrews for comment.

 

TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT

 

Mr. Healey reviewed his weekly report with the Board:

 

 

BUDGET UPDATE

 

            Below please find a breakdown of the Workers’ Compensation Increase.  The Water and Wastewater increases can be charged to them, reducing the $204,000 increase we are carrying by $23,000, or, $181,000. 

 

BREAKDOWN OF WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INCREASE

 

Water

Wastewater

School

General Government

Total

2007

$28,795.00

$16,230.00

$218,721.00

$139,644.00

$403,390.00

2006

$14,000.00

$  8,000.00

$106,000.00

$  72,000.00

$200,000.00

Increase

$14,795.00

$  8,230.00

$112,721.00

$  67,644.00

$203,390.00

           

Mr. Healey said it would be difficult to ask the School Department to come up with an additional $112,721 in mid-year.  As an alternative, he suggested revisiting the $123,000 that was waived on the MJHS Building Permit Fee.

He suggested the Board reconsider the fee that was waived, and asked for permission to discuss this with the Committee.  He said he believed the funds are there and the payment could be made.  He said a substantial argument could be made as the Board’s first vote was to not waive the fee.

Selectman Bond asked the Building Commissioner if the Selectmen have the authority to waive Building Permit fees.

Bob Whalen said Town Counsel has given the opinion that the Board does not have the right to waive the fee.

Selectman Bond noted that the Board’s action to waive the fee was inappropriate.  He believed this act would not be void.

Judy MacDonald said Building Permit Fees are down by $150,000 as of October.  She said the MJHS fee would bring the receipts back to where we were last year.

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that when the Building Committee first sought funding, it had included a contingency fee.  Issues developed, and this amount is now considerably short.  There have been numerous change orders that were not anticipated.

Mr. Healey said the contingency shortfall was a math error, and much less a significant problem.

Selectwoman Brunelle said she did not believe that to be correct.

Brian Giovanoni, Rocky Meadow Street, asked if the Building Permit fee would be part of the State’s 79% reimbursement.

Selectwoman Brunelle said she did not believe that to be the case.

Selectman Bond agreed, saying the fee would be excluded from the reimbursement.

Chairman Perkins suggested asking the School Committee to meet next week.

Selectman Bond said he was still puzzled using borrowed money to fund the budget.  If it is not the Board’s decision to waive the fee, then the Board should not be involved.

Chairman Perkins said it should be a public discussion to let people know what’s going on.

Harry Pickering said to let the Committee discuss this.  He said it never should’ve been brought up here.

Selectwoman Brunelle said she thought the Town had received additional Chapter 70 monies.

Mr. Healey said whatever was received has been built into the budget.

Ms. MacDonald said the increase in Worker’s Comp did not come out until after Town Meeting in June.

Upon motion by Selectman Spataro and seconded by Selectman Andrews, the Board   VOTED:  To authorize Mr. Healey to talk to the School Building Committee           about the Building Permit Fee, and to speak to the School Committee about the        increased Worker’s Comp.

            Unanimous Vote.

Mr. Healey continued with his report.

            Last week we discussed use of the Stabilization Fund.  The better alternative, Judy MacDonald tells me, is to increase our Estimated Local Receipts.  Sandy Bernier has recently inputted September.  Judy and I will meet at 9:00 a.m. on Monday to review the first quarter, project numbers out and add in other projected revenues.  We will have a report for you Monday night. 

            For now, I project that we could bring in the following new one time revenues:

Ø      Sale of Surplus Clay                            $200,000.00

Ø      Sale of Surplus Equipment                      25,000.00

Ø      Sale of Surplus Town Land                   400,000.00*

Ø      Sale of Tower Leases                            350,000.00

Ø      F.A.M. Release                                        79,500.00

                                                                                             $1,054.500.00

 

            Increasing Estimated Local Receipts will leave the $511,422.82 in the Stabilization Fund.  Other 2007 Revenues we can look forward to are the release of the balance of the F.A.M. $1,275,000.00 (1x), new T-Mobile Tower Lease $25,000/year; gravel project revenue, One Million Four Hundred Thousand to the Water Department (1x) and $260,000 ±/year.

Selectman Andrews asked if the land for sale would be sold for residential purposes.

Mr. Healey said it would depend on the situation.  He said restrictions could be discussed.

Selectman Bond said selling the land for residential use would increase costs to the Town.

Discussion ensued on the sale of the tower leases.

Selectman Bond noted it was a percentage short of what we would get in a long term lease.

Mr. Healey noted that there is no guarantee that the tenants wouldn’t pull out of the lease sooner.

Jane Lopes suggested the Historical Commission be involved in this discussion because of the preservation restriction.

Chairman Perkins said he was not in favor of the UNISON project until the company returned with some figures as requested by the Board.

Mr. Healey said he had no problem bringing them back in to convince the Board that this was in the best interest of the Town.  He said we have to look at every possible source of revenue.

Chairman Perkins said he didn’t want to give a false hope that there is money available.  He said there are a lot of unanswered questions.  He said Mr. Healey has done a fine job at defining what’s potentially available.

Selectman Spataro said if the tower lease number was removed, there would still be enough money available to fund the recommendations made by Mr. Healey.

Chairman Perkins agreed.

Mr. Healey continued his report.

            Based on the above, I recommend that the Selectmen consider the following additions to Article One Supplemental Budgets:

Ø                  G.M.E.G.                                $365,951.00

Ø                  I.T. – Police Server                     13,100.00

Ø                  Veterans’ Services                      30,000.00

Ø                  Town Accountant – Clerical         5,000.00

Ø                  Regular Pay Firefighters            74,305.00

Ø                  Regular Pay Police Officers     127,000.00

                                                            $615,356.00

 

Ms. MacDonald said she has looked at last year’s 1st quarter revenues.  Based on those, she suggested increasing the estimated Local Receipts.  She also explained receipts could increase by $527,000 over last year.  $200,000 has already been put into the budget so $327,000 would be available.

 

Chairman Perkins asked if Ms. MacDonald was “comfortable” in making this recommendation.

 

Ms. MacDonald said she was based on the investment income.  She said as long as the Real Estate bills go out there would be no problem.  She also suggested looking at quarterly Real Estate bills, or getting bills out sooner, as the Town is losing money.

 

Ms. MacDonald said if the Stabilization Fund is spent, the bond rating would drop.

 

Mr. Healey said he has also requested the new FAM revision from the DEP.  This could add another $79,500 to be released.

 

Barbara Erickson said she is still working on New Growth.  She said she would not be opposed to quarterly bills, but said she would need to bring a part-time position back.

 

Ms. MacDonald said excise taxes are expected to bring in an additional $150,000.

 

Chairman Perkins asked if we were on target for that projection.

 

Ms. MacDonald said it is hard to say until the first commitment goes out.

 

Chairman Perkins said he was concerned with FY08.  He said tonight’s discussion would get us through 07.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked Ms. MacDonald to provide a break down of health insurance by departments.  She also said that, hopefully, a new Town Accountant will be in place soon and will be better equipped to filing reports with the State and getting Certification quicker.

 

Selectman Spataro said he applauded Ms. MacDonald and Mr. Healey for coming up with figures that would not be at the expense of the taxpayer.

 

Selectman Bond asked what we have coming for potential revenues for next year.

 

Mr. Healey said the FAM account is $1,275,000, plus an Override.

 

Selectman Bond said the Town has no plan for future vision.

 

Mr. Healey said he will get 5-year forecasted budgets from departments to use to try to develop a plan.  He said if there is no way of generating revenue, the Town must except what the State gives us, or approve and Override.

 

Selectman Bond said there needs to be discussions of tourism and industry to stimulate the business economy.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said she understood the frustration and said the CLG would hopefully develop a 5-yaar projection.  She questioned how we would go about establishing a Commission.

 

Chairman Perkins said he believed the Collegetown project would happen.  This will act as a catalyst for the downtown.

 

Selectman Spataro said the legislators should not be “let off”.  He suggested trying to get impact fees.

 

Jeanne Spalding said all departments have worked on the same issues for many years.  She said every time a program is put in place, it is stymied, or departments are cut. 

 

Selectman Andrews said this topic would be an ideal workshop.

 

Selectman Spataro suggested a workshop should be scheduled after getting the 5-year budgets.

 

Selectman Bond suggested a sub-committee of the Board along with other departments to form a long-term revenue generation committee.  He said he hasn’t put together the full concept at this time.

 

NEW BUS ROUTE AND SCHEDULE

 

Mr. Healey said the new bus route will begin within a week or two of the vote of Town Meeting, assuming it approves Article 31.  He provided a copy of the proposed bus route.

 

SELECTMEN’S BILLS

 

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

            VOTED:  To pay the bill submitted by Verizon in the amount of $25.63.

            Unanimous Vote.

OTHER

 

Town Meeting

 

Chairman Perkins told the Board that he had met with the Town Moderator and has been informed of changes that will be made to the physical stage set up.  He will be at one end with Town Counsel and the Town Clerk, with the FinCom and Selectmen at the other end.  He has also made some strong suggestions on the motions.  This will be given to Mr. Healey and Town Counsel.

 

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

            VOTED:  To ask the Town Moderator to present, in writing, all moderations that                                  he intends to bring to the Town Meeting, for the Board’s packet next week.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle suggested the Board’s Secretary should be involved in discussions on Motions as she prepares them.

 

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

            VOTED:  To ask Town Counsel for a legal opinion regarding the members of the                                  Board’s ability to walk across the stage at Town Meeting to ask a question of                             Town Counsel.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Selectman Bond said he did not want to be told to sit down or leave Town Meeting.

 

Personnel Board

 

The Board received correspondence from Kevin Cook notifying of 2 resignations from the Personnel Board.  He has requested a meeting with the Board.

 

Discussion ensued on scheduling a meeting.

 

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

            VOTED:  To hold a workshop in December to address all outstanding issues                             listed on the Board’s agenda, and to add the Personnel Board to this list, also                                   keeping it under “Old Business”.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Motion was made by Selectwoman Brunelle, seconded by Selectman Spataro, to advertise 2 openings on the Personnel Board, with applications being sent to the Selectmen.

 

Selectman Spataro amended the motion, seconded by Selectman Bond, to advertise after the December workshop.

Unanimous Vote.

 

Selectman Spataro noted that since he has been elected, input from the Personnel Board has been dismissed.  He said comments are generally in regards to private industry.  He said he was seriously questioning the value of the Personnel Board.

 

Chairman Perkins said his points were well taken.  He said there needs to be a meeting to define the role of the Personnel Board and to give direction.

 

Mr. Healey said there was discussion when the Personnel Board was created, as to what its role would be.  He said they never got a specific statement of their role.

 

Chairman Perkins said the Board has been remiss in giving direction.  He said he liked the idea of having a workshop in December to sit down with them.

 

The Board’s Secretary was asked to gather a synopsis of past minutes regarding the Personnel Board.

 

Class II Requirements

 

Discussion ensued on the Board’s previous denial of a Class II License for property at 5 Station Street.

 

Selectman Andrews said he had an issue with it being turned down because of the concern of oil coming from an oil pan.  He noted there are tankers who deliver gas.

 

Selectman Spataro said he had gone by the property and vehicles were almost on the sidewalk.  He asked the Board what its policy is for issuing Class II Licenses.  He noted that, previously, when he was on the Board there were requirements.

 

Chairman Perkins said there is nothing that requires a berm or containment.  He said some Licenses have been issued with that as a requirement.  The statute, which contains certain criteria, is currently the guideline.

 

Selectman Bond said the standards are the health, safety, welfare, general moral values, and community.  He said if strict restrictions are put in place, you lose exceptions.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said the regulations were adopted in 1985.  She suggested the Board’s Secretary contact communities to see what regulations they have in place.

 

Mr. Healey suggested posting this question on the MMA website.

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

v     The Board received a copy of the DEP’s Order regarding 12 Highland Street.

 

v     Selectman Bond read a letter from the Middleboro Youth Softball League in support of the Article on the Town Meeting Warrant for gravel removal for a parcel that could eventually be used for playing fields.

 

v     The Board received correspondence regarding a Cease and Desist that was issued in regards to material being removed from Sheffield Estates.  Mr. Healey said this issue is “under control”.

 

v     The Board’s Secretary will contact ‘The Benchmark’ for information that was not attached to its email regarding health care costs for municipalities.

 

      Mr. Healey suggested, after the upcoming election, that this Board should ask the    Plymouth County Commissioners, and MMA, to correspond with Federal legislators         to ask for something to be done with the out of control health costs.  He said this is a             Federal problem.

 

      Selectman Andrews asked how many town employees there are.

 

      Mr. Healey said about 800 including the School and G&E.

 

      Selectman Andrews explained that the gross number of employees is needed to       translate into savings the increase for health insurance.

 

      Mr. Healey noted that the problem with the law is that all Unions must agree to an    increase.

 

 

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

V  OTED:  To enter into Executive Session, not to return to Open Session, at 9:17 PM for the purpose of discussing contract negotiations, a grievance, and litigation.

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

            VOTE 5 – 0

 

 

 

                                                           

Diane Henault, Secretary

BOARD OF SELECTMEN