The weekly meeting of the Board of Selectmen was held on Monday evening, December 2, 2002 at 7:35 p.m.
Present: James F. Morey, Chairman; James M. Hardy, Clerk; Eric W. Greene
Michael Botelho, Executive Secretary
Karen Grabau, Adm. Assistant
Mary Jane Kingsland, Director of Elder Affairs, informed the Board that Armand Ortenzi has offered to underwrite a major portion of the upcoming Senior Trip on December 11 and will pay $25.00 per person, which leaves a remainder of $11 to be paid by seniors for the trip. Noted that she needs to have reservations in by Thursday; needs a minimum of 30 persons.
Mrs. Kingsland stated that she wanted to publicly thank Mr. Ortenzi for his generosity to the town’s senior citizens and to her office.
Board requested Mr. Botelho to send a letter of thanks to Mr. Ortenzi for his offer and to let him know that we arte trying to see that there is a full bus for the trip.
Mr. Morey announced that the Board would at this time, discuss and vote on the appointment of one Police Sergeant. Mr. Morey thanked the three officers who were interviewed last week, i.e. Det. Scott Allen, Officer Michael McLaughlin and Off. Antonio Ferreira. Also thanked Chief of Police Silva for his assistance and recommendation.
Chief Silva was invited to speak on the appointment process for the position of Sergeant. Chief Silva noted that there is a vacancy caused by the recent retirement of Sgt. John Flavell and that a second Sergeant will be retiring shortly. Will only be filling one position and does not foresee filling second spot when it becomes open.
Mr. Morey explained the interview process and scoring system, which the Board has followed for several years for police interviews. Noted that the interviews were not televised but were held in open session. Explained that the scoring was done on several areas, i.e. community involvement, law enforcement experience, civil service test score, recommendation from Police Chief, education and interview performance. Asked each board member for their comments regarding the interviews and scores.
Mr. Hardy stated that he had read the packets submitted to the Selectmen several times and based his decision on three main areas; command presence, chief’s recommendation and scores. Stated that he felt Det. Allen had the best interview, noted Det. Allen’s education, his presence during the interview and the chief’s recommendation as reasons for final decision. Noted that he was impressed with all three candidates, their involvement in community work; stated that it was a tough decision as all three officers are qualified. Felt that Det. Allen was best candidate for position of Sergeant.
Mr. Greene stated that all candidates were qualified; all had different attributes, all interviewed very well. Noted that Det. Allen interviewed very well; law enforcement background, Off. Ferreira had 14 ½ years, Det. Allen 7 years and Off. McLaughlin 6 years; education Off. Ferreira and Det. Allen had masters; noted to Off. McLaughlin that he needs to complete his education; ratings Allen and Ferreira tied. Stated that he was leaning his decision toward experience and therefore felt that Off. Ferreira should be appointed.
Mr. Morey thanked all the candidates and noted that the Town was fortunate with caliber of candidates. Agreed with Board members that there was a need to look at whole picture. Noted that the scoring was 1-5 with 5 being the highest score for each category. Explained the standings of each candidate in the scoring areas:
Board of Selectmen -2- December 2, 2002
Law Enforcement – Ferreira, Allen, McLaughlin
Training – specialized – Ferreira and Allen
Test scores – Allen, McLaughlin, Ferreira
Chief Recommendation – Allen
Education – Allen and Ferreira
Interview – Allen stood out; very articulate
Score Tally – Allen – 29; Ferreira – 25; McLaughlin – 23
M/Hardy, s/Greene, for purpose of further discussion, move to appoint Det. Scott Allen to the position of Police Sergeant effective January 5, 2003.
Mr. Greene reiterated his reasons for supporting the appointment of Off. Ferreira for Sergeant. Noted that younger officers can wait to get ahead, Off. Ferreira has more experience as shift supervisor, budget experience; felt Off. Ferreira better qualified for position. Stated that he didn’t disagree with Dept. Allen’s potential; felt that experience of more seasoned individual should count more and Off. Ferreira should get promotion.
Mr. Hardy stated that he would reiterate that he was looking for an intangible trait; manner and way Det. Allen presented himself, made him the only candidate that demonstrated the traits he was looking for; also noted Det. Allen’s experience in grant writing, evidence room, narcotic investigation, etc., his recommendation from the WEB group; noted that Det. Allen’s score was 2 points higher that Off. Ferreira.
Mr. Morey noted that this was not an easy decision; each candidate has a lot to offer the town. Stated that when he looked at who was ready to fill Sergeant position, Det. Allen came out on top.
Mr. Greene stated that before casting his vote, he felt that it was in best interest of all that the Board not be divided in their vote and therefore he would cast his vote in favor of Det. Allen.
VOTE: Yes – Greene, Hardy, Morey; a unanimous vote in favor of appointing Det. Scott C. Allen as Police Sergeant.
Board met with the following members of the Finance Committee and Financial Team members:
Finance Committee: David Walsh, Chairman; Robert Coulter; Sally Feeney; John Margie;
Lynn Lundberg; Peter Hamilton; Anthony Costello
Financial Team Members: Frank Savino, Treasurer; George Samia, Accountant,
Michael Botelho, Executive Secretary
A discussion was held regarding the upcoming budgets for FY04. Mr. Walsh stated that the Finance Committee was recommending that all departments submit a preliminary budget with a 10% reduction and all raises taken from existing budget funds. Noted committee was concerned that there have been no capital needs funded and that the town may be over estimating receipts. Explained that the reduction will be off the Cherry Sheet’s bottom line; this figures out at a 3% budget reduction of the October S.T.M. final budget.
It was noted that there are several fixed costs such as insurance, which must be address first.
Mr. Samia stressed that each department needs to submit a detailed impact statement. Will be needed in order to let townspeople know what the effects of reductions will be to every department.
Board of Selectmen -3- December 2, 2002
Mr. Hardy noted that the last two years have seen the department heads coming up with solutions to the budget problems. Stated that the downturn in the economy was not a one or two year problems but will continue for several years. Noted that the State has no funding sources or reserves left for aid to towns. Felt that the town can’t count on any bailout from the State. Stated that he agreed with the Finance committee recommendation; felt that the Department Heads should be asked for their input into how to work on budget; wants Department Heads to be part of the planning; requested that a Department Head meeting be set up as soon as possible and suggested a Wednesday morning; part of discussion should center on options for budget.
Mr. Walsh stated that the Finance Committee is trying to avoid a disaster; Department Heads need to look at the reality of funding and act appropriately when working on their budgets.
Mr. Greene suggested that there should be a 3-year plan for Free Cash. Also suggested that departments do budgets based on 3%, 7% and 10% cuts with impact statements for each scenario.
Mr. Samia noted that the Board and Finance Committee are on the same wavelength; suggested all get going and work on budget.
Mr. Botelho noted that all departments have been asked to work out a five-year plan regarding salary increases.
Discussion continued regarding insurance costs, other fixed costs, impacts on departments, need for impact statements, need for long term planning and need to keep lines of communication open between departments and public.
Mr. Savino noted that the cost of debts stays up until 2006; may need to rely on Stabilization Fund for capital needs; next two-years need to rely on reserves and not borrow.
Mr. Hardy requested that a Department Heads meeting be called for December 11 at 8:00 a.m. for the purpose of a Budget Planning Meeting to develop steps for budget process. Requested that a letter be sent to all Departments tomorrow. Requested Mr. Samia to follow up with a phone call. Also requested that a copy of the Finance Committee’s letter to the Board of Selectmen be attached.
Board thanked the Finance Committee members and Financial Team Members for attending tonight’s meeting.
M/Hardy, s/Greene, a unanimous vote, move to approve the minutes of the November 25, 2002 meeting.
No one was present.
Executive Secretary Report
Mr. Botelho reported that a meeting regarding the Carver Cotton Dam has been set for
Tuesday, December 10, 7:00 p.m. at Town Hall.
Mr. Savino informed the Board that tax bills won’t be sent out until DOR has approved the rates. Will send out an announcement as soon as he gets approval.
Mr. Savino also informed the Board that the payroll warrant for Christmas week will need to be signed over the Dec. 20-22 weekend, as checks will be distributed on Monday. Will have warrant at Selectmen’s office on Friday.
Board of Selectmen -4- December 2, 2002
M/Hardy, s/Greene, move to close Open Session and go into Executive Session for the purpose of hearing a Step 2 grievance submitted by NAGE R1-173 Union (Highway, Tree and Water Dept.) and will not be returning to Open Session.
VOTE: Yes – Greene, Hardy, Morey; a unanimous vote in favor.
Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.
Board of Selectmen