The weekly meeting of the Board of Selectmen was held on Monday evening, October 27, 2003 at 7:35 p.m.
Present: James M. Hardy, Chairman; Eric W. Greene, Clerk ; David L. Walsh
George Samia, Interim Executive Secretary
Karen Grabau, Adm. Assistant
John Stuebing, Town Counsel
Mr. Hardy commended the Friends of Sachem Rock Committee for their efforts on putting together the Fall Festival at Sachem Rock Farm; noted it was an outstanding event.
Mr. Hardy expressed the thanks of the Board to all residents who attended the Special Town Meeting on October 20; noted that there were three articles, which required a quorum and that these were able to be approved due to the many who came to the town meeting so that a quorum was present.
Members of the Planning Board met with the Board of Selectmen for the purpose of a join appointment to fill a vacancy for an Associate Member of the Planning Board.
Planning Board members present were:
Roy Gardner, Richard O'Flaherty, Clarence Willard, Lawrence Morris, Steven Belcher, Ron Ross
Mr. Gardner noted that Richard McCusker has applied for the position as an Associate Member of the Planning Board. It was noted that Mr. McCusker has served as an Associate and Elected Member of the Planning Board in the past.
M/Gardner, s/Willard, move to appoint Richard McCusker as an Alternate Member of the Planning Board for the period of October 27, 2003 to June 30, 2006.
Mr. Gardner announced that there is an additional vacancy for one Alternate Member and that any interested resident should send a letter of interest to the Board of Selectmen.
Mr. Hardy opened a Public Hearing relative to an alleged violation at the Gallery Tea & Coffee Café, which occurred on September 24, 2003.
Sgt. John Cowen, EBPD was present to submit information relative to the violations. There was no one present representing the Gallery Café.
Sgt. Cowen explained events of the evening of September 24, 2003. Noted that original call was not for any problem at the Gallery. During an investigation into a vehicle break in, he found a 30 pack of beer on the far side of the Gallery parking lot and found that those present were all underage. These persons were transported to the Police Station and their parents called. As there were several youths outside the restaurant, he called for back-up. Off. Ferreira questioned the number of persons in the building and a count was taken with between 120 and 130 persons in attendance. Spoke to the owner, Robert Alonge, who stated that their occupancy permit called for a total of 65 capacity.
Sgt. Cowen explained that he then informed Mr. Alonge that he could not allow more than 65 persons in the building and stopped those persons outside the building from reentering. Noted that Det. Shaw has also met with the owner and discussed measures he needs to have in place to make sure over-crowding does not happen.
Board of Selectmen -2- October 27, 2003
Mr. Greene questioned whether there have been any previous incidents and whether the department checks on the premises. Sgt. Cowen explained that there was not that many cars to indicate any problem as most of the patrons were between the ages of 14 and 18 and were dropped off and picked up by their parents.
Tim Burns spoke to the Board on behalf of Mr. Alonge. Noted that he is a member of a band and that they do not have many places where they can play. Gallery is one of the few places where they can perform and this has helped them become established and known. Noted that since the incident, the owner now issues tickets and stamps hands and no one is allowed in without a ticket and stamped had.
Paul Dunn spoke on behalf of the Gallery and stated that his son plays in a band, which has played at the Gallery. Has found the audience to be well behaved. Noted that some bands draw larger audiences that others. Felt that the Gallery has done a good job of changing their policies and making sure the building is not overcrowded.
Det. Cowen presented the Police Chief's recommendation relative to this violation. Recommended that a letter be sent to the owner and placed in his final warning him of the consequences of a second violation and recommending that the parking lot be kept under control and that any functions not interfere with other businesses in the strip.
Mr. Walsh stated that he was concerned with youths loitering during and after concerts in the parking lot.
Mr. Greene suggested that a letter be sent to the owner as the follows:
1. Copy of letter in file, with warning about a second offense
2. Recommend parking lot be policed by owner during all concerts
3. Commend owner for steps that have been taken since incident
Mr. Hardy stated that the Board does not need to suspend the Gallery's license but will not look favorably on the restaurant if additional violations occur.
M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to draft a letter to Robert Alonge, Gallery Tea & Coffee Café, 685 North Bedford Street, indicating the Board's appreciation of the effort made to address issue of overcrowding; remind licensee of his responsibilities as a holder of a license within the town.
Mr. Greene also requested that all establishments be sent a letter reminding them of their responsibilities relative to occupancy permits, etc.
M/Greene, s/Hardy, move to approve the minutes of the October 14, 2003 minutes.
VOTE: Yes - Greene, Hardy; Abstain - Walsh
M/Greene, s/Walsh, move to approve the minutes of the October 20, 2003 minutes, as amended.
VOTE: Yes - Walsh, Hardy; Abstain - Greene
M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to accept, with regret, the resignation of Linda Libby as a member of the Council on Aging, effective immediately.
M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to approve the request of Susan Merritt of the E.B. Cultural Council for use of the Town Common from June 10, 2004 to June 13, 2004 for the Annual Festival of the Arts.
Board of Selectmen -3- October 27, 2003
Bridge Street recycling Center open Saturday, November 1.
Forum on Assessments - S.E. Regional - November 6
Veterans' Day parade - Tuesday, November 11
Representatives of the Rivers Edge Condominium Association met with the Board to discuss their difficulties in getting the bond from the Developer seized.
Joseph Carlton, President of the home owners association and Diane Carchedi, Managing agent for Horizon Property Management Inc. acted as spokesmen for the association and explained their problems.
Atty. John Stuebing explained that the developer has not signed a Certificate of Completion with the Town Clerk; is trying to set up a meeting with the developer's attorney to work out the release of the bond to finish the roadways, etc.
Mr. Carlton submitted to the Board a copy of the original "punch list" dated December 5, 2001 for the property and noted that he felt this was a more accurate list of deficiencies that have not been completed by the developer than the list the Board had dated August 14, 2002. Also noted those items on the list that have been completed.
Mr. Greene explained that the Board of Selectmen is not the right department to be handling this problem. Felt that the association needs to return to the Planning board and set up a meeting to discuss the status of the bond and the punch list.
Mrs. Carchedi requested the Board assistance in expedite getting their issues addressed.
Mr. Hardy requested and Atty. Stuebing agreed to notify the association of the date and time of his meeting with the developer's attorney so that representatives may sit in on that meeting.
Mr. Walsh requested that an update report be submitted to the Selectmen in 2 weeks by Atty. Stuebing.
Mr. Hardy requested a copy of the letter Atty. Stuebing sends to Mrs. Carchedi informing her of the date of the meeting.
Continued Tax Classification Hearing
Board met with David Phillips, Chairman and Curtis Gluck member of the Board of Assessors relative to final approval of the Tax Classification. Also present were Director of Assessing, Cheryl Pooler and Assistant Assessor, Sherrie Bates.
A discussion was held on the Classifications; it was noted that the percentage of commercial, industrial and personal property is less than 10% of the total taxable property.
A lengthy discussion was held regarding quarterly tax billing and benefits to town. Board requested that a meeting be set up in the near future for the departments involved in this to discuss courses of action to institute quarterly billing; Accountant, Treasurer/Collector, Assessors and Selectmen departments would be at the meeting.
Mr. Hardy requested that a recommendation from these departments be ready by end of November and that Town Counsel put together a schedule of steps to be taken to change to quarterly tax billing.
Board of Selectmen -4- October 27, 2003
M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to opt out of MA 02RHB3944 - Supplemental Billing.
It was noted that this might need to be voted each year as part of the Classification Hearing.
M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to reaffirm not splitting the tax rate and to not accept the small commercial exemption.
Frank Savino, Treasurer/Collector met with the Board to approve and sign bonds for the WPAT Title V loan program.
M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move the following:
1. That the Town shall issue a bond or bonds in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $400,00 (the "Bonds") pursuant to Chapters 29C and 111 of the General Laws and a vote of the Town passed May 13, 2002 (Article 10), 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 $400,00;
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 or 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.
Board members signed the Note and the Mr. Greene as Clerk signed the Certificate of Vote. Mr. Savino noted that Town Clerk, Marcia Weidenfeller was watching the meeting at home and would certify the notes tomorrow.
No one was present
Interim Executive Secretary Report
1. A request has been received to use approximately 20 acres of Leland Farm for farming.
2. Met with Eric Carlson and John Haines relative to the Franklin Street intersection project. Will draft a letter to towns of Whitman and Hanson relative to easements.
Board requested Town Counsel to look into use by individual of town owned land for farming purposes and report back to the Board.
Board of Selectmen -5- October 27, 2003
1. Roundtable Discussion with Lt. Kerry Healey on October 31 - Mr. Hardy to attend
2. MMA Regional Update Meeting, November 19 - Mr. Walsh to attend
3. E-mail from Howard Wilbur regarding the abandon rail line use. Referred to Town Counsel.
Town Administrator position hiring process
Mr. Hardy distributed copies of job advertisements from the Beacon, Beacon rates and time schedule and information from MMA.
A discussion was held on the process and the following was agreed upon:
1. February 9 - proposed date for new Town Administrator to be announced
2. Advertise in December Beacon
3. Application deadline December 31 at noon.
4. Screening process January 5-17
5. Interviews in January
6. Final vote on February 9
Board members discussed appointment of a Screening Committee and agreed that the makeup of the committee would be as follows:
1 - Department Head
1 - Selectmen
1 - Government Review Committee member
2 - Citizens at Large
Mr. Hardy will send out letters to the departments and to the Review Committee to make their selection of a representative.
Letters of Interest for 2 Citizens At Large members on the Town Administrator Screening Committee deadline November 14.
Board agreed to discuss salary parameters at next meeting. Agreed to place the job description as handed out at the Town Meeting on the web site.
M/Greene, s/Walsh, move to close Open Session and go into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing pending litigation and will not be returning to Open Session.
VOTE: Yes - Greene, Walsh, Hardy; a unanimous vote in favor.
Meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
Board of Selectmen