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Selectmen minutes April 22, 2003
The weekly meeting of the Board of Selectmen was held on Tuesday
evening, April 22, 2003 at 7:35 p.m.

Present: James M. Hardy, Chairman; Eric W. Greene, Clerk; David Walsh
Michael Botelho, Executive Secretary
Karen Grabau, Adm. Assistant

Mr. Hardy announced that Sgt. Thomas Goode, E.B.P.D. had passed away
earlier this evening and extended the Board's condolences to the family.
A moment of silence was observed for Sgt. Goode.

Appointment
Water Commissioners, Howard Wilbur and David Coots met with the Board
and discussed the hiring freeze that was implemented by the Board in
January.

Mr. Coots explained that within their office the Lucille Smith has
retired and Nancy Hacker has taken over that position, leaving the
position of Senior Clerk unfilled. Noted that this leaves the office
with no coverage for vacations, etc. Noted that this is not a new
position and that the funding is in the budget. Requested that the
Selectmen allow them to hire for the vacant position.

Mr. Hardy stated that the board would appreciate the Water Commissioners
waiting one month until the Town knows what the House budget will be.
Felt that there may be a need to cut staff within town hall and this
position could be open for an employee so that they did not lose their
job.

Water Commissioner agreed to wait the thirty days to see what the town
budget status will be.

Mr. Coots and Mr. Wilbur presented the findings of the Water Rate Study
to the Board, which included estimated shortfall in revenue for next
year, proposed increase in rates, conservation rate for water usage over
9800 cubic feet, low income discount, public building usage and cost
estimate for public buildings.

Mr. Greene questioned whether the charge for backflow meter tests could
be placed on the water bill instead of charged at time of test.
Commissioners are looking into this. Also asked if the Commissioners
would consider placing on the direct/indirect costs budget the value of
commercial building rental. Mr. Wilbur requested that the legality of
doing this be sent to Town Counsel for his opinion and that when the
board has all the particulars, the Commissioners will consider the
request.

Appointment
Board went over the articles for the Special and Annual Town Meetings.

Present: George Samia, Town Accountant
Frank Savino, Town Treasurer
John Stuebing, Town Counsel
Peter Hamilton, Finance Committee
Albert Mondeau, Finance Committee

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 1 as
printed on the Special Town Meeting Warrant.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 2 as
printed on the Special Town Meeting Warrant.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 3 as
printed on the Special Town Meeting Warrant.
Board of Selectmen -2-
April 22, 2003

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 4 as
printed on the Special Town Meeting Warrant.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 5 on the
Special Town Meeting Warrant with change from Overlay Surplus to Free
Cash.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 6 on the
Special Town Meeting Warrant with change to read "to raise and
appropriate" instead of "transfer".

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 7 as
printed on the Special Town Meeting Warrant.

It was noted that Articles 6 & 7 are bills of a prior year, which will
be paid from this year's budget.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, move to include Article 8 & 9 as printed on the
Special Town Meeting Warrant.

A discussion was held regarding these two articles. It was noted that
both articles were for legal expenses. Atty. Stuebing stated that there
were additional court cases and costs that may need additional funding
for both articles. The Board agreed that they would go to the Finance
Committee for additional funds when needed.

VOTE: Yes - Greene, Walsh, Hardy; a unanimous vote in favor.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 10 as
printed on the Special Town Meeting Warrant.

It was noted that this article dealt with the severance pay for
Executive Secretary, Mike Botelho per his contract.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 11 as
printed on the Special Town Meeting Warrant.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 12 as
printed on the Special Town Meeting Warrant.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 13 as
printed on the Special Town Meeting Warrant.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 14 as
printed on the Special Town Meeting Warrant.

Mr. Botelho explained that the original article was funded to paint town
hall; due to using prisoners through the Plymouth County Corrections,
funds were left in the article. By transferring to this new article,
certain budget line items in the FY04 budget will be zero funded and the
bills will be paid out of this article. It was felt that the funds would
cover these line items for two years.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 15 as
printed on the Special Town Meeting Warrant.

Mr. Botelho explained that due to additional costs from feral cat
population, these funds will pay for costs involved.


Board of Selectmen -3-
April 22, 2003

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 16 as
printed on the Special Town Meeting Warrant.

Mr. Botelho explained that this article pays for deductible for a claim
being defended by our insurance company.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 17 - 20 as
printed on the Special Town Meeting Warrant.

Mr. Savino explained the reasons for these articles.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to close the Special Town
Meeting Warrant.

Board went over the articles submitted for the Annual Town Meeting.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 1 as
printed on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 2 as
printed on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 3 as
printed on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.

A discussion was held regarding the budget. Concerns were voiced by
Board members regarding the House budget and what the reductions in
local aid may be. Board agreed to limit next week's meeting to
discussion of the budget only.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 4 as
printed on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.

It was noted that this article dealt with non-union employee salaries.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, move to include Article 5 as corrected on the Annual
Town Meeting Warrant.

Mr. Samia noted that the Personnel Board had voted the Highway Surveyor
and Tree Warden salaries for FY04; noted that both were reduced as Mr.
Haines has been elected both positions; salary for Highway Surveyor will
be $35,308.00 and Tree Warden will be $39,485.00. Also noted that the
Personnel Board has not voted the salary for the Town Clerk; this will
be voted at their meeting on Monday. It was noted that the Town Clerk's
salary can be adjusted on Town Meeting floor.

VOTE: Yes - Greene, Walsh, Hardy; a unanimous vote in favor.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, move to include Article 1 as printed on the Annual
Town Meeting Warrant.

A discussion was held regarding this article. Mr. Walsh stated that this
would put the town in a difficult position; felt that no monies should
be taken out of the Stabilization Fund; all departments need to work
with what they have. Felt it was irresponsible on the part of the School
Committee.

Mr. Hardy noted that the article had been submitted before Board had
made the commitment to take 1 million from the Stabilization Fund for
FY04 budget.


Board of Selectmen -4-
April 22, 2003

Mr. Greene agreed that it would be disastrous to commit 1.2 million to
one department's budget from Stabilization Fund.

VOTE: No - Greene, Walsh, Hardy; a unanimous vote against.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 7 as
printed on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.

Mr. Greene explained that all members of the S.E. District need to
approve this article in order to change the way the member communities'
allocation is figured. Felt that this was a fairer way to allocate
costs.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 8 as
printed on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.

Mr. Greene explained that this would change the Regional School
Committee members from elected to appointed.

It was noted that articles 9 and 10 deal with exemptions for veterans
and for increase to annual gross receipts and was submitted by the Board
of Assessors.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 9 as
printed on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 10 as
printed on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.

At this time, John Clifford, member of the School Committee and Budget
Chairman, requested time to speak to the Board. Mr. Clifford stated that
he was refuting statements by Mr. Walsh relative to Article 6. Noted
that there was no commitment made by Board regarding budget; felt that
the statement that the School Committee was irresponsible was not fair.
Stated that there has been no guidance provided to School Committee;
noted that no financial officer has come to School Committee meetings to
discuss budget with them.

Mr. Walsh noted that School only submitted their level funded budget
last week, other departments submitted on time. Also noted that Mr.
Clifford was at the meeting held regarding the budget. Stated that he
would publicly retract his statement regarding the School Committee's
submission of Article 6.

Mr. Clifford again stated that in his opinion there has been no
communication with the School Committee regarding the budget process.

Mr. Hardy noted that all departments were asked to submit a level funded
budget and statements relative to the impact on their department.

Mr. Clifford left meeting at this time.

Mr. Botelho noted that Articles 11 and 12 clarify the town's by-laws and
were presented after the problems with the building in the town's
center.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 11 as
printed on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.


Board of Selectmen -5-
April 22, 2003

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 12 as
printed on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 13 as
printed on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.

Mrs. Grabau explained that the motion, which was submitted with the
article, is very different and includes the amount of $200,000.

Mr. Savino suggested that the funding be taken from the Stabilization
Fund instead of as a WPAT loan; noted there is extensive paperwork
involved and takes a great deal of time for his office to complete; also
noted that the funds do not come to town until they have been expended.

Mr. Hamilton noted that as a member of the Wastewater Study Committee,
they have been placed on the approve list to apply for a loan; felt that
the Committee needs to discuss this first; might be willing to wait
until a fall town meeting for this article.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 14 as
printed on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 15 as
printed on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Articles 16-19 as
printed on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.

Mr. Botelho noted that these articles have been submitted by the
Personnel Board and upgrade benefits for non-union personnel.

Mr. Botelho noted that articles 20 and 21 were increases in dog fees;
the Dog Officer has recommended all of the increases.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 20 as
printed on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 21 as
printed on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 22 as
printed on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.

It was noted that Article 23 dealt with street acceptances and that the
descriptions were incomplete at this time. Atty. Stuebing noted that he
is still working on the descriptions. It was requested that the article
be pulled.

M/Hardy, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to not include Article 23 on
the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to include Article 24 as
printed on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.

M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to approve closing the Annual
Town Meeting Warrant.


Board of Selectmen -6-
April 22, 2003

Open Forum
No one was present.

A discussion was held regarding next scheduled meeting of the Board. Mr.
Greene questioned who would be asked to attend, i.e. Finance committee,
Mr. Savino, Mr. Samia, other department heads.

Mr. Hardy noted that they need the House budget before they can discuss
town's budget.

Mr. Greene suggested that the Board change their meeting to Wednesday.
Mr. Hardy stated that he would check with Mr. Clifford and the School
Committee and notify the office tomorrow, so that the change can be
posted.

Reminders:

Finance Committee vacancy - letters of interest to Selectmen by
May 2

M/Greene, s/Walsh, move to close Open Session and go into Executive
Session for the purpose of discussing litigation and will not be
returning to Open Session.

VOTE: Yes - Greene, Walsh, Hardy; a unanimous vote in favor.

Meeting adjourned 9:35 p.m.


___________________________Clerk
Board of Selectmen


 
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