The weekly meeting of the Board of Selectmen was held on Monday evening, March 10, 2003 at 7:32 p.m.
Present: James F. Morey, Chairman; James M. Hardy, Clerk; Eric W. Greene
Michael Botelho, Executive Secretary
Karen Grabau, Adm. Assistant
It was noted that the Conservation Commission was scheduled for a Department Update, but has canceled their appointment and will reschedule at a later date.
M/Hardy, s/Greene, a unanimous vote, move to approve the minutes of the March 3, 2003 meeting.
M/Hardy, s/Greene, a unanimous vote, move to approve the request of Robert J. Perrault, Sr. of Beaver Brook Beagle Club, rear 128 Belmont Street, for a One-Day Wine and Malt liquor license for a meat raffle on March 16, 2003 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
M/Hardy, s/Greene, a unanimous vote, move to approve the appointment of Wilfred Prouty as Inspector of Animals and Donna Morris as Assistant Inspector of Animals for the period of May 1, 2003 to April 30, 2004.
Mr. Morey reminded voters that there were non-binding referendum questions on the Town Election ballot; noted that the questions relate to the recommendation of the Government Study Committee’s report. Copier of the report are available on-line or at the Selectmen’s Office. Web site www.eastbridgewaterma.org has a link to the Committee for questions or comments.
David Walsh a member of the Government Study Committee noted that the Committee would be appearing on a local cable show to discuss their study report.
1. New list of items accepted at Bridge Street recycling Center beginning March 29
2. Recycling Week – March 17 – 21
3. New Polling hours 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. on April 12
4. Rabies Clinic at Cam-Belles Country Inn, 1040 Central St. April 5, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Cost $10.00
Executive Secretary Report
Carver Dam – can apply for a grant from American Rivers; has sent letter requesting
support of owner of property.
David Walsh, Finance Committee Chairman, George Samia, Town Accountant and Frank Savino, Treasurer/Collector met with the Board relative to discussion of update of town budget process.
Mr. Walsh explained that the Finance Committee had met last Wednesday and unanimously voted the following plan for FY04 budget process:
1. base budget on a 5% reduction in state aid
2. use up to 1.4 million from Stabilization Fund for FY04 budget
3. reduce town side expenses
4. level funded budget with all fixed costs and contractual increases absorbed within each department’s FY03 budget amount
5. any additional state aid put into reserves not into budgets
Board of Selectmen -2- March 10, 2003
Discussion was held regarding need for long range financial plan; need to offset fixed costs, i.e. health insurance, retirement assessment, etc.; possible cuts in future reserves; departments will have to absorb any cuts in state aid; need for multi-year budget plan; hold off on override until at least next year; any additional state aid to go back into reserves to help with FY05 budget;
Mr. Walsh noted that the Finance Committee would be starting their meetings with Departments. Asked the Board to endorse the Finance Committee’s budget plan for FY04.
Mr. Hardy stated that he would ask that all departments submit by Friday, March 14 a level funded budget with impact statements.
Mr. Walsh and Mr. Samia commended the financial team for the work on budget plan.
M/Hardy, s/Greene, a unanimous vote, move to endorse the Financial Team’s budget plan for FY04 and to mandate that all departments submit their level funded budget by Friday, March 14 at 10:00 a.m.
Scott Hastings, School Committee member stated that School might not be ready by Friday to submit a budget. Mr. Hardy explained that he has spoken to Dr. Strojny and she was prepared to submit on Friday.
Mr. Morey thanked Mr. Hardy for his leadership role working with the financial team on the budget.
John Stuebing, Town Counsel informed the Board that the Director of Veterans Services had contacted him regarding the questions on the town election ballot regarding Human Services Dept. and the fact that by law the Veterans Office must remain as a separate department. Noted that only way this could change was with special legislation.
Board discussed this and agreed that the question would remain with all departments named; noted that the larger picture is consolidation of several departments; felt that as the questions are non-binding, decision could be at a later date on which departments would be consolidated.
Frank Savino, Treasurer/Collector reported on a recent meeting he attended, where representatives of Department of Education discussed school aid and school building assistance program.
Mr. Savino also informed the Board that the SEMA Health Group has negotiated the new rates for health insurance. Noted that Board will need to vote on the non-union personnel’s rates, prior to the open enrollment, which will be held from April 28 to May 9.
Open forum closed.
M/Hardy, s/Greene, move to close Open Session and go into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing possible litigation and non-union contracts and will not be returning to Open Session.
VOTE: Yes – Greene, Hardy, Morey; a unanimous vote in favor.
Meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.
Board of Selectmen