The weekly meeting of the Board of Selectmen was held on Monday evening, March 22, 2004 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
Finance Committee members: Peter Hamilton, Eric Glaas, Robert Coulter and Lynne Lundberg
Joseph Miksch and Jane Haines met with the Board to discuss the job description for the position of Council on Aging Director. Mr. Miksch stated that the COA would like to fill the position as soon as possible.
Mr. Miksch and Mrs. Haines went over the job description and noted that the title of the position has been changed from Director of Elder Affairs to Council on Aging Director.
Mr. Walsh noted that the Government Study Committee had recommended combining COA and Veterans as one office. Questioned if this has been taken into consideration in the job description. Mrs. Haines explained that they have combined services such as fuel assistance; both veterans and other residents apply at COA. Mr. Walsh stated that he didn’t want to lose sight of the recommendations.
Further discussion was held regarding the job description. It was agreed that the job description should conform to the format of the Town Administrator. Mr. Walsh questioned whether the job title should include verbiage for human services.
Mr. Miksch stated that the COA wished to start the process to appoint a fulltime Director as soon as possible.
M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to approve the job description, with amendments, for the position of Council on Aging Director.
A discussion was held regarding the position of Council on Aging Director and what Board would have jurisdiction for salary, etc. Mrs. Haines stated that she looked at the position as contractual and felt that it should not come under the Personnel Board.
Board requested Town Counsel to review the job description and Personnel By-Laws and report back to the Board as to who would negotiate a contract or if a contract is appropriate, recommend salary, etc. either Personnel Board or COA.
A discussion was held on the Senior Citizen Property Tax Work-Off Abatement Program and the criteria for the program as outlined in the report from the Council on Aging.
Mrs. Haines went over the criteria and how the program would work. It was noted that the program has been very successful in other area towns.
Board requested that an article be submitted for the ATM warrant to accept the COA report on the program.
A discussion was held regarding the two articles submitted by the COA for the ATM warrant. Mrs. Haines explained the articles, which deal with a mini van for transportation and a revolving account to handle fees for use of van. Noted that the COA office would handle the van usage.
Board of Selectmen -2- March 22, 2004
A discussion was also held regarding the Dial-A-Bat program.
Board of Water Commissioners David Coots, Howard Wilbur and Robert Reardon and Supt. Scott McCann met with the Board and went over their level funded budget.
Mr. Coots explained the budget, where cuts were made and the impact on the cuts.
A discussion was held regarding recent problems with water and treatments used at well sites.
Discussed project that they plan to do in upcoming year for a water main replacement from West Street to Bridgewater line. Also plan to submit several articles for annual town meeting for various projects. Noted that all articles will be funded from the water revenue account.
Mr. Hamilton noted that the purchase of a truck should be brought to the Capital Needs Committee so that a recommendation can be made on town meeting floor.
John Haines, Highway Surveyor/Tree Warden/Overseer of Solid Waste & Recycling met with the Board and went over his budgets and the impacts of level funded budget.
Noted that he will have to charge for employees working at town events, as he has cut overtime account. Also cut supplies line item and line painting. Hopes to be able to paint crosswalks but will not do street lines this year. Also, explained decreases in Grounds & Building, Equipment and Road Maintenance line items.
Discussed chapter 90 funding. Noted that the State only recognizes 44 miles of roads in East Bridgewater; town now has over 88 miles of roadways; working with Ma Highway and John Stuebing to get additional roads on list with State. Noted that the Chapter 90 funds are based on the miles of roadways and if the additional roads are accepted by state there will be additional funds coming to the town.
Explained budget and impact of cuts. Reductions include elimination of tree planting funds and reduction of maintenance of grounds & building. Noted that Nancy Feeney now works 5 hours per week for the Tree Department; all phones calls are now answered at Highway Office.
Discussion was held regarding maintenance of town properties, i.e. Common, John Silva Athletic Fields, Sachem Rock Farm, etc. Mr. Haines stated that it might be necessary to charge fees for use of town properties. Mr. Greene suggested user fees, revolving account or enterprise account for town properties. Mr. Greene agreed to work with Mr. Haines on a user fee program.
Solid Waste & Recycling
Mr. Haines reported that recycling is at 20% in East Bridgewater; should be at 35% to 40%. Noted that at this time, the cost to run our program would be between $750,000 and $800,000 per year. Need to look at increase in cost of bags to residents; noted that there has not been an increase in bags costs since program started. It was noted that an increase in the cost of bags could encourage recycling.
Mr. Hardy requested Mr. Haines to put together a presentation on bag sales and possible increase in cost and present it to Board in April.
Board of Selectmen -3- March 22, 2004
Mr. Haines noted that loss of Frank Johnson, who ran the Recycling Center on Bridge Street; now using Highway Department personnel to run area. Discussed recycling of computers, t.v. sets, etc. Noted that he hopes to make the center more user friendly. Also looking at change in vendor for bags; could result in a savings.
M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to approve the minutes of the March 15, 2004 meeting.
M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to accept an articles submitted by Kevin Kane for zoning change and send article to Planning Board for their hearing process.
M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to accept an articles submitted by H. Paul Overstreet for zoning change and send article to Planning Board for their hearing process.
M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to approve the appointment of Craig Winsor as a member of the Conservation Commission for the period of March 22, 2004 to June 30, 2007.
M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to approve the request of Eileen Sears of the E.B. Early Childhood Advisory Council for use of the John L. Silva Athletic Complex for an Easter Egg Hunt on April 5, 2004 from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
M/Greene, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to approve the request of Melissa White for use of the town Common for a Wedding Ceremony on September 11, 2004 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Town Administrator position
Mr. Walsh stated that it was time to make a decision. Board has met with Search Committee and talked to Department Heads.
M/Walsh, s/Greene, move to appoint George Samia Town Administrator subject to a successful contract negotiation.
Mr. Walsh stated that he was confident with appointing Mr. Samia to the position.
Mr. Greene stated that the Board needs to get the position filled and felt that Mr. Samia fits the job description.
Mr. Hardy asked Mr. Samia if he was willing to accept the position of Town Administrator.
Mr. Samia replied that he was will to accept the position.
Mr. Hardy stated that he was confident with Mr. Samia’s ability to perform the duties of the position; noted that the Board had received 20 letters of support from various Department Heads.
VOTE - Yes – Greene, Walsh, Hardy; a unanimous vote in favor.
Executive Secretary Report
Working on budget reports, etc.
Mr. Hardy reported that the Financial Team had met on Friday and that they set the date of April 2 to finalize funding information. Next meeting of Financial Team is April 2 and will make a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen on April 5.
Board of Selectmen -4- March 22, 2004
No one was present
Town Counsel Report
Mr. Stuebing reported on the following items:
1. Leland Farm – would need formal leasing process for any commercial use; need to prepare an article for town meeting approval. Article can’t be a general article, must specify property to be leased. Board requested that the article include Leland Farm and Sachem Rock Farm
2. Rivers Edge – has talked to manager and the homeowners are in discussion their attorney and the developer’s attorney; hope to have an agreement shortly.
3. Point Drive – Conservation Commission has approved article. Mrs. Grabau noted that a copy of the article was forwarded to Mrs. McCusker.
Board noted that a petition for an article for a noise by-law had been received by the Town Clerk and forwarded to the Selectmen today. Requested Town Counsel to review petition and check on whether the Selectmen or Zoning Board needs to hold a hearing on the article.
M/Greene, s/Walsh, move to close Open Session and go into Executive Session for the purposes of discussing deployment of security personnel, grievance and non-union contract negotiation and will not be returning to Open Session.
VOTE: Yes – Greene, Walsh, Hardy; a unanimous vote in favor.
Meeting adjourned at 9:43 p.m.
Board of Selectmen