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Selectmen's Minutes 2/7/05
The weekly meeting of the Board of Selectmen was held on Monday evening, February 7, 2005 at 6:30 p.m.
Present: Eric W. Greene, Chairman; David L. Walsh, Clerk; Peter Hamilton
George Samia, Town Administrator
Karen Grabau, Adm. Assistant
Board of Assessors – Curtis Gluck and Linda Libby
Treasurer/Collector – Frank Savino
Director of Assessing – Cheryl Pooler
It was noted that the meeting was called at the request of the Town Clerk, Board of Assessors and Treasurer/Collector to discuss the Board of Selectmen’s decision relative to staff reductions.
Mr. Walsh noted that at this time there are ongoing negotiations with the clerical union and therefore there may be information, which the Board will not be able to discuss.
Mrs. Pooler presented a brief explanation of the Assessors Office and duties of the staff within that office. Noted that if the office loses a full time position it will have devastating effect; noted that town will begin quarterly billing this year and the staff may not be able to keep up with work load with this loss.
Mrs. Libby explained the work done by Mrs. Pooler and need for analysis of sales and properties. Noted that a few years ago the office was closed to public one day a week in order to keep up with workload. Felt that the need to close office to public would be needed again with loss of fulltime position. Also explained work done prior to setting tax rate.
Mrs. Pooler stated that she felt that office should always be open to residents; need to allow residents to have access to office and staff. Noted that if the staff can’t complete required tasks that the office would have to be closed. Explained quarterly tax billing.
Mrs. Libby noted that in most area offices there are 3 fulltime employees in Assessor’s offices. Suggested that Mr. Samia check on staffing in area towns. Also noted that this town does all the assessing in-house; with loss of a fulltime position the work may not be able to be done which would mean hiring a firm to do work and this will cost the town more.
Mrs. Pooler stated that there was a cost savings to the town with work done in-house; there is no cost savings if they lose position; felt that they were trying to do what is best for the town.
Mr. Savino stated that originally he had stated that he would need an additional fulltime person with additional work related to quarterly billing. Felt that loss of a fulltime position would hinder work in office; felt that even if he stopped doing tax title work, that there would be problems in handling the work within the office. Noted any reduction in staff would create backlog of work; felt that cuts would cost the town in revenue.
A discussion was held regarding Monday night opening. All felt that it has worked out well for residents.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to recess meeting at 7:15 p.m. to reconvene at 7:30 p.m.
Meeting reconvened at 7:30 p.m.
Board of Selectmen -2- February 7, 2005
Mr. Greene announced that his intention to run for re-election in April.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, move to approve the minutes of the January 31, 2005 meeting.
VOTE: Yes – Hamilton, Walsh; Abstain – Greene; a majority vote in favor.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to approve sending the zoning by-law change submitted by P.M.P. Associates for James Lopez to the Planning Board for action and to place this article on the next town Meeting warrant.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to approve the request of William P. Smith of Support Our Troops for use of the town Hall and Town Hall parking lot on Sunday, May 22, 2005, for the 2nd Annual 5k Road Race and Family Fun Walk.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to approve the request of Dale R. Julius for use of the Town Common on April 2, 2005 for a ceremony to honor a local Civil War soldier, Calvin Harlowe and to recognize his heroic action in service to our Country.
Appointment
Board met with Joseph Cooke and Patricia Bureau-Frazier relative to the Applications for Common Victualer, Entertainment and Coin Operated Machines Licenses.
Mr. Cooke noted that the restaurant will be open at 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and the bar to 1 a.m.; would like to open for breakfasts later. Parking is in front and sides of building, there is no parking in back.
Mr. Walsh expressed his concern with issuing new licenses, as Mr. Cooke had failed to respond to the Board’s request for a plan at his other establishment. Noted that the plan was over one week late being submitted.
Mr. Cooke responded that he had arrived late at town hall, after it closed on Friday and then the storm had hit and he neglected to submit the plan until this past week.
Mr. Hamilton asked if the restaurant has an occupancy permit yet.
Mr. Cooke stated that he inspections are being held and all permits should be issued within the next two weeks.
Mr. Greene questioned the application which states dancing; asked what was implied by dancing.
Mr. Cooke stated that he meant dancing by patrons.
Thomas Hosington, 495 East Center Street, West Bridgewater stated that he was an abutter and had concerns with the restaurant; noted problems with former owners. Stated that due to the noise generated by motorcycles on Thursday and Friday nights and Saturdays and Sundays they were unable sit outdoors. Also noted several problems related to the patrons of Brendon’s.
Mr. Cooke stated that they did not plan to cater to bikers, but planned a family oriented Irish restaurant; felt that there would be little noise from 9 p.m. to closing. Stated that they would encourage patrons to leave quietly. Stated that he planned no bike runs from the property.
Mrs. Hosington questioned where the game machines, dance floor, etc. would be located.
Board of Selectmen -3- February 7, 2005
Mr. Cooke explained that the machines would be in back of the dance floor, which will be located in front of the dining area. Also explained that the juke box would be in the bar area and would not interfere with dining and live music. Stated that live entertainment would mostly be during dining. Board members noted that they intend to watch the restaurant and if there are any problems will take another look at licenses. Requested Mr. Hosington to notify the Board of any problems that arise once the restaurant is open.
A short discussion was held regarding sprinkler system. It was noted that Fire Chief Pratt had submitted a letter noting that a sprinkler system under new state law will be required. Mr. Cooke noted that this must be complied with by June, 2006 and noted that the water service for system has been installed. Mr. Samia checked with Chief Pratt via cell phone and informed the Board that plans for the system must be submitted within 3 months and system installed by June, 2006.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to approve the following Licenses for Geek Inc. dba The Nutty Irishman Pub, 579 West Street:
Common Victualer License: Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Sunday – Thursday
7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Entertainment License: Live and Recorded Music, Dancing by Patrons, Irish Dancers and
Comedians
Hours: 4:00 p.m. to Closing
Automatic Amusement Device License:
Pool Table Juke Box
Pinball Machine Golf Machine
4 Poka Machines 1 Fruit Machine
Atty. Stuebing informed the Board that negotiations with Mr. Colby and Attorney Kaiser are ongoing; asked that Mr. Colby’s meeting with the Board be held to the end of the evening.
Board agreed to hold on meeting with Mr. Colby until settlement is reached this evening.
Appointment
Board met with Joseph Cooke regarding a requested plan for sign changes, cleanliness of parking lot and premises and security of premises.
Mr. Cooke again apologized for his lateness in submitting his plan. Noted that he was too late to submit on Friday, as town hall was closed and the storm over the weekend caused delay in his getting back to town hall. Also sent copy to Mr. Blackman.
Mr. Cooke informed the Board that he has hired one person as outside security on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This person will stay outdoors from 8 p.m. to closing. Noted that sign now read DJ; dancers has been removed. Also explained that one employee conducts a sweep of parking lot daily. Noted that after the snowstorm, the plows pushed anything in parking lot against fences. Will clean up when snow melts.
Mr. Cooke asked for Board’s interpretation as to whether patrons could dance at the restaurant. The Board members responded that they had no problem with patrons dancing but did not want dancers, i.e. costumed, exhibition, etc.
Mr. Walsh suggested and the Board members agreed that they will check on the premises in 90 days, as to how the plan is working. Noted that if there are any changes to the security, the Board should be notified immediately.
Board of Selectmen -4- February 7, 2005
Mr. Cooke expressed his concerns that there may be false complaints received by the Police Department from neighbor.
Mr. Walsh stated that if all work together, there should be no complications; noted that Board will check with Police Department and request copies of any complaints and their findings.
Town Administrator Report
1. 1. Impact Bargaining Meeting with clerical union on Friday re: proposed reduction in
Staffing
2. 2. Met with R. Bernardi re: energy purchase for Town; noted that he has received several calls from vendors.
3. 3. Letters to EPA by legislatures; copies received
4. 4. Draft 1 of FY06 budget to Finance Committee this week.
5. 5. Met with Town Counsel last week re: pointers on negotiating
6. 6. Copies of Master Plan distributed
Pending Issues
1. 1. Civic Leadership Seminars – waiting for information as to when it will start
2. 2. COA – no additional information
3. 3. FY 06 Budget - Finance Committee setting up schedule to meet with departments
4. 4. Rails to Trails - Mr. Hamilton met with Howard Wilbur and Marge Winsor; Mr. Swan was unable to attend meeting; will schedule another meeting
5. 5. Establishment of DPW – schedule 20 minutes on February 22 for preliminary discussion and to set up a public forum
6. 6. Trash Collection – invite John Haines in to a February meeting to discuss
7. 7. Eastern States Steel – no additional information
Mr. Walsh suggested the following Additional Items be added to list:
8. 8. Master Plan – discuss with Planning Board
9. 9. Capital Improvements Planning Committee – update list and invite in for presentation
10. 10. Grant Package received from Rep. Teahen – check with Chief Cowan; check if other departments will be applying for grants
11. 11. Town Planner – get job descriptions from area towns – ready for Board in 2 weeks
12. 12. Personnel By-Laws – Board to review prior to non-union contract negotiations
13. 13. Economic Development Committee – Carol Wolfe willing to discuss with Board
14. 14. STM quorum – discuss with Town Moderator
It was noted that the Capital Improvements Planning Committee needs one member-at-large; letters of interest to the Board by February 23.
Board acknowledged presence of Atty. Michael Morizio and Mr. & Mrs. Peter Blackman. Informed them that they had met earlier with Mr. Cooke regarding his plans due to changes in the agenda.
Atty. Morizio submitted to the Board a letter from the Blackman’s listing License Conditions, which they would like the Board to require Mr. Cooke to comply with.
Atty. Morizio went over the 6 items listed. List has been copied to Page 5.
Board of Selectmen -5- February 7, 2005
Board of Selectmen -6- February 7, 2005
Atty. Morizio went over the list and reasons his clients felt items were necessary. Request Board to require Mr. Cooke to show portion of building being utilized as restaurant. Also stated that trash has not been picked up.
Mr. Walsh noted that he has been down to parking lot and did not see a trash problem.
Mr. Blackman stated that 10 days after meeting with Selectmen, there was still trash littering area. Noted that after the snowstorm the plows pushed all the debris against the fence. Also, noted ongoing problem with Mr. Cooke relative to the boat ramp. Noted that Mr. Cooke had locked the gate and residents are not allowed to use it. Felt Mr. Cooke showed a lack of consideration to the neighbors.
Mr. Walsh explained that the Board had informed Mr. Cooke that they would revisit the matter in 90 days and intend to continue to observe how the plan is handled.
Atty. Morizio stated that they felt that security should be handle by a police detail, that their concerns have not been addressed, sign should not be advertising a Pub and Club but a Restaurant and that the language on sign should be changed, that the license should be revoked as Mr. Cooke is not in compliance with Ch. 138,s12, that Mr. Cooke is not in compliance with ZBA special permit.
Mr. Walsh requested that Town Counsel asked for opinion on what qualifies as a restaurant under statute; requirements for restaurant with liquor license.
Mr. Greene requested that a copy of the License Conditions submitted by Atty. Morizio be sent to Mr. Cooke; asked that a check be made of the designated smoking area.
Appointment
Board met with Robert Reardon relative to the Application for Change of Manager for the East Bridgewater Commercial Club, 1 Neilsen Avenue.
Mr. Reardon explained that the former Manager Michael Burke is not longer the President and that a change of Manager was voted by the Executive Committee of the Club. Noted that he was the Manager prior to Mr. Burke. Noted that there are no changes in the operation of the premises.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to approve the change of Manager for the East Bridgewater Commercial Club, 1 Neilsen Avenue from Michael J. Burke to Robert F. Reardon.
Mr. Walsh requested that Joe Cooke be contacted as to mutually acceptable time for Mr. Walsh to meet with him at the restaurant to check the premises, in regards to the list brought to the Board this evening.
Correspondence
Letter from Massasoit Community College Theater Company requesting a place to set a sign advertising their latest production “Gypsy” in which Teresa Capachione is starring. Board requested that Mr. Rocheteau be contacted as it seems that he is asking for an area on Route 18.
Board Discussion
Town Meeting Signs – a discussion was held as to better advertising of town meetings. Suggestions were for a banner and signs or an electronic billboard at town hall.
Further investigation will be done into this.
Board of Selectmen -7- February 7, 2005
Atty. Stuebing informed the Board that he is in the process of completing finalization of agreement with Dana Colby regarding taxes; felt that they should be ready to meet with the Board in about 10 minutes.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to recess meeting for 10 minutes.
Meeting recessed at 9:10 p.m.
Meeting reconvened at 9:20 p.m.
Present: John Stuebing, Town Counsel
Atty. Lincoln Kaiser, representing Dana Colby
Dana Colby
Mr. Walsh explained the background of this matter.
Mr. Stuebing stated that Atty. Kerwin had remained behind in their office in order to complete the agreement. Thanked the town Treasurer, Atty. Kaiser and Atty. Kerwin for their work in putting together the agreement. Explained that the agreement the main parts of the agreement are:
1. 1. Payment of $50,000 by March 15, 2005
2. 2. Remained of $202,724.15 within one year
3. 3. Lien by Town on Pub 106 assets as security of judgment
4. 4. Waiving of appeal
5. 5. Colby agrees to offer properties not sold to Town and will pay fees associated with transfer of land.
Atty. Stuebing stated that the agreement would save the town significant legal fees.
Atty. Kaiser stated that his client felt this was a fair settlement; expressed his appreciation to the Board for their patience through the process. Noted that Jeremy Redder has agreed to the course of action and will sign off on the agreement.
Mr. Walsh questioned where the other $200,000 in back taxes were. Atty. Stuebing explained that the agreement was for 8 years of taxes, ability for Treasurer to seize other properties for outstanding debt, will have until August to determine if there should be a land taking.
Atty. Kaiser stated that in regards to land taking, Mr. Colby has agreed to pay all associated court fees and to not appeal land taking.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move that the board of Selectmen accept the Settlement Agreement between the town of East Bridgewater and Dana Colby.
Board members agreed that the settlement was good for Town; thanked all for working together to produce the agreement.
Town Counsel Report
Wayne Fieden, Town Planner would like to set-up a meeting here. Possibly set-up for a Wednesday.
Mr. Walsh asked if Counsel would get a recommendation from Mr. Feiden as to who should be present for the meeting.
Mr. Greene stated that he would think realtors, developers, Planning Board members, etc. would be a good starting group.
Board of Selectmen -8- February 7, 2005
Mr. Walsh suggested that the meeting could be covered by Cable and broadcast later.
Mr. Stuebing stated that he would get answers and report back to the Board next week.
Mr. Walsh suggested that the meeting be set for mid-March.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, move to close Open Session and go into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing collective bargaining issues and will not be returning to Open Session.
VOTE: Yes – Greene, Walsh, Hamilton; a unanimous vote in favor.
Meeting adjourned at 9:35 p.m.
_______________________________Clerk
Board of Selectmen
The weekly meeting of the Board of Selectmen was held on Monday evening, February 14, 2005 at 7:30 p.m.
Present: Eric W. Greene, Chairman; David L. Walsh, Clerk; Peter Hamilton
George Samia, Town Administrator
Karen Grabau, Adm. Assistant
John Stuebing, Town Counsel
Mr. Walsh announced that the Board had announced a plan for reduction in staffing within the Town Hall with an effective date of March 1; in the original plan 3 departments were affected. Noted that they are facing the difficult choices that the Town remain financially stable, yet provide necessary services. In this regard, reductions in staffing will be occurring effective February 28, 2005 within the Town Office Building. While the board regrets that this action is necessary, it is imperative that the Town maintains financial stability as we struggle to provide services.
Mr. Walsh stated that a different version of the plan has been instituted with the departments of Health, Council on Aging, Town Clerk, Assessors and Treasurer/Collector having reduction in personnel and/or hours and all Town Hall offices having cut back in hours with Fridays having only department heads in office.
Mr. Samia explained that he is asking Department heads to stay open to public if possible; Department Heads and part-time employees not cut hours; Town Hall will be functioning on Fridays; cuts take effect March 1. Will notify newspaper and cable of office hours for departments within Town Hall. Stated that the final plan minimized the number of positions eliminated; town is making best of bad situation; tried to keep loyal employees with minimum loss to town.
Mr. Walsh noted that they had spread pain across town hall; thanked Department Heads who had supported Board; support was appreciated.
Appointment
Steven Belcher, Planning Board member, met with the Board to discuss House Bills passed and/or filed regarding Chapter 40B housing. Mr. Belcher noted that the Planning board had canceled their meeting tonight due to lack of quorum.
Mr. Belcher explained that he felt it imperative to meet with the Board in order to keep momentum going. Noted that Town needs to have a 40B housing plan in place as soon as possible.
A discussion was held regarding legislation and community incentives relative to 40B housing; Town’s Master Plan acknowledging of 40B; need for plan, which will set percentage of 40B housing town wants in each development; need to have plan in place before another development comes to ZBA and Planning Board. Felt that a preliminary outline of plan should be ready within 90 days.
Atty. Stuebing stated that he is working to secure copies of plans other communities have in place; also setting up a meeting with Wayne Feiden, Planner for Hampton, MA will be meeting with town departments.
Mr. Hamilton noted that Carol Wolfe would be meeting with the Board on February 28 for a discussion on economic development; Sen. Joyce will also be attending this meeting.
Appointment
Peter Spagone, Sr., Town Moderator, met with the Board to discuss quorum for Special Town Meetings.
Discuss was held regarding town by-law which states that S.T. M. requires a quorum of 150 for any article over $50,000.
Board of Selectmen -2- February 14, 2005
Board members agreed that this has become a problem. Discussed whether it would be best to raise dollar figure or lower quorum number.
Mr. Spagone agreed that it was time to look at a change in quorum number. Noted that most towns have lowered quorum as opposed to dollar figure. Noted that this has resulted in higher attendance in some communities.
Mr. Spagone noted that when he took over the position of Moderator, he had set various goals to accomplish, noted that those goals, i.e. change meetings to Middle School, place warrant on power-point for presentation, restructure seating for Selectmen to stage and Financial Team and Finance Committee to floor has been accomplished.
After further discussion, it was agreed that an article could be placed on Annual or Special Town Meeting to lower quorum number to 75 or 100. Mr. Walsh asked residents for input on how they feel quorum should be handled.
Board and Mr. Spagone also discussed ways voters could get information relative to articles prior to town meeting. Mr. Spagone stated that as Moderator he makes himself fully informed about all articles, noted that voters could contact him. Also, noted that voters could attend the Selectmen’s meeting prior to town meeting, as the Moderator, Town Clerk and Finance Committee usually go over the articles and any questions could be asked at that time. Also, was noted that residents can always contact department/board who submitted article for any questions relative to the article.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to approve the minutes of the February 7, 2005 meeting.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, move to approve the request of the Planning Board to pay for the streetlights on Poles 2 and 5 on Fieldcrest landing.
Mr. Greene stated that usually the Police chief and Building Inspector check on streetlights prior to Board approval to make sure that they meet the criteria the Board set for streetlights. Noted that with finances, the board should get a report on whether these lights meet criteria before the town begins paying for them.
Mr. Walsh withdrew his motion.
Board requested that request for streetlights on Fieldcrest Landing be referred to the Police Chief and Building Inspector for their recommendations.
Pending Issues
Civic Leadership Seminars – waiting for dates
6. 6. Trash Collection – report received from John Haines – contract end June 2006; estimate
bag price should be $3.50; looking at several options including transfer station, municipal
hauling, independent waste contractors or combination of options
9. 9. Capital Improvement Planning Comm. – Glen Tattrie will come into a March meeting and
give report.
Town Planner – meeting with Wayne Feiden to be set
14. 14. Economic Development – meeting with Carol Wolfe set for Feb. 28 at 8 p.m.
Town Administrator Report
Worked on negotiations regarding Town Hall reductions of hours and positions
Board of Selectmen -3- February 14, 2005
Mr. Greene requested that all Department Heads be contacted and requested to submit information as to whether they will be open on Fridays to the public.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to close meeting at 8:40 p.m.
______________________________Clerk
Board of Selectmen
The weekly meeting of the Board of Selectmen was held on Tuesday evening, February 22, 2005 at 7:30 p.m.
Present: Eric W. Greene, Chairman; David L. Walsh, Clerk; Peter Hamilton
George Samia, Town Administrator
Karen Grabau, Adm. Assistant
Robert Kerwin, Town Counsel
Appointment
Police Chief John Cowan met with the Board and informed the Board that the Police Department is prepared to enter into new training for a Tactical Team, which will be part of the WEB Task Force. Introduced Det. Scott Allen, EBPD and Chris Delmonte and Carl McDermitt of the Bridgewater Police Department.
Officer Delmonte explained the training and funding for the Tactical Team; possible grant through Homeland Security; Team would be available to three towns; equipment would be available to towns; this would build unto what is already in place with the Tack Force. Need Selectmen to vote to accept mutual aid package and sign it.
Board members congratulated the Officers for “thinking out of the box” and for taking a proactive direction. Board will look over information presented and discuss and vote on next week.
Appointment
Rick Bernard, Low Cost Energy relative to projected changes in electric bills in next few months. Noted that this is an opportunity for the Town to lock a fixed rate for 12-36 months with a 15% - 20% savings. Explained the distribution and Grid costs remain regulated; energy generation, town can choose lowest bidder. Bills reflect three separate charges; supplier would have their own contract.
Board stated that they would look over the analysis and will discuss and vote on next week.
Appointment
Board met with Water Commissioners, Howard Wilbur, Robert Reardon, David Coots and Water Supt., Scott McCann.
Also present were Missy Schroeder and Elaine Sands.
Mr. Wilbur explained that the Commissioners are in the process of hiring an engineering firm to do an investigation into the best solution to the brown water problem.
Discussion was held regarding brown water problem areas, possible causes, test wells, filter plants, possible solutions, etc.
Mr. Greene asked the Water Commissioners to look at providing an abatement to those residents in areas where worst brown water problems exists.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to approve the minutes of the February 14, 2005 meeting.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote. move to pursue a Heavy Commercial Vehicle Exclusion for Roberts Road, Bridgewater portion, Old Plymouth Street, East Bridgewater portion and acknowledge and accept Route 106 and Route 104 as the alternate routes for heavy commercial vehicles with a carrying capacity over 2 ½ tons.
Board of Selectmen -2- February 22, 2005
Pending Issues
1. 1. Civic Leadership – First seminar on March 9
2. 2. FY06 Budgets – Finance Committee needs additional weeks to finish meeting with Committees/Boards
Change budget cycle to reflect new dates
4. 4. Rails & Trails – invite Howard Wilbur to February 28 meeting; request Town counsel to review revision of lease from MBTA
5. 5. Trash Collection – meet with John Haines in March
8. 8. Capital Planning – meet with committee in March – Request letter to Finance
Committee to submit name of their representative on Capital Improvement Planning Committee.
11. 11. Economic Development meeting date with Carol Wolfe changed to March 7
Board Discussion
DPW – Board agreed to set up a ½ hour meeting with Tree, Highway and Water
Departments in two - three weeks to discuss with employees and elected officials establishing a DPW.
Mr. Walsh suggested that a non-binding article be placed on the upcoming April Town Election Warrant relative to DPW; possibly use same wording as last time; will check with Town Clerk as to time-frame to place on warrant.
Atty. Kerwin will talk to area town counsels regarding article they used.
Legal Expenses – Mr. Walsh requested that Town Counsel develop a breakdown of
expenses for last two years and submit it for Board to discuss at an upcoming meeting.
Mr. Greene requested that the breakdown show types of activities, i.e. tax title, grievance, hearings, lawsuits, etc. Noted that Town Counsel expense takes in all town departments, except schools.
Mr. Walsh requested that cases where there was a cost savings be highlighted.
Mr. Samia noted that there have been questions raised that the budget cuts were needed in order to pay legal expenses; noted that there are sufficient funds in Free Cash to pay these outstanding bills; budget cuts were needed to get budget into line not because of outstanding bills. Also noted that all requests for use of Town Counsel must be made to the Town Administrator for approval prior to going to Town Counsel.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, move to close Open Session and go into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing pending litigation and contract negotiations and will not be returning to Open Session.
VOTE: Yes – Greene, Walsh, Hamilton; a unanimous vote in favor.
Open Session adjourned at 9:40 p.m.
____________________________Clerk
Board of Selectmen
The weekly meeting of the Board of Selectmen was held on Monday evening, February 28, 2005 at 7:30 p.m.
Present: Eric W. Greene, Chairman; David L. Walsh, Clerk; Peter Hamilton
George Samia, Town Administrator
Karen Grabau, Adm. Assistant
Robert Kerwin, Town Counsel
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to accept the minutes of the February 22, 2005 meeting.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to approve the request of Dale Julius as approved by the Sachem Rock Committee, to use the Sachem Rock Farm on April 2, 2005 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. for a Civil war Living History with reenactors and local groups celebrating the history of E.B. in the American Civil War.
Russ Hannigan, Director of EBCTV, informed the Board that on March 31 at 7:30 p.m. a Candidates Night will be held in the main Conference Room and will be telecast on cable. Congratulated Peter Hamilton who won the Presidential Trivia Game on EBCTV. Asked departments to check the website and their departments site for any updates that are needed and then contact him with changes. Noted that departments should specify where information is to be placed.
Mr. Greene questioned whether individual departments could dot heir own updates and Mr. Hannigan stated that he could teach individuals to do changes on sites. Suggested that the Selectmen’s agenda be on the web site. Requested that the office e-mail agenda to Mr. Hannigan.
Board Discussion
1. 1. Tactical Team/Mutual Aid Contracts – Question as to whether town has accepted Chapter 40, section 8g; requested Town Counsel to look over for next week.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to approve signing contracts once Town Counsel has reviewed at the March 7, 2005 meeting.
2. 2. Low Cost Energy Contract – requested Town Counsel to review contract
Pending Issues
9. Capital Improvement – package prepared for Board; Mr. Samia plans to pass out
copies at next Department Head Meeting next Tuesday and will discuss at that time; noted tomorrows meeting canceled due to expected storm; Board requested that a copy be given to Finance committee and Chairman invited to Department head meeting.
11 – Town Planner Forum - March 16, 2 p.m. – Mr. Walsh has gone over a list; a copy will be sent to all board members to look over and make any suggestions as to others who should be invited.
14. Economic Development – Carol Wolfe may not be present next week, plans to send John Fitzgerald who will give a case study from like town, Ashland. Mr. Walsh noted that they might wish to invite Ms. Wolfe or Mr. Fitzgerald to the March 16 meeting.
15. Quorum article for ATM – Set up time on March 14 to discuss with Town Counsel Annual Town Meeting; requested a schedule for ATM.
Board of Selectmen -2- February 28, 2005
Town Administrator Report
Town Hall Departments schedule:
COA – Impacted but operational and Open Monday – Friday until 1:00 p.m.
BOH – Open Monday – Thursday, closed on Fridays and Health Agent will not be performing inspections or Perc Tests on Tuesdays
TOWN CLERK - Open Monday – Thursday; Friday the Town Clerk will be in, however, the office will be closed.
VETERANS - Open Monday - Friday with the Veterans Agent present on Friday morning.
PLANNING/BUILDING – Open Monday – Friday
ASSESSORS – Open Monday – Thursday; closed to public on Fridays
BOARD OF SELECTMEN – Open Monday – Friday
TOWN ACCOUNTANT – Open Monday – Friday
TREASURER/COLLECTOR - Still in discussions with the Asst. Treasurer, and Asst. Collector
Appointment
Howard Wilbur and State Representative, Kathleen Teahan met with the Board to discuss the rail to trail program and their ideas relative to how the town should proceed.
Rep. Teahan suggested that the Board allow the Rail to Trail Committee time to bring in experts to answer questions regarding potential benefits to the town by acquiring the property, bike and walking trails as alternatives to transportation, bike trail construction, MBTA liability, economic benefits. Felt that everyone needed additional time to look at issues.
Mr. Wilbur stated that he felt that there were not many residents that were opposed to the rail trail and asked residents to send postcards supporting committee to the Selectmen’s office.
Board members explained their concerns regarding health issues with hazardous site, use of arsenic along rail beds, property owners along rail bed and their concerns, etc.
Mr. Hamilton suggested use of funding available from grant Rep. Teahan had gotten for town be used to create sidewalks along Crescent Street to protect citizens walking that portion of rail trail; noted that it could tie in to Sachem Rock Farm. Recommended that a good plan be put in place before any further discussion is held.
Mr. Wilbur explained how he envisioned a walking trail, route of walking trail already developed, suggested plans for rail bed, 10 year plan to develop, trail would develop from cleared walking path to mini-park areas, benches, crosswalks, paved trail, signage, etc.
Rep Teahan noted that over 55 communities are attracted to walking paths. Noted that there is need to work with Highway Department regarding sidewalks; again expressed need to get more information and talk to experts regarding other trails.
Mr. Wilbur noted that there is a parcel of land, originally a rail bed, which has been offer by Mr. Wolfe; town can purchase for $18,000; asked if Board would object if funding could be found to purchase this property.
Board of Selectmen -3- February 28, 2005
Mr. Greene noted that the Board would not object as long as this property was not part of the 2.2 miles section.
Atty. Kerwin informed the Board that he has been looking over the latest lease, which he received a copy of this evening, and noted that there were several places that he questioned. Noted that there is language in lease regarding indemnification, remediation and insurance of $1M and umbrella of $3M. Questioned these and other language within the lease agreement.
Mr. Wilbur suggested that the Board of Selectmen establish a Rail to Trail Committee under the Planning Board with representatives of Conservation, Planning Board, etc.
Mr. Greene asked if there were others who wished to speak relative to the rail trail.
Several abutters to the rail bed property voiced their opposition to any walking path on this site and cited several concerns and problems that would affect them. Those speaking were Richard Swan, Alec Turkowski, Graham Watson, Jack DaSilva, Walter Curnow and Jim Lawler.
Jeff Luttazzi and Diane Phillips spoke in favor the walking trail.
Board members expressed their concerns relative to the proposed walking trail; their concerns regarding affect on abutters, need to explore alternative routes, possible route along Spring to West Street, problems with use of Eastern State Steel property, etc.
Mr. Greene stated that the Board could set aside a half hour once a month for the rail to trail people to have experts discuss the proposal. Noted that he has received phone calls from abutters affirming their opposition for walking trail, has not heard from any residents in favor. Stated that he did not want to drag this out over a long period.
Mr. Walsh stated that there was a need to find a compromise, not interested in pursuing use of rail bed between Spring and West Street and over Eastern State Steel property; felt Board should reaffirm their previous vote that they are not interested in pursuing a lease for this section of rail bed.
Mr. Hamilton stated that he agreed; looking into economic development of several sites including the Eastern States Steel property; need to find compromise to go around sections discussed.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to reaffirm the Board of Selectmen’s lack of desire to lease of rail bed through Eastern State Steel property and from Spring to West Streets but would be willing to discuss the rail bed north of this area.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, move to close Open Session and go into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing contract negotiations and pending litigation issues and will not be returning to Open Session.
VOTE: Yes – Greene, Walsh, Hamilton; a unanimous vote in favor.
Open Session adjourned at 9:50 p.m.
___________________________________Clerk
Board of Selectmen


 
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