The weekly meeting of the Board of Selectmen was held on Tuesday evening, May 30, 2006 at 7:35 p.m.
Present: Peter A. Hamilton, Chairman; Theresa McNulty, Clerk; David L. Walsh
George Samia, Town Administrator
Karen Grabau, Adm. Assistant
Mary Ahern and Margaret Alexander, members of the Historical Commission, updated the Board on the plans for the 350th Anniversary of the Bridgewaters Purchase. Explained the tickets for the “Chowda Fest” on June 23 at the Middle School are on sale; will have a table at the Town Meeting, June 6 and at the Dale and the Duds Concert on the Common on June 21. Tickets are also available at the Public Library and East Bridgewater Liquors and will be available at the door on June 23; Tickets are $6.00 for adults and $4.00 for seniors and children; will offer clam and corn chowders.
Explained that June 24, festivities will be at Sachem Rock Farm with a re-enactment of the purchase at 1 p.m.; will begin day at 11 a.m.; residents are invited to bring picnic lunches and spend the day.
West Bridgewater will host a Ham & Bean Supper on June 24 followed by a dance at their gazebo featuring a live band. Also will have housed tours during weekend. Bridgewater is planning their celebration to coincide with their July 4 Celebration. Brockton has been invited to attend our activities.
Mrs. Alexander informed the Board that they have reprinted the 1998 history and that both the 1998 and the original histories of the town will be on sale during the celebration. It was noted that both booklets have a great deal of information regarding the town.
Jeff Derosier and Dianne Phillips, members of Select Committee on the East Bridgewater Rail Trail met with the Board.
Mr. Derosier went over the various concerns and recommendations within the Committee’s report, which was given to the Town Clerk on March 31, 2006. Stated that the Committee felt that they could continue on with their work, look into insurance concerns, MBTA property, etc.
Mr. Hamilton noted that until litigation is resolved, there is nothing that can be done regarding that area of the rail trail. Stated that the Board is aware of abutters concerns and the ongoing concerns regarding the Eastern States Steel property. Stated that the Board can do nothing until litigation concludes; felt that article may be premature for this reason.
Mrs. Phillips stated that the portion of property in litigation is only a small part of whole picture; could develop part of trail; can use time looking at other options; explained several options.
Mr. Walsh stated that he is not against the walking trails, but felt that concerns were the same as four years ago; same issues still not answered.
Mrs. McNulty stated that the report was well done; Committee completed what town meeting charged them with. Questioned whether committee could broaden their scope; look into other options; work out concerns and avoid the trouble spots.
Further discussion was held regarding committee continuing, issues and concerns, etc.
Mr. Derosier stated that the committee would put together a report for handout at the town meeting.
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Mr. Richard Swan, 171 West Street, read a prepared statement relative to his concerns regarding the Rail/Trail article. Noted he was one of the litigants regarding the rail property. Listed several points of concern with the article on the Annual Town Meeting warrant. Requested Board to table any action on this article.
Mr. Hamilton explained that the article was presented by petition and the Board cannot remove it from the warrant. Also noted that any voter can move to pass over any article on the warrant.
A report was given to the Board by Capital Improvement Committee members, Theresa McNulty, Robert Coulter and George Samia.
Also present were Finance Committee members: Sally Feeney, Robert Coulter, Chris Kelley, Jeff Luttazi, Bill Jacques, Bud Mondeau, Cathy Lane and Tony Figueiredo.
Mrs. McNulty explained the Capital Improvement Committee’s role in the budget process and requirements for projects/plans presented to them.
Mr. Samia explained the articles, which were presented to the Committee and those approved for inclusion on the warrant. Noted that the biggest issue facing the Town has been the operations budget, but that over the next few years’ capital projects, which have not been addresses, will be the issue. Explained that many projects have been put on hold for a number of years, but now need to be addresses. These projects will become the largest monetary items ever funded by the town and will cost between $80 and $100 million. In the next year, the Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee and Capital Improvement committee need to put together a plan to finance these projects.
Mr. Samia explained the various articles, which were presented to the Capital Improvement committee and approved for the Annual Town Meeting warrant. Articles discussed were Articles 10,11,12,13,14,15,17,18,19,20 and 21.
A discussion was held regarding Debt Exclusion options and how the various projects will be funded. Mr. Hamilton requested that all department heads with an article needing funding be invited to next week’s meeting to answer any questions relative to their article.
A short discussion was held regarding articles on the Special Town Meeting. Mr. Samia stated that several articles were placed on the warrant, as it was not known whether the line item would be depleted by the time of town meeting and may now not be needed. Articles 3, 12, 13, and 14 may be passed over.
Board went over articles placed on the Annual Town Meeting. Explained articles 1-5.
M/McNulty, s/Walsh a unanimous vote, move to approve Articles 1-5, as written, for inclusion on the Annual Town Meeting warrant.
Board went over and explained articles 6-11 and where funding for articles would come from.
M/McNulty, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to approve Articles 6-11, as written, for inclusion on the Annual Town Meeting warrant.
Board went over and explained articles 12-19 and where funding for articles would come from.
M/McNulty, s/Walsh, move to approve Articles 12-19, as written, for inclusion on the Annual Town Meeting warrant.
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Mr. Walsh stated that he was under the impression that Article 12, police cruisers, would be reduced to one cruiser at $30,000.00. Noted that Board could revisit this in fall for purchase of a second cruiser.
M/Walsh, s/McNulty, move to amend motion and reduce Article 12 amount from $60,000.00 to $30,000.00.
VOTE: Yes – Walsh, McNulty, Hamilton; a unanimous vote to amend motion.
VOTE: on motion to accept articles 12-19 with change to Articles 12 as amended.
YES – Walsh, McNulty, Hamilton; a unanimous vote to accept articles as written and article 12 as amended.
Board went over and explained article 20, 21, 22 and where funding for articles would come from. Mr. Coulter noted that because of the use of the Stabilization Fund over the past few years to fund a portion of the budget, it was important that the town now work to replenish the Stabilization fund.
Mr. Walsh noted that the Board needs to continue to rebuild the Stabilization Fund and that they will look into adding additional funds in the fall.
M/McNulty, s/Walsh, move to approve Articles 20, 21, 22, as written, for inclusion on the Annual Town Meeting warrant and to exchange Article 9 and 20.
Mr. Walsh noted he had been asked if the Senior Center articles could be moved up so that seniors would not have to stay all evening for the article.
Board went over and explained articles 24,25 and 26 and explained that these articles were to transfer land in tax title to the town in lieu of taxes. It was noted that the Treasurer could then auction the land.
M/McNulty, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to approve Articles 24, 25, and 26, as written, for inclusion on the Annual Town Meeting warrant.
Board went over and explained articles 27 and 28 and noted that these are rezoning articles submitted by owners of property.
M/McNulty, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to approve Articles 27 and 28, as written, for inclusion on the Annual Town Meeting warrant.
Board went over articles 29, 30 and 31. It was noted that article 29 was the Preservation Act acceptance and that the percent on tax bill would be 2%. It was also noted that articles 30 and 31 were presented by petition.
M/McNulty, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to approve Article 29, 30 and 31, as written, for inclusion on the Annual Town Meeting warrant.
Mr. Walsh requested that Mr. Damon be contacted regarding Article 30 and asked if he has prepared an amendment to the article to explain how the new five member board would be phased in, what would be the terms, etc. Noted that as written it could not be approved, as there are no guidelines. It was noted that this was one of the Government Study Committee recommendations and that the other recommendation not as yet enacted was recall. Board will be looking at these recommendations next.
Mr. Hamilton expressed the Board’s thanks to the Finance Committee for their work.
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A special thank you was extended to Robert Coulter, who will be leaving the Finance Committee after 17 years. Mr. Coulter was given a round of applause.
Mr. Samia also expressed his appreciation to the Finance Committee for working with him to present a balanced budget.
Mr. McNulty noted her appreciation to the Finance Committee for their work on the budget.
Mr. Coulter noted that over the last few years the Finance Team of the Town Administrator, Finance Committee and Board of Selectmen have worked as a team in developing the budget. Thanked everyone for their assistance.
Mr. Walsh also expressed his thanks to the Finance Committee and noted that there will be two vacancies on the Finance Committee as Mr. Coulter and Mr. Margie have stated that they will not be seeking reappointment.
M/McNulty, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to approve the minutes of the May 23, 2006 meeting.
M/McNulty, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to approve the application for use of the Belmont Street/Leland Farm Soccer Fields by Patricia Colby for the Old Colony Women’s Soccer League from May 30, 2006 to June 22, 2006.
Mr. Hamilton announced that Marilyn Thompson has been hired as Interim Treasurer/Collector thru June 30, 2006 and will become Treasurer/Collector on July 1, 2006.
M/McNulty, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to enter into an Employment Agreement with Marilyn Thompson as Interim treasurer/Collector for the period of May 25, 2006 to June 30, 2006.
New Trash Disposal Information
Letter from Sen. Joyce regarding DVD from Norfolk County D.A. re: drinking & driving.
Mr. Walsh noted function to welcome new principals at Middle and High Schools.
Mr. Hamilton asked Board members if they would be willing to change next week’s meeting to Monday, as he will be out of town on Tuesday.
M/McNulty, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to approve change of Selectmen’s meeting date from Tuesday, June 6 to Monday, June 5.
Mr. Hamilton thanked everyone for their attendance at the Memorial Day Ceremony on the Common and the Gordon Craig Memorial Bridge Dedication on May 29.
Open Forum - No one present
M/McNulty, s/Walsh, move to adjourn Open Session at 9:40 p.m.
VOTE: Yes – Walsh, McNulty, Hamilton; a unanimous vote in favor.
Board of Selectmen