The weekly meeting of the Board of Selectmen was held on Tuesday evening, July 24, 2007 at 7:35 p.m.
Present: Theresa McNulty, Chairman; David L. Walsh, Clerk; Peter A. Hamilton
George Samia, Town Administrator
Karen Grabau, Adm. Assistant
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to approve the minutes of the July 10, 2007 meeting.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to approve the contract with Meserve Electric Inc. for maintaining the school zone lights at the Middles School, Central School and the traffic lights at the corners of Washington and Central Street for the period of July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to approve the reappointment of Mark H. Hayward to the Agricultural Commission for the period of July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to approve the request of the Fire Chief to declare the Fire Department Combination 2 as surplus property and authorize the Treasurer and the Fire Chief to dispose of said vehicle by public sealed bid.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to approve the reappointment of David "Lee" Conrad to the Recreation Commission for the period of July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2009.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to approve the reappointment of Deborah Conrad to the Recreation Commission for the period of July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2010.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to approve the reappointment of David Floeck to the Recreation Commission for the period of July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2010.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to approve the reappointment of Jacqueline Kelly to the Recreation Commission for the period of July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2009.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to approve the amendment of Russell Hannagan's Employment Agreement for the period of July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008.
NIMS - request update from Chief Pratt and Board of Health re: Emergency
Management, Pandemic Plans, etc.
Eagle Scout Ceremony - prepare citation for August 9 - Selectmen to check their schedules as to who will attend.
Library notification of new Internet Service - Pro-Quest/Ancestry Library Edition for genealogy research.
E.B. Business Association annual Business Expo & Family Fun Day - September 8, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Town Common
TOWN ADMINISTRATOR REPORT
Contract Negotiations - package given to Board regarding negotiations with clerical union
Health Insurance - attend seminar with Town Treasurer regarding Town going on state insurance plan; deadline October 1; not sure town can be ready by that time; need to negotiate with all unions; each union would have percentage of employee's taking insurance for their percentage of vote.
Board discussed cost savings to Town, procedure for instituting, etc.
Board of Selectmen -2- July 24, 2007
Board held a hearing relative to the application for a transfer of a Class II Used Car Dealers License at 558 West Street.
Mr. Walsh read notification letter.
Catherine McDonagh applicant was present.
It was noted that the former license at this property is no longer in business. License will be transferred from Asian Motors to Claddagh Auto Sales. All restrictions including number of cars will remain the same as previous license, i.e.: 10 unregistered vehicles for sale, hours of operation Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday closed.
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, a unanimous vote, move to approve the transfer of the Class II Used Car Dealers License from Asian Motors to Claddagh Motors, 558 West Street, Restrictions to remain the same.
Mr. Walsh requested that the Recreation Commission be invited into a meeting to update the Board on their plans. Noted that in other towns there are summer activities/programs for children and also for seniors.
Next Selectmen's meeting, August 7
Real Estate taxes due August 1
Water Bills have been issued
Bill McCoy member of the former Sachem Rock Farm Committee with the Board regarding the recent disbanding of the Committee.
Present were: Bill McCoy, Mary Ahern, Sandra Ockers, Maryjo Martin, Marjorie Winsor and Darlene Dupre.
Mr. McCoy read the following letter:
July 24, 2007
Board of Selectmen
Town of East Bridgewater
175 Central Street
East Bridgewater, MA 02333
Board of Selectmen:
Since the Sachem Rock Farm was disbanded by Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Walsh in April, we have felt the need to respond to your action. We are aware the Mrs. McNulty was the dissenting vote. We strongly disagree with your premise that the committee had fulfilled its mission and with your overall handling of the matter.
Please note our mission:
The purpose of the Sachem Rock Farm Committee is to review and coordinate activities concerning the
Maintenance, repair, restoration and recreational use of the Sachem Rock Farm with the Historical
Commission. The Friends of Sachem Rock Farm, the conservation Commission and other groups and
individuals. The committee will review all proposals and make recommendations to the Board of Selectmen in order to avoid duplication of services, oversight or conflicts in scheduling.
Board of Selectmen -3- July 24, 2007
Prior to the meeting where the Board of Selectmen voted to disband the Sachem Rock Farm Committee, discussion of the committee and the completion of its "mission" never took place at an open meeting or with any members of The Sachem Rock Farm Committee. To our knowledge, the decision of the Senior Center Building Committee to locate the proposed Senior/Community Center at the Farm was merely a step in the process, not a fulfillment of the Committee's mission. At no time, did the Board of Selectmen indicate that they felt we had completed our work and that the committee should be disbanded. .At no time were we contacted by the Board of Selectmen regarding the status of the committee and its work.
Even with the proposed Senior Center, that project is in the future-there is still scheduling and coordination necessary for the Farm until construction/restoration begins.
We feel that the dissolution of the Committee was a deliberate move by Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Walsh to silence the committee and to avoid addressing problems, which the Committee brought to the attention of the Selectmen.
Communication issues with the Board of Selectmen have plagued this Committee since its inception. The Board has repeatedly ignored our written and verbal inquires for direction and clarification and has been vague in its demands, particularly concerning the "usage plan". Mr. Hamilton's appointment of himself as liaison to the Sachem Rock Farm Committee should have facilitated communication with the Board of Selectmen; it did not. Directives from Mr. Hamilton were delivered to this volunteer committee with unreasonable deadlines. We responded to all demands in writing to the Board of Selectmen in a timely manner. We have never received any written or verbal response.
We feel your decision was arbitrary, mean-spirited and the result of being in direct conflict with the vision of this Committee concerning the existing buildings on the property. You have made no secret of your disdain for the house and barn - which is in direct opposition to our concern for and commitment to restoration and preservation.
We feel Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Walsh have no respect for the individual committee members or for the time and energy the members have put into carrying out the committee's mission.
Over the year, there have been many requests for the Board of Selectmen for citizens to volunteer for vacancies on various committees. The recent disbanding of The Sachem Rock Farm Committee should serve as a warning to anyone interested in serving the town - the position for which you volunteer can be terminated at any time without cause or recourse.
Citizens of East Bridgewater should be aware that their tenure on an appointed committee or board can be terminated at any time at the whim of only two of the Selectmen. Potential volunteers should think carefully before donating their time and energy when it will not be respected or appreciated by those who have been elected to carry out the wishes of the voters and taxpayers of this town.
Former Members of The Sachem Rock Farm Committee
Members of the Former Sachem Rock Farm Committee spoke to the Board regarding their personal feelings regarding their perceived treatment by the Board and the disbanding of the Committee. Board members explained their actions and reasons for same.
Mrs. McNulty stated that the board would discuss the Farm once fall town meeting is over and they know whether the Senior Center is approved. Thanked the former members for their attendance at tonight's meeting.
No one was present
M/Walsh, s/Hamilton, move to close Open Session and go into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing contract negotiations and will not be returning to Open Session.
VOTE: Yes - McNulty, Walsh, Hamilton; a unanimous vote in favor.
Meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.
Board of Selectmen