The weekly meeting of the Board of Selectmen was held on Tuesday evening, January 23, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
Present: Peter A. Hamilton, Chairman; Theresa McNulty, Clerk; David L. Walsh
George Samia, Town Administrator
Karen Grabau, Adm. Assistant
Mary Ahern, Margaret Alexander, Diane Norberg and Maryann Roan met with the Board regarding the designation of Sachem Rock Farm in National Historic Register.
Mrs. Ahern noted that Mrs. Norberg had done the majority of the research on Sachem Rock and was instrumental in putting the application together.
Mr. Hamilton read the Certificate received from the Massachusetts Historical Commission and produced by the National Park Service listing the Sachem Rock Farm on the National Register of Historic Places. Mrs. Norberg accepted the certificate on behalf of the Historical Commission.
Mrs. Alexander presented Mrs. McNulty with a copy of the archeology report regarding Robins Pond area. Explained that findings included artifacts dated between 6000 and 7000 years old; report is very extensive. Thanked Mrs. McNulty for her assistance.
Mr. Hamilton noted the passive uses of Sachem Rock Farm and the work done at the farm by DPW clearing debris around rock and by Boy Scout marking walking trails.
Finance Committee members, Tony Figueiredo, Bill Jacques, Cathy Lane, Jeff Luttazi and Bill Dunham met with the Board to discuss the Budget process for the FY08 budget.
Mr. Figueiredo presented the following budget schedule for the Finance Committee:
Finance Committee Budget Schedule FY2008
Department heads are given budget direction and policy by the Board of Selectman (BOS) in early January. Finance Committee and BOS meet to review budget guidelines and directives. Department heads submit draft budgets and impact statements to Town Administrator. Finance Committee and Board of Selectman liaisons should meet with department heads and develop understanding of submitted budgets and impact statements.
Finance Committee will schedule meetings during February and March with all department heads. Department heads will present draft budgets and impact statements to the BOS with Finance Committee Liaison in attendance.
All department heads submit prepared budgets in March to the Town Administrator based on previous reviews and discussions of the draft budgets and impact statements.
Finance Committee will conduct final budget reviews in late March and April with all department heads and schedule additional meetings with department heads as necessary.
Reconvene with the Board of Selectmen, prior to warrants, for final review/presentation.
Board of Selectmen -2- January 23, 2007
A discussion was held regarding the Finance Committee Schedule. Mr. Walsh stated that the budget must be finalized by April 17 in order to have it printed and posted on time. Also noted that the board has been informed that State Aid will at best be level funded. Mr. Walsh stated that departments must adhere to 3% increase.
Mr. Samia noted that the State has a 1 billion deficit; town will have a balanced budget, as in past years, but this could cause problems with the budget preparation. Noted that health insurance will increase by 15%.
Discussed recent changes to health care; Jeff Luttazi questioned if state mandate that all companies carry health insurance would be a problem for town of spouses coming on our health insurance. Mr. Samia stated this would not be a problem. Mr. Walsh stated that it is hoped legislature will help with health insurance costs.
Mr. Walsh invited the Finance Committee to attend the Selectmen meeting on February 5. Explained that they plan to use this meeting as a forum for the proposed override article and the Capital Improvement Stabilization Fund article. Noted that all department heads with capital projects will also be present.
Maryann Roan, Historical Commission member, presented the Board with the flag designed for the 350th Anniversary celebration of the purchase of the Bridgewaters at Sachem Rock. Board accepted flag and will display it appropriately.
Chief of Police, John Cowan and Sgt. Tom Reed met with the Board to explain Redflex program, which they hope to install at intersections with traffic lights.
Chief Cowan explained that he implemented a Traffic Division within the Police Department after becoming Chief; Sgt. Tom Reed, Off. Richard Eldridge and Off. William Patterson were assigned to this division. Noted increased traffic along Route 18, congestion at center traffic lights and traffic accidents at 106/18 intersection creating problems. Noted that Sgt. Reed brought in information regarding new technology and requested Sgt. Reed to explain program.
Sgt. Reed explained how the Redflex technology works. Cameras are positioned at traffic lights, when car runs a red light, camera takes photos back license plate and notes time of violation, speed and amount of time after red light change violation occurred. Department would send out a non-criminal violation ticket to owner of vehicle after review of photos; noted that violation can be viewed on the Redflex web site. Ticket is treated like a parking ticket; if fine is not paid the violators license is flagged and won’t be renewable until fine is paid. Noted that company installs and maintains the system and that there is good technical support.
A discussion was held regarding the Redflex mobile speed van technology. Board requested that department look into possibility of also getting this. It was noted that speeding is a problem and that although placing police car in area slows traffic, once car leaves speeding resumes.
Chief Cowan noted that a by-law would need to be created and voted at the Annual Town Meeting.
It was agreed that if the speed van technology can be obtained at same time or close to implementing Redflex traffic lights then both could be combined in the by-law.
Chief Cowan noted that revenue from this could be used for special programs, i.e. “Skid School for Students”, training for students about to obtain their license, etc.
Board of Selectmen -3- January 23, 2007
Residents of Crescent Street were present and voiced concerns regarding the speeding on their street and explained some of the situations which occur on their street.
Chief Cowan noted that they are putting together a cable informational show on Redflex and hope to air it soon.
Board thanked Chief Cowan and Sgt. Reed for taking a proactive approach to a town wide problem.
M/McNulty, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to approve the minutes of the January 16, 2007 meeting.
M/McNulty, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to approve setting the date of February 26, 2007, 7:00 p.m. for a Special Town Meeting to be held at the Middle School, with the following schedule:
January 23 Board vote to hold STM
January 24 Notification to all departments
February 1 Deadline to submit article
February 5 Warrant closed and approved by Selectmen
February 7 Deadline to submit Warrant to Town Clerk
Copy of articles available for distribution
February 12 Last date to post warrant
February 20 Meet with Town Clerk & Moderator to discuss STM
format and Finance Committee for discussion of article
February 26 Special Town Meeting
Mr. Walsh noted that the STM would be held for only articles dealing with the Capital Improvements Stabilization Fund and override to fund it. Requested that all departments be informed of this.
M/McNulty, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to approve the request of Marcia Weidenfeller, Town Clerk to be appointed local census liaison.
M/McNulty, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to approve appointing the following persons to serve on the Cable Advisory Committee for the period of January 23, 2007 to June 30, 2010:
Steve E. Brown, 418 Central Street (Representing the Community at Large)
Russ Hannagan, 55 Spring Street (Representing PEG Access for the Community)
David Hill, 17 Meadowbrook Drive (Representing the Community at Large)
Joseph Miksch, 913 Central Street (Representing EB Senior Citizens)
John Grillo, 29 Hereford Lane (Representing Law Enforcement & Emergency
Board of Selectmen -4- January 23, 2007
M/McNulty, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to approve the following motions requested by Town Treasurer:
that the sale of the $2,163.000 Municipal Purpose Loan of 2007 Bond of the
Town dated February 6, 2007, to Bank of America, N.A. at the price of par and accrued
interest is hereby confirmed. The bond shall bear interest at the rate of 4.05 percent per
annum and shall be payable on February 1 of the years and in the principal installments
Year Amount Year Amount
2008 $358,000 2013 $150,000
2009 $350,000 2014 $150,000
2010 $250,000 2015 $150,000
2011 $230,000 2016 $150,000
2012 $225,000 2017 $150,000
to authorize the Treasurer to execute a Bond Purchase Agreement dated
January 23, 2007 relating to the sale of the bond.
Mr. Samia explained that this is a consolidation of several project which were funded by town meeting voted of the last few years, including the modular classrooms at the Central School; funds were originally borrowed short-term, Treasurer is now prepared to go for a long-term bond
Mr. Walsh requested that John Haines be invited to attend next week’s meeting to discuss increases in water rates and water problems including brown water and low pressure. Felt that these need to be addressed as there are safety issues involved. Also requested that Fire Chief Pratt be asked to attend.
Mrs. McNulty noted that the Board also needs to vote on how to address the $80,000 deficit in the water budget.
Mr. Walsh requested that the February 6 meeting be moved to February 5 so that department heads and committees can attend the meeting, at which the Capital Improvements Stabilization Fund and override to fund it will be discussed. Will also be open for the public to attend and ask questions. Noted that they also are looking at scheduling other open meetings either at the Middle School or Town Hall Main Conference Room for the public to discuss proposal prior to the STM. Noted it is important to have everyone understand information regarding the fund and override.
M/Walsh, s/McNulty, a unanimous vote, move to meet with John Haines, DPW director on January 29 to discuss water related issues and the change the February 6, 2007 meeting to February 5 to meet with Department Heads to discuss the Capital Improvement Stabilization Fund.
Mrs. McNulty stated that there will be information available shortly in the form of flyers; will also have information on cable.
Mr. Walsh noted that an anonymous letter of complaint was received, but the Board cannot act on anonymous mail. Reminded citizens that they need to sign letters if they want the Board to act on their complaint.
Board of Selectmen -5- January 23, 2007
TOWN ADMINISTRATOR REPORT
Mr. Samia reported that the next few weeks would be devoted to work on preparation of the FY08 budget. Will be putting together a book for Board with all the budgets.
School Committee Budget Meetings Schedule
SALT/COA presentation “How Our Community is Preparing” at Middle School, 2/6
Sen. Joyce office hours, Feb. 7 11a.m. – 12 p.m.
Mr. Hamilton requested that Sen. Joyce, Sen. Creedon and Rep. McCarthy be invited to an upcoming meeting to discuss the state budget.
Mr. Hamilton requested Mr. Samia to check with OCPC regarding their submitting a proposal to do the town’s Master Plan.
No one present
M/McNulty, s/Walsh, a unanimous vote, move to adjourn meeting at 8:35 p.m.
Board of Selectmen