Upcoming Meetings

  1. Open Space Committee MeetingMon, Aug 27 07:00 pm

Selectmen’s Meeting Minutes — April 10, 2007—3:30 p.m. — Memorial Hall

Call to Order:  Chairman Manners called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m.  Other members present: Joe Judd and John Payne.

Noteworthy News:

  • Final Review of FY’08 Proposed Budget with Finance Committee, April 19, 2007 @ 7:00 p.m.
  • Final Review of Annual Town Meeting Warrant with Moderator & Finance Committee, April 19, 2007 @ 7:30 p.m.

3:30 p.m. Larry Flacuss RE: Open Space Committee – Larry requested that he be allowed to clarify many of the inconsistencies that were presented in letters to the Board of Selectmen signed by Ms. Gould, Richard Dils and others.  Larry addressed each concern raised in the various letters.  Serving as the Chair “pro tem” for the Open Space Committee on March 26th, Larry stated that guests were treated with respect.  Contrary to what was stated in the letters there was opportunity for guests to speak on the agenda under “open discussion” only no one choose to comment during that period.  Larry stated that at one point during that meeting he had to rule Mr. Dils as being out of order but did so with respect and care.  Larry addressed the proposed application that was allegedly “pulled out of thin air”.  He stated that he had created the document as a means of gathering information from the numerous applicants vying for appointment.  He sent the document to Open Space Committee members late Sunday night (via email) along with the meeting agenda.  He stated that the application made no reference to cutting plans; friendships; was the individual bubbly and fun; work history; or properties owned as implied in a letter from Karen Gould.  During the meeting when Ms. Gould requested a copy of the document, Larry did indicate that he informed her that there were no more copies available and that he would send one to her.  Lastly, Larry spoke of the “intense interest and expectation” that the Open Space Committee would be making appointments that evening and made it clear that his committee has no appointing authority.

At the request of Rita Jaros, Bob read a letter that she had submitted to the Board after having attended several town-related meetings.  Ms. Jaros feels that this group (making reference to Gould, Wall and Dils) are angry, adversarial, they insist upon being heard without a time limit, they ask the same questions repeatedly, they are wasting taxpayers money and they are disruptive to a point that town Boards and Committees are having difficulty completing the business set forth on their meeting agendas.  Of most concern however were derogatory remarks that were voiced by Mr. Dils and overheard by Ms. Jaros.  Ms. Jaros stated that during the course of the March 26th Open Space meeting Mr. Dils and several others spoke loudly amongst themselves in the audience while Committee members were conducting their meeting.  Ms. Jaros felt intimidated and was concerned enough about the statements made that evening that she felt that they should be brought to the attention of the Board of Selectmen.

Both Bob and Joe were deeply concerned about the nature of the comments made and felt they were serious enough to involve the Police Chief. Whether or not they were made in jest; there was a threat of bodily harm as well as racist and discriminatory remarks.  John Payne abstained from the discussion as he was the subject of some of the remarks made.
Larry Flaccus agreed that this was a fairly serious matter and noted that several people feel intimidated.

Two other letters were read from Susan Flaccus and Margaret Payne.  Ms. Flaccus fears for the safety of her husband and the Board members.  She believes that this group has not only stopped a very positive look at zoning, cost the town a great deal of money in legal fees, taken away time for more pressing matters but they have also “stolen” what she feels to be most precious; the feeling of safety and being productive as volunteers who serve the Town.  Ms. Payne felt compelled to speak out publicly in reaction to the increasingly hateful efforts of a group of people to sabotage the work of Shelburne officials and volunteers.  She finds their actions appalling and their complaints groundless and endless.  She believes that both Ms. Gould and Mr. Dils owe her husband and the rest of the faithful and hard-working people who have suffered their attacks so graciously an apology.  In closing, she urges people to attend the annual town meeting in order to address this serious problem.

After no further discussion, a motion was made by Joe to turn the letter over to the Police Chief for review and recommendation.  The motion was seconded by Bob.  Motion was put to a vote: Joe – yes; Bob – yes; John – abstained.

Open Space Appointments – Joe stated that the Open Space Committee is a very high functioning Committee with the membership they have at present.  Given the “contentious and adversarial” environment surrounding the Open Space Committee and the appointments, Joe recommended that if the Board was in agreement, all future appointments would be suspended until the Board had an opportunity to review the entire process; gain a better understanding of the issues brought forth and work towards a resolution.  Joe also stated that he would like to hold off on the application process until the Board has had an opportunity to decide whether or not the process would be worthwhile for all town boards.   Following a brief discussion, Joe made a motion to suspend all appointments to the Open Space Committee until further notice.  Bob seconded the motion.  Motion put to a vote: Joe-yes; Bob-yes; John-abstained.

4:15 p.m. Sheila Clinton RE: Inspection Services – after having read in the local newspaper that the Board of Selectmen were considering discontinuing the F.R.C.O.G. health inspection program, Ms. Clinton asked to appear before the Board to share her experience as a tenant living in Shelburne who requested a housing inspection in October, 2006.  Sharon White, senior health inspector for the F.R.C.O.G. responded to Ms. Clinton’s request for inspection.  As a result of her inspection, 56 sanitary violation codes were cited. Ms. Clinton stated that Sharon White was extremely qualified (with over 20 years of experience) and conducted her job with a “distinct level of professionalism”.  As a member of the community paying $825 in rent, she felt that she was entitled to a safe and habitable apartment.  According to Ms. Clinton, Mr. Dils, the property owner did not attend the re-inspection nor did he make a single repair/correction to the apartment.  She stated that she has left detailed messages with Board of Health Chairman on 3 occasions but has yet to receive a return phone call.  She wonders why a small group of residents are trying to “run” the F.R.C.O.G. out of the community and while Ms. DeJackome may have taken some courses relative to housing inspections Ms. Clinton doubts that her level of expertise is any where near that of the F.R.C.O.G.  In closing she asked for clarification on the $3,000 allocated for the health inspection program for fiscal year 2008.  John stated that initially he had recommended that the town spend one more year with the F.R.C.O.G.  Then the Chairman of the Board of Health spoke to him as well as others and it seemed to make more sense to move the $3,000 into “limbo” until the Board has the opportunity to make an informed decision.  After having heard Ms. Clinton’s concerns John suggested that it would be beneficial to hold an informational meeting inviting tenement owners and tenants who have filed housing complaints to learn more about their experiences.  A motion was made by John to develop an evaluation process to determine the most appropriate ways of conducting housing inspections.  The evaluation process would include an informational session; with a third party present; inviting tenement owners and tenants who have filed housing complaints in Shelburne.  The motion was seconded by Joe.  Motion carried unanimously.

4:30 p.m.  Chairman Manners had to leave the meeting, Vice-Chairman Judd presided.

4:30 p.m. Bob Szafran RE: Chair Van Driver Position – Bob has served as a part-time van driver for the Senior Center for the past six years.  During Janet Farquhar’s illness and eventual retirement, Bob has been covering her hours for almost a year.  He is up to date on all if the required trainings and possesses all of the mandatory licenses and certifications.  Following a brief question and answer period, a motion was made by Joe to hire Mr. Szafran as a part-time employee (working 20 hours per week) at an hourly rate of $10.39 (Grade 4, step 8).  John seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

Other Business:
Memorial Hall Association RE: Reimbursement for Use of Memorial Hall (2nd Floor) – Richard Warner, representing Memorial Hall Association has requested that the Board consider reimbursement of incremental heating and air conditioning costs when Shelburne uses the auditorium.  Although John has pointed out to Mr. Warner that the lease agreement allows the town to use the upstairs at no cost; Mr. Warner is asking the Board to reconsider the lease.  John has requested that the topic of discussion be placed on a Selectmen’s Meeting agenda following annual town meeting.

Public Comment Period:
Jim Wall stated that he has known Richard Dils for a long time and he is a “pussy cat”.  Jim believes that Richard made the statements alleged by Rita Jaros out of frustration.  Jim stated that he was disappointed that the Board was going to give the letter to the Chief of Police without speaking to Richard first.  Jim stated that he hopes that the Chief of Police will speak to Richard before taking any action noting that his alleged statements were not a “serious threat” just a sign of frustration.

Karen Gould read the April 3rd, 2007 letter from the District Attorney’s Office to the Shelburne Planning Board concerning a compliant that alleges violation of the Open Meeting Law.  Once finished Ms. Gould stated that this is a very “close-minded” process and she is very “uncomfortable” with it.

A motion to adjourn was made by Joe at 4:50 p.m.  The motion was seconded by John. Motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry Mosher
Executive Secretary