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Selectmen’s Meeting Minutes — July 26, 2007—7:00 p.m. — Memorial Hall

Chairman Joseph Judd called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  Other members present: John Payne and Robert Manners.

Acceptance of Minutes: a motion was made by Bob to accept the meeting minutes of June 28; July 12; July 17; and July 18, 2007 as printed.  John seconded the motion noting one minor change made to the minutes of July 18, 2007.  The motion carried unanimously.

Noteworthy News: the Selectmen hosted a very productive “All Boards/Committee” meeting.  Bob wants to begin formulating some of the ideas that were discussed.  The meeting was well attended and a lot of great input was received.

Department Liaison Reports:
John Payne reported that Cable Advisory Committee met last night and it was a good meeting.  The Committee interviewed Attorney Bill Solomen who offered a couple of different proposals for the Committee to consider (an hourly rate of $160.00 or a package deal for $12,000 ($6,000 from each town)).  Within the next two weeks, the Committee will interview a second attorney.  F.R.C.O.G. has offered the Committee their “mapping” services however it has not been determined whether or not their services will be necessary.  The Committee also discussed strategy and developed ways to approach Comcast during the negotiating process.
John also attended the F.R.C.O.G. quarterly meeting.  He highlighted the various areas of discussion:  There is a study underway to expand the transit center; Mayor Forgey is taking a new look at how schools are funded; Lieutenant Governor Murray will be visiting the area one week from today.  If members of the Board would like to meet with him, they should contact Linda Dunlavy; The F.R.C.O.G. will be hosting a Selectboard training program in September.  There is a list of potential topics that will be covered; the F.R.C.O.G. hosted a wonderful presentation entitled: “Communities that Care Coalition”.  Their vision is that Franklin County be a place where schools, parents, and community work together to strengthen young people’s capacity to resist alcohol, tobacco, marijuana other drugs.
Bob Manners reported that the Highway Crew is working on drainage and culverts on Guy Manners Road and Hawks Road.  He did have an opportunity to speak to the crew about the possibility of purchasing town issued uniforms.  Bob suggested 6 shirts, 6 pants and a coat.  In speaking with the crew, they did seem receptive to the idea as they damage a significant amount of their own clothing on a yearly basis.  Bob is still exploring the idea.
Joe Judd reported that the Harry Potter event at Boswell’s Books was a success.  He has been hearing a lot of positive feedback with regards to the Police Department’s response to traffic, public events and the influx of tourists.  Joe also reported that at a recent MMAC meeting, the Committee discussed “sustainability”.  It was agreed that communication and interaction between town officials and school committee representatives is imperative.  The MTRSD is now operating with a 1/12 budget.  Those towns that defeated the budget will have 45 days to hold a subsequent town meeting and vote their new assessment.  If the budget does not pass, the Commissioner of Education will step in.  The group also discussed the future of MMAC and decided to continue under the existing structure.

7:15 p.m. Deb Coutinho RE: Interest in Serving on Board of Health – John stated that he has had a couple of conversations with Deb regarding her interest in serving on the Board of Health and suggested that she appear before the Board of Selectmen to tell them a little bit about her qualifications. Before that discussion began, Bob disclosed that he works with Deb as on EMT for Shelburne and has a good grasp on her capabilities.  Bob did speak with Ethics prior to this evening’s discussion to ensure that his working relationship with Deb did not present a problem.  Bob reported that Ethics ruled “no conflict”.  Deb had prepared a resume for each member to review.  She has worked as a certified nursing assistant for 10 years; she received her real estate license and is familiar with the requirements of Title V and housing inspections; she has completed the Serve-Safe course; received her EMT Certification; and is currently involved with the Shelburne Senior Center as well as several other local organizations.  She is retired and lives on Taylor Road in Shelburne.  Unsure of what the job would entail and what her responsibilities would be, Deb would love to meet with the Board of Health to discuss further.  After a brief discussion, Deb agreed to give Bob Gonzales a call and facilitate a meeting. 

OLD BUSINESS:
Arms Library – Bob is waiting to receive confirmation from the library trustees as to their scheduled meeting date.
Senior Center – 35 resumes were received for the position of Senior Center Director.  The selection committee has chosen nine candidates for interview.
Outstanding FY’08 Appointments – following the reappointment of several Board and Committee members on June 14, 2007, Executive Secretary, Terry Mosher notified everyone of their appointment in writing and requested that their indication of acceptance or non-acceptance be submitted by July 12, 2007.  To date, five individuals have not responded.  Before seeking other candidates, a motion was made by Bob to send a second notice to those individuals.  Motion seconded by John.  Motion carried unanimously.
The Board discussed the “appointment” process briefly and agreed that they would prefer to present new candidates to the relevant Board and/or Committee with the hopes that they would be supportive of their appointment.  In the event a Board and/or Committee resists submitting a recommendation or simply delays the process, the Board of Selectmen would step in and make the appointment.
Board of Health – John reported that he met with members of the Board of Health on July 17th.  John noted that Irene DeJackome was present and serving as the Clerk.  He told the members that the Selectmen want very much to work with them going forward in a strong, positive and cooperative working relationship; noting that we are all part of the same team. He informed the Board of Deb Couthino’s interest in serving on the Board.  John also spoke to the Board about their most recent appointment of Irene DeJackome as a Health Agent.  John informed them that M.G.L. Chapter 268, section A, does not allow for a Board to appoint one of their members while the member is still serving on that particular Board.  If the Board of Health would like to appoint Irene DeJackome as their Health Agent, they would have to wait 30 days after the expiration of her FY’06 appointment to do so.  John surmised by the most recent correspondence from Irene DeJackome that she is still acting as a member of the Board of Health and is in violation of the statute therefore he drafted a letter to Chairman, Bob Gonzales informing him of such.  Joe read the letter aloud and made it clear that the letter was in no way meant to be accusatory; rather a means of raising awareness and protecting the individual and the town.  Members agreed that the letter should be sent.  John noted that there is an interesting technical question that remains to be answered relative to the 30-day time frame being that Irene has never stepped down from her position and the Board of Health has never rescinded her appointment as Health Agent.  Lastly, there was a voucher submitted by Irene last week for compensation of fees.  John stated that accepting compensation while serving in an unofficial capacity is not allowed by law therefore the invoice would not be paid.
Village of Mutianyu – Bob has drafted a letter of thanks that has been forwarded to Julie-Upton Wang for her comments.  No further action necessary.
Draft Tobacco Policy – policy language has been reviewed by Counsel and revised as suggested.  Bob is seeking smoking cessation programs to recommend to employees before notification is given.
Meeting with Buckland Selectmen RE: Shared Use of Highway Equipment – the Board agreed to meet with Buckland Selectmen to discuss the possibility of sharing highway equipment.  Bob would like Pete Hillman to attend.  Terry Mosher will contact Buckland to see if a meeting can be arranged in the near future.
Response to Jim Wall’s Letter of June 25, 2007 – John Payne drafted a letter to Jim Wall in response to his June 25th letter regarding the Title V tri-annual septic system inspection at Dragon Hill and his follow-up telephone call to him.  Joe read the letter aloud.  Each member agreed that the letter addressed Mr. Wall’s concerns and that it should be sent.

NEW BUSINESS:
Dana Johnson RE: Request to Carry Over FY’07 Vacation – Mr. Johnson has been out of work since June 7th as a result of a work-related injury.  Being that he was unable to use the remainder of his FY’07 vacation time, he is requesting that his accumulated surplus of 87 hours be rolled over into FY’08.  Prior to approving the request, the Board decided to forward the request to Chief Walker for his recommendation.
F.C. Solid Waste Management District RE: Transfer Station Inspection – the District is offering their inspection services to the town for the purpose of performing the DEP required inspection of the transfer station at a flat rate of $50.  Terry Mosher recommended that the Town accept the District’s offer.  She stated that she was pleased with the District’s inspection services last year and their proposed fee is far less that what a certified State inspector would be.  Bob made a motion to accept the proposal at a rate of $50.  John seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.
Letter to Board of Health RE: Irene DeJackome’s Appointment as Health Agent – John drafted a letter to Board of Health Chairman, Robert Gonzales (language was reviewed and approved by Counsel). Refer to Old Business for more discussion.
Letter from Irene DeJackome RE: Request for Records, etc. – Ms. DeJackome is requesting minutes of a Selectmen’s meeting appointing John Payne as liaison to the Board of Health; copies of emails between Town Counsel and members of the Board of Selectmen; and the result of her complaint against Mr. Payne for alleged harassment.  Ms. DeJackome also states that she is still a member of the Board of Health as no vote has been taken by the Board of Selectmen to not reappoint her.  The Board agreed to forward Ms. DeJackome’s letter to Counsel for review.
Letter from Mark DeJackome RE: Records Request – Mr. DeJackome is requesting the minutes of all of the Police Chief Selection Committee meetings as well as any and all executive session minutes held by the Board of Selectmen between July 10, 2006 and January 2, 2007 relevant to the Police Chief hire.  The Board will also forward Mark’s letter to Counsel for her review.

OTHER BUSINESS:
Continuation of Zoning By-law Updates – Joe wants to send a directive to the Planning Boards (with copies to other participating Boards including the F.R.C.O.G.) and request that they begin their work on “vital” updates to the Zoning By-laws.  Bob agreed that there are areas of the zoning bylaws that are inadequate and lack clarity.  He cited sections relevant to cell towers as an example.  Everyone agreed that the Planning Board should be encouraged to begin the process again.  Joe will draft a letter for the Board’s review.
Time Limits on Public Comments – the Board has been discussing whether or not to impose time limits on the public comment portion of their meeting.  Members agreed that a fifteen minute period was acceptable noting that the Chairman should be flexible if a citizen needs more time.  It was agreed that the Chairman should use his or her authority to prevent comments from getting out of hand (i.e. personal attacks, rehashing old issues).  Although no formal vote was taken, the Board was in full agreement with the proposed policy.
Procedure for Making Appointments to Appear Before the Board of Selectmen – so that the Board is better prepared to speak with individuals wishing to appear before them, Joe would like to enact a policy that requires individuals wishing to schedule an appointment before the Board to do so in writing three days in advance of their meeting.  The request should include the reason for the appointment and any supplemental documentation.  A motion was made by John to establish a policy whereby individuals wishing to meet before the Board of Selectmen request an appointment in writing at least three days in advance of their meeting.  The motion was seconded by Bob.  Motion carried unanimously.

CORRESPONDENCE:
Mark DeJackome to Conservation Commission RE: 1147 Mohawk Trail – courtesy copy, no action taken.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:
Mark DeJackome asked when the Board was going to make a decision about the Board of Health appointment.  He took offense to the statements made by John Payne concerning his wife and any alleged wrongdoings/violations. He stated that the vouchers submitted by his wife for reimbursement were for services rendered in FY’07.  He reminded that Board that the “No smoking” policy does not pertain to police officers as they are already covered under M.G.L.  The chewing tobacco portion of the policy would apply however.  Lastly, Mark suggested that the Board familiarize themselves with the public records law so they understand what is considered to be a public record.
Richard Dils requested that Joe identify publicly what he considers to be “vital” updates to the Zoning By-laws; he asked what specific plans the Selectmen have to learn the laws relative to public records, public meeting as their lack of understanding is tragic; he asked why the Board continues to call on the services of Donna MacNicol when there are agencies out there who specialize in these areas and offer free legal services; wants to know when Joe is going to do something about the numerous positions of influence that John Payne holds.  In closing Mr. Dils accused the Board of effectively denying public discourse; that it was wrong and immoral and doomed to failure.

Adjournment
Motion made by Bob Manners to adjourn the meeting at 9:06 p.m.  Motion seconded by John Payne.  Motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

 

Terry Mosher
Executive Secretary