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Selectmen’s Meeting Minutes — November 1, 2007—7:00 p.m. — Memorial Hall

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

Acceptance of Minutes:  a motion was made by Bob Manners to accept the minutes of October 18, 2007 and October 30, 2007 as presented.  Joe seconded the motion.  The motion passed with two members voting in favor.  John Payne abstained from the vote as he had not had an opportunity to read the minutes.

Department Liaison Reports:
Town Office – bi-weekly payroll schedule is in place.  No known concerns.
Highway – crew has been busy sweeping roadways; cleaning bleeders and putting up whips.
Police – the Chief is in the process of procuring a used four-wheel drive vehicle to be used in emergencies. 

7:15 p.m. Board of Assessors RE: Tax Rate Classification Hearing (Marvin Peck & Joseph Mattei) – members of the Board of Assessors continue to recommend a single tax rate for the town as there is no evidence that anyone would benefit from a split rate.  Marvin reported that Roy Bishop completed the revaluation process in a timely fashion however the Department of Revenue rejected the town’s land schedule.  As a result of DOR’s rejection, Roy made the necessary changes to the land schedule as well as to a few residential properties that required adjustments.  The Department of Revenue appears to be satisfied with the changes and approval of the tax rate should be announced within 2-3 weeks.  Marvin reported that Shelburne’s value has increased by approximately $2 million dollars in new growth.  Overall land values are expected to increase as well as the value of single family homes.  A motion was made by Bob to accept the recommended single tax rate.  John seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

Board of Assessor’s Need for Additional Operating Expense Funds – the Assessor’s have a balance of just over $2,000 remaining in the expense account for this year and there are two large bills pending; renewal of CAMA software support and fees for updated tax maps.  Marvin explained that in recent years the tax maps have not been updated on a regular basis.  As a result, approximately 19 maps required updating for an overall cost of $2,000.  Rather than take from free cash, Marvin suggested transferring funds from the Assessor’s Contracted Services Account which currently has a balance of $6,425.  As a result of this discussion, the Board agreed to place an article on the warrant of the next special town meeting.

OLD BUSINESS:
Proposed Police Department Relocation – Joe reported that he is still looking at all possibilities but has yet to determine a site.  He is still in discussion with the school district and regardless of whether or not the police department is located on Mechanic Street Joe feels that the town should pursue the proposed “land swap”.  In discussion, John Payne mentioned Kevin Parson’s suggestion to revisit the concept of joining forces with the Town of Buckland.  After hearing what the potential costs of a new facility might be, John feels that a cost analysis of all of the town’s options is in order.

Arms Library – Bob met with Town Counsel this week with the hopes of setting the wheels in motion to better clarify the relationship between the town and the Board of Trustees as well as determine the responsibilities of each party in terms of ownership and maintenance of the library building.  The first step will be to evaluate the deed, and then locate the trust documents to determine whether or not the money allocated is being spent in accordance with the trust provisions.

Senior Center Lease – Joe is still waiting for the Masons to provide a copy of the draft document to the town.

Draft Guidelines for Recording of Meeting Minutes and Fulfilling Requests for Public Records – a third revision of the draft guideline was presented for discussion.  As a result of that discussion, minor revisions will be incorporated and brought back to the Board for review (i.e. encouraging boards to post minutes on the town website, encouraging boards to check their mailboxes on a regular basis.  In the meantime, the Town Clerk would like an opportunity to review and discuss the proposed guidelines with John before any decisions are made.
Cowell Gym Fire Escape Quote – waiting for one more written quote.

Update Policy for Grant-Related Payments – the Fiscal Officer has reviewed the policy and suggested some changes.  John has not had an opportunity to discuss the suggested changes with the Treasurer and would like to do so before bringing the policy back to the Board for acceptance.

Letters of Interest for Town Boards RE: Board of Health & Historic Commission – nothing to report.

NEW BUSINESS:
Board of Health RE: Recommendation for Hiring of Part-time Health Agent – Board of Health member, Deb Coutinho who was present for the discussion stated that her Board had not yet had an opportunity to meet and discuss the proposed candidates (Glen Ayers, F.R.C.O.G. and Richard Caliewski, Independent Health Agent).  Once the Board of Health meets, they will bring forth their recommendation to the Selectmen.  In the meantime, the Board of Selectmen authorized the Board of Health to utilize Mr. Caliewski’s services in an emergency situation should the need arise.

Resolution in Support of Mass Recycle Paper Campaign – a motion was made by Bob to support a resolution brought forth by the Department of Environmental Protection in support of a “Mass Recycles paper” campaign that endeavors to educate citizens about the importance of recycling paper for environmental and economic reasons.  The motion was seconded by John.  Motion carried unanimously.

Apex Orchard Lease Renewal – the Highway Superintendent has had initial conversation with lessee, Tim Smith about the possibility about expanding the orchard cutting in the revised lease.  The original lease allowed the Highway Department to cut up to 2 acres of trees.  Mr. Smith would like an opportunity to think about the proposal before making any decisions.  Bob stated that the Highway Superintendent would like to build either a pole barn for equipment storage or a new salt shed on that property.  If in fact Mr. Smith seeks a lease renewal with the town the term of the lease would be for five years.

Barbara Parry RE: Resignation from Agricultural Commission – the Board of Selectmen received a letter of resignation from Barbara citing time constraints as her reasons for resigning.  A motion was made by Bob to accept the resignation with regret.  John seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.  Joe stated that he left a message with Agricultural Chairman, Carolyn Wheeler requesting that their Committee bring forth a recommendation for appointment in the near future.

ABCC RE: Estimate of Seasonal Population Increase – the Alcoholic Beverages Commission inquires each year about seasonal population increases.  Based on the town’s census information, it appears that Shelburne’s seasonal population does not increase by more than 50 individuals at any given time.  A motion was made by John to complete the required ABCC form indicating that Shelburne’s influx of seasonal population is less than 50.  The motion was seconded by Bob.  Motion carried unanimously.

Dept. of Revenue RE: Certified Free Cash  - the town’s certified free cash amount for fiscal year 2007 is $125,927; approximately $68,087 less than last year.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD:
Dick Dils – wanted to reiterate the importance of televised meetings.  He alleged that John Payne is trying to rewrite existing laws and “run” everything; noting that it is inappropriate for him to do so under the “guise” of being helpful.  Referring to Zoning By-Laws, Mr. Dils believes that the Board is heading down the same path as in the past.  He stated that the Zoning By-Law changes need citizen input and one man should not be rewriting them.  Joe advised Mr. Dils to take his concerns to the appropriate Board.

Jim Wall – mentioned a letter that he had received from Bob Manners while serving as Chairman of the Board of Selectmen indicating that the minutes of the Planning Board would be made available in the Town Clerk’s office.  He alleged that the minutes were not in fact available.  Joe advised Mr. Wall to take his concerns to the appropriate Board.  Mr. Wall asked permission to address John Payne as a member of the Planning Board.  Joe suggested that he speak with the Chairman of the Planning Board.

Karen Gould spoke of the draft policy for managing meeting minutes and fulfilling record requests.  She is concerned that the Board would be working on such guidelines prior to attending the December 3rd training workshop sponsored by the very people who wrote the law.  She also spoke of concern for an emergency Planning Board meeting that was held on a Monday night for the purpose of discussing “missing meeting minutes”.  Karen alleges that at that particular meeting, the Planning Board discussed the proposed Zoning By-Law revisions.
Dick Dils – thanked both Bob and Joe for standing up for residents of the town at the last two meetings.  He welcomed Bob back and thanked him for no longer wearing a hat during the meeting.

Adjournment – a motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Bob at 8:20 p.m. and seconded by John.  Motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,
Terry Mosher, Executive Secretary