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Selectmen Meeting Minutes — January 27, 2009—3:00 p.m. — Memorial Hall

Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Manners at 3:00 p.m. Other members present: John Payne and Joe Judd.

Acceptance of Minutes: Joe made a motion to accept the minutes of January 8, 2009 and January 22, 2009 as presented. The motion was seconded by John. Motion passed unanimously.

3:15 p.m. Executive Session - a motion was made by John to enter into executive session for the purpose of investigation. Joe seconded the motion. A roll call vote was taken as follows: Bob - yes; John - yes; and Joe - yes

Attorney Donna MacNicol was present for the discussion. Bob Manners announced that the Board would reconvene in open session following the closed session.

4:15 p.m. Reconvened in Open Session - the Board reconvened their meeting in open session.

Winter Parking Ban RE: Lack of Tenement Parking - to date the Board has received four responses from landlords who own multi-unit apartment buildings on Bridge Street and only one has designated parking for their tenants. Joe has begun dialogue with the Building Inspector and the Zoning Board Chairman to see what can be done to rectify the problem. In the meantime, the Town has offered the Cross Street lot and the Arms Academy lot as locations that can be used by tenants and their guests without being towed. In addition to those two lots, a motion was made by Joe to allow parking in the town-owned lot below Mole Hollow Candle between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. John seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously. Terry will speak with the Highway Superintendent to determine how many spots are available so that the town can notify landlords.
Proposed Meeting with Town of Buckland to Explore Regionalization Opportunities - Shelburne Selectmen would like to schedule a Tuesday afternoon meeting with Buckland Selectmen to discuss the possibility of regionalizing or sharing some of the town's functions (i.e. libraries, accounting services, assessing services and police coverage). Terry Mosher will contact Buckland to schedule a meeting.

Memorial Hall Association RE: Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts - Memorial Hall Association is embarking on a project that would allow live broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera in the upstairs theater. In order to accomplish this, they would need to install two satellite dishes on the roof of Memorial Hall. The satellite dishes are provided by the Metropolitan Opera and are 3.5 feet in size. They would be supported by a non-penetrating roof mount and weighted down with cinder blocks. Wiring would be run thru the air-conditioning ducts into the projector booth so to eliminate the need for any roof penetration. Bob Manners met with representatives from Memorial Hall Association, Charlemont Television (the installer) and Highway Superintendent, Pete Hillman to review the intended installation plans. Memorial Hall Association would like to have the installation complete as soon as possible so that broadcasts can begin in March. Bob indicated that he sees no reason why the Board should not support this endeavor. Memorial Hall Association is hopeful that the broadcasts will be well attended; bringing life back to the Village on a Saturday afternoon/evening. John would like to know if the satellite dishes could be used for other types of broadcasts. After no further discussion, Joe made a motion to approve Memorial Hall Association's request to install two satellite dishes on Memorial Hall's roof. John seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
Memorial Hall Association RE: Proposed Renovations - the Board received a letter from Richard Warner, President of Memorial Hall Association apprising them of the Association's plans to renovate the second floor of Memorial Hall. MHA is currently exploring four capital projects:

  • Replacing 425 seats;
  • Upgrading the electrical system;
  • Upgrading the dressing rooms (better heating, lighting and amenities for performers);
  • Explore the possibility of installing a small bathroom backstage for performers;

None of the projects are currently funded and a time-frame for completion has not been determined. Memorial Hall Association will keep the Selectmen informed as they move forward.

Memo to All Town Boards RE: Limited Meeting Spaces & Professional Courtesy - tabled.

Governor Patrick's Address to Municipal Officials at MMA Trade Show RE: State Budget - the Governor reported that state aid will be cut by $128 million this year and another proposed cut of $375 million will follow in 2010. The $128 million dollar mid-year cut is the largest mid-year cut on record. Chapter 70 appears to be safe for now. The Governor was clear that he would penalize communities by reducing their local aid distribution unless they either enroll their employees on the state's GIC Health Plan or offered a plan that cost less than the GIC Plan. Joe felt that the Governor's points were blunt but necessary and urged the Board to consider implementing the following changes in preparation of the Governor's cuts:

  • An immediate freeze on all non-essential spending;
  • Amend budget directives for fiscal year 2010 asking all departments to submit budgets depicting a 10% reduction and a 15% reduction;

Spending Freeze - John agreed that a spending freeze was essential. Following a brief discussion, the following motion was brought forth by Joe: Based on the current economic climate, all non-essential spending is to be suspended until further notice. In the event expenditure is necessary, prior approval must be obtained from your department liaison. Nonessential spending includes: mileage, conferences, training, luncheons, clothing allowances, cell phones, office supplies, etc. John seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously. A memo will be sent to all town departments, elected officials, boards and committees.

Revised FY'2010 Budget Directives - in view of the Governor's proposed budget cuts, Joe presented a second motion which would require departments to submit budget requests that reflect a 10% reduction and a 15% reduction. John seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Dedication of Annual Town Report - Bob supplied three names for the Board to consider for this year's dedication. Terry Mosher will follow-up to verify that none of the individuals have received this honor in prior years and report back to Chairman.

Adjournment: a motion was made by John Payne to adjourn the meeting at 5:30 p.m. Joe seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry Mosher
Executive Secretary