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Selectmen Meeting Minutes — January 10, 2012—3:00 p.m. —
Memorial Hall

Call to Order: John called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. Other members present: Robert Manners. Joe Judd was absent due to illness.

Media present: Cameron Graves, Shelburne Falls Independent

Acceptance of Meeting Minutes: Bob presented a motion to accept the minutes of December 19, 2011 as presented. John seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Noteworthy News:

  • Town Offices will be closed on Monday, January 16, 2012 in observation of Martin Luther King Day.
  • The Selectmen will host a meeting of Board Chairpersons on January 30, 2012. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss current projects, concerns or obstacles, ways to improve inter-committee communications, and future needs.

Department Liaison Reports:
Highway Department - in the absence of snow, the crew has been catching up on maintenance related work. Bob reported that White Heating serviced the heating system at the town garage and discovered a hole in the heat exchanger and a malfunctioning pump (one of two pumps that transfer oil to heating unit). White Heating estimates that a new heating system will cost between $10,000 and $12,000. Bob would like to purchase a new heating system should town meeting approve the funds.

3:05 p.m. Deb Coutinho, Board of Health RE: Community Innovation Challenge Grant Funds - Representatives from the Towns of Greenfield, Montague, Deerfield, Whately, Conway, Wendell, Heath, Colrain, Shelburne, and Sunderland have been meeting since early November to discuss the creation of a Franklin Area Boards of Health Association to foster improved local public health by building capacity through coordinated and increased training of local area Boards of health, enhancing the amount and quality of health services by pooling and sharing public health resources, increase public awareness of health issues via coordinated messaging, and utilize a variety of means to support cooperative efforts long term (to include in-kind contributions, grants, interns and volunteers). With Greenfield, serving as the lead town, the group intends to apply for a Community Innovative Challenge grant through the Executive Office for Administration and Finance. If successful, the funds would be used to publicize the Association, create by-laws, elect officers, establish membership composition, establish an office, a website, etc. The grant application de adline is January 17, 2012. Deb informed the Board that F.R.C.O.G. representative Phoebe Walker has recently offered to apply for the same grant funds on behalf of any town that may be interested. Despite the F.R.C.O.G.'s offer, the ten town group would prefer to apply for the funding on their own. Bob presented a motion to support the ten Town CIC grant application as presented by Deb Coutinho. John seconded the motion. Motion passed.

3:15 p.m. Mark Shippee RE: Temporary Pay Grade Adjustment - the town's personnel policy allows for a differential rate of $1.00 per hour to be paid to an individual appointed by the Highway Superintendent while he is away is on vacation, sick leave or personal leave. On two prior occasions, the Board authorized a differential rate of $2.84 while the Highway Superintendent was out on medical leave for an extended period. The Highway Superintendent has been out on a Family Medical Leave since December 12th, leaving Mark Shippee in charge to manage the daily operations of the Highway department. Given the level of responsibility and the indefinite period for which Mark may serve in this role, he feels that the additional $2.84 an hour is justified. John believes that the Highway Superintendent's absence has created an opportunity for Mark to take on a broader role of responsibilities; proving himself as a leader. Bob argued that Mark has already proven himself as a leader and felt strongly that past precedent should prevail. John reminded Bob that the Selectmen's meeting minutes were clear in that the Board's prior decision was not to be construed as precedent setting. Mark feels the responsibility is worth far more than $1.00. He indicated that he does not feel valued by the Board. John assured Mark that he is valued. John requested that the Board wait until Joe is present before making a decision. If the Board rules in favor of an additional $1.84; Mark's compensation shall be retroactive. A lengthy conversation ensued regarding the overall morale of the department. Mark agreed that morale was low and personality conflicts exist but he indicated that the problem has existed long before he took charge of the department and he does not believe there is resolution. Mark was uncomfortable discussing the internal problems within the department and suggested that the Board speak with each employee independently.

DOER Energy Efficiency Grant:
Memorial Hall Windows - The window installation is complete. Joe Mattei is recommending that the Town retain $1,700 of the final payment until Greenfield Glass addresses final finish work around the windows in the meeting room and the Selectmen's Office. Members of the Board agreed to retain $1,700.

Memorial Hall Window Quilts - a representative from Friends of the Sun inBrattleboro, Vermont will measure each of the windows and provide a quote by early next week. If the payback period and energy savings are sufficient, DOER will approve the purchase and installation.

Cowell Gym Mold Remediation Work RE: Proposal from Covan Environmental - tabled until Joe is present.

Preservation of Lifetime Records - John had nothing to report at this time.
Highway Laborer Vacancy - the Board interview four applicants earlier in the day. Before finalizing their decision, the Board will hold a second round of interviews will next week.

Town of Charlemont RE: Transfer Station Lease - Terry will be meeting with a representative from the Charlemont Selectboard next week to discuss proposed changes.

Wired West Draft Bylaws & Cooperative Agreement - Wired West Committee members Reva Reck and Steve Nelson responded to the list of questions the Board presented regarding the Wired West By-Laws and Cooperative Agreement. Wired West would like the Town to decide whether they intend to formally join Wired West on or before January 20, 2012. John would like an opportunity to review the responses to the Board's inquiries before making a decision.

Temporary Pay Grade Adjustment for Acting Highway Foreman - see 3:15 p.m. appointment.

Review and Approval of Comcast Cable Contract - Bob presented a motion to authorize Kopelman & Paige Law Firm to review the contract before the towns of Buckland and Shelburne sign. John seconded the motion.

Response to Glacial Pothole Email - After attempting to contact the individual who allegedly sent the email and having received no response, the Board decided to table the matter.

APR Municipal Grant Program - a local resident has requested that the Town complete an Agricultural Preservation restriction Muni Application to illustrate the town's commitment to protect the most productive farmland, thereby enhancing the economic and environmental sustainability of Massachusetts's agriculture. Working with members of the Open Space Committee and Agricultural Commission, Terry will prepare the application for the Board's signature.

Angus "Terry" Dun RE: Resignation as Emergency Management Director - Emergency Management Director, Terry Dun submitted a letter of resignation effective midnight December 31, 2011. Terry indicated that his recent retirement and future travel plans prevent him from carrying out the EMD's duties effectively. Bob presented a motion to accept Terry's resignation with regret and appreciation. John seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Julie Petty, Bridge of Flowers Committee RE: Glacial Pothole Signage - The Bridge of Flowers Committee requests that the directional sign for the Glacial Potholes located approximately 15 feet from the Water Street entrance to the Flower Bridge path; be relocated. Committee members feel that the sign is not effective in its current location and its location will hinder planned flower garden improvements. Bob agreed to look at the sign and suggest possible relocation sites.

F.R.C.O.G. RE: Local Technical Assistance Funding - the F.R.C.O.G. has received local technical assistance funding from the Department of Housing and Community Development. The funds are to be used to work together to achieve and/or enhance cost effective service delivery as well as create and sustain ongoing collaboration and consultation on issues affecting each municipality. Reviewing a list of eleven suggested projects, John and Bob prioritized projects that they felt were important to Shelburne. Projects included: regional broadband; cooperative purchasing; update expiring open space and recreation plans; prepare land use, housing and economic development master plan chapters; develop zoning bylaws that are consistent with the goals of the Regional Plan for Sustainable Development; and explore regional veterans service opportunities.

F.R.C.O.G. Franklin Regional Planning Board Appointment - Planning Board member, Chuck Washer has agreed to continue to serve as Shelburne's representative to the Franklin Regional Planning Board. Bob presented a motion to reappoint Chuck as Shelburne's representative. John seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

FY'10 Community Development Block Grant Contract Extension RE: Grant Administration - Bob presented a motion to approve the extension of the Breezeway Farm Consulting contract through June 30, 2012 in order to carry out the implementation of the FY'10 Construction Activities at the Franklin Regional Housing Authority properties: weatherization improvements at 37 Clement Street in Buckland and parking lot repairs at Highland Village in Shelburne. John seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Other Business:
Memorial Hall Association RE: Theater Use Fee - Memorial Hall Association representative, Jessica Murrow notified Terry that MHA will be seeking $225 each time the Town needs to use the theater space to help cover the costs of electricity, heat, and/or air conditioning. Terry asked that Jessica notify the Selectmen of the new fee structure so that Town Boards and Committees can plan accordingly. In the meantime, Terry will review the lease agreement between the Town and Memorial Hall, Inc.

Correspondence: none

Public Comment - none

Adjournment: Bob presented a motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:10 p.m. John seconded the motion. Motion passed. The Board's next meeting is Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 3:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry Mosher
Town Administrator