BOS - February 21, 2012

BOS - February 21, 2012

Postby Suzanne Kane » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:32 am

Board of Selectmen
February 21, 2012

7:00 pm
• Call to Order
• Chairman’s Announcements
• Citizen’s Forum

1. Introduce New Firefighters/Paramedics

2. School Administration – Budget Focus Discussion

3. Conservation Commission Appointment – David Gallant

4. Award Ambulance Contract

5. Approve Snow & Ice Deficit Spending

6. Minutes: Jan. 10, 2012; Jan. 31, 2012; Jan. 31, 2012 Executive Session

7. Administrator’s Report

8. Old/New Business

9. Executive Session – Litigation/Collective Bargaining Strategy

10. Adjournment
Future Agenda Items:

March 6th: Axmen Soccer; Govt. Study Discussion; ATM/STM Draft Warrant Review, FY13 Budget Discussion, Goals Update

March 20th: 7:05 pm – Pole Petition; 7:15 pm – Layout Hearing (4 subdivisions)

TBD: Update Master Plan; Housing Plan/Housing Authority; Meeting w/Webster
February 21, 2012
Approved March 6, 2012

• Call to Order
Mr. Bonin called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM in the Resource Room of the Municipal Center.

Board: Tim Bonin (Chairman), Mitch Cohen (absent), Hal Davis, Mike Hughes, Jeffrey LaPorte, Michael Guzinski (Town Administrator), Suzanne Kane (Administrative Assistant).
Non-Voting: William Cundiff (Town Engineer), Dean Iacobucci (School Business Manager), Atty. Rich Bowen, Nancy Lane (School Superintendent)
Finance Committee: Todd Bari (Chair), Kathleen Murphy, Pam Holmes, Carol Gogolinski, Jerry Kocur, David Hyland
Fire Department: Chief Kent Vinson, Lt. Pauline Labrecque, Joseph Farrington, James Kaufman, and other family and friends.
Conservation Commission: Mike Yacino (Chair) and Linda Brown,
Other Staff and Citizens: David Gallant and Paula Brouillette

• Chairman’s Announcements (00:23)

• Citizen’s Forum (00:30)
No citizens came forward.

1. Introduce New Firefighters/Paramedics
In the agenda is a memo from Mr. Guzinski dated February 15, 2012 and related materials.
Mr. Bonin invited Fire Chief Kent Vinson to introduce Joseph Farrington and James Kaufman as new firefighers/paramedics to the Town of Douglas. The Board welcomed the men to the Department.
Mr. Bonin asked Chief Vinson about T-Tango, cell phone text alerts. Mr. Vinson reported that there has been no movement on that to date. He said he would go back to that email and get it moving along.

2. School Administration - Budget Focus Discussion (4:26)
The full Douglas Public Schools Focus Group presentation can be viewed at viewtopic.php?f=140&t=1927&start=0.
Mr. Dean Iacobucci and Ms. Nancy Lane joined the meeting and began a presentation of the FY13 Douglas Public Schools Budget Focus Group. Mr. Bonin invited the Finance Committee to ask questions at any time.
Mr. Iacobucci presented a Power Point presentation of the School’s Budget Development Schedule. He has met with the School Committee, the high school students, staff, and parents. Tonight they are presenting to the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee. The initial budget presentation is scheduled for February 29, 2012 with the end goal being the Annual Town Meeting on May 7, 2012.
Next Mr. Iacobucci presented a recapitulation of the FY12 Operating Budget with expenses on the program side of the Town’s budget broken out, such as transportation, health insurance, administration services, regional vocational school assessment, etc., such that the total cost to the town of running the schools is approximately $17,000,000.
Ms. Holmes of the Finance Committee asked where unemployment was shown on the list. Mr. Iacobucci responded that it was under Employee Insurances. Mr. Davis asked if School Choice included Special Needs students, specifically if it were a tuition. Mr. Iacobucci responded that it is not tuition; it is carried in the Operating Budget. Mr. Bonin asked about the $169,000 under Administration Services. Mr. Iacobucci explained that expense is a per pupil administrative cost that the town is allowed to count as an expense toward education.
Mr. Iacobucci presented a chart of enrollment trends. For the past 3-4 years, enrollment has been approximately 16,000. Chapter 70 funding is based on enrollment. This funding from the state has been flat and is level for this year and the last two years.
Mr. Iacobucci next presented a chart showing a comparison between what the state sets as required school funding and actual school spending. The gap between what the state funds and what the town has actually spent for FY12 to date is $200,000.
Mr. Iacobucci presented the Operating Budget and School Choice funds. Mr. Bari asked what percentage of students were Special Ed. Ms. Lane replied it is about 15%. One pie chart showed that 80% of the budget is spent for all wages. Mr. Iacobucci made the point that when the school needs to make reductions, it needs to be in the wages.
Mr. Iacobucci presented a slide showing School Choice. Prior to FY04, Douglas was losing funds as more students were opting out of Douglas. That trend reversed after FY05, and in FY12 the school will take in approximately $550,000 and pay out approximately $250,000. Ms. Holmes asked for clarification of when School Choice began. She feels the Educational Act of 1993 established School Choice. Mr. Iacobucci stated that School Choice came into effect in FY00.
Mr. Iacobucci presented a slide to answer the criticism that School Choice contributes to overcrowding. There has been no class in any grade impacted by more than two students. In the past, where School Choice funds had been used for extras, now these funds are used for maintenance and utilities. Mr. Bonin asked how much leeway the district has in choosing the students who come into Douglas. Ms. Lane explained that the district has absolutely no leeway. Siblings are automatically entitled to attend; secondly the enrollment in each grade is taken into consideration. Mr. Bonin asked what happens when it is found that a student is not a good addition to Douglas. Ms. Lane replied that once they are accepted, they are as much a Douglas student as if they resided in Douglas.
Mr. Iacobucci next presented a slide that showed a list of priorities from last year and the actions taken to address those priorities. Ms. Holmes asked if the spending for transportation for student groups were net school spending. Mr. Iacobucci replied in the affirmative. Mr. Davis asked how much was spent per student for textbooks. Ms. Lane was unable to give an exact number. Due to MCAS requirements, what needs to be taught has changed and they are looking at having to replace a large number of textbooks all at once. Ms. Lane would like to begin a pilot for the use of IPads in one grade.
Mr. Iacobucci presented a slide of priorities for FY13, one of which is the IPad initiative for Grade 8. Mr. Bonin asked why the IPad initiative was going to be tried in Grade 8, and what will happen when those students go into 9th Grade. Ms. Lane stated that, with the School Building Project, the 8th grade students will transition into the middle school. They will have a group of teachers and students that will already be experts in the IPad and will be able to help their peers in the middle school. The School Department will have to look into how they will provision those 9th graders. The IPads will cost $30,000 per year for 150 IPads for three years. The IPads were chosen for their built-in textbooks and educational applications, such as graphic calculators and microscope applications. The IPads will have a filter called LightSpeed, which will be able to filter inappropriate content from the students at school and at home. Mr. Bonin asked about liability for the IPads themselves. Ms. Lane said they would have a warranty for the three years of the lease. There is currently no insurance policy available that would cover if an IPad were lost. The pilot program was discussed at length.
Mr. Bari asked if there were any data as to why students choose Douglas for School Choice. Ms. Lane feels it is due to the quality of education. Douglas High School was named a College Board School of Honor, one of only 300 in North America, based on performance in AP classes.
Ms. Holmes commented that looking at the list of priorities from the perspective of a Finance Committee member, she sees everything as an addition which requires cash, and she does not know how many of those priorities will be affordable in this austere time.

3. Conservation Commission Appointment – David Gallant (52:49)
In the agenda is a letter from Mr. Guzinski to Mr. Yacino dated February 16, 2012 along with Mr. Gallant’s completed application to the Conservation Commission and Mr. Yacino’s letter to Mr. Bonin dated February 6, 2012.
Mr. David Gallant joined the meeting. Mr. Bonin announced that the Board of Selectmen was in receipt of Mr. Gallant’s application to the Conservation Commission, and he asked Mr. Gallant why he is applying. Mr. Gallant feels he could interpret the laws and regulations with intelligence, sensibility and common sense. Mr. Gallant has 23 years of experience running a company and he feels that experience would transfer well to the Conservation Commission. Mr. Bonin stated that he had a letter from the Conservation Commission stating that they would prefer that Mr. Gallant be an alternate member at this time. Mr. Michael Yacino joined the meeting to explain the Commission’s position.
Mr. Yacino explained the Conservation Commission’s policy to appoint someone as an associate, nonvoting member, if that person is not known to the Commission and has no training. As an associate, that member could get to know the people, attend classes, do some site walks, etc. Mr. LaPorte spoke in support of full membership for Mr. Gallant.
Mr. Davis made a motion to appoint David Gallant as a full member of the Conservation Commission, filling the seat left vacant by Kelley Donley. Mr. LaPorte seconded the motion. All – Aye.
Mr. Yacino asked that the record show that full membership is not what the Conservation Commission approved and recommended and that logical reasons were given for that decision.

4. Award Ambulance Contract (61:00)
In the agenda is a memo from Mr. Guzinski dated February 15, 2012 and materials related to the Ambulance Contract.
Mr. Guzinski announced that, following the special Fall Town Meeting, they issued an RFP for a new ambulance. They received three proposals that were ranked by the RFP Review Committee. The highest ranked proposal was from Quality Emergency Vehicles with the lowest price of $158,550. The appropriation is within budget and includes the trade-in of the older ambulance. Mr. Guzinski recommends the Board vote to award the ambulance contract to Quality Emergency Vehicles and to authorize him to execute all the contract documents related thereto.
Mr. Davis made a motion to award the ambulance contract to Quality Emergency Vehicles in the amount of $158,500 and to authorize Mr. Guzinski to execute all the contract documents related thereto. Mr. LaPorte seconded the motion. All – Aye.

5. Approval of Snow and Ice Deficit Spending (63:42)
In the agenda is a memo from Mr. Guzinski dated February 15, 2012 along with a Request for Deficit Spending and a break down of expenses from Mr. Furno dated January 30, 2012.
Mr. Guzinski presented a memo from the Highway Department Superintendent formally requesting the authorization to deficit the snow and ice account. The Finance Committee voted to approve deficit spending in the amount of $30,000 in this account at their February 6, 2012 meeting. Mr. Guzinski is recommending that the Board of Selectmen vote to approve deficit spending in the amount of $30,000 in this account. Mr. Guzinski explained that most icing events have occurred in the evening and the roads have been treated overnight. Total expenses this year are $103,893. Some of that cost was incurred to restock the sand and salt.
Mr. Bonin stated that if the budgeted $85,000 is increased for next fiscal year, it could never be reduced. Mr. LaPorte feels it would be in the Town’s best interest to create an additional item loosely associated with this of $50 – 100,000 that could be transferred to snow and ice should it be required. He would like a way to account for the money that will be spent. Mr. Bowen will look into it. He suggested the Board speak with Jeanne Lovett, Town Accountant and perhaps she could create a general materials line. Mr. Guzinski will look into whether or not the account can be bumped up, although he suggests that the amount be left a little below average since this is an account that the state allows to be spent in the red. Mr. Guzinski mentioned that a similar discussion took place at the last Finance Committee meeting.
Mr. Hughes made a motion to deficit spend and approve the amount of $30,000. Mr. LaPorte seconded the motion. All – Aye, Opposed – 0.

6. Approval of the Minutes (74:05)
In the agenda is an email from Mr. Cohen dated February 17, 2012.
January 10, 2012: Mr. Hughes made a motion to approve the minutes of the January 10, 2012 Board of Selectmen meeting as amended by email by Mr. Cohen. Seconded by Mr. LaPorte. All - Aye.
January 31, 2012: Mr. Hughes made a motion to approve the minutes of the January 31, 2012 Board of Selectmen meeting as presented. Seconded by Mr. Davis. All – Aye, Mr. Bonin abstained.
January 31, 2012: Mr. Hughes made a motion to approve the minutes of the January 31, 2012 Executive Session meeting as presented. Seconded by Mr. LaPorte. All – Aye, Mr. Bonin abstained.

7. Administrator’s Report (76:58)
In the agenda is a memo of the Administrator’s Report dated February 15, 2012 and materials relating to a lease of a copy machine.
The Axmen Soccer Organization has submitted an updated draft lease for Martin Road Park for the Board’s review. Town Counsel has reviewed the document and would be available to come to the March 20th meeting. Mr. Guzinski recommends that the Board invite the Axmen representatives to the March 20, 2012 meeting to discuss the process from here. Mr. Bowen looked at the proposal in the fall and what was sent back has addressed much of what he was concerned about. The draft looks close to being ready. An element of exclusivity of the field was discussed.
A draft RFP for the lease of the Old Grammar School was presented. Mr. Guzinski has asked Mr. Cundiff, Town Engineer, to attend the next meeting on March 6, 2012 to discuss it in more detail. Mr. Davis’ idea was that the town would hear informal proposals towards lease or purchase of the Grammar School. From that, a bidding situation might develop. Mr. Guzinski feels it can be toned down and will come back with a simple paragraph to solicit interest.
Mr. Guzinski presented an email from Mr. Cundiff, Town Engineer, regarding progress on regionalizing a Compost Facility. Mr. Cundiff will be meeting with Uxbridge next week to look at their center. He can report to the Board on March 6, 2012.
The advertisement for the hearing on the proposed change to the Aquifer Protection District will be in the newspaper next week and should be before the Planning Board at their first meeting in March.
Mr. Guzinski presented information on the lease of a new high-volume black and white copy machine for the Municipal Center. Mr. Guzinski asked for the Board’s approval to move forward with a three-year lease with Toshiba. Mr. Hughes made a motion to move forward with a three-year lease of a black and white copier from Toshiba. Mr. LaPorte seconded the motion. All – Aye, Opposed – 0

8. Old/New Business (90:28)
In the agenda are a letter from Samantha Overton of DCR, dated February 21, 2012 and a letter from Atty. Brian Maser dated June 15, 2011.
Mr. Bonin handed out a letter he received from DCR regarding resolution of some of their state park issues.
A question came up as to the role of the Personnel Board vs. the Special Act and powers granted to the Town Administrator. A letter was received from Atty. Brian Maser, Town Counsel, in regards to relative authority. It is not Mr. Bonin’s intention to restrict the Personnel Board. Mr. Bonin asked Mr. Guzinski to invite the Personnel Board to the March 20, 2012 meeting.


9. Executive Session – Litigation/Real estate: (96:36)
Mr. Hughes made a motion at 8:40 PM to go into Executive Session for the purpose of Litigation and Collective Bargaining and to return to regular session for the purpose of adjournment. Mr. LaPorte seconded the motion.
Roll Call Vote: Tim Bonin – Aye, Hal Davis – Aye, Jeffrey LaPorte – Aye, Mike Hughes - Aye.
Mr. Hughes made a motion at 9:16 PM to return to regular session for the purpose of adjournment. Mr. LaPorte seconded the motion. Roll Call Vote: Tim Bonin – Aye, Hal Davis – Aye, Jeffrey LaPorte – Aye, Mike Hughes - Aye.

10. Adjournment
Mr. Hughes made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:16 PM. Mr. LaPorte seconded the motion. All – Aye.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Suzanne Kane
Posts: 655
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 2:01 pm

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