BOS - January 22, 2013

BOS - January 22, 2013

Postby Suzanne Kane » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:09 pm

Board of Selectmen
January 22, 2013

7:00 pm

• Call to Order
• Pledge of Allegiance
• Chairman’s Announcement’s
• Citizen’s Forum

1. Discuss and Vote on placing a Proposition 2-1/2 Override Question on
a Ballot

7:30 pm
2. New Application - Class II License

7:45 pm
3. Liquor License Change of Manager – Whitinsville Fish & Game

4. Snow & Ice Deficit Spending

5. Goals

6. Administrator’s Report

7. Old/New Business

8. Adjournment

Future Agenda Items

Feb. 5th: Health Insurance Discussion – Deb Young

TBD: Government Study Discussion; Update Master Plan; Housing Plan/Housing Authority;
January 22,2013
Approved Feb 19, 2013

Call to Order

Mr. Bonin called the meeting to order at 7:01 PM in the Resource Room of the Municipal Center.

Board: Tim Bonin, Keith Brown, Hal Davis, Mike Hughes, Jeffrey LaPorte, Michael Guzinski (Town Administrator), Suzanne Kane (Administrative Assistant).
Other Staff and Citizens: Atty. Rich Bowen, Jeanne Lovett (Finance Director), Adele Reynolds (Building Commissioner), Griffin Powers, Stephen Pierangeli, Keith Menard (Moderator), Many town employees and citizens.

• Pledge of Allegiance (00:07)

• Chairman’s Announcements (00:26)
There were no announcements.

• Citizen’s Forum
Mr. Menard joined the meeting and announced openings on the Finance Committee. He made a plea for citizen involvement. Any interested parties can contact Suzanne Kane at the Town Hall.

1. Discuss and Vote on placing a Proposition 2-1/2 Override Question on a Ballot (00:41)
In the packet are the following: Draft Proposition 2-1/2 Override Question Language, Budget Document showing Fiscal Year 2014 Departmental requests, Summary of recommended Budget Adjustments with an Override, and related materials.
Mr. Bonin presented the question of whether or not the voters should decide if this override question should be placed on a ballot and explained how the meeting would proceed.
John Bombara, 288 NW Main Street, stated that he has not seen any cuts. He feels he has looked at the town departments and feels he could save the town money. He feels the deficit is fictitious, and he feels the Board is making a bad decision.
Colin Haire, 8 North Woods Drive, asked what percentage of the $1.4 million is going to the school and what percent is going to the town. Mr. Guzinski explained that there has not been a final determination of that yet. He presented the numbers that have been prepared, but not yet approved. Mr. Haire also asked regarding the financial impact of the school building project. Mr. Guzinski explained.
Mr. Bonin spoke about the work the Strategic Budget Committee has done to address the budget shortfall.
Ron Forget, 538 NW Main Street, asked to know how an override would solve the financial problem down the road. Mr. Bonin feels $1.4 million would get the town through a five-year recession. Mr. Forget asked why they are doing Capital Improvements if there is no money in the budget. Mr. Bonin explained that the town has not been doing capital improvements.
Fire Chief Vinson spoke regarding cuts made to town departments and how those cuts and lack of regular maintenance has affected the town and its assets.
Jeanette Thibodeau, 179 Maple Street believes the townspeople should vote on the override. She does not feel it is fair to raise taxes.
Colin Haire spoke about nearby towns’ tax rates compared to Douglas. Mr. Guzinski feels the people should be focusing on the average tax bill because that is what one would be paying.
Susan Morin, 56 Lakeshore Drive feels she cannot pay any more in taxes.
Mr. Davis feels this is clearly a question that should go to the voters. Mr. Brown also feels the people should vote. Mr. Hughes feels the people should decide. Mr. LaPorte does not feel people can afford increased taxes. He does not feel it is appropriate for the Board to pass off difficult decisions. If a question goes to ballot, he feels the Board should support it. Mr. Davis feels state law provides procedures for situations such as this.
Pauline Labrecque, Brookside Drive feels the citizens of the town have the right to make this decision.
Ron Forget asked how the vote was going to be handled. Mr. Guzinski explained.
Keith Menard, 15 Manchaug Street, encouraged people to attend town meetings in order to be truly involved in the process and affect the way the town is run.
Mr. Brown inquired as to the history of Proposition 2-1/2 override ballots in the town. Mr. Guzinski explained.

Mr. Davis made a motion to place a Proposition 2-1/2 override question on the ballot. The question to take the following form: “Shall the Town of Douglas be allowed to assess an additional $1.4 million in real estate and personal property taxes for the purposes of funding town and school operating and capital expenses for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2013. Yes___ No ____”. Mr. Hughes seconded the motion.
Mr. LaPorte read a letter from a citizen with a child in first grade who is against raising taxes. Mr. LaPorte asked for a roll call vote.

Roll Call Vote: Tim Bonin – Aye, Keith Brown– Aye, Hal Davis – Aye, Jeffrey LaPorte – Nay, Mike Hughes - Aye. Vote passed.
Mr. Guzinski reviewed the pros and cons of having a special election prior to the annual meeting. One con would be the $7,000 cost for a special election. Mr. Davis feels having the ballot at the regular election would draw a larger number of people. Mr. Hughes asked a question regarding the timing of unemployment notices. Ms. Lane explained. Ms. Lovett recommended having a special town election in April to ease the uncertainty of the stakeholders. A discussion was held.
Mitch Cohen, 25 Marilyn Drive feels turnout is greater when there is an issue of singular importance. He feels there should be a special town election. Mr. Hughes disagreed.
Keith Bloniasz, 70 Martin Road spoke in favor of not having a special town election.
Mr. Davis made a motion to place the question Proposition 2-1/2 Override on the regular election Ballot for the May 14, 2013 Town election. Mr. Hughes seconded the motion. Roll Call Vote: Tim Bonin – Aye, Keith Brown– Aye, Hal Davis – Aye, Jeffrey LaPorte – Aye, Mike Hughes - Aye.
A recess was held.

2. 8:12 PM New Application-Class II License (58:00)
In the packet is an application for a new Class II license submitted by Griffin Powers and related materials
Ms. Kane presented the license application. She stated that Mr. Powers would be leasing the land for about a year before purchasing it. Ms Kane has not typed up a license because she does not yet have all the information. Ms. Reynolds and Mr. Powers joined the meeting. Ms. Reynolds described the site and recommended a license for 40 cars. Mr. Powers would not be doing repairs on the property. A discussion was held. Ms. Kane will type up a license and conditions.
Mr. LaPorte made a motion to approve the Class II license for 40 cars contingent upon completion of the application and compliance with the conditions. Mr. Davis seconded the motion. All-Aye.

3. Liquor License Change of Manager-Whitinsville Fish and Game (66:13)
In the packet is an application to change the manager for Whitinsville Fish & Game and related materials.
Ms. Kane presented the application. Mr. Pierangeli joined the meeting.
Mr. Hughes made a motion to approve the liquor license, change of manager for the Whitinsville Fish and Game, located in Uxbridge and Douglas. Mr. LaPorte seconded the motion. All – Aye.

4. Snow and Ice Deficit Spending (68:09)
In the packet is a memo from John Furno dated January 10, 2013.
Mr. Guzinski stated that the Highway Superintendent has requested authorization to deficit spend the Snow & Ice account. The Finance Committee approved deficit spending in the amount of $25,000 at their January 14, 2013 meeting. Mr. Guzinski recommends the Board approve the Finance Committee’s recommendation.
Mr. LaPorte made a motion to approve the deficit of the Snow & Ice Account in the amount of $25,000. Mr. Hughes seconded the motion. All – Aye.

5. Goals (69:30)
In the packet is the document “Goals Update 1/17/13”.
Mr. Guzinski reviewed the following:
Finish Plans for the development of Martin Road Park: A set of plans has been completed. The estimate for completion of the park is $2 million. He will be meeting with the President of Axmen Soccer next week. The Axmen are actively looking for funding. Mr. Guzinski hopes to have additional information for the next Board of Selectmen meeting. A discussion was held.
Develop and initiate a yard waste facility: Mr. Guzinski stated only a few residents took advantage of sharing Uxbridge’s compost facility. Mr. Guzinski recommended giving the agreement with Uxbridge another year,
Review of Senior Center operations: The Senior Center Director submitted a report outlining all current operations. They are looking at ways to regionalize services.
Work to support the presence of a community college in the town: Mr. Guzinski has set up a meeting with Congressman McGovern to explore this opportunity.
Review Government Study Report and make recommendations for continued improvement for local government structure: Not much progress has been made to date. This is a very large undertaking.
Make recommendations to Town Meeting on appropriate changes to the Aquifer Study Map: Recommendations were made to Town Meeting last May, and Town Meeting approved those changes.
Work with Water & Sewer Commission to refine the plan for system expansion: Water & Sewer is gathering information and refining their plan for system expansion.
Work with DCR to properly address problems related to Wallum Lake State Park: There were a series of meetings with DCR last fall and winter. The situation was monitored during the summer. The DCR did make a number of changes, which have improved the safety of the park and the quality of life of the abutters. They are still looking into changing the fee structure.
Develop options for the use of the Old Grammar School-municipal use/sale/lease: A proposal was made at Town Meeting requesting approval to sell or lease the building. It did not receive the required 2/3 approval. The Board is still looking at establishing a committee to move this item forward. Mr. Davis commented that the School Committee needs to come up with a plan.
Mr. Davis spoke about trying to sell surplus land. Mr. Guzinski stated that the Finance Dept. is working on gathering that information.
Develop a Cost/Benefit Analysis for adoption of Green Communities Act: There are no new developments. No staff is available to work on this at this time. The Board agreed to put a hold on this item and perhaps revisit it in the summer.
Develop coordinated electronic communications policy and update website: The new website was launched this past summer.
Research pros/cons of utilizing solar panels on municipal property: one company has contacted Mr. Guzinski and he expects that a proposal may come before the Board in the next two months.
Obtain updated proposals for conducting a traffic study to address traffic and safety concerns in the downtown area of Douglas: Mr. Guzinski has received three proposals to conduct a traffic study at a cost of $32-40,000. There is no funding available at this time.
Develop and approve town-wide financial policies (Stabilization, Free Cash, Investments, etc.): They have established a number of those policies, which have been approved over the last twelve months.

6. Administrator’s Report (92:42)
Mr. Guzinski announced that the postings for openings for two Zoning Board of Appeals alternate members has gone unanswered. Ms. Kane commented that there are opening on other committees as well.

7. Old/New Business (94:09)
Old Business: There was no old business to discuss.
New Business: There was no new business to discuss.

8. Adjournment (94:23)
Mr. Hughes made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:45 PM. Mr. LaPorte seconded the motion. All – Aye.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Suzanne Kane
Posts: 580
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 2:01 pm

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