BOS - July 6, 2006 Workshop

BOS - July 6, 2006 Workshop

Postby Suzanne Kane » Wed Aug 16, 2006 2:52 pm

Douglas Board of Selectmen
Workshop Meeting Minutes
July 6, 2006
Approved August 15, 2006

Informational Workshop:
Madam Chair Shirley Mosczynski called the workshop meeting to order at 7:30 pm in the Selectmens’ Office at the Municipal Center.
In attendance: Paula Brouillette-Vice Chair, Mitch Cohen, Mike Hughes, Executive Administrator Michael Guzinski and Tom Devlin-Cable Advisory Committee Chair.
Absent: David Furno

1. Cable Committee:
-Request to adopt proposed “Charge” Handout: Mike
explained their request to review their mission and a proposal for a “Charge”. He received an amended proposal from Mitch Cohen last night. Tom Devlin is here to discuss those changes and answer any questions.
Mitch – filed a financial disclosure form with the Town Clerk.
Tom –The biggest change we’re proposing out of the 17 items is the consistency of the Committee from 5 to 7 members. We want to define the roll of the Cable Committee and to have a clear roll of what it is we’re going forward and doing in the future. Decided to get out of the business of politics and produce programs to the best of our abilities.
Mitch – The initial “Charge” given to the Cable Committee, some 17 years ago, was basically negotiate the contract. The Board of Selectmen is the official issuing authority of that contract that gave us a lot of money that we had to start managing and build up our equipment, but we don’t have formal policies. From my perspective the most important line in this whole thing is that we access the Cable Committee consent to enforce policies. Irrelevant whether it’s called the “Cable Committee or Cable Advisory Committee”.
Discussion: The income from Charter is basically a one lump sum of $60,000 and then an annual amount of $35,000 plus 2% over the ten year life of contract which goes through the Town Accountant along with warrants. The Cable employee is part time, works less than 19 hours, does not accrue any benefits and the Cable Committee oversees his work product. The largest expenditure of the $35,000, is for the employee and equipment accrued over the years. One thing to work on this fiscal year is budgeting. We have a database inventory with serial numbers of all equipment purchased with the $60,000 which Jeanne (Town Accountant) needs to record under GASB34 to track assets of certain values.
-The goal of the Cable Committee is to increase local programming, hopefully train more local producers in the use of the equipment so we can encourage more programming.
-Down the road we’d also like to have a real studio to call our own either here or some other location. That’s why we’re putting money aside, to have a studio with lights, curtains, quiet, so we can produce some quality programs of interest.
-Improve the audio quality of the production.
-Consider the revised version of the Charge based on feedback and some clarification.
-High priority is developing policies and procedures. It provides a blueprint. Decision whether to deal with policies one at a time or as an outline and approve them as drafts and then hold a public hearing.
-The Committee has a regularly scheduled meeting on the 10th. This will be reviewed, put in writing and brought before the Selectmen before public viewing.
-Discuss airing videos and private ads
-Will be switching taping from VHS to DVD for the Planning Board meetings
-Stipends vs volunteers (#10 subject to ratification by the Board of Selectmen)
-Agreement to go from 5 to 7 members and interview them
-Candidate’s Forum: Cable Committee/Politics

-Complaint Handout: Mike – received emails from Mr. Dennis Bishop.
Discussion: Changes to be made that were just discussed deals with a lot of what he (Mr. Bishop) was complaining about and the fact that we’re going to be developing policies and procedures takes a lot of those issues off the table.
-Send him a brief letter stating the Board of Selectmen has met with the Cable Committee, updating the Charge and has addressed some of his concerns as above.
-If he has complaints about the Cable Committee he should bring them there first.
-First policies written should address access to the studio and to Daniel (Cable coordinator)

2. Financial Ad Hoc Committee-Appointments Handout: Mike – This goes back to the beginning of June where the Board created this committee to review the Town’s financial status and looking for the Board to appoint two members. Starting to prepare for our FY08 budget and beyond. Perhaps this group could meet on somewhat a regular basis for 7 or 8 months to discuss the finances of the community. Tentative first meeting of July 18th at 7 pm.
Funding from Financial Consulting-Mike Daley, previous Interim Accountant, has 25 years of municipal experience and has done both operational and capital plans. Accountant’s budget has approximately $5,000 left and could be used to hire Mr. Daley to come to some of these meetings and continue work on a long range financial plan with Mike. Looking to have him work day to day with Mike and put him at the disposal of this Committee, sit in on some meetings and find out what parameters we (the Committee) want looked at. Jeanne (Town Accountant) will attend as many meetings as possible.
Concensus of the Board to hire Mike Daley.
Paula and Mike H –would like to be considered to serve on the Committee, to be appointed at next Tuesdays meeting when Dave will be there.

3. Executive Administrator’s Goals Draft Handout: Mike – Essentially the Board establishes the goals in consultation with myself and a draft list is put together as a framework for beginning discussion. With new members on the Board, see if there are items that aren’t listed here that members would like discussed and see if the Goals and Objectives are reasonably attainable in the next year and their priority.
-“Short Term Goals” Discussion: Mitch – All important things. Not sure #2 belongs on a “Goals List” for an Administrator. Paula – Biased view, the Capital Plan is crucial to our whole Financial Plan. One thing the Board of Selectmen is responsible for is maintaining the assets of the Community. Right now we don’t have a 5 year plan. Shirley – Also looking at the results/recommendations of that study, that need to be part of the Capital Plan. Mike – Items 1-4 are all time consuming connected items and critical to the future of the community that require a lot of back round work. Mitch – Combine 1 and 2 and call it Capital Plan. One addition to the goals is, re-organize existing and prioritize Board policies. Handout – develop a formal policy manual, either from another Town or MMA, if available. Mike review existing policies and give us a proposal of the ones we need to start dealing with. Mike – We have policy books that are tough to go through, I think this is something we can make progress on by next spring. We do need to prioritize, concentrate on those but may be unable to complete them all. Paula – I think policies are very important, but think Mike’s goals should be things only he can do. This is something that 99% can be delegated. Mike – You’re right and a lot of this stuff is scanning, collating and putting on computers.
-New Highway Superintendent – Mike H – I see a key portion of Mike’s work will be bringing that person along as a supervisor/manager to get him to a point where he feels comfortable. The first year is a critical one.
-Mike – The only thing time consuming may be possibly future contract negotiations.
-Shirley – Told Mike to inform the Board how progress on Goals is at mid-year.
-Mike – The only comment as far as Short Term is how quickly the Building Facilities Construction Committee (#4) gets going and how quickly we get the firm in. Hope to be well along in February/March, but not sure if there will be a final report ready.
-Long Term Goals: No Discussion

4. Other Business:
Guilford Property – Paula
–conversations with Mike, Cliff (VanReed) and Hal Davis. A Worcester Firm is handling the primary listing for the property. I think this would be a good discussion for the Board either with Economic Development or the 4-Town Group, since the property is changing hands and decide to pursue or not. Specifically the treatment plant behind the facility-in a conversation with Tony Gressak, he believes it is well built and could be something of value for the Town. Maybe potential value for the 4-Town area. The building is 300,000 sq. ft. Shirley – Suggested Mike talk to Bill Cundiff (Town Engineer) in finding the treatment plant location. My understanding that was a good treatment plant but the big issue is the dams. Some people thing the Town should go for it but the big issue is the dams. Mike – To maintain the dams will be very costly-anywhere from sixty to one hundred thousand dollars a year. The water is valuable but there’s a cost attached to the Town to control and maintain that. Mitch- The property owners around the lake got together 2-3 months ago and discussed the possibility of them buying it, forming their own group to buy it, but that group is not formally formed. Lake Group Meeting- Shirley -Next Wednesday-with John Bombara, Carol Gogolinski, Marylynne Dube, Steve Zisk, Bill Cundiff and Mike G.

- New Superintendent-Nancy Lane: Mike – spoke to her as well as Jeanne regarding a few payroll problems at the school. The school had switched some people from hourly to salary for their accounting purposes. They had made some mistakes in calculations and some employees were pre-paid during the year, which meant the last pay period they were falling 7 days short of what the final check would be. Nancy has asked that be spread out over the next 4 or 5 pay periods and will inform employees affected by this.
- New School Business Manager: Mike – Nancy Lane informed of the hiring of Dean Iacobucci, officially starts the end of July and meeting with Jeanne next Tuesday.
- Senior Center: Shirley and Mike attended a meeting this morning regarding a new Senior Van, purchased through a grant, which we should get between October and December. Sutton is going to be the lead community with the van and we will have to work on an agreement with them. Douglas will be paying 50% of the operational fees and Sutton will send us a bill semi-annually or quarterly. The van will be housed in and insured by Sutton and the driver will be an employee of Sutton. At the fall Town Meeting we will need to set aside some funds for that for at least half a year-in the vicinity of seven thousand dollars. Shirley – We asked that they see which Town is using it more and if we need to re-calculate. Mike – They’ll track the riders-residents of each Town which will be reviewed after one year.
- Development of a TIF Policy for the Town: Mike – met and discussed with Hal Davis yesterday. He dropped off a draft from another Town then emailed an updated version he recommends the Town review for approval. A copy will be put in each Board member’s mail box and may be discussed in August.
- Rt 16 Project: Mike and Bill will be heading to Mass Highway Regent 3 Headquarters in Worcester on Monday to speak with the senior engineer to discuss the timeline for the completion of the project. We’re hoping for September. Also, make sure we’re all set from a financial perspective.
- Superintendent Nancy Lane: Mike and Jeanne will be meeting with her Monday afternoon to go over some financial issues, bring her up to speed on our concerns and make sure we’re on the same page. Shirley – It’s nice to have good communications and hope it continues.
- 4 Town Group/Daylor: Mike stated they’d have a draft around July 21st. Mike will contact Daylor and between him, Paula and vacations, will try and schedule something the first or second week in August.
- CMRPC Meeting July 12 at 7 pm: Shirley – In regard to the transportation improvement program, highway related projects.
- Planning Board Hearing w/ZBA July 12 at 7:45 pm: Shirley – Important that one of us goes-regarding parking at the Post Office. Mitch – Will attend, he’s followed that from Capital and Senior Center discussion.

5. Motion to adjourn-Mitch Cohen. Seconded - Paula Brouillette.


Respectfully submitted,



Jane L. Alger
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Suzanne Kane
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