BoS - March 17, 2020

BoS - March 17, 2020

Postby Suzanne Kane » Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:41 pm

Board of Selectmen
Agenda
March 17, 2020
Municipal Center Resource Room

7:00 pm

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

1. Pole Petition Hearing – 29047654 – Walnut Street – Possible Vote(s)

2. Historical Society Update & Request for Involvement – Shirley Cooney

3. Request for Signs on Town Property – Dynamic Douglas Possible Vote(s)

4. Second Amendment Sanctuary Town – Shirley PD Officer Jared Yanis Possible Vote(s)

5. Open Meeting Law – Remote Participation – Possible Vote(s)

6. Emergency Appropriation Authorization Under MGL c44(31) ) Emergency Declaration - Possible Vote(s)

7. Personnel Policy Amendment – Prolonged Absence Related to the Coronavirus State of Emergency – Possible Vote(s)

8. Town Administrator’s Contract – Possible Vote(s)

9. Good Energy Aggregation Bid Day Representative – Possible Vote(s)

10. Bylaw Change – Number of Marijuana Licenses Allowed – Possible Vote(s)

11. Review Warrant

12. Approve Minutes

13. Administrator’s Report

14. Open Session for Topics Not Reasonably Anticipated 48 Hours In Advance Of Meeting.

15. Executive Session – Collective Bargaining

16. Adjournment
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Future Agenda Items

April 7th:
Road Layout for TM, Approve & Sign Warrant

April 21st: Meet with Moderator & Town Clerk
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
March 17, 2020 - BoS Minutes.pdf
(490.39 KiB) Downloaded 20 times

BOARD OF SELECTMEN
MEETING MINUTES
March 17, 2020
Approved March 31, 2020

Call to Order

Chair Kevin Morse called the Board of Selectmen (BOS) meeting to order at 7:09 PM in the Resource Room at the Municipal Center.

ATTENDANCE:
Board: Kevin Morse (Chair), Tim Bonin, David Cortese, Hal Davis, Mike Hughes, Matt Wojcik (Town Administrator), Suzanne Kane (Administrative Assistant)
Other Staff and Citizens: Jeanne Lovett (Finance Director), John Furno (Highway Dept. Superintendent), Brett Argall (School Committee Chair), Rich Preston, Officer Jared Yanis (Shirley Police Dept.), Chief Nick Miglionico (Police), Chief Kent Vinson (Fire), Donna Hardy (Dynamic Douglas), and other staff and citizens.

• Pledge of Allegiance (00:13)

• Chairman’s Announcements (00:36)
Mr. Morse stated the Town is keeping up to date on the Coronavirus situation. Information is posted on the Town’s website

• Citizen’s Forum (01:19)
No one came forward.

1. Pole Petition Hearing-29047654-Walnut Street-Possible Vote(s) (01:29)
In the packet is a petition, an Abutters List Report, maps, emails and other related materials.
Mr. Morse opened the public hearing. Ms. Kane stated that the other boards have reviewed the application, and the Highway Superintendent John Furno requested that all new poles be located at least three feet from the edge of the pavement. The petition has gone before the Conservation Commission and they had no issues.
Mr. Hughes made a motion to close the public hearing for Pole Petition 29047654, Walnut Street. Mr. Bonin seconded the motion. Vote: All-Aye.
Mr. Cortese made a motion to approve Pole Petition 29047654, Walnut Street, with the condition that the poles be placed at least three feet from the edge of the pavement. Mr. Hughes seconded the motion. Vote: All-Aye.


2. Historical Society Update & Request for Involvement-Rich Preston (04:07)
In the packet is a history of the E.N. Jenckes store and a schedule of upcoming events.
Mr. Preston joined the meeting and read a statement from the Historical Society to reach out and improve the visibility and repair the E.N. Jenckes store, and invite participation in the Historical Society. He spoke about the historical significance of the store and the Society’s mission. They are starting a major fundraising program for improvements to the store. Mr. Preston described the improvements. He invited the BOS to take a tour of the store and distributed information. Mr. Davis suggested that an interactive program be broadcast to local schools.

3. Request for Signs on Town Property-Dynamic Douglas-Possible Vote(s) (12:28)
In the packet is bylaw 9.3.1.4, emails and other related materials.
Ms. Hardy joined the meeting and asked for permission to place banners (4’ x 24’) on the common, at the VFW and Soldiers Field, and lawn signs on the corners at West Street and Mechanic Street, on Martin Street Park, at the Municipal Center and the schools to promote Dynamic Douglas Day.
Mr. Bonin asked if the West Street area is a sacred area. Mr. Furno stated that the bylaw does not allow signs on Veteran memorials. The BOS suggested Ms. Hardy contact some private property owners. Ms. Kane suggested Ms. Hardy reach out to the school committee and the committee that maintains the common. Mr. Argall stated that Ms. Hardy can send the School Committee an email.
Mr. Hughes made a motion to approve the request for signs on Town property, except for school property and places where there are flagpoles. Mr. Cortese seconded the motion. Vote: All-Aye.
Mr. Bonin asked Ms. Hardy to reach out to the Recreation Commission regarding the plans for the event.

4. Second Amendment Sanctuary Town-Shirley PD Officer Jared Yanis-Possible Vote(s) (16:40)
In the packet is an article entitled “Second Amendment Sanctuaries, Explained” and related emails and materials.
Officer Yanis joined the meeting and asked the BOS to consider a second amendment sanctuary. He read the resolution and gave some background information. Office Yanis is a Douglas resident.
Chief Miglionico has not seen the document. Mr. Morse does not want to impair the Chief of Police and the police department from being able to do their jobs. Mr. Davis suggested that input from Town Counsel and the police chief be sought before any action is taken. Mr. Morse asked that Officer Yanis send a copy of the resolution to the Town Administrator and the Chief of Police. Officer Yanis agreed.
It was decided to place this on the next meeting’s agenda.

5. Open Meeting Law-Remote Participation-Possible Vote(s) (24:41)
In the packet is an Order Suspending Certain Provisions of the Open Meeting Law, 940 Mass. Reg. 29.10, a section of the Open Meeting Law Guide and other related materials.
Mr. Morse summarized the Order. Mr. Wojcik described how remote participation is already allowed in a limited form. Douglas has not adopted an allowed policy for remote participation. By virtue of declaring a state of emergency regarding the COVID-19 virus, the Governor is allowing meetings to be held without anyone physically present and to do their best to guarantee real-time discussion and public access. Mr. Wojcik feels that the governor’s issued orders are permissive to a level you can go to if you choose, but you can modify for a local application.
Mr. Wojcik recommended that they not engage in remote meetings unless the criteria of being able to see all board members and the public is able to join remotely are met. The BOS still has emergency powers. The alternative to virtual meetings is to delegate authority to members of the administration. A discussion was held.
Mr. Morse will provide information on different real-time conferencing platforms. Until the technology is in place, Mr. Wojcik suggested that boards and committees meet in this room as it provides the best environment for social distancing.
Mr. Davis made a motion to adopt a remote policy for a three month duration. Mr. Hughes seconded the motion. Vote: All-Aye.
Mr. Cortese amended the motion to add “co-terminus with the State of Emergency declared by Governor Baker”. Mr. Hughes seconded the motion. Vote: All-Aye.

A discussion was held regarding how to enact the policy and current ways to view meetings in real time.

6. Emergency Appropriation Authorization Under MGL c44(31) Emergency Declaration-Possible Vote(s) (45:30)
In the packet is MGL c 44, s 31, related emails and materials.
This item includes the Personnel Policy Amendment, item #7 below.
Mr. Wojcik stated that this would make the emergency operations center (EOC) official. Mr. Wojcik feels that department heads should not be allowed to spend over their budget appropriations carte blanche during a state of emergency; there should be a limit. Approval to spend $50,000 over appropriation would be sought at a public meeting.
The third operative clause closes the common areas and public access to the Municipal Center. Mr. Wojcik explained how business with the public would occur.
Mr. Wojcik stated that Town employees have the ability to work from home. Mr. Wojcik asked that the BOS give him the authority to make that decision based on a written finding of fact. If employees are working from home, they will be held to the same standards as if they were working from the Municipal Center.
The Town needs a mechanism for the Town Administrator or interim Town Administrator to reassign staff. The Inclement Weather Policy is also the Emergency Policy for the Town.
Operative clause #5 pertains to confidentiality.
The policies would be in effect until determined by the BOS or Governor ends the state of emergency, whichever occurs first.
Mr. Morse read the Declaration of Local State of Emergency for COVID-19 effective at 8:00 PM, March 18, 2020.
Mr. Hughes made a motion to accept the Declaration of Local State of Emergency for COVID-19 as presented. Mr. Cortese seconded the motion. Vote: All-Aye.

7. Personnel Policy Amendment-Prolonged Absence Related to the Coronavirus State of Emergency-Possible Vote(s) (45:30)
See item #6 above.

8. Town Administrator’s Contract-Possible Vote(s) (1:06:53)
The ad hoc committee has not yet met. It was decided that they will meet at 6:00 PM on April 7, 2020. There was no further discussion.

9. Good Energy Aggregation Bid Day Representative-Possible Vote(s) (1:12:33)
In the packet is a letter from Good Energy dated 3/2/20, a list of SRPEDD Group Bid Day Representatives, Town of Douglas Electric Aggregation Program dated 3/2/20, and related emails and materials.
Mr. Wojcik explained the aggregation and how it has saved money for Douglas rate payers. It was decided that Mr. Bonin would serve as the primary representative for the Good Energy Aggregation Bid Day on 4/21/20, with Mr. Morse as the alternate.

10. Bylaw Change-Number of Marijuana Licenses Allowed-Possible Vote(s) (1:21:09)
In the packet is Section 9 and related materials.
Douglas currently has three Community Host Agreements for recreational marijuana facilities. It was decided to increase the number of marijuana licenses from 3 to 5.
Mr. Hughes made a motion to increase the number of marijuana licenses from three to five. Mr. Cortese seconded the motion. Vote: All-Aye.
Mr. Wojcik will prepare a warrant article for a general bylaw amendment to change the number of licenses in section B of section 9 from three to five.

11. Review Warrant (1:22:36)
In the packet is the Special Town Meeting (STM) Warrant.
A discussion was held regarding Article 12 - Solar Bylaw. Mr. Wojcik will clarify with Town Counsel to make sure the bylaw will not get in the way of Municipal solar fields.

12. Approve Minutes-February 18 & March 3, 2020 Regular Sessions, February 4 & February 18, 2020 Executive Sessions-Possible Vote(s) (1:25:33)
Mr. Hughes made a motion to approve the February 18, 2020 Board of Selectmen regular session meeting minutes as presented. Mr. Cortese seconded the motion. Vote: All-Aye.
Mr. Hughes made a motion to approve the March 3, 2020 Board of Selectmen regular session meeting minutes as presented. Mr. Bonin seconded the motion. Vote: All-Aye.
Mr. Hughes made a motion to approve the February 4, 2020 Board of Selectmen Executive session meeting minutes as presented, retaining all in their entirety. Mr. Cortese seconded the motion. Vote: All-Aye.
Mr. Hughes made a motion to approve the February 18, 2020 Board of Selectmen Executive session meeting minutes as presented, retaining all in their entirety. Mr. Bonin seconded the motion. Vote: All-Aye.

13. Town Administrator’s Report (1:26:54)
Regarding the Capital Improvement Plan, Mr. Wojcik stated that out years were approved by the Capital Committee (CIC) last year, based on the information they had then. Some of the projects are more expensive than previously estimated. The CIC has had difficulty getting a quorum.
In terms of the budget, due to current circumstances, they are still on track to turn the budget around quickly. The budget currently includes the most recent information on Norfolk Agricultural, the School Bus contract, Blackstone Valley Tech, all municipal departments, the Health Insurance renewal (2%), and a 2% year-over-year increase for the School appropriation, which results in a budget surplus greater than $250,000.
There are currently 218 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts; 102 of those cases stem from the BioGen conference. Worcester County has 8 confirmed cases. 1,367 tests have been performed in Massachusetts.

14. Open Session for Topics Not Reasonably Anticipated 48 Hours in Advance of Meeting (1:17:48 & 1:38:10)
Mr. Cortese believes that the Governor has filed a package with the legislature which would relieve duties under the law as far as town meeting and the election is concerned. Mr. Wojcik stated that the law currently states that town meeting may be put off up to 30 days at the request of the Town Moderator. The Town Moderator has inquired as to the process.
Mr. Wojcik feels the bigger issue is the election.
As far as the budget, the Town could operate month-to-month under the existing fiscal levels of appropriation until Town Meeting can be held. A decision regarding whether or not to postpone Town Meeting will be placed on the next meeting’s agenda.

15. Executive Session-Collective Bargaining (1:38:25)
Mr. Bonin made a motion at 8:38 PM to go into Executive Session for the purpose of collective bargaining and to return to regular session for the purpose of adjournment. Mr. Cortese seconded the motion. Roll Call Vote: Tim Bonin – Aye, Dave Cortese – Aye, Hal Davis – Aye, Mike Hughes – Aye, Kevin Morse – Aye. The meeting was moved to the Selectmen’s Office and reconvened at 8:48 PM.

Mr. Hughes made a motion at 9:01 pm to return to Regular Session for the purpose of adjournment. Mr. Cortese seconded the motion. Roll Call Vote: Tim Bonin – Aye, Dave Cortese – Aye, Hal Davis – Aye, Mike Hughes – Aye, Kevin Morse – Aye.

16. Adjournment
Mr. Bonin made a motion at 9:01 PM to adjourn the Board of Selectmen meeting. Mr. Cortese seconded the motion. Vote: All-Aye.

Respectfully submitted,


Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Suzanne Kane
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