BOS - November 17, 2020

BOS - November 17, 2020

Postby Suzanne Kane » Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:42 am

Board of Selectmen
Municipal Center Resource Room / Remote Meeting
November 17, 2020

7:00 pm

• Call to Order by Roll Call
• Pledge of Allegiance
• Chairman’s Announcements

1. Sign Regulatory Agreement for the Flexible Sub-division of Whitin Reservoir
Estates – Possible Vote(s)

2. Discussion with Octoberfest and Town Common Preservation – Tree Lighting
on Common – Possible Vote(s)

3. Discussion – Cable Advisory Committee & Franchise Agreement w/Charter
Possible Vote(s)

4. Discussion – Investigation into the DPS & Authorizing Audit of DPS
Possible Vote(s)

5. Discussion – State Orders Legality

6. Approve Minutes – Possible Vote(s)

7. Administrators Report & COVID – 19 Update

8. Open Session for Topics Not Reasonably Anticipated 48 Hours in Advance of
the Meeting

9. Adjournment
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Future Agenda Items:

Nov. 14th: Meeting Prior to Town Meeting if Needed, STM

Dec.: All License Renewals

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__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
November 17, 2020 Minutes.pdf
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Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes
Tuesday November 17, 2020
Approved December 3, 2020

Call to order
was by Chair Kevin Morse at 7:00pm in the Resource Room at the Municipal Center. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, participants were invited to join the meeting remotely.

Present: Kevin Morse (Chair), David Cortese, Hal Davis (remote), Mike Hughes
Non-Voting: Matt Wojcik (Town Administrator), Absent: Tim Bonin.

Other staff and citizens: David Payne (remote), and Fire Chief Vinson (remote).

1. (00:39) Sign Regulatory Agreement for the Flexible Sub-division of Whitin Reservoir Estates – Possible Votes – In the packet is a copy of emails and the agreement to be signed – (01:40) A motion is made by Mr. Cortese, seconded by Mr. Hughes, to investigate how Whitinsville is pronounced. Roll call vote – Dave Cortese – Aye, Mike Hughes – Aye, Hal Davis – Aye, Kevin Morse – Aye.
(02:50) A motion is made by Mr. Morse, seconded by Mr. Hughes, to direct Tim Bonin to form a sub-committee for the purpose of perambulating the bounds. Roll call vote – Mike Hughes – Aye, Dave Cortese – Aye, Hal Davis – Aye, Kevin Morse – Aye.
(04:10) A motion is made by Mr. Cortese, seconded by Mr. Hughes, to authorize Kevin Morse to sign the agreement. Roll call vote – Mike Hughes – Aye, Dave Cortese – Aye, Hal Davis – Aye, Kevin Morse – Aye.
2. (04:38) Discussion with Octoberfest and Town Common Preservation – Tree Lighting on Common – Possible Votes – Passed over as no one is there to represent this agenda item. Mr. Morse states as long as someone puts a tree up and lights it, he is perfectly happy with it, Mr. Hughes agrees.
3. (06:23) Discussion – Cable Advisory Committee & Franchise Agreement with Charter – Possible Votes – In the packet is documents related to the cable television license renewal process as well as a letter from the Department Secretary of Telecommunications and Cable regarding the license expiration – Mr. Wojcik and the Board discuss the formation of a sub-committee. (08:15) A motion made by Mr. Cortese, seconded by Mr. Hughes, to appoint a sub-committee for negotiating an agreement with Charter to include Pat Aldrich (Cable Coordinator), Dave Vernaglia (IT), Kevin Morse (Board of Selectmen Chair), Fred Fontaine and Christopher Menn (Cable Advisory Committee). Roll call vote – Mike Hughes – Aye, Dave Cortese – Aye, Hal Davis – Aye, Kevin Morse – Aye.
4. (08:32) Discussion – Investigation into the DPS & Authorizing Audit of DPS – Possible Votes – Mr. Morse would like some of this to be discussed during executive session. There is a brief discussion on beginning the audit process on the schools and to keep the momentum going with a goal of transparency. (10:31) A motion made by Mr. Morse, seconded by Mr. Cortese, to authorize Finance Director Jeanne Lovett to engage Melanson & Heath Auditors and determine if additional contracts are needed to do an audit of the school lunch program. Roll call vote – Mike Hughes – Aye, Dave Cortese – Aye, Hal Davis – Aye, Kevin Morse – Aye.
5. (11:45) Discussion – State Orders Legality – In the packet is documents regarding the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission Updated Advisory – Mr. Cortese states the State is passing orders that are not going through the normal legislative process, the constitutionality of the orders may be in question, he is concerned about where the Town falls in the liability scale, should they be enforcing orders that did not come from the regular legislative process. Mr. Davis suggests the Town Counsel look at this from both sides to make sure the Town is covered either way. (14:48) Motion made by Mr. Cortese, seconded by Mr. Hughes, to empower Town Counsel to render this Board an opinion on whether the enforcement or non-enforcement of any of the orders that were not enacted by the legislature could incur any liability on the Town. Roll call vote – Mike Hughes – Aye, Dave Cortese – Aye, Hal Davis – Aye, Kevin Morse – Aye.
6. (15:45) Approve Minutes – Possible Votes – A motion made by Mr. Hughes, seconded by Mr. Cortese, to approve the Board of Selectmen meeting minutes from Tuesday November 3rd. Roll call vote – Mike Hughes – Aye, Dave Cortese – Aye, Hal Davis – Aye, Kevin Morse – Aye.
7. (16:18) Administrators Report and Covid-19 Update – TA Wojcik handed out a sheet of talking points - attached to the minutes. - There are 22 active cases in Douglas, positive cases coming in at roughly the same rate as cases coming out of quarantine. There are a substantial number of young people testing positive, the schools will be closed for the next 14 days. The Town will begin to engage in proven response strategies if they see critical triggers. Kids who qualify for free and reduced lunch will still be able to get lunches if school is not open. Vaccination plans at the state level appear to rely on pharmacy retail and other distribution assets, not municipal ones, for delivery and storage. Mr. Wojcik goes over critical considerations for the budget season about to begin; Unreimbursed Covid-19 response expenses, Postponed care and procedures result in bubble of claims once Covid related restrictions are lifted, Ongoing uncertainty in the State budget due to revenue shortfalls, Prolonged economic downturn may lead more employees to enroll in Town offered health benefits, Markey uncertainty with impact on retirement trust fund balances, Union contracts will be up for renewal this year. Mr. Wojcik discusses positive impact points; sale of property on Webster St and Gilboa St, tax settlement today of $62,000, there are three properties that are going to tax auction, energy prices from electricity to petroleum are at historic lows and retirements in municipal staff. Mr. Wojcik also goes over core budget instructions for department heads. Other announcements, Town Meeting approved the Capital expenditure for Public Safety Radio. Job postings will be going up as a result of Town Meeting; a full time building official and part time economic development position. The purchase and sale of Webster Street is almost ready for consideration, it will probably be in front of the Board within two weeks. There is a new request from Z&T for a cannabis HCA, they have an existing HCA with a location to be determined, they now have named a location that they prefer.
8. Open Session for Topics Not Reasonably Anticipated 48 Hours in Advance of the Meeting - (40:35) Mr. Cortese makes a motion at 7:41pm to go into Executive Session for the purpose of Department Investigation and return to regular session for the purpose of adjournment, seconded by Mr. Hughes. Roll call vote – Mike Hughes – Aye, Dave Cortese – Aye, Hal Davis – Aye, Kevin Morse – Aye. The meeting was moved to the Selectmen’s office and reconvened at 7:58pm.
Mr. Hughes made a motion at 8:30pm to return to regular session for the purpose of adjournment, seconded by Mr. Cortese. Roll call vote – Mike Hughes – Aye, Dave Cortese – Aye, Hal Davis – Aye, Kevin Morse – Aye.
9. Adjournment – Mr. Hughes made a motion at 8:30pm to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Cortese. All – Aye.


Respectfully Submitted,


Ashley Pomes
Suzanne Kane
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