BOS - January 9, 2007 Joint w/Library Trustees

BOS - January 9, 2007 Joint w/Library Trustees

Postby Suzanne Kane » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:02 am

JANUARY 9, 2007
7:00 P.M.

1. Call to Order

2. Discuss Request for use of Wallis Room

3. Discuss the Style and Placement of Community Sign

4. Discuss Library ADA Study

5. Discuss 5 year Library Capital Plan

6. Other Business

7. Adjournment
Douglas Board of Selectmen
Joint Workshop with Library Board of Trustees
Minutes – January 9, 2007
Approved March 20, 2007

1. Call to Order –
Madam Chair Shirley Mosczynski called the workshop for the Board of Selectmen to order in the Resource Room at the Municipal Center: Paula Brouillette-Vice Chair, Mitch Cohen, Mike Hughes and Executive Administrator Michael Guzinski
Madam Chair Betsy Youngsma called the workshop for the Library Board of Trustees: Barbara Gjeltema, Anne Hackett Devlin-Secretary, Ramona Lachappelle-Treasurer, Merritt “Pete” Tetreault, Joe Biagione, Ann Carlsson-Library Director and Ellie Chesebrough-Vice Chair
Others present: Katie Grace Youngsma

Shirley– Welcomed, thanked all for coming and hoped for a productive meeting. Most meetings preferred on cable but as requested this meeting would not. Recorded on tape for documentation. She asked they consider future meetings be televised. Before beginning Shirley made a point of clarification that it is not the Boards intent to take over the library. What we want is to help out any way we can to make the library good for the Town and the people in the Town.

2. Discuss Request for use of the Wallis Room: Shirley- Reminded the Trustees of the letter sent a short time ago asking that the Wallis Room be considered used for Rick Colonero our Facilities Manager and evidently they did not agree with this. Need discussion why and what it will be used for. This Board thought that it wasn’t being used and it’s tight for space here.
Discussion: Betsy- For clarification, Merritt Tetreault brought up at our last meeting, the library was built to be used as a library and a library only. It was donated to the Town, if you look back in the minutes it states that. Secondly-there are some documents especially the DAR Documents that are being stored there that can not be stored on the main floor. At one point we had Civil War records which are original documents, portraits, newspaper clippings and other historical collections that are primary sources and can not be out on the main floor.
Mitch- It is your building so you make the ultimate decision as to whether Ricky goes over there. Potentially I think it could’ve been a win win, there’s work that needs to be done in that building and having the Facility Manager resident in that building would help out quite a bit. Ricky showed him the area in December, how it would be arranged made sense and think you could have benefited by his presence there. Respect your decision, don’t know the intricacies of how the library is run, concerned about the long term maintenance of the building, which is a Town building. The Town is paying Ricky to take care of multiple buildings and want to see that done as efficiently and high quality as possible.
Betsy- Suggested space could be fixed up in the basement.
Pete- Nothing personally against Ricky, James Fairfield had a very specific letter: the public library and reading room for no other purpose(s) whatsoever upon the following condition. So he’s saying it’s supposed to be used as a library and nothing else. If we’re going to be the trustees of the building and library, I don’t feel comfortable with this contract accepted in 1903 with a unanimous standing vote.
Mitch- Obviously there are offices in that building related to the library and Ricky is your facilities person, so having an office for your facilities person I think is consistent with the purposes of a library or else you’d have to remove anything that wasn’t just library. So I’ll respectfully disagree with you on that point. If Ricky wasn’t your facilities person then I’d agree with you.
Pete- Maybe you should read the documents that go back to 1903. I think it specifies in his contract the Trustees are to run the library and part of running the library is having a Library Director and I think the Library Director deserves an office a lot more than the Facilities Manager for the Town of Douglas. It’s like apples and oranges.
Mike H– I agree with that and think if there was a space that wasn’t being utilized it could be by the Facilities Manager that would have been great. Consider alternative space and don’t know if the basement is feasible but worth looking into.
Mike- Talked to Ricky about where the Police Station was upstairs at the Old Town Hall. Not an ideal place. It doesn’t have facilities, currently used as storage, it’s kept at 50 degrees and there’s no easy way in or out. Right now Ricky is unfortunately in the hall way here and even though it’s uncomfortable for him it’s easier than trying to go over there.
Shirley- The rooms off the Resource Room are taken, used for storage and full.
Mitch- Advantage of the particular space in the library that Ricky was looking at was basically ready for occupancy, opposed to one of the basement areas that would certainly require significant rehab before I’d be comfortable placing a town employee into one of those rooms and same would be true for upstairs at the post office. He’s already working at the library and doesn’t have any other reason to be at the post office other than to take storage in and out. He’s in the hall way, this is something we as a Board need to deal with and obviously in the building a lot. I’d love for him to find a space. Can’t give him a phone or computer because of access and security issues. His paperwork is just out there and that’s one of the reasons we wanted to find somewhere more appropriate as office space.
Katie Grace Youngsma SW Main Street- I understand the Wallis Room is the balcony and think it would be awkward and strange to look up and have the facilities office above where I’m checking out books as opposed to seeing books up there.
Mike- I think the office was basically a desk, chair and maybe a 2 drawer file cabinet.
Mitch- Agree it’s awkward but less than a hall way.
Betsy- There is a confidential factor in library usage. So when a patron comes to a desk and asks for something and “he” overhears it, you’re also breaking that trust.
Shirley- Hopefully we can find someplace for Ricky and come to some agreement until we have bigger plans for buildings and hopefully see where we’re going.

3. Discuss the Style and Placement of Community Sign: Mike- Having some problems with the signage boards placed on Main Street in front of the library. Boards deteriorating, letters disappearing, clips breaking off, $300 spent on those boards a number of years ago. Spoke to Ricky about possibly getting a community bulletin board sign to put up notices to the public: Town Meeting, election, large event, programs at the library. Rough estimates for around $5000, went to Town Meeting and got appropriations. Unfortunately when we got quotes signs that were more fitting came in above that. Back over the summer the Board and Trustees looked at the three different styles. Preferred choice of the Selectmen at that time was to go with the Brotherton sign which has large lettering, granite posts, internally lit and unfortunately around $8000. Octoberfest agreed to donate $1000, leaves $2000 short. Trustees had split vote 4 to 3 in favor of the Brotherton sign. Trying to determine the best type and location to be as visible as possible and have for the April time frame.
Shirley- When the temporary sign was put up it was rainy and windy and some got blown down. I believe the reason why the Board of Selectmen voted for this sign was because around the edge it looked like the edge of the library. Wondering if the Trustees did get any feedback.
Joe- We’ve gone back and forth alot. We like the location of the plywood, but think it’s too big and all want the sign to match the building as much as possible, would be proportionate that the columns were out of brick but adds to the price. As Trustees one of our main objectives was to a have a simple library sign with the street number, at street level that had our hours on it so they could be changeable as planned in the next few years. We’ve not seen a firm set of plans, only drawings, not seen firm price quotes, maybe we should have some bids put out. Important to get our message out in an aesthetically, pleasing way as possible, don’t want a billboard or neon sign.
Ellie- What Joe’s saying is we aren’t in agreement. No matter what, people are going to be opinionated by this sign. “Echo” what Joe said regarding concern of the cost.
Anne- When you read a sign going through the center of Town my fear is traffic on and coming onto Main Street, businesses on both sides it’s really busy. In favor of having a sign but have a major concern with safety. You’re going to take your eyes off traffic and people crossing the street.
Mitch- I look at this in a different light. I see both our boards as policy boards and these are administrative functions as far as level of detail what the sign should look like, where it gets placed, brick or granite and think it should be the Executive Administrator and Library Director to work together to try to find all the many suitable answers, bring all final information back to both boards for a “yes or no” vote and be done with it. Joe lends a particular level of expertise and could be an asset to this because of his occupation and experience.
Pete- I wasn’t on as a Trustee when this started but in my opinion but there are professional people out there that can look at the building, location, outline the parameters we’re looking for and come up with an appropriate sign that’s going to honor the area. Last time we met we had discrepancy over the lead, did it have glass in it? Go back to square one, get a professional person to look at it, make a recommendation, give him the guideline he’s got $5000 or $6000 to work with, move forward and do it.
Betsy- Aside from my own opinions on the sign, I think anything that generates community interest in functions and this Town, Library, cemeteries, anything, is worth it.
Shirley- Am I wrong in feeling and hearing that the Library wants its own sign to put up their own hours and whatever is happening in the library? We were concerned too and something that would generate interest for the Town of Douglas, get people involved and come to Town Meetings if they will, putting up announcements to make people aware of what’s going on. Sandwich boards got run over, beat up and they’re gone. Is it going to be too much because you’re concerned about the huge sign, and yet we need something for announcements but not be big enough for people to see? Are we at a crossroads here where we need our own separate signs?
Joe- If you back away we would put up our own sign and will be some type there whatever happens. Before the option was given to us we were working on our own sign and would have a message board but scaled down 20% what is out there. We want to work with the Town and think it’s important to have a message board. A lot of discussion on the safety issue taking your eyes off the road to read a sign. Downtown is dangerous, very narrow. You said you want to help, what should we do? Is there a better location for the sign you’re looking for?
Pete- We’re talking about two different issues-a sign that says the Douglas Library and then you have the bulletin board type of thing which is something altogether different. You have to separate the two, go along with Ann it’s very busy there and Joe is not the only one that got hit this year. Talked previously about putting up a few informational boards with businesses for people coming into Town at the most active routes coming into Douglas would probably serve the purpose.
Shirley- Mike is looking into trying to get better lighting downtown with Mass Electric because of the visibility problems.
Mike H- I think if you’re going to put up a sign anyway maybe there’s one that can serve both purposes. Adding another distraction putting up two separate signs increases the possibility of another accident.
Ellie- Thought of having special signs to hang underneath for programs Ann is having, or “Vote Today” or “Town Meeting Tonight” in red.
Mike- Approved at November Town Meeting over a year ago. I recommend that the Board discuss it again. Safety is a good issue, but the distraction we’ll have to look at more and whether or not that’s the best location for that large a sign. That might free up the Library to get a sign specifically that meets their needs more. The Fire Station is the secondary place to be looked at.
Ann C- Agree with Pete, I agree with a lot of things, I disagree with a lot, but I have no problem working with Mike if he has time to come up with maybe two possible solutions, because it seems like we keep going around.

4. Discuss Library ADA Study: Mike– Approached by Pete back in August at the ADA session about putting together an article for the STM so the Library Board of Trustees could bring an architect in to look at the library, its current accessibility and develop a plan to bring the building into compliance with its specific issues. Article was passed, currently our ADA Study is ongoing, expect to be completed by late February and hopefully have reports to you by the end of February. As that continues I’ll bring you further updates. (Betsy assigned this to Pete)
Pete- We’ll wait until we get the report in February and want to work with the Town, Mr. Farley, Trustees, meet with the Building Department, Selectmen and what we’re looking for in the Library. We have $3000, talked with Mr. Farley and he still agrees to come talk to us, do a floor plan and how to do the downstairs and upstairs. Once we start doing ADA in the building, facilities inside will shrink about 25%. If we do over the basement we wouldn’t be gaining anything because upstairs will change, the aisles and elevator. However we’re going to have a building in compliance and that’s the important thing. I think Ann Carlsson is doing a great job, things are improving, more programs. We have to get the word out there and provide the facilities so we can do these programs. The Library is a very important part of the community. A place for our young people to go and stay off the street.
Shirley- At that meeting not only the Board of Selectmen, Facilities Manager, Library Trustees but important to have the Permanent Building Committee.
Mitch- This ADA issue is probably the most critical facility issue in Town with the Library. I think your suggestion of a joint meeting to figure out how to move ahead is very good. The Board did vote and we do have a Bylaw that says these projects do go to the Building Committee. The fact that you two are already working together is great. The State Open Meeting Law requires that all public meetings be held in accessible spaces-Board of Trustees meetings can’t be held in the Library because you’re in non-compliance. Solve this and the ADA issues and that will show a lot of respect for the Community. Seeing we’ve solved that problem and one of the many things we need to do to get Town support behind the Library where it isn’t now and eventually get town support for expansion of the library.
Joe- We have foresight of what this building should be and one of things with Mr. Farley’s plan is we’re trying to utilize space that we’re not utilizing now but not get in the way of the ADA. So we’re working together.
Shirley- Once we get the ADA report, hold a meeting and the Permanent Building Committee sees what Mr. Farley has accumulated over the years, then look at the whole project, what needs to be done and move forward. Not in favor of piece meal because I think it can waste money. Have a plan what you’re going to do and get the support not only for people with disabilities but for the elderly. Either by lift, ramp or elevator you need something.
Pete- After the defeat of the 16,000 sq. ft. library I heard let’s do this piece meal. You’ve got to spend at least a million bucks to bring the library up to spec. You’ve got to have a plan and a lot of support. A ramp-you’re talking about the beauty of a building.
Barbara- After they get in there what are they going to do? They can’t get into the bathrooms they’re so narrow, the bookcases are so close together a wheelchair wouldn’t get around. It’s not going to do any good until we have more space. Do it piecemeal, Plan B and we’re going to end up paying a lot more money.
Mike H- That’s the perfect argument for not doing it piecemeal.
Ellie- The $3000 we had no say so we really can’t invite Mr. Farley to our meeting if it’s the Building Committee controlling the $3000.
Mike- You can contact Mr. White and arrange everything.
Mitch- Regarding the Open Meeting Law: guidelines from Atty General’s Office clearly states meeting locations must be accessible by wheelchair without the need for special assistance.
Pete- Read Chapter 78 §11 “Board of Trustees, Powers & Duties”. Concerned because of the contract in 1903, want to live by them and will continue to try to enforce the rules and regulations: we must have the meetings at the library. The Town should research this contract and get an interpretation.
Mike- On this one (access issues and open meetings) I can say assuredly that when it comes to State or Federal Law regarding access and disabled access it would trump any trust or deed, over ride that particular aspect.
Paula- One of the issues we have with the Library Project not going forward, we don’t have many people that use our library, hopefully you as Trustees know why. One way to get some support is to say we know this building isn’t compliant. You have to start touching some people out there. This is an opportunity to build some of that support so that the next project that comes forward to the Town is one that’s going to be successful. We can not afford to have another library project that fails because then you will not get one for another ten years. Guaranteed people will not trust it. These are all opportunities to be able to build some trust with people out there who don’t use the library and need some reasons why they want to support a bigger and better library.
Pete- Already talked to the Cable Committee and Rich Preston about coming in and doing a video program, good and bad points of the library and try to build interest that way. We only meet once a month right now and working on a lot of things, PR, ADA and whatnot. Great diversity on the Board and think we’re moving ahead.
Betsy- What Paula said is absolutely true in this town you have 8,000 people, 1200 have library cards and 800 use other libraries. Until you bring that figure up to at least half you will not get anything passed. Reasons why people don’t use that library, I’m not sure, if anybody can think of any let me or Ann know. Do they get out of the habit of using it, is what they find in their homes better than what’s down there? Asked the Board if they have cards, why don’t they use them and if they don’t have cards why not.
Joe- We talked last Tuesday about how to go about increasing, we’re strategizing and have different ideas. A brand new facility with a lot of parking would be wonderful.
Mitch- Until you increase the demand for additional library space there will never be support for funding additional library space. Pete did a good presentation at Town Meeting-this library needs some help.
Shirley- I think you have to look at what Barbara said-once all the information is in what is the cost if we do this or then this vs. what it’s going to be with just doing “Plan B”, because you’re going to lose space when you’re doing piecemeal. Need to work with the Permanent Building Committee along with Mr. Farley and the ADA and look at the whole big picture.
Paula- Unless your fundraising is going to be significant, like a half million dollars or something, I don’t believe we can do any of the major renovations that need to be done in the library with pay as you go as opposed to a prop 2 ½. Smaller pieces can be done as long as they’re part of a bigger plan and get it done in a reasonable amount of time. We have significant work to do. Capital Plan funding for the whole Town is only $400,000 a year. We have two old school buildings and the bill is coming due real soon.
Mike- We’ll establish a transition plan and set our own goal timelines. Whatever we feel is reasonable. The consultant is not going to come back and say this is what you have to do within one or two years. They’re going to ask where your milestones are and when you’ll feel comfortable saying we can reach these milestones. It may be 5, 7 or 10 years for parts of this but you have to have a plan and be revised every two or three years. Once you affect more than15% of the square footage in the building you have to bring the building up to full ADA Code.
Paula- They’re adding 3 feet on top of the Alternatives building and wondering if this is an option to the ¾ second floor we have that can’t be used as is and send to the Permanent Building Committee. Right now the library is not very welcoming to me and you’re competing with Barnes and Noble where you can go in, sit down, read and have a cup of coffee. You have more books but less space to sit and read quietly.
Betsy- Every resident that goes to another Town and checks out a book, that library gets 12cents per book from the state.
Mike H- Used to use the library for information, now any information I need at work or at home is on the internet. I like best sellers and don’t like to wait. People don’t go into buildings anymore to get the info they need, available in so many other avenues.
Shirley- Meet with Permanent Building Committee, the Selectmen, Mr. Farley, keep in touch with Mike and we need to move forward with the ADA Report cautiously along with fundraising.

5. Discuss 5 Year Library Capital Plan:
Property: Ellie- Right of first refusal on the adjoining properties. Mike- They approach us with their price and give the Town 30 days to decide whether we’d like to pursue that if not they put it on the market. It would probably take the Town a couple months to get an actual appropriation.

Basement: Joe- Quote for about $1,200 to remove the asbestos that’s rapped around the pipes.
Anne- Agreed to have it done but didn’t agree where we’d get the money. Mike- At that price recommend to get it done as soon as possible and will talk to Ricky.

Capital Committee: Shirley- Confirmed they’re doing requests. We go through and determine what’s needed the most. Mike- Hoping to get something by the beginning of February, only concern is by the beginning of March you’re formulating your priority list.

Previous Projects: Mike- Once a project is completed and there’s any money left Capital requests that all monies from finished projects get swept into the big Capital article. Projects get resubmitted and prioritized every year.

Library Fundraising: Discussed the need of and various suggestions.

Note: At this time all but the Selectmen and Mike left.

6. Other Business: Mike-
MMMA Conference
he’ll be attending this weekend.
Monday is a holiday-the Town Hall will be closed and back open on Tuesday.
Next Tuesday regular meeting.
Next Wednesday 7pm televised meeting with Sutton Board of Selectmen re: Manchaug Pond.
5 Year Operational Plans the week after the 23rd, with FinCom, Highway Superintendent,
Fire and Police Chiefs.
Vacation Last week of January 2007.
Fire Union Negotiations meeting tomorrow at 11am. Will give update next week.
John Ducharme’s Position(IT) approached by Supt. Nancy Lane. She feels they can probably get by at the schools having John there 3 and half days a week and inquired whether the Town would be interested in having him do all our computer work. Right now we have him for 4 hours a week (not enough but rather have him one day a week) and costs $11,000 a year, she asked we consider having him 12 hours a week but would cost us $23,000 a year. I think we can keep him busy, he has a very high level of expertise in computers. The question is whether we need that level at this time. Their discussions with him will not be until after we have ours. I don’t know how long he’ll stay working a 4 and a half day week, basically loosing 4 hours a week. He’ll be with us more as well as with:Fire, Highway, Water/Sewer and Library departments. Will speak with Jean how we can divvy up in an equitable way. We have to defend that to DOR every year when we split up the enterprise fund. Mitch- Agreed, impressed with his knowledge and personality.
Meal Policy:Police Chief’s Christmas Gathering- Meal policy developed several months ago. The Chief’s gatherings for employees and members of the public have been going on for awhile. He submitted a bill for some of the food (a little over $200.00). Jean reviewed the policy, no official approval from the Board before the event took place, she’s asking for the Boards okay with her processing that warrant. Talked to the Chief about making sure he comes before the Board ahead of time next year and in the future. Other suggestions:have the function up here in the Resource Room, there’s more room and get a broader notice out inviting the public for next year.

Shirley- Mike’s Contract Renewed: Tried to get it in the paper at Christmas time. Calls back and forth and should finally be in T&G and Tribune tomorrow. Both Tom (Tribune) and Steve (T&G) got a copy of the contract.

7. Adjournment : Motion- Mitch Cohen at 9:30 pm.
Seconded – Paula Brouillette. All – aye.

Respectfully Submitted;

Jane L. Alger, Administrative Secretary
Suzanne Kane
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 2:01 pm

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