BOS - June 26, 2007 Workshop

BOS - June 26, 2007 Workshop

Postby Suzanne Kane » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:48 am

Douglas Board of Selectmen
Workshop Minutes – June 26, 2007
Approved April 1, 2008

Call to Order:
Chairman Mike Hughes called the meeting to order at 6:47 pm.
In attendance: John Bombara-Vice Chair, Paula Brouillette, Mitch Cohen, Scott Medeiros, Executive Administrator Michael Guzinski, Administrative Assistant Suzanne Kane.
Others present: Town Engineer-Bill Cundiff, Board of Health Chair-Justin Lapham, Board of Health Agent-Joe Yacino, Board of Health Administrative Supervisor-Marleen Bacon and Member-Robert Bob Brazeau, Personnel Board Chair-Dave St. George, Linda Brown, Building Commissioner-Adelle Reynolds, Board of Assessors Chair-Jack Blatchford, Water/Sewer Commissioner Bob Josey, Senior Center Director-Alyssa Graveson, Outreach Coordinator-Patrice Rousseau, Marilyn Hughes

Meeting with Zoning Board of Appeals to discuss fees-Rescheduled

Mike Guzinski reviewed the following:
Bill Cundiff came forward for the next three items
-Highway Letter:Bill Cundiff
came forward. Mike The letter confirmed that work done on Charles Street by Cliff Van Reed is finished to the satisfaction of the Highway Department. Request the Board vote to release the $13,000 Bond for that project.
Motion- Mitch Cohen release the bond to Cliff Van Reed as presented. Seconded- John Bombara. All - aye.
-Post Office Parking Lot Bid: Working on this for the last year, have all permits needed and gone out to bid. Bill Need the bid bond making sure the work is adequate. Mike G Required to begin witin 10 days after receiving a notice to proceed from the Town. Would like to have this work start as soon as possible while school is out, hoping to get most of the heavy work done before the first day of school. Request the Board consider voting to approve the contract for the Post Office Parking Lot to Aldore Tetreault & Sons, Inc from Mendon in the amount of $35,450. Bill added- and to not issue a Notice to Proceed until we receive final Assurance Surety.
Motion- Paula Brouillette approve the contract to Aldore Tetreault of Mendon for $35,450 for improvements and additions to the Post Office Parking Lot contingent upon receiving a bid bond. Seconded- Mitch Cohen. All - aye.
-LIP (Local Initiative Plan) North Village MOU (Memorandum of Understanding): Mike G
Board voted to approve, based on approval of the Town Engineer and some item changes. Ask the Board approve the LIP, also on contingency the contractor is in accordance with the MOU. Bill Pending changing the date on the front cover and a waiver item, it’s ready to go to DHCD.

Motion- Mitch Cohen we approve the revised LIP agreement as presented. Seconded- Paula Brouillette. Bill Cundiff as long as all pertinent submittals comply with the MOU that’s been previously agreed upon.
Motion Amended- Mitch Cohen- as stated by Bill.
Seconded - Paula Brouillette. All - aye.
Bill Cundiff left the workshop.


-Government Study Committee Email: Mike G Chair Lisa Mosczynski is requesting a one month extension from the Board to complete it’s work. According to their Charge the deadline is June 30th, would like to extend to July 31, 2007 to finalize a report and prepare a presentation before the Board.
Motion – Scott Medeiros to grant the extension to the Government Study Committee until July 31st, 2007, so they prepare an adequate presentation and complete their business. Seconded- Mitch Cohen. All - aye.
Mike G
Based on the letter, they would come before the Board with a presentation in August.

-Senior Van Ceremony: Mike G Senior Van obtained from a State grant for use by Sutton and Douglas arrived in Sutton. Rep. Callahan would like a small ceremony tomorrow morning at 9 am at our Senior Center. Confirmed with our Senior Director. Public invited, encouraged to attend. Sen. Moore and Rep. Kujawski invited. Future discussions needed regarding funding.
Paula Brouillette and Scott Medeiros to attend.

ZBA Re-scheduling: Paula Encouraged it be addressed as soon as possible.

-43D Advertising: Mike G Spoke with April Anderson (Deputy Director in charge of the Program), follow our regular process for the Economic Development Permitting Coordinator. Advertise in the local paper and post at Town Hall a minimum generally of 14 days. Develop the job description with Atty. Costa within the next week. Board could act mid-July to appoint someone to that position and start the process. Treasurer informed, $150,000 was wired today. We have a $90,000 budget in the grant to cover the part time position, up to 20 hours a week. Up to individual towns to set the wage/salary. Job description would have to follow guidelines set by the State.
Motion- Scott Medeiros to have Mike Guzinski prepare a job description and post in Town Hall the opening as required by State Laws.
Seconded- John Bombara. All - aye.


Recess at 7:08 pm until the Board of Health arrives. Motion - Scott Medeiros. Seconded- Mitch Cohen. All - aye.
Reconvened at 7:25 pm on June 26, 2007.


Board of Health (Handouts): Bob Brazeau, Joe Yacino, Marleen Bacon, Justin Lapham came forward.
-Fees: Mike G
Back in the spring during budget discussions, the Board of Selectmen requested fees be reviewed, brought up to date and similar to area towns. Board of Selectmen does not have a policy in place on how often fees are reviewed.
Discussion: Reviewed the fees, other towns contacted and started to receive their fee schedule for comparison. Will make adjustments as necessary. All applications and turn over of moneys are done through the office. Fees at the transfer station reviewed yearly to cover costs. No comparison yet to report with the recycling program with Blackstone, they have more people so they’re able to do more to recycle and make more money for themselves. Our hauler is charging the same fee for bringing there as to where he was bringing it before. Contract is through December 31st of the calendar year. Marleen could use some help, raising fees could be justified. Should look at this ahead of time to make this transition easier. Mike H With a lot of these items there are administrative costs attached to it that we could cover by potentially increasing some of these fees. Concur with John, once we get information from the other towns compare with them. Marleen Have seen a drop in new perc tests, a lot of repairs this year, more than in new houses, drop in plan reviews, however if we don’t have sanitation or perc tests, we have housing inspections, complaints, transfer station and permits, emergency medical things, we’ve always got something.
-Town Nurse: Paula Feedback on only having hours in this building, privacy and the busy parking lot, opportunity to look at other options of supporting the Senior Center with the nurse. Could not justify having the nurse as often as before. She does go to Riddlebrook and other private places. Feed back from residents, it’s more impersonal coming here, they feel more comfortable going to the Senior Center. Justin stated this was news to them, they hadn’t heard complaints.
Alyssa and Patrice joined the meeting. Alyssa Letters went back and forth, the final one in September (2005) stated it (blood pressure clinic) would be here (Municipal Center). Still not getting the Seniors we were. We are the only Senior Center in the valley that does not have an on site nurse through the Town or VNA. Patrice Transportation issue: a lot of the Seniors are already at the center and stay after a program to visit with the nurse. Many do not drive, have to pay extra for the Elder Bus and only does a trip every hour, so they would be stuck here, also have a lot of other issues they like to discuss privately. At the Center they can watch TV, play cards, read a book and/or socialize. A lot of them go to Sutton and have their blood pressure checked there. Alyssa No complaints with Grace, think she’s wonderful. Service offered from VNA to come in for free. Seniors are a good population in Town and to have this service taken away is so unjust to them, they can not comprehend that. Patrice We’re asking for one hour a month. Joe Reason for the decrease is “it’s all about money”. Grace never discusses anything in the main office, she offers to go into the next room. The Board will discuss this at the next meeting July 9th and if you’re looking for an hour a month on a Thursday, may not be a problem. Mike H Hold off with the VNA (need an answer by August 1st) and wait for Board of Health decision to send the nurse for an hour a month before we add additional time if not needed, go with the other agency that offers other free health programs. Very confident it can be worked out, thanked all and appreciate their service to the Town.

ZBA Conflict: Paula Inquired as to the process in the un-likely occurrence there is a conflict with these two members about setting fees. Recommend Mike G do as much parallel work so we do not run into another road block looking at the fee structure. Mike G Have to look into whether the alternates could get involved or not. If not, that would vote the “Rule of Necessity” in order to act on that.
Consensus of the Board: Have Mike Guzinski look into.

Motion to Recess at 8:10 pm - John Bombara. Seconded- Scott Medeiros. All - aye.
Reconvened at 8:35 pm.

Health Insurance/Executive Session: Motion- Scott Medeiros to go into Executive Session at 8:35 pm for the purposes of discussing physical condition and mental health issues of an individual and return to Open Session. Seconded – John Bombara. All - aye.
Roll Call Vote: Mitch Cohen-aye, Paula Brouillette-aye, Mike Hughes-aye, John Bombara-aye, Scott Medeiros-aye.


Reconvened to Open Session at 8:52- Mike Hughes after having left Executive Session for the purposes of discussing physical condition and mental health issues of an individual.
Roll Call Vote- Scott Medeiros-aye, John Bombara-aye, Mike Hughes-aye. All - aye.

Paula Brouillette recused, Mitch Cohen recused.

Health Insurance: Mike
H In the process of beginning our discussion for Elected Officials. Mike G Reviewed letter sent to those currently in the Town’s program: “Under MGL c 32B § D, it is the Board of Selectmen that determine whether or not paid elected officials who work less than 20 hours per week shall be considered eligible employees for the purposes of receiving health insurance.” Purpose of this agenda item is to discuss whether or not that will continue within the town or the Board will consider making some change to that. History: Back in the early part of 2004 there was a change where paid elected officials were able to have insurance covered at 80%. No vote found in Selectmen minutes-researched back to 2001. After several discussions with Town Counsel there are basically four options:
#1 Take no action (basically continue as it is carried out)
#2 Vote that no new additions of paid elected officials be made as beneficiaries of the health insurance system
#3 Phase out at the end of the current term of the elected official (health insurance benefit-most officials have a 3 year term and they’re staggered)
#4 Stop the health insurance benefit for paid elected officials (at a date certain).
In all cases, it’s the recommendation of Town Counsel, if there was a date to phase out or a date certain, it would be the date of Town election.
Discussion: A lot of money, potential to phase the percentage of contribution is not an option under state law, either pay the full percentage or the individual would have to carry 100%. Share concern of those presently utilizing the benefit-taxpayers could have their tax dollars utilized better. Applying this kind of dollar figure could be a great start in not impacting our Stabilization and spending our Free Cash. Could do a non-binding referendum in the future on a ballot question if feedback is wanted from the public.
Motion – John Bombara to eliminate the insurance next May at the next election day. Seconded- Scott Medeiros for the purpose of further discussion: May be a valid point that those that make a commitment to the Town and work 20 hours or slightly under as part of their position as an elected official warrants some other compensation as far as stipend. Don’t think $12,000 is warranted for a 20 hour position. Should phase this out as of the next election, look at and put on our agenda at some future date. There’s a lot of people working every day to make $25,000 and this is salary for a 20 hour position. Mike H Recognize the financial impact this will have. Issue is, it’s a benefit that evolved without a Board of Selectmen vote to make that change and in 2004 Elected Officials were then allowed to receive the same benefit as other employees. We’re taking action against action that was never taken. Secondly, some tough decisions will have to be made in the future and have a financial impact on a lot of people. This is probably the first of many of those decisions. Can not support the continuation Elected Officials are getting for health insurance. Tying it to the next election is more than adequate notice.
Mitch Cohen Stated he believed there would be discussion on this matter but no action would be taken at this meeting. Scott All were invited and told we were having it here tonight. There was nothing official in the letter stating we would not take action tonight. Mike G Spoke with legal counsel this afternoon and after clarification received he believed the Board had the legal ability to act on it.
Mike H Clear the three of us aren’t in support with continuing this. The date we want to set is the next election in May. Don’t see how it hurts to be extra prudent in making sure legally we’re taking the right steps before we take a vote on it.
Mike G The most prudent, cautious course would be for the Board to perhaps take a consensus vote on its contention to move ahead with that at your next meeting. I would draft a letter to counsel, stating this is the action the Board is intending to take in regards to this matter and get confirmation from counsel this is the appropriate legal method to move forward.

Motion Approved - John Bombara - aye. Opposed - Mike Hughes and Scott Medeiros.

Revised Motion-Scott Medeiros We take a consensus vote on the intention of ending this policy that provides 80% health care coverage for elected officials working less than 20 hours at the May date of the next election in 2008 and ask Mike (Guzinski) to send a letter to Town Counsel to confirm our legal right to do that. Seconded- John Bombara. All - aye.

Mike G
Should have the letter a week before the next meeting to review.


Adjournment- Scott Medeiros motion to adjourn at 9:25 pm.
Seconded – John Bombara. All – aye.




Respectfully submitted,



Jane L. Alger
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