BOS - March 4, 2003 Workshop

BOS - March 4, 2003 Workshop

Postby Suzanne Kane » Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:07 am

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
March 4, 2003
Approved March 18, 2003


1. Call to Order:

Madame Chairman Shirley Mosczynski called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm. In attendance: Paula Brouillette, Rich Preston, Ron Forget, Edward Therrien, Executive Administrator Ken Mahony, and Administrative Assistant Suzanne Kane.

Other staff and citizens in attendance: Town Accountant Rich Mathieu, Town Engineer Bill Cundiff, Planning and Conservation member Linda Brown, and T&G Reporter Steve Foskett.

2. Chairman’s Announcements:
• LEPC:
Shirley Mosczynski reported that she has attended two meeting with Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) at the Fire Department, to plan for any type of emergency. If anyone is interested they can call LEPC Chairman Pauline LeBrecque.
• RAD Class: Shirley Mosczynski announced that there is room for three more women in the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) class. Anyone interested can contact the Police Department. Classes are scheduled to start March 8th, 2003.
• Meals on Wheels: Shirley Mosczynski announced that there is a need for drivers for the Meals on Wheels program. Anyone interested can contact the Senior Center.
• School Net Spending: Shirley Mosczynski announced that there will be a meeting Tuesday, March 11, 2003 at 6:00 pm with Mark Abrahams on School Net Spending. Anyone interested may come.

3. Citizen’s Forum:
No citizen came forward.

4. National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) – Bill Cundiff:
In the agenda packet is a copy of Notice of Public Hearing for the NPDES; a memo to the Board of Selectmen, from Bill Cundiff, dated February 18, 2003, re: NPDES Stormwater Management; and a draft copy of the NPDES / SWPPP for the Town of Douglas, dated March 10, 2003. Shirley Mosczynski opened the Public Hearing for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System at 7:16 pm. Town Engineer Bill Cundiff passed out a complete copy of the NPDES / SWPPP for the Town of Douglas. He explained that the proposal is broken down into six areas and provides specific “Best Management Plans” (BMP’s): • Public Education and Outreach, • Public Participation and Involvement, • Illicit Discharge & Elimination, • Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Controls, • Post Construction Stormwater Management, and • Pollution Prevention / Good Housekeeping Measures. These BMP’s will be implemented over the next 5 years. The regulations apply to any municipalities with a population over 100,000. Mr. Cundiff explained that it is his plan to provide education to the public on the Town website and cable access. He received a call from the DEP and was told there is a grant which will match 50% of the amount budgeted. Bill Cundiff stated that some of the BMP’s will be addressed in Bylaws. Rich Preston asked if Article 5, Section 5 Bylaw would be involved. Bill Cundiff answered yes, stating they will be consistent with what is currently required. Rich Preston asked how they will be regulated and Bill Cundiff stated that remains to be seen; Planning Board permits or Conservation, it is for the Town to decide. He then stated that the DEP has sites that they will have linked from the Town site. Edward Therrien commended Mr. Cundiff on a good job. Rich Preston made a motion to close the public hearing at 7:40 pm. Ron Forget seconded the motion. All – aye. Rich Preston made a motion to approve the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) for the Town of Douglas, dated March 10, 2003 as presented. Paula Brouillette seconded the motion. All – aye.

• Shady Knoll: Ken Mahony passed out page 13 of 16, of Shady Knoll Estates II Definitive Subdivision Plan. He drew their attention to item “e” explaining the Planning Board will be inserting this line in new sub-division plans to avoid future problems as with Pond Street. Bill Cundiff stated they use this as a standard boiler plate for sub-divisions.

5. Minutes – February 11 and February 18, 2003:
Taken out of order after the citizen’s forum to allow time before the public hearing.
• February 11, 2003: Rich Preston made a motion to approve the minutes of February 11, 2003 as amended. Ron Forget seconded the motion. All – aye.
• February 18, 2003: Rich Preston made a motion to approve the minutes of February 18, 2003 as presented. Paula Brouillette seconded the motion. Ron Forget and Edward Therrien abstained because they were not present at the February 18th meeting. All other members – aye.

6. Insurance – MIIA Loss Control Credit Program:
In the agenda packet is a memo to the Board of Selectmen, from Suzanne Kane, dated February 26, 2003, re: MIIA Loss Control Credit Program; a copy of the Public Officials Liability Checklist; a copy of the School Committee Liability Checklist; a copy of the Workers’ Compensation Checklist; and a copy of the General Liability, Auto Liability, Property Checklist. Suzanne Kane explained that MIIA is offering a Loss Control Credit Program, which we have indicated intent to participate in. This program would help us to earn up to 8% in credits towards our FY04 premiums and must be completed by June 30, 2003. This was presented as information for the Board and Suzanne Kane would be contacting all personnel regarding this program.

7. Administrators Report:
• Street Light Complaint – Scagnelli:
Ken Mahony passed out a letter to the Board, from Police Chief Patrick Foley, dated March 4, 2003, re: Inquiry and Complaint. He stated that he was not aware of the Street Light Policy and had a street light installed at 82 Mumford Street at a cost of $120 per year to the Town. Ron Forget made a motion to approve the installation of the street light at 82 Mumford Street. Rich Preston seconded the motion. All – aye. Shirley Mosczynski encouraged Mr. Mahony to become more familiar with the Towns Policies.
• Wetland Bylaw: Ken Mahony commented on the Wetland Bylaw changes the Board had received earlier; stating it is scheduled for action on the 17th with plans to present as a warrant article. Mr. Mahony stated Steve Zisk is looking for the Boards comments. He stated that 97% of the Bylaw is boiler plate that came from DEP. Rich Preston asked if they were having a public hearing. Ken Mahony stated it was held last night.
• Warrant: Ken Mahony reported that the Warrant closes on Friday, March 28th. He is writing the articles at the moment and then will bring them to the Board. He asked the Board to submit anything they had. Mr. Mahony then stated he will have Town Counsel draft them all.
• Governors Office: Ken Mahony stated that he received an email from the Governors Office; they are willing to set up conference calls with local municipalities. He asked the Board if they had any questions or comments.
• Police Union: Ken Mahony reported that the Police Union has meet and they would like to change their hours slightly. Mr. Mahony does not feel it needs negotiations. Chief Foley is asking for the support of the Board to allow him to try the changes. Changes would be from 7-3 instead of 8-4. Rich Preston stated their contract expires this fall. There was a consensus of the Board to allow Chief Foley to implement the change in shift hours.
• Municipal Relief Package: Ken Mahony passed out a sheet entitled “Municipal Relief Package will Help Ease Local Pressure”. He explained that he circled the items that would be of benefit to us.
• Spring Meadow: Ken Mahony reported that he has notified the property owners.
• Old Town Hall – Second Story: Ken Mahony reported that the lights are in at the Old Town Hall on the second story. He stated that the School is also going to use the space for storage.
• Library Trustees: Ken Mahony reported that the Library Trustees decided to wait and fill the vacant position from the election.
• Budget: Town Accountant Rich Mathieu joined the meeting to discuss the budget. He said he put together a couple of different scenarios. Many decisions need to be made; mostly on the school side. He stated we still do not know 100% of the revenues and if they could get a “Cherry Sheet” they could come up with figures. Rich Preston stated the Governors Office was looking at a cut of 5-10%. Rich Mathieu stated that House Means and Ways member John Rogers said 20%. He is not sure what is going on. Ken Mahony stated that the Vocational Schools Chapter 70 funds are now included in the Towns. The Vocational School is going to ask the Town to pick up their cut. Paula Brouillette stated she went to the Finance Committee meeting and then spent some time with Ken Mahony and Rich Mathieu. She looked at our revenues and stated that if this is the best we can expect, where we stand now we are 2 million in the hole. She suggested the Board provide direction and focus on what we need to look at. She asked for a consensus of the Board. The Board gave her a consensus. Ken Mahony stated he has been working under their direction and making plans without layoffs and not putting in a Cost of Living (COLA) for salaries. Ken Mahony stated he and Rich Mathieu need help now to go beyond this. Shirley Mosczynski stated that Finance Committee Chairman Pamela Holmes had asked for a joint meeting with the Selectmen and all department heads and committee chairmen in her memo dated March 4, 2003, re: Joint meeting – March 18, 2003 @ 7:00 pm, which Ken Mahony had passed out before the meeting. Ken Mahony stated that he had spoken to Pam Holmes and stated the department heads know what is going on, he does not feel they need to be called in again. He can see way for a meeting with the School, Finance Committee and Selectmen; but not the department heads. He stated he knows the Finance Committee will be meeting with each department individually. Ken Mahony also stated that the March 18th date is bad; sighting the agenda for the Selectmen’s March 18th meeting is heavy. Paula Brouillette stated that she does not feel we will get any other info other than what we have now; we are not going to find 2 million in revenues. She said the Board needs to give direction; we can’t wait any longer. Rich Preston asked Paula Brouillette what the schedule for the ’04 Capital looked like. Paula Brouillette stated there were a lot of things; Accounting Software, Fire Recharge “thing”, etc. Ken Mahony stated that there are a couple of pieces of equipment in the FY04 budget that will have to be moved to Capital. He said the Board of Selectmen also directed him, though not verbally, not to cut Public Safety. That is why they are working with operating costs in the present budget. Paula Brouillette; getting back to the Capital Question, stated that all the Capital items have been deferred for one year. Ken Mahony reminded the Board that we did over half a million in work this year. Shirley Mosczynski pointed out the irony that everyone is talking about the importance of Police and Fire yet no federal money has been released; it’s all on the backs of the communities. Paula Brouillette stated that looking at the list of Expenditures and Revenues; a few things that can be looked at are: • defer purchasing on all Capital Equipment, • Increase on employees share of health insurance, • no new employees. Rich Preston asked if she meant no new employees for new positions, or no new employees for old positions. Paula Brouillette said both. Ken Mahony stated that there are only three new positions outside of school. Paula Brouillette stated we need to look at scenarios and warned they may not be pretty. She went on to say; • look at smaller expenses, offer the Annual Report on our Website. Suzanne Kane stated the Annual Report is already offered on the Website. Ken Mahony stated the • Finance Committee informational flyer is also an expense to look at. Paula Brouillette stated the final place to look is • education; with the opening of the new school; look at net school spending; she suggests sitting with the school administration to look at funding schools at required level and not above. Rich Mathieu then handed out a sheet entitled, “Required School Spending – FY04 Prelim Requirements”. He stated that part of that is the Vocational School. Suggesting we work closely with the 10 other communities. Rich Mathieu stated that Property and Liability Insurance are unknowns and the Blackstone Valley Vocational School is an unknown. Paula Brouillette said the reverse side is
• Town permit fees; are they appropriate and what we should be charging? She suggested looking at • school bus fees, • athletic fees, • use of free cash; we have two years worth because it was not rolled into the stabilization fund, • Proposition 2 ½ operational over ride, • commercial / industrial goal for Ken Mahony to bring $3-400,000 in revenues if tax base is increased by 10%. She stated they still need to work on that plan, but it’s good to put it into some content. Rich Preston stated that is a long range plan that can not be done in ’04, but they need to start planning. Rich Mathieu said they should keep in mind that we already know we are losing $264,000 in FY05. Paula Brouillette stated there is one more source of revenues: • choice out; right now it is a reduction in Douglas of $424,000. She suggested the Board of Selectmen request the School Committee look at a plan to reduce that number by 50%. Rich Preston suggested a simple survey asking why they left; stating it could help preventing others from leaving. Ron Forget stated we’ve been there before; new families move in and their kids want to stay at the high school they were already going to or because of sports. He said the reasons are 80% education and 20% sports. He stated that hopefully with the new school opening there will be room for sports. Rich Preston stated that if that were the case you would see the same thing in other communities; we don’t, there is an unbalance. Ron Forget stated part of it is because there is no room. Shirley Mosczynski stated there was a study done of 2,500 students 4 or 5 years ago which ended in a lot of controversy. She believes there is a copy of the report at the library. Paula Brouillette stated that going forward, looking at a 5 year plan, a simple survey could help. She stated, knowing we have this problem, what direction do we go in? Ron Forget stated he does not understand why they want to make a lot of cuts; we are upsetting everyone’s apple cart. He stated he doesn’t know what Paula Brouillette wants to ask them to do when we don’t know what we need to do; then asked to hear from Rich Mathieu and Ken Mahony. Rich Mathieu stated that if the school opens; we need to find 2 million dollars. He’s not sure who makes the final decision; we have an answer, not sure if it’s the final one. Ken Mahony stated his answer was similar to Rich Mathieu’s; he is not sure if the Board of Selectmen has a say if the school opens or not. The school has to decide if they can open. He said there should be a joint decision with the Finance Committee, the Town, and the School. He said there are three scenarios; Town, School and umbrella. He said the school is making cuts, he doesn’t know what they are. He then stated he has no problem working on Paula Brouillette suggestions; he will not do them all, but will look into some and report back at the next meeting. He stated it will take him a little time working with the school. Rich Preston said he is in favor of having Mr. Mahony explore Paula Brouillette recommendations. Rich Preston made a motion to approve Ken Mahony exploring ways to find 2 million for the budget as presented by Paula Brouillette. Paula Brouillette seconded the motion. Ron Forget asked if they wanted Mr. Mahony to come back with a balanced budget. Rich Preston stated no, they wanted him to explore the options and report back so they can decide if they are viable. Ken Mahony stated they are not going to redo the budget. Rich Mathieu stated the request will put a dollar amount on things. On the vote: All – aye. Ron Forget stated in the future he would appreciate it if something is going to be talked about it should be put on the agenda and have the people present to speak on the issue so they can hash it out. Paula Brouillette stated the intent was not to hash it out, just a way to start a conversation with these people; not intended to avoid these people.

• Joint Meeting with Finance Committee: Back to the request from the Finance Committee to meet on March 18th; it was suggested they meet on March 11th after the Net School Spending Meeting. The Board was in agreement. Ron Forget asked if they would have a joint meeting with the department heads later. Rich Mathieu asked if the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee shouldn’t meet with the department heads. Shirley Mosczynski explained how they used to do it.

• School Audit Recommendation: The Board also received a letter from the Finance Committee, dated March 4, 2003, re: Audit recommendation. In their letter the Finance Committee stated that they had unanimously voted at their March 3rd meeting to “recommend to the Board of Selectmen that a full and independent audit be conducted of all Douglas School funds including the new school project”. Rich Preston stated he would like the opinion of Ken Mahony and Rich Mathieu. Ken Mahony stated he is not sure what generated the request; we do an audit of their funds, not a cash audit or investigational audit. He hopes it wasn’t done because we don’t trust them, but are just looking for information. Mr. Mahony stated he doubts he can get an audit scheduled and done before Town Meeting, or even before the budget is done. He suggested financing an audit out of the Reserve Fund. He said it could be done as part of the annual audit, but does not feel it is appropriate for Tim Harrison to do it. Ken Mahony then stated that if this request is in response to the Management Letter, Superintendent Connie Verge will be complying. Rich Mathieu stated that all school funds are audited in the school funds. The School Activity Account is complete. He said it is unclear why the Finance Committee is asking for this audit. He is not sure if they want an actual cash audit or project items; ie: invoices, etc. Rich Preston hopes that the joint meetings will provide the information they are looking for. Ron Forget agrees, there is no meat in the request, he feels they do not need an audit. Shirley Mosczynski will call Finance Committee Chair Pam Holmes to supply the Board with their reasons for the request. Ron Forget stated it should be in writing. Shirley Mosczynski said she will bring it up at the next meeting.


8. Old/New Business:
• Cook St. Parking Ban:
Shirley Mosczynski noted that in the Newspapers Public Notice of the parking ban on Cook Street, it did not state: Except Sundays and Holidays as the Board voted. She wanted to make sure the signs reflect that when they go up.
• Website Policy: Shirley Mosczynski asked Ken Mahony if he has written the Website Policy yet, reconfirming that one is needed. Mr. Mahony stated that he has not and asked Rich Preston for help. Rich Preston stated he will get some boiler plates.
• Goals and Objectives: Shirley Mosczynski stated the goals and objectives should have been on this agenda to finish. Paula Brouillette stated she felt they were done, they only need to continue conversation on Economic Development. Suzanne Kane stated she had just finished amending the worksheet and will distribute the clean copies tomorrow.
• Connector Road: Shirley Mosczynski stated the traffic problems at the connector road have not been resolved yet. Ken Mahony stated he is still working on it. He will probably have a meeting at the Elementary School with the Safety Committee.
• Intersection at North and C Street: Shirley Mosczynski stated she has received an inquiry concerning the intersection by Mainly Maries. There is a concern for accidents. She asked that the Safety Committee look at the intersection.
• Free Cash: Shirley Mosczynski asked if we have any word on free cash yet. Rich Mathieu stated he has an appointment with DOR on Friday.
• Town Government Day Fair: Rich Preston passed out a memo, dated March 5, 2003, re: Town Government Day Fair. The date has been set for Thursday, April 17th, from 8 am to 10:30 am in the School Gym.
• Grants: Rich Preston reported that Ken Mahony has located a grant person who can be a resource. He recommended that Mr. Mahony make a presentation or have her come in.

9. Adjournment:
Rich Preston made a motion to adjourn at 9:10 pm. Paula Brouillette seconded the motion. All – aye.


Respectfully submitted,



Suzanne Kane
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