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BOS - October 22, 2002 - Workshop

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:59 pm
by Suzanne Kane
Board of Selectmen
Bylaw Workshop
October 22, 2002
Approved January 21, 2003

1. Call to order:

Madame Chairman Shirley Mosczynski called the meeting to order at 7:43 pm. In attendance: Edward Therrien, Paula Brouillette, and Administrative Assistant Suzanne Kane. Rich Preston arrived at 8:00pm.

• Early Retirement: Executive Administrator Ken Mahony joined the meeting to give the Board an overview of his findings on Early Retirement. Mr. Mahony started out by saying it was going to be expensive. He had asked Town Treasurer Sharon Brotherton to call Worcester to find out which employees were eligible. They reported Douglas has 12 employees. Mr. Mahony’s figures are based on 50 year old females. He explained that the Board can authorize Early Retirement without going to Town Meeting. He stated that there is one constant; the Town must cover the employee with medical insurance from the time of retirement until they reach the age 65; after 65 the cost is 50%. Mr. Mahony reported that out of the 12 eligible employees, 10 currently carry family medical plans. This would cost the Town $642,000 total over a 15 year period to cover the employees with insurance. There would also be $17,000 additional payments to the retirement fund and $50,000 for hospital for the 1st year. Mr. Mahony stated that he does not see a financial benefit to the Town; we would have to fill the vacancies. He said he feels that no more than half the eligible employees would take advantage of the offer. Any eligible employee would have to be off the payroll by December 31st. Mr. Mahony talked to School Superintendent Connie Verge about handling medical between the School and Town. He stated the burden is on the Administration in Town and the budget. He stated we get it back under schedule 19, but it doesn’t show up in a budget standpoint. Paula Brouillette asked if the Early Retirement incentive includes school employees. Mr. Mahony reported that it does not. Mr. Mahony then stated that there are three factors determining eligibility; age, years of service, and the average of salary over the last three years. He said the annual cost is $3,000 per year with $971 being the lowest. Mr. Mahony also stated that he does not feel these are accurate figures. Paula Brouillette asked if the Board has any options. Mr. Mahony stated they could specify which departments could retire or limit the amount of employees that can retire. Shirley Mosczynski asked Ken to write up the costs once he has accurate figures from Sharon. She stressed that they only have until the end of November to decide.
• Free Cash: Shirley Mosczynski asked what the status is on free cash. Mr. Mahony reported that the cash is unbalanced and they are still working on it. He said they should have the information by November 5th. Stating, they will have a number but it will not be certified.

Bylaw Workshop:

Article 3 – Public Safety:
• Section 1 – Discarding of Garbage:
Rich Preston stated that this article is straight forward but worded funny, awkward but accurate. Rich Preston also asked if they should tie offences to the dollar amount and are they applicable today. He stated they should make the articles more user friendly. Paula Brouillette suggested sorting the sections by enforcing agents. Shirley Mosczynski suggested that the Board of Health review this section. Paula Brouillette concurred; putting importance on the fees. She also suggested having each section listed in the index. Rich Preston suggested that the Board of Health look at section 1 and 14, eliminate un-needed language and possibly combining the two sections.
• Section 2 – Sidewalk ice and snow removal: Rich Preston stated this section looks pretty straight forward. Edward Therrien stated that the way this section is written it covers the Town. He stated that driveway plowers should be responsible for cleaning up blocked sidewalks. Shirley Mosczynski stated she feels it should be the responsibility of the homeowner and Paula Brouillette agreed. Edward Therrien stated that it is against the law for people to plow or shovel snow into the street; he will find information on this from other communities and report back to the Board.
• Section 3 – Sidewalk Safety: Paula Brouillette stated that this article is pretty straight forward. She suggested having each enforcing agent review their penalties.
• Section 4 – Well / Cesspool Coverings: Suggested Board of Health review this section.
• Section 5 – Fences / Hedges: Suggested Police review this section.
• Section 6 – Fire: Suggested Fire review this section.
• Section 7 – Dog Disturbance: Question as to why this section is separate from the Dog Article. Possible reason is it may pre-date the Dog Bylaw. Paula Brouillette stated that it is under Public Safety but should it be under the Dog Article and referred to under this section? Rich Preston stated that would be redundant. It may also be confusing or even missed if kept under this article. Paula Brouillette stated that the time line and fees for licensing dogs is different under this section then under the Animal Control Article. Suggested that if this section is covered under the Animal Control Article, this section should be eliminated.
• Section 8 – Profanity: Suggested that the Police Department review. Paula Brouillette stated this section is vague. Rich Preston stated this section is a throw back to another time.
• Section 9 – Street Lights: Suggested that the Police review.
• Section 10 – Hydrants, Gates, etc.: Suggested that the Water Department review.
• Section 11 – Alcoholic Beverages: Suggested that the Police Department review.
• Section 12 – Driveways: Shirley Mosczynski asked Edward Therrien if the Planning Board asks the Highway Department for their approval on Driveway issues and he answered, “Yes”. Paula Brouillette asked if this section covered both Private and subdivision driveways. It was suggested that a comma be placed after the word “private road” in the first sentence to read – Prior to the construction of any new driveways that exits onto a public road or onto a private road, that …..”. Edward Therrien stated that as the Highway Superintendent, he has never had any problems concerning Driveways.
• Section 13 – Violation of Article: Rich Preston stated that this section should be at the beginning to qualify the other sections. He feels that it is redundant, and suggests striking this section and making sure all fines are updated.
• Section 14 – Disposal of Solid Waste: Suggested the Board of Health review. There was a question as to what “resource recovery” means.
• Section 15 – House Numbering: Shirley Mosczynski noted that the “enforcing agent” is in the text of the Section, not at the end as in the other sections. Paula Brouillette suggested shrinking the text down. Suggested the Building Department review.
• Section 16 – Water Supply Emergency: It was noted that this section is similar to Article 5. Paula Brouillette suggested that the Water/Sewer Department review for content and possible consolidation. Rich Preston noted that this is double fined; there is a fine in this section and in Article 5.

Article 4 – Licenses and Permits:
• Section 1 – Licensing Board:
There were no problems with this section.
• Section 2 – Public Assembly / Parades: There were no problems with this section.
• Section 3 – (no heading): Paula Brouillette noted that there is no title and suggested it should be Livery. She also asked if the fee schedule should be part of the bylaw. There was discussion as to where liquor and class II licenses are mentioned.
• Section 4 – Business License: There was no problem with this section.
• Section 5 – Fire Permits: There was discussion as to whether this section should be under Public Safety. Consensus was that all licenses should be under this article. Also suggested that all fees should be reviewed.
• Section 6 – Petition of Private Ways: Discussion that this sections was redundant and should be stricken.

Article 5 – Regulation of Property:
• Article 1 – Zoning Bylaws and Article 2 – Sub-Division:
Rich Preston stated that these make reference to the Zoning and Sub-Division bylaws. He questioned whether this was appropriate. Paula Brouillette stated that it should mention where to get the bylaws. Rich Preston questioned the wording, “incorporated”; does this mean they should be included in the bylaw packet? This should be qualified. Rich Preston stated that Section 2 makes sense at written but Section 1 needs further looking into.
• Section 3 – Petition of Private Ways: Discussion about how there has been talk for years about changing this; starting with past Executive Administrator Mike Balch and the Planning Board. There was supposed to be a policy with the Selectmen. It was suggested to clarify the policy and look at altering the time table. Shirley Mosczynski stated she believed there was an agreement around July of 2000. Rich Preston and Shirley Mosczynski both remember that the Board came close to an agreement. Suggested looking at past Annual Town Meetings for Road Acceptance. Rich Preston stated that there are ways which are no longer used and which should be removed. Question if the Board should talk to the Planning Board during the Joint Meeting. Rich Preston stated he would talk to Town Engineer Bill Cundiff and Planning Board Chair Richard Vanden Berg.
• Section 4 – Private Way Repairs: Paula Brouillette asked what the intent of this section is. Question about how the “betterment assessment” process works. Edward Therrien stated that Birch Hill Rd and Wallum Lake Road were done this way.

Paula Brouillette stated that she had gone to a Planning Board meeting when they discussed the Cliff Street sub-division. They were seeking a waiver, but not providing a right of way to the Town for the back land. She feels this would be a dangerous president to set. She stated that the Board should look at the legal recourse to make sure it doesn’t happen. There was discussion about normally leaving a 50’ access road for future growth. This was poor planning to work in a land lock situation.

The next Workshop is scheduled for November 12th at 6:30pm.

2. Adjournment:
Rich Preston made a motion to adjourn at 8:50pm. Edward Therrien seconded the motion. All – aye.

Respectfully submitted,

Suzanne Kane
Administrative Assistant