BOS - January 10, 2006 Workshop

BOS - January 10, 2006 Workshop

Postby Suzanne Kane » Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:33 am

Board of Selectmen
Workshop Agenda
January, 10, 2006


6:30 pm
• Informational Workshop

7:00 pm
1. Call to Order

2. DPW Review

3. Personnel Bylaws

4. Old/New Business

5. Adjournment
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Douglas Board of Selectmen
Workshop Meeting Minutes
January 10, 2006

• Informational Workshop:

1. Madam Chair Shirley Mosczynski called the workshop meeting to order at 6:30 pm in the Selectmens’ Office at the Municipal Center.
In attendance: Paula Brouillette-Vice Chair, Richard E. Preston, David Furno, Executive Administrator Michael Guzinski and Administrative Assistant Suzanne Kane
Tribune Reporter – Tom Mattson

Mike discussed the following:

~ Meeting with the School regarding the budget-
Mike informed the Board there was a Department Head Meeting today and he did speak briefly with Interim School Superintendent Bob Melican about meeting with the School and their budget. Bob is working on that with the School Committee and will get back to Mike with a date.

~ Library Trustees-
Mike got a call from Joe Biagioni from the Library Board of Trustees. The Trustees would like to come to the Boards meeting next week to discuss their vision of where they would like to take the library in the future.
Agenda next Tuesday, January 17th 7:30 pm.

~ 4-Town Update-
Mike informed the Board the contract has been put together, they’ve been sent out to the 3 other towns and their Administrators have been contacted. Those documents aren’t expected to be back before next Tuesday.
Agenda next Tuesday, January 17th

~ Economic Development Commission-
Mike spoke with Hal Davis (EDC Chair) and he did indicate that the EDC will be able to come in and speak to the board on February 7th.

~ Stormwater Workshop-in Blackstone
Mike made copies and handed them out of the Stormwater Management Workshop that’s being held in Blackstone on Thursday January 26th from 9am-1pm at the Blackstone Public Library. Shirley informed all they must register by the 20th.
This topic will be discussed at their next meeting.
NPDES-Board needs to review and will go with Bill’s (Cundiff-Town Engineer) recommendation. Mike to check with him if this can go on the Agenda February 7th.

2. DPW Review – Mike gave packets of information to the Board. He reminded them of the packets he handed out awhile ago that included 5 or 6 different special acts that were passed by the legislature in the last 4 or 5 years regarding the establishment of the Department of Public Works in different communities across the Commonwealth. A lot of times a special act is needed in order to form such a department because it involves powers and responsibilities of elected boards within a community which makes it very difficult to make any change without going through a special act process. The recommended path of several attorneys advise communities to go through a special act which is usually a year and a half process. He handed out a draft timeline he put together with a current and a proposed organizational / operational structure and a sample copy of the Special Act for the Town of Hopkinton. The three boards/committees affected would be: Recreation, Cemetery and Water/Sewer Commissions. These committees wouldn’t necessarily disappear, the roles would be slightly altered. Can not have a volunteer maintenance staff to apply for loans and/or grants.
Shirley asked for Questions / Comments:
Paula - In our ByLaws as they exist today, are there changes that are going to have to be made on other parts of the ByLaw that affect some of these changes? Mike - Yes they’ll have to be revamped and if the Special Act is approved that would trump any conflict of the ByLaw, it would have to be reviewed once a draft is drawn up.
Paula – Have you had conversations with the three Boards that would be most affected as to if there were any issues from their end or what the anticipated outcome is?
Mike – I have not had a detailed discussion with them. If it‘s a direction the Board would like to continue in, I would take that step in the next few weeks in detail.
Rich – Our Buildings and Grounds Department was never formally created as a department, where do they come in? Mike – That’s something that could be added, a decision that needs to be made.
Shirley – How would that work as far as Water / Sewer-it’s an enterprise fund? Mike – That would have no bearing on it. The only thing you’d have to keep in mind is as you set up the structure for the W/S Enterprise Fund you’d have to still know how many people you are quantifying for that department – but as far as the operational structure and how it’s managed that would not have a negative impact.
Shirley – The refuse collection and recycling is presently under Board of Health. Mike – Again that would be another policy decision.
Shirley stated she felt the Hopkinton Charter was simpler and closer to what we’d like although there’s probably some room for changes.
Dave – Before we step into this, you realize we’re going to have a lot more equipment to do all this work and maybe more help. We are stretched with what we have right now.
Something to think about as we move forward. Mike – Expense line items from the Cemetery and Recreation departments will be transferred under the DPW. Those monies would help pay for equipment and a portion of the labor costs.
Rich – Buildings and Grounds and Recreation have some equipment. Net increase costs would go up but what’s being done now through contractors and volunteers would have to be discussed regarding employees and efficiencies.
Mike - The maintenance of the School grounds does not come into this as all.
Discussed DPW in Blackstone. Rich thanked Mike for the information.
Rich –What is your (subjective) opinion in terms of advantages/disadvantages?
Mike – I think there are many more advantages than disadvantages in a DPW. No one likes change, people get nervous, but I think the end result will be a much more cohesive coordinated effort to handle these tasks in the Town. It lessens the chance that one hand of government is working against another. This virtually eliminates this. Apply manpower and equipment where and when needed.
Shirley – One of the advantages I see also is in discussions that have taken place is that having one knowledgeable individual that is aware of what’s going on with everything. That’s one of my reasons for supporting it. It’s not that people aren’t doing a good job, it’s just trying to get it coordinated as we are getting bigger, it’s costing us more money, we need to be able to apply for grants.
Rich – If we are successful in creating a Department of Public Works, if the Special Act presented is approved-and what we see on the flow chart, what’s being proposed is Water/Sewer Commission, Recreational Commission and the Cemetery Commission the elected positions would be retained but their role and responsibility would be modified. Mike – That’s correct. From an operational standpoint their role would be diminished quite a bit. Examples listed in the Hopkinton Special Act.
Shirley – If the Board tonight decided to go this route, do we need an act specific to Douglas? Mike – Exactly, he will put together a Special Act draft for presentation.
Rich – Three part process, first we develop our version of the Special Act presented at the Annual Town Meeting, must be approved by Town Meeting by a majority. If successful there, moves on to the Legislature and approved as a Special Act. If successful there, comes back to the Town and there has to be an election.
Mike – Right, there’s nothing in the statutes in MGL that says it has to be approved by the local electorate but generally the case that it’s been approved at a local election.
Paula – Timing-assuming the Legislature moved quicker than we think would this second meeting always be at the Annual? Mike – It would have to be. It is a ballot at the Annual Town Election. The first step is not a ballot. The draft would go to Town Counsel and then back to the Board for approval.

Motion - Paula Brouillette-I make a motion that we authorize the Town Administrator to move forward with a Warrant Article for the Annual Town Meeting for the establishment of a DPW. Seconded – Rich Preston. All – aye.

3. Personnel By-Laws – At a Department Head meeting this morning Mike was approached by several Department Heads to request the Board to consider whether or not to possibly have a Special Town Meeting sometime in the spring to consider the acceptance of the Personnel ByLaw changes that the Personnel Board has reviewed, approved and sent to the Board. Mike asked the Board to review and is in the process of sitting with the Town Accountant to look at the financial impacts of the changes. Hope to have those within the week or so. Also, to schedule a meeting with the Board to discuss the possibility of a Special Town Meeting and also Fincom.
Dave – would have to abstain.
Discussion – Mike gave the Board an update of the Personnel Board and its ByLaws.
New item: day after Thanksgiving-Holiday
New items with financial impact: Sick leave buy back and sick leave conversion, tuition reimbursement and longevity. This has budgetary implications and whether FinCom approves or not.
BOS Workshop Meeting - Thursday, February 9th 6:30 pm

4. Other Business –
~ Charter – Shirley stated there have been informational meetings and doesn’t want to see it keep lingering on, we need to make a decision, set a date and asked Mike for his thoughts. Rich – as he recalls they were entertaining the idea of a General ByLaw Study Committee and/or a Government Study Committee. Do we need to explore the possibilities of a Charge? Mike – No, but we do need a Charge for the Permanent Steering Building Committee. Paula – personally I think we’re ready to have a committee and decide what kind of membership to have, how many, etc. Shirley – There was discussion of the financial review and need to include those minutes.
Agenda – February 7th

Permanent Steering Building Committee – Mike informed the Board they are having their first meeting next Wednesday, January 18th at 7:00 pm to discuss the Charge and set up meeting dates.

Shirley – reminded of Warrants that need to be signed and information to look over.

Adjournment – Paula Brouillette made a motion to adjourn at 7:28 pm.
Seconded – Dave Furno. All – aye.


Respectfully submitted;


Jane L. Brule
Administrative Secretary
Last edited by Suzanne Kane on Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
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