BOS - September 24, 2002 BYlaw Workshop

BOS - September 24, 2002 BYlaw Workshop

Postby Suzanne Kane » Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:58 pm

Board of Selectmen
Bylaw Workshop
September 24, 2002
Approved December 17, 2002


1. Call to order:

Madame Chairman Shirley Mosczynski called the meeting to order at 7:06 pm. In attendance: Paula Brouillette, Edward Therrien, Ron Forget, Rich Preston, and Administrative Assistant Suzanne Kane.

Handed out to the Selectmen is a copy of the Town of Douglas, General Bylaws, adopted January 1, 1974. Rich Preston, upon reviewing the Bylaws, found gaps. He stated that he originally felt a professional should go over the Bylaws, but now feels they are not that bad. He stated the purpose of the Workshop was so the Board could go over the Bylaws and determine if they can, in fact be handled internally or should be sent out.

The following observations were made:

Article 1 - Town Meeting:
No where in Article 1 does it reflect that there are 5 Selectmen. There was discussion that changes can only be made by Town Meeting. The Town Clerk is the record keeper. Rich Preston stated that definitive copies of the updated Bylaws should be available. Shirley Mosczynski questioned why there are changes in the Town Annual Report but not in the Bylaws.
• Section 7 – Quorum: Paula Brouillette asked if the amount for a quorum changes with population. Rich Preston stated he understood Town Meeting decides.
• Section 9 – Reconsideration: Rich Preston feels this section could be made clearer.
• Section 11 – Motions: Ron Forget questions the amount of time voters are allowed to speak.

Article 2 – Administration and Finance:
•Section 1 (a):
Rich Preston asked if the Board has ever officially appointed Suzanne Kane as their clerk as stated in this section. Paula Brouillette pointed out that the Executive Administrator is not mentioned in this section. Rich Preston stated that goes hand in hand with the number of Selectmen. Paula Brouillette asked what the word “agent” implies. It was stated that once the Town gets an Administrator the Board delegates their responsibilities. Paula Brouillette suggested that the Town Clerk investigate. Rich Preston asked if the General Bylaw should reflect that. Shirley Mosczynski stated that this may be an area that they need legal counsel. Rich Preston stated that the Board never appointed Town Counsel; they have an open ended contract. Shirley Mosczynski stated that this section needs to be looked into more. Ron Forget suggested having the Town Clerk look into the Administration Article.
• Section 1 (c): Question in wording; should it read “Auditor” rather than “Director of Accounts” Ken Mahony stepped in to comment on this question. He stated that a Director of Accounts is a State person and they are very cheap. The Town of Douglas uses a private firm. The Treasurer has been hiring the contract with the auditors. Ken Mahony stated that this should be done through the Selectmen. Ken also stated he feels we should change Auditors for a fresh look. Shirley Mosczynski stated that any changes should be run by Town Counsel. Paula Brouillette stated that in the Bylaw when it states “by Law”; the chapter and section should be noted.
• Section 2: Paula Brouillette stated that this section does not make sense.
• Section 3 (c): Rich Preston stated that this section pertains to the Finance Committee. He had asked Pam Holmes if they follow this section and she said, “No”. Paula Brouillette stated that the Town Administrator had changed this. Rich Preston then stated that this section is pretty straight forward and wondered if there should be changes made to reflect the new roles of the Executive Administrator and the Finance Committee. Paula Brouillette suggested giving it to the Finance Committee for review and recommendations. Rich Preston stated that the Bylaws are not being followed during past budget processes. Past process has been messy. Ron Forget stated the order is backwards. Paula Brouillette suggested looking at the Appointing person; consider there should be more than one person to appoint the Finance Committee. Shirley Mosczynski stated the appointing person used to be the Selectmen. There was also a question about the number of Committee members, should it be 9.
• Section 4: Discussion that Committee Appointments expire at Town Meeting. Past practice has been to reappoint on June 30th. Should this change? There was a consensus of the Board to keep it to June 30th.
• Section 5 (c): Shirley Mosczynski stated they used to get copies of the lists of owners of all assessable properties in the Town from the Assessors.
• Section 6 (b): Discussion that this is not the way the Town sells property. There was a question if the amount should be raised. Is inflation a factor, should there be an amount. Rich Preston stated that the intent is not bad but the numbers are off.
• Section 7 (a): Again, the question was if the amount should be taken out. Ron Forget stated that this is only tied to employees and families.
• Section 8: Paula Brouillette stated that the Capital Improvement Committee is going to suggest some changes. They are looking to cut the number of members down and they will be looking at the $10,000 amount.
• Section 8 (e) 2: Rich Preston asked if this should specify a “fall” meeting. Paula Brouillette stated it should be a Special Town Meeting prior to the Annual Town Meeting.

Rich Preston suggested picking two to three more articles and scheduling another workshop to go over them. The Board decided to go over Article 3, 4, and 5 at their next workshop. He would also like to talk about the process of accepting a Town Road. They had talked about a policy, but thinks they never accepted one. The next Workshop is set for October 8th at 6:30 pm. Suggestion to get Town Counsel s opinion on the General Bylaws revised dated. Is it tied to the Annual Meeting or the Attorney General.


2. Adjournment:
Rich Preston made a motion to adjourn at 8:53 pm. Paula Brouillette seconded the motion. All – aye.


Respectfully submitted,



Suzanne Kane
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