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Board of Selectmen Minutes 7/1/09
Board of Selectmen
July 1, 2009
Members present:        William Cavanaugh, George Fuller,                                                                               John Murray arrived late

Others Present: Tony Blair, Colleen O’Connor, Beth Van Ness, David Bonney, Bill Brownhill, Madeleine Swindlehurst, Bill Elovirta, Ann Spadafora, Eva Bonney, Alice Briggs, Jeanne Pryor, Nancy & David Devane

7:00 PM Meeting opened.  Reviewed minutes.  George motioned to accept the minutes of June 17, 2009, Bill seconded.  Motion passed.

Bill welcomed Tony Blair as the new Town Administrator and wished him good luck.

George motioned to appoint Tony Blair as the Town Administrator term to expire June 30, 2012, Bill seconded.  Motion passed.

George motioned to appoint Richard Furlong as Associate Town Administrator term to expire July 10, 2009, Bill seconded.  Motion passed.

Public Input: None.

The Selectmen reviewed the Town Administrator’s appointment of Steven Hilton as Probationary Police Officer.  Bill read a letter from Bill Elovirta regarding Steven Hilton and his qualifications.  Tony advised that he is currently a part-time police officer for the Town of Hinsdale.  George asked where the money was coming from to pay this officer.  Bill advised that the budget is for the same amount of coverage regardless of how many officers the department has.  Bill explained that he does not know when Marc Portieri will be back to work and many of the other part-time police officers have not been able to fill in his hours.  George asked what would happen when Marc came back.  Bill advised that he would come back full time and the other officers that have been filling in his hours would go back to normal.  George motioned to approve the Town Administrator’s appointment of Steven Hilton as Probationary Police Officer term to expire December 31, 2009, Bill seconded.  Motion passed.

George motioned to appoint Mark Burgwardt as alternate to the Zoning Board of Appeals term to expire June 30, 2010, Bill seconded.  Motion passed.

George motioned to approve the Treasurer’s appointment of Kathleen Hayn as the Assistant Treasurer term to expire June 30, 2010, Bill seconded.  Ann Spadafora asked why the town would appoint a fulltime tax collector as a part-time treasurer.  She feels that the tax collector needed an assistant in her office so why would she work in the treasurer’s office.  John arrived during this discussion.  Jeanne advised that she would only fill in when there was an emergency or if the treasurer was not in her office.  This is only a standby position.  Tony explained that she is already trained for this position and she does not get compensated differently to do this.  He also explained that Nina is the assistant town clerk and does town clerk work when Jeanne is out of her office.  She does not get additional pay for this.  Jeanne advised that this has always been done.  The motion passed.

Board of Selectmen
July 1, 2009
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George motioned to appoint Bonnie Falk, Beverly Gillette, Ann Krawet, Priscilla McEwen, Charles Garman, Aylmer Trivers, Joan Moylan, Claire Daigle, Joyce Brownhill, Dorothy Bellavance, Eva Bonney and Gale LaBelle as Election Workers terms to expire July 14, 2010, John seconded.  All in favor.

John motioned to sign the Disclosure of Financial Interest by Special Municipal Employee form for George Fuller, Bill seconded.  George abstained from voting.  Motion passed.  This form gets filed with the Town Clerk so that George can be compensated as a highway employee and a selectman.

The Selectmen reviewed letter from Chief of Police regarding trucks grossing over 27 tons that travel to and from Williams Stone Quarry and are using Wade Inn Road and Cross Road.  Bill Elovirta wrote in his letter that the State Police are stopping trucks from using Route 20 from Bonny Rigg Hill Road intersection to Wade Inn Road because the bridges in that section cannot carry the load of these trucks.  The State Police are directing these trucks over Wade Inn Road and Cross Road.  Bill advised that these roads cannot handle the trucks.  He also advised that there could be a serious accident because of the condition of these roads and also because the roads are not wide enough to handle this kind of traffic.  He is asking the Selectmen to write a letter to Mass Highway, the Massachusetts State Police and members of the legislature to address this serious problem.  Bill Cavanaugh thought that a letter sent to Mass Highway should open the door for the Selectmen, the MA State Police, and the highway superintendent to discuss this situation with them.  George was concerned that the liability would shift from Mass Highway to the town because these trucks are now traveling on town roads.  Tony asked Bill Elovirta if he could get some photos of these trucks on Wade Inn Road.  Bill Elovirta will get contact information to Tony so he can write the letter.  He also thought that Tony should talk to the Town of Blandford because they are in the same boat as we are with trucks traveling on their roads.  George motioned to send a letter to Mass Highway, the MA State Police and the legislators regarding this issue with trucks traveling on town roads, John seconded.  All in favor.

The Selectmen reviewed letter from the Historical Commission to the Planning Board regarding railroad monument at Ballou Park.  The Historical Commission is inviting members of the Planning Board to come in to see what the monument will look like.

The Selectmen reviewed the letter from MassRecycle regarding “An Act to Improve Recycling Rates in the Commonwealth”.  Tony advised that the current bottle bill does not cover water, ice tea or sport drink bottles.  He also advised that there is an effort to include these kinds of bottles in the Massachusetts Bottle Bill.  John motioned to sign a resolution in support of updating the Massachusetts Bottle Bill, George seconded.  All in favor.

Briefly discussed the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority.  Bill thought that the BRTA paid the seniors to take other seniors to doctor’s appointments but Tony thought that Elder Services pays for this service.  John motioned to appoint Bill Cavanaugh as Becket’s representative to the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority, George seconded.  All in favor.

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July 1, 2009
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The Selectmen reviewed email from resident regarding the ice storm damage clean-up and response from Town Administrator.  She was very upset about the amount of trees that were removed from Johnson and Fred Snow Roads.  She feels that a lot of this was not necessary.  George explained how FEMA set up guidelines on what trees need to be removed.  If the tree was leaning or had more than five hangers it needed to be removed.  Bill advised that FEMA came up with something new in regards to the clean-up.  The highway department was in charge of keeping track of what was brought to the dumping area but it now wants someone to keep track of each truck that has debris in it.  Tony advised that anyone interested in doing this should contact Lenny Tisdale at the highway department.

John motioned to sign the Dog Officer Warrant, George seconded.  All in favor.  Jeanne Pryor would like a copy of this warrant.  This is done every year so that the dog officer can do his job.

John motioned to transfer $641.00 from the Planning Board Expense to the Ambulance Department Expense, $2,318.00 from the Planning Board Expense to Fire Department Expense, $2350.00 from Health Insurance to Fire Department Expense, $2,817.00 from Health Insurance to Ambulance Department Salary, $846.00 from the Building Department Expense to Town Administrator Salary, $995.00 from Board of Health Salary to Town Secretary Salary, $214.00 from Selectmen’s Expense to Ambulance Department Expense, George seconded.  All in favor.  John motioned to transfer $1,321.00 from Health Insurance to Highway Department Salary, Bill seconded.  George abstained from voting.  Motion passed.

The Selectmen reviewed the letter from the Department of Revenue regarding Becket Woods Road District Assessment and Collection Expenses.  The letter states that the statute provides for the district to annually compensate the assessors and collector for services they render to the district and if the district and town cannot agree on the compensation the Commissioner of Revenue “may determine the amounts.”  In the DOR’s view, the provision permits, but does not require, them to intervene in compensation decisions where there are disagreements.  They are leaving it up to the town and district to work this out.  Tony advised that the district did pay “under protest” the additional amount that equaled 3% of their budget, but they still do not have a contract.

The Selectmen reviewed letter sent to Becket Woods Road District from the Town Clerk regarding Notice of Becket Woods Annual Meeting.  Tony advised that the town received three separate notices from Becket Woods regarding its annual meeting and the Town Clerk has sent the road district a letter advising them of how to legally post a meeting.  He had spoken with Sally Bell regarding the certification that the assessors received from the district that allows the town to collect their fees.  She advised that the town could only assume that the meetings are legal and assess accordingly.  Tony advised that he and Susan Donnelly are working on a letter to Becket Woods asking that they do everything correctly so we have confidence that what they are asking us to do is legal.

The Selectmen reviewed the letter from Berkshire Regional Planning Commission regarding training and educational opportunities.  The letter addresses training opportunities that BRPC provides to members of the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Boards.  It also lists all of the members from Becket that have completed training sessions in the past.  George motioned to send these members letters thanking them for completing the training, John seconded.  All in favor.  Tony advised that Jeanne Pryor is in the process of
completing a handbook for members on town boards and committees that would help them understand

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what the boards and committees do.

The Selectmen reviewed the Massachusetts Potential Wind Power Sites on State-Owned Land index.  Briefly discussed this index.

The Selectmen reviewed the monthly report of the ambulance department.  Briefly discussed the Animal Inspector.  George would like a monthly report from the animal inspector.  Bill Elovirta advised that Maddy sends a report to the State but it is not a monthly report.  George motioned to have the Animal Inspector send the Selectmen a copy of the report that she sends to the State, John seconded.  All in favor.

Any other business: Nina advised that the Selectmen need to award the Boston Post Cane to the oldest resident in town.  She will contact Mrs. Snow to see if she would like to be awarded the cane and if so, would she like to be awarded at a Selectmen’s Meeting or at her home.

Tony advised that he will be meeting with the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission regarding the Community Development Block Grant and will report back to the Selectmen at their next meeting.

Reviewed correspondence.

8:45 PM John motioned to adjourn, George seconded.  All in favor.

Reviewed payroll/expense warrants.

Respectfully submitted,                                                         _______________________________
Nina Weiler, Secretary                                                          William F. Cavanaugh, Chairman