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Board of Selectmen Minutes 7/14/10
Members present:        Mark Karlberg, William Cavanaugh, George Fuller

Others Present: Liz & Bob Will, Hildegarde Freedman, David Bonney, Bill Brownhill, William Elovirta, Beth VanNess, Colleen O’Connor, Madeleine Swindlehurst, Julia Maynard, Michael Richard, Ann Spadafora, Andre Ledoux, Maryann Loria, Bruce Bosworth, Jenny Bennis, Doug & Mary Hearle, Marge Fuller, Steve LaBelle, Gene Pike, John Hall

7:02 PM Meeting opened.

It was announced that Beth VanNess is audio taping the meeting.

Selectmen’s Comments and Announcements: None.

George asked if Nina knew whether Tony sent a letter to Crystal Pond Association about the barricades.  Nina was not sure if Tony had sent it or not.  Bill advised that he could send a letter but he would like to know what the Planning Board found out about the subdivision rules about thru roads in this subdivision first.  George will check with Gale LaBelle about this.  George advised that in the minutes of a previous meeting it was said that Tony and the accountant received the vocational transportation reimbursement.  He stated that Ann said that Tony received this reimbursement.  George advised that it was brought to his attention that one property donation that was accepted at the Annual Town Meeting has a dam on the property.  He did not think that the town should have accepted this property because it would be liable for the dam.  Bill advised that the Selectmen do not need to adhere to anything that was passed at the Annual Town Meeting if they believe that it is in the best interest of the town not to accept it.  The Selectmen will look into this before they make a decision.  George also advised that in the previous minutes it stated that Kopelman and Paige received $180 per hour for their services but it receives $175 per hour.  George asked Nina if the flags were ordered for the telephone poles yet.  She advised that she has not had time to do this yet.  Bill asked if WMECO was contacted about the light on the corner of Dragon Way and Wells Road.  Nina was not sure if Tony had contacted them about this.  George will contact WMECO.  Bill motioned to accept the minutes of June 17, 2010 as corrected, Mark seconded.  All in favor.  Bill motioned to accept the minutes of June 22, 2010 as corrected, Mark seconded.  All in favor.

Public Input: Colleen advised that there was no privacy contract between the Town and Tony so the Executive Session minutes are public record and she wants a copy of the minutes.  Mark advised that the minutes would be released on Friday.  Beth VanNess advised that she would like to be appointed to the town administrator search committee when it forms.  Ann Spadafora asked if there was a dam on Yokum Pond because she thought it was a natural pond.  George explained where the dam was located.  George asked Beth what she meant by a comment she wrote in the newspaper.  He asked what she meant by the comment that Tony did not belong to the “Good Ole Boy Network” therefore he did not fit in.  She refused to answer it and stated that everyone knows including him what that comment meant.  George asked if she would mind if he wrote a rebuttal to this letter.  She told him to go ahead.  George also commented on what she put in her letter about his overtime.  He stated that a new salt shed would not affect him since his route is in North Becket so he would not need to refill at the new sand and salt shed.  Bruce Bosworth stated that George was out of line by asking her about this letter.  He should not be wasting their time or the Board’s time by asking about the letter.  He said if George did not like what she wrote, he should write a rebuttal letter.  Maryann Loria submitted a letter of interest and a resume for an interim town administrator.  She feels she is qualified to work as an interim administrator until they find a permanent replacement.

George advised that the Finance Committee could not get a quorum to vote on the transfers and explained what would need to be done if the Finance Committee could not get a quorum for an emergency meeting.  The Selectmen will vote on the transfers and the Finance Committee could vote on the transfers later on if that was possible.  Bill motioned to transfer $987.84 into the Medicare-Payroll Tax Account from the Planning Board Account and to transfer $28.93 into the Building Inspector Expense Account from the Planning Board Account, Mark seconded.  All in favor.

Hildegarde Freedman addressed the Board regarding an incident that she witnessed.  She explained that just shortly after the ice storm she witnessed a car fire along Route 20 by one of the Sherwood Forest entrances.  She explained that there was no one directing traffic and there could have been a serious accident because of that.  She said that this all took place in a period of several hours.  She said that she spoke with the person who called in this incident to dispatch and he said that it took a considerable amount of time for emergency vehicles to respond.  She explained that she still has nightmares because of this.  She feels that this was an enormous breakdown of the police and fire departments and wanted an explanation of what happened that night.  George asked her how she wanted this remedied.  She answered that she just wants this kind of thing to never happen again and to help to make the police and fire departments more efficient.  Bill Elovirta addressed the Board and explained that none of what she said was fact.  It was a tragic incident where someone committed suicide but none of what she said was true.  He had a copy of the call report that is sent by dispatch and explained how long it took for a response to this incident.  It only took a few minutes for the fire department to get to the scene and also the police and ambulance department.  He advised that it took about five minutes once the ambulance arrived to get the injured person into the ambulance and on its way to the hospital.  Bill explained that because of the nature of this call the fire marshal was on the scene and the detectives from the district attorney’s office was on scene so they were there for a while but the traffic was not an issue.  He explained that the fire department was directing traffic during this call and there was not a lot of traffic on the road at that time so he does not know what Hildegarde is talking about.  John Hall agreed about the time frames and does not know why there is an issue with this about a year and a half later.  Bruce Bosworth did not understand why this topic was allowed to be brought up at a Selectmen’s meeting.  George advised that Tony had suggested that this be brought up at a meeting.  Ann Spadafora advised that for a small town like Becket, the emergency services were excellent and she could not understand why anyone would put into question its ability to handle these kinds of situations.

The Selectmen discussed the Emergency Management Director vacancy.  Bill asked if the reporter was here for the Country Journal.  He was not in attendance.  Bill feels that this position should be advertised.  Beth VanNess asked why this would be advertised when you have interested people who already submitted letters of interest.  Bill feels all Becket residents should have a chance to apply for a position like this.  Beth asked if she could read her letter of interest.  The Selectmen agreed to hear her letter but still feel that this should go in the paper.  Bill motioned to contact the Country Journal and the Berkshire Eagle to let them know the town is looking to fill the Emergency Management Director position, Mark seconded.  All in favor.

The Selectmen reviewed the letter of interest from Beth VanNess to be considered as the alternate to the Planning Board.  Bill motioned to contact the Country Journal and the Berkshire Eagle to let them know that the town is looking to fill the alternate to the Planning Board position, Mark seconded.  All in favor.

George asked if Audrey Schlanger was ever on this committee.  Nina advised that a person could only serve two consecutive three-year terms on this committee.  Once they serve two terms, they would need to take one year off before they could be on this committee.  She has done this.  Bill motioned to appoint Audrey Schlanger to the Becket Cultural Council term to expire June 30, 2013, Mark seconded.  Beth asked why this wasn’t going to be advertised like the other positions.  Bill advised that he did not make the motion to do this.  Colleen said that they are following their own personal agenda.  Bill advised that he does not have an agenda.  Marge Fuller recommended that they appoint Audrey since she is well qualified and is involved in the Arts.  All in favor.  

George mentioned that he decided to hold off on signing the Agreement for Shared Vocational Transportation at their last meeting because someone was interested in possibly doing a bus run but they have since backed out.  Bill motioned to sign the Agreement for Shared Vocational Transportation Between the Towns of Becket, Chester, Huntington, Middlefield, Montgomery, Russell and Washington, Mark seconded.  All in favor.

Virginia Bennis asked why the Selectmen are going to advertise the EMD and the alternate to the Planning Board but are not going to advertise for the Cultural Council.  Bill explained that all three of these positions are very important but he feels that the alternate to the Planning Board and the EMD should be advertised.  Bill advised that they do not get a lot of people who are interested in the Cultural Council.  Beth said that it has always been done that way in the past that when someone submits a letter of interest to a position they are appointed.  Bill advised that it is not always done that way.  He advised that certain positions are advertised because he feels that they are more important than others.  

The Selectmen reviewed the letter to the Harbor Master from the South Cove Association regarding the use of their boat launch.  George explained why this letter was sent to the Harbor Master.

Any other business: Bill reiterated the importance of having the light turned back on at the intersection of Dragon Way and Wells Road.  

Nina advised that she received a Becket Ambulance Department Request for Write-Off Report today so they need to vote on what to do with it.  Bill motioned to send all three to the collection agency, Mark seconded.  Bill explained how this is done.  All in favor.

Nina advised that the new ambulance needs to be advertised so the Selectmen have to vote on a date for the bid opening.  Bill motioned to have the bid opening on August 25, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. Mark seconded.  All in favor.

The Selectmen reviewed an email from the Sherwood Greens Road District asking if the Selectmen would accept a formal offer from the road district to purchase the parcel of land that has the tennis court on it.  Bill motioned to table this until the next meeting so the Parks Department could be notified about this, Mark seconded.  All in favor.

Colleen asked how many complete boards does the town have.  She advised that there are vacancies on the Planning Board, Finance Committee and she thinks there are vacancies on the Zoning Board as well.  She feels that nothing can be done unless these vacancies are filled.  Ann Spadafora advised that Chuck Andrews is interested in the Finance Committee and George Roberts was ready to swear him in.  George advised that he spoke with Chuck and was told that he was having second thoughts about it.  He said that if Chuck is interested then he should submit a letter of interest.

Reviewed correspondence.

8:10 PM Bill motioned to adjourn, Mark seconded.  All in favor.

Reviewed the payroll/expense warrants.

Respectfully submitted,                                                         _______________________________
Nina Weiler, Secretary                                                          George Fuller, Chairman