Members present: Mark Karlberg, William Cavanaugh, George Fuller
Others Present: Craig Kleman, Colleen O’Connor, Gerry Galliher, Rita Furlong, George Roberts, Madeleine Swindlehurst, Bill & Maddy Elovirta, Larry Goetz, Dan Andrews, Amy Sommerville, Todd Chiaretto, Justin Elovirta, Bert Goodermote, Dan Osman, Ann Krawet, Michael Sawyer
7:00 PM Meeting opened.
George asked if anyone from the audience was recording this meeting. Colleen O’Connor is audio taping the meeting.
Selectmen’s Comments and Announcements: Bill announced that he was very sorry to hear that Catherine Mulholland had passed away. He offered the family his condolences.
There were no meeting minutes to review.
Public Input: Madeleine Swindlehurst asked why the Annual Town Election warrant does not list the names of the officers that are running for election. She knows that this has been done for some time now but wanted to know why it is done this way. George Roberts advised that he just did it how it has been done in the past. Madeleine feels that it is irksome because the newspapers do not put anything in the paper about the candidates anymore. George Roberts will look into this and get back to the Selectmen about what he finds out.
Bert Goodermote advised that Amy Sommerville’s dogs have been getting out and disturbing the neighbors in Sherwood Forest. He contacted her about this issue and she tried keeping the dogs tied up but they had gotten out for a couple of weeks. He sent her a letter asking her to come before the Selectmen to discuss what she would do to resolve this problem. He advised that she has purchased an electric fence and the problem has been resolved. Amy asked if her neighbor’s dog that bit a person was going to be euthanized. Madelaine Elovirta, the animal inspector, advised that the dog that bit a person has been quarantined for ten days which ended yesterday. She also advised that it is up to the owner whether the dog is put down or not. The dog bit someone who was on its
owner’s property and it has been confined to the property. Bill thought that it would have been advantageous for Bert to speak during the Annual Town Meeting regarding his expense account. Bert advised that a former Selectman told him not to say anything unless someone asked him a question. Bill was told that because Bert did not turn in a budget, the finance committee came up with an amount which cut his budget by $500. Bill advised Bert to not let that happen next year.
The Selectmen reviewed the monthly report of the Animal Control Officer.
George Roberts advised that he has been soliciting election workers because he is having a problem with this year’s election. Many of his workers will not be able to work the annual town election. He also advised that many of his election workers are elderly and cannot work many hours at a time. He gave the Selectmen a list of people who have come forward to become election workers. Bill asked him if he had a limit as to how many election officers he could have. He was unaware of any limit of election officials he could have. Mark motioned to appoint Patricia Clemons, Sarah Francis, Charles Francis, Jerome Schwartzbach, Adrienne Metcalf, Paulette Feit, Colleen O’Connor, and Meredyth Babcock as Election Officers terms to expire July 15, 2011, Bill seconded. All in favor.
The Selectmen discussed the “home rule” legislation allowing Police Chief Elovirta to continue in the position as chief until June 30, 2012. George asked about Bill Elovirta staying until June 30, 2012 because he will reach the age of 70 on May 12, 2012. Bill advised that he would step down as chief of police when he turns 70. Bill Cavanaugh feels that it is imperative that he leave when he turns 70 because the town does not have the insurance to cover him after he turns 70. Bill Elovirta feels that after January 1, 2012 they should start the process of getting another police chief in place so that he could start the transition period. George advised that the town attorney feels the town should appoint an interim chief after Bill reaches 70 until June 30, 2012 to complete the
remaining term. Bill motioned to request the state legislature to enact the “home rule” legislation allowing Police Chief Elovirta to continue in the position as Chief from this day until May 12, 2012. George asked if Bill would continue in administrative duty only or would he be back on patrol. He was not sure if he could continue patrolling until the legislation is passed. Bill Elovirta advised that he is having a problem filling the schedule and sometimes he has no one that can cover it so he would stay on standby. Bill at this point withdrew his motion. Mark motioned to request town attorney to draft legislation to send to State Legislature to enact “home rule” legislation allowing Police Chief Elovirta to continue in the position as Chief until May 12, 2012, Bill seconded. Colleen O’Connor stated that State Law prevails and the Selectmen need to do things lawfully. All in favor. George asked
Craig to find out from the town attorney if Bill Elovirta can work patrol until the outcome of the appeal. Bill E. advised that there will be open shifts because some officers are on vacation now. Mark motioned to have town administrator contact town counsel to determine if Bill Elovirta can go back to patrol duty and let the town administrator react to the decision of town counsel, Bill seconded. All in favor.
Bill motioned to table the Becket Washington School lease between the CBRSD and the Town of Becket until the next meeting, Mark seconded. All in favor.
Briefly discussed the Feasibility Study-Wind Turbine. Craig advised that he spoke with a woman from the State who was concerned that the town passed the wind turbine bylaw with the ½ mile setback requirement. She was also concerned that this grant is for one site but the Selectmen wanted it to be town wide. She was wondering if Ken Smith’s site could apply for a variance on the ½ mile setback requirement. Craig advised that he has a 10 o’clock conference call with the woman from the State and SED tomorrow to discuss this issue. Mark feels that because of the ½ mile setback, no one in Becket will be able to put up a large wind turbine. Ann Krawet advised that the reasoning behind changing the setback from ¼ mile to ½ mile was due to health risks
associated with wind turbines. She also advised that she does not believe that a town could have an appointed board issue a variance because it goes against the intent of the bylaw. She also feels that the issue of granting a variance should be brought to the town attorney. Craig will learn more after his conference call and will update the Selectmen at their next meeting.
Daniel Osman, owner of the Dream Away Lodge, addressed the Board regarding his proposed music festival. He advised that he went and spoke with Bill Girard regarding possibly having a music event at the Dream Away Lodge. He asked if he could have camping during the three day festival. Bill Girard advised that it would be too late to do it this year because Mr. Osman would need to apply to the planning board but they could discuss it. He told Mr. Osman to write up something and get it to him so they could start planning for next year’s festival. Mr. Osman feels that he should have been contacted before this went before the Selectmen so he could be at the meeting and could explain what he was planning. He was told by Mr. Girard that he would still need to have a permit to have the
festival even if he did not have camping. He was not sure he would need a permit since it is not any different from what he has been doing all along at his business. He has weddings where he has many people attending with music and has never had to get a permit before so he is seeking an answer to whether he needs a permit or not. He also discussed the parking issue that was brought up at the last meeting and clarified the parking arrangement. He just wanted to clarify that he is not seeking to do anything different this year; he will bring anything different from the norm to the Selectmen in the future.
Any other business: Nina advised that there is a Becket Ambulance Department Request for Write-Off that came in after the agenda was posted. The Selectmen reviewed this request. Bill motioned to send both to the collection agency, Mark seconded. All in favor.
Nina advised that the Selectmen voted to allow the Becket General Store to change its name from Becket General Store to Ozzie’s Becket General Store back a while ago but the ABCC returned the form 43 because the licensee number was incorrect. The Selectmen need to resend this form back in order for the name change to take place. Bill motioned to sign form 43 to change name to Ozzie’s Becket General Store, Mark seconded. All in favor.
Maddy Elovirta asked about correspondence #5. Her neighbor claims that she gave him the finger one day but she advised that this is not true. Briefly discussed this issue.
8:15 PM Mark motioned to adjourn, Bill seconded. All in favor.
Reviewed payroll/expense warrants.
Respectfully submitted, _______________________________
Nina Weiler, Secretary George Fuller, Chairman