Members present: Mark Karlberg, William Cavanaugh, George Fuller
Others Present: Craig Kleman, Colleen O’Connor, Gerry Galliher, George Roberts, Maddy Elovirta, Dan Andrews, Ann Krawet, Robert Ronzio, Beth VanNess, Ann Spadafora, Katherine Hoak, Stephen LaBelle, Dan Parnell
7:00 PM Meeting opened.
George asked if anyone from the audience was recording this meeting. Beth VanNess is audio taping the meeting.
Selectmen’s Comments and Announcements: George advised that the Memorial Day Parade was well attended and he was glad that the rain held off.
Mark motioned to accept the minutes of the May 4, 2011 and May 18, 2011 as presented, Bill seconded. All in favor.
Public Input: Colleen O’Connor advised that there have been no minutes posted for the Board of Health since February and wanted to know if they would be posted soon. Craig will check into this to see why the current minutes are not posted. Ann Spadafora asked if the Board of Health is still meeting in the morning. Nina advised that the Board of Health is still meeting at 10:30 a.m. Ann feels that people cannot meet at that time because they work during those hours. She also stated that the Board of Health does not post its meetings within 48 hours. George Roberts will check into this.
The Selectmen discussed calling a Special Election. George asked the town clerk if there was a recount. Mr. Roberts advised that he did not receive an application to do a recount. He explained that the Board of Selectmen may call a Special Election or they may not. If they chose not to hold a special election, a petition could be filed by no less than 200 registered voters to hold a special election. He also advised that if they chose to call a special election today, it could not be less than 65 days from now. There is an election calendar that needs to be followed that would allow other candidates to come forward and there needs to be a voter registration held before the election could take place. Mr. Roberts advised that he spoke with town counsel about this and he was advised
that Bill Cavanaugh should recuse himself from this vote since he is paid a nominal fee for being a Selectman and there could be ethical violations. Bill advised that he was planning on recusing himself from voting on this. Bill asked if the Selectmen did not vote to hold a special election and there were not 200 signatures, would it go to the next election. George Roberts advised that the law reads that he shall serve until someone is elected in his stead. Bill wanted the public to know that this election is open to anyone who wishes to run for the position of Selectman. George Roberts stated that he will publicize the election schedule so that anyone wishing to run will know what he/she would need to do. Bill was concerned that August is the biggest vacation month of the year and thought that the Selectmen should consider this when voting to call a special election. George Roberts advised that there are absentee ballots available for
those who will not be in town. Bill asked if anything else could be on the ballot. George will check into this. Katherine Hoak thought that a recount would be automatic when there was a tied vote. George explained that the only way a recount could be done would be if a candidate requested one in writing or if a petition signed by a number of voters was submitted for a recount. Mark motioned to call a Special Election on August 6, 2011, George seconded. Bill abstained from voting. Motion passed. George asked George Roberts to make sure he puts things into the paper in a timely manner so people have enough time to do what they need to do. He would like the election advertised in The Berkshire Eagle, Country Journal and The Berkshire Record. Bill wants to make sure that people know that this election is open to everyone who wants to run for Selectman.
Bill motioned to sign Becket Washington School lease between the Central Berkshire Regional School District and the Town of Becket, Mark seconded. All in favor.
George asked Craig if he felt that the town should go into an agreement with the Town of Chester for Vocational Transportation. He advised that he had not spoken with Victor Breen or Keith Sharp yet. The Selectmen would like to put this on hold until Craig has a chance to speak with Victor Breen and Keith Sharp about the bussing situation.
Mark motioned to sign MEMA contract forms for the January 11-12, 2011 snowstorm, George seconded. All in favor.
Craig advised that he has been in touch with the people at Mass CEC and they feel that the town is not very receptive to having large wind turbines because of the bylaw that was passed. The grant is on hold for 60 days until the issues are resolved. The issues with the bylaws will need to go before the Planning Board to see if they can be resolved. Ann Spadafora asked about the bylaw revisions. She advised that the town voted to pass these bylaws so if there are any changes do the people vote on them again. Craig advised that it would need to go before the voters again. There was more discussion about the bylaws and George advised that the Planning Board will need to work on the bylaws and people will need to go to the meeting if they wish to have comments about the bylaws.
The Selectmen reviewed the Town Administrator’s appointments. George asked if they could vote to approve everyone except highway superintendent, tree warden, pest control and police chief and vote these appointments separately. Mark motioned to approve the following Town Administrator appointments: James Kupernik, Ambulance Director; Bert Goodermote, Animal Control Officer; Timothy Sullivan, Emergency Management Director; Ray Tarjick, Fire Chief/Fire Warden; Gary Danko, Assistant Building Inspector; Allen Meyer, Plumbing/Gas Inspector; Mark Levernoch, Assistant Plumbing/Gas Inspector; Marc Portieri, Madelaine Elovirta, Kristopher McDonough, Michael Sawyer, Nicole Miller, Steven Hilton, Daniel Hamill, Police Officers; Doug Mann, Veterans’ Agent; William Mulholland, Veterans’ Grave Officer;
John Daniels, Wiring Inspector; Jim LaPier, Assistant Wiring Inspector, Bill seconded. All in favor. Bill motioned to approve the following Town Administrator’s appointments: Leonard Tisdale, Highway Superintendent; Leonard Tisdale, Pest Control; Leonard Tisdale, Police Officer; Leonard Tisdale,
Tree Warden, Mark seconded. George abstained from voting. Motion passed. Bill motioned to approve the Town Administrator’s appointment of William Elovirta as Police Chief, Mark seconded. George was concerned that Bill Elovirta would go back to patrol duty. Craig advised that he spoke with Bill and he knows that until the special legislation is passed, he could only work administrative duty. George voted against this. Motion passed. Stephen LaBelle asked if he would be re-appointed as Alternate to the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission. Nina advised that the Selectmen would be doing their appointments at their next meeting.
The Selectmen briefly discussed hiring an Outreach Worker for the Council on Aging. Bill motioned to approve hiring an Outreach Worker for the Council on Aging, Mark seconded. All in favor. Maddy Elovirta asked what kind of qualifications they would need to become an Outreach Worker. Bill advised that the person would need to up on prescription drugs so they can assist seniors in making the right prescription drug choices. They would need to be available between 2 to 5 hours per month.
The Selectmen discussed pay increase for fulltime ambulance department workers. Craig advised that after the annual town meeting he was approached by the ambulance director about pay increases for the fulltime workers. He asked the town accountant if this could be done and was advised to have the Selectmen vote to increase their pay by 1.5%. He is hoping that the budget could handle this increase. Ann Spadafora advised that the Finance Committee has asked the ambulance department to come to meetings but they never came to discuss its budget. She feels that it is too late for this year. It has been the practice of the Finance Committee that if a department did not turn in a budget then it would be level funded. Dan Parnell advised that the budget that was voted on at the town
meeting cannot be increased. George asked Craig to check with Town Counsel to see if they can legally increase the pay for the ambulance department workers and take this up again at their next meeting.
George advised that since Mike Falk was on the Finance Committee, the Selectmen have gone to the Finance Committee’s meetings to discuss the budget. He would like from now on to have the Finance Committee come to the Selectmen’s meetings. If the Selectmen and Finance Committee meets at the same time to go over the budget, it needs to be posted as a joint meeting. Bill advised that according to the town bylaws, the finance committee is an advisory board to the Board of Selectmen. When the Selectmen are invited to a finance committee meeting, the finance committee chairman determines who may speak and who may not speak. This puts the Selectmen in a submissive role to the finance committee. Bill and George feel the Selectmen should chair the joint meetings.
Bill motioned to issue a one-day liquor permit for the Becket Arts Center Solstice Party on June 18th from 5 to 9 p.m., George seconded. All in favor.
The Selectmen discussed the Becket General Store liquor license. The current manager of the store has applied for a change of corporate name but this has not been approved by the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission yet. The Selectmen do not know if they can vote to transfer the liquor license while this is pending. Craig will check into this and they will address this at their next scheduled meeting. Colleen O’Connor asked who the license is being transferred to. George advised that this will be discussed at their next meeting.
Any other business: Craig advised that the Ambulance Department has asked if they could have an outdoor spigot installed while the renovations are being done over at the ambulance garage so they could wash the ambulance after it has been on runs. Craig has gotten a price for this work and is asking the Selectmen to approve this so he can go ahead and have the work done by the contractor who is doing the renovations. George advised that Bert Goodermote has money left over in his animal control expense that could be transferred for this purpose. Bill has an issue with taking money from Bert’s account. Bert explained why he needed more money in his account before the annual town meeting and now he is saying he has extra money this year for the town to use. Craig will check with Bert before
they transfer any money from his account. Mark motioned to have Town Administrator authorize installation of outside spigot at Fire Station #2, Bill seconded. All in favor.
Maddy Elovirta asked what the status was of the well at Fire Station #1. Craig advised that he spoke with Lenny and he advised that it would be done this week but he will check with him again.
Briefly discussed the mowing of the park by the school. The school is asking the highway department to mow it this year but the highway department does not have any time to do it this year. Craig will check with Lenny about this. The school lease’s the property so it is up to them to have the field mowed.
Dan Andrews asked if the ball field was ever going to be repaired. He said the mosquitoes are really bad because of the water issue. Craig will check into this.
Colleen O’Connor advised that if the tennis court by the school is resurfaced the town would need to contact the Conservation Commission because the work would be done next to the brook. Briefly discussed the quotes received for the tennis court resurfacing and the work that would be done.
Nina advised that Jessie Sullivan, a fulltime ambulance department worker, has been out on workers comp. because she was injured a few months ago. She has two vacation days left and was wondering if she could carry them over to the next fiscal year. As a rule, all vacation time needs to be used by July 1 or the employee loses it. Mark motioned to allow Jessie Sullivan to roll over the two vacation days, Bill seconded. All in favor.
Briefly discussed the annual town meeting. The Selectmen would like the warrant for the meeting to be mailed out again. George also asked George Roberts to keep the non voters separated from the voters at the meeting. He advised that other towns do that so there is no problem with non-voters voice voting during the meeting. George Roberts feels that this is the job of the moderator to separate the non-voters from the voters. Craig will look into this and get back to the Selectmen.
Bill advised that he has had some requests to have water at the North Becket Cemetery. There is a well at the cemetery but when the shed was moved, it was turned off. Bill advised that he has a plumber that will donate his time and materials to hook this up again. Briefly discussed having power hooked up to the shed. Craig will check with John Daniels the electrical inspector to see what it would cost to get the electricity hooked up.
8:45 PM Mark motioned to adjourn, Bill seconded. All in favor.
Reviewed payroll/expense warrants.
Respectfully submitted, _______________________________
Nina Weiler, Secretary George Fuller, Chairman