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Board of Selectmen MInutes 8/30/11
Members present:        William Cavanaugh, George Fuller, Mark Karlberg

Others Present: Craig Kleman, Maddy & Bill Elovirta, Robert Ronzio, Mark White, Ron Ellsworth

7:01 PM Meeting opened.

George asked if anyone from the audience was recording this meeting.  Bob Ronzio is audio taping the meeting.

The Selectmen discussed the vocational transportation options.  Craig advised that he spoke with the father of the student that will be going to McCann Vocational School and he expressed concerns about his daughter riding the BRTA bus to school.  He felt she was too young to be dropped off in Pittsfield to take the BRTA bus to North Adams.  He feels that she should have the same transportation as she had last year with Dufour picking her up at home and dropping her back off at home.  Craig had spoken to William Dufour and he gave a price of $115 per day to transport to McCann Voc School.  Bill motioned to go with Dufour and accept bid to transport the student to McCann Vocational School at the rate of $115 per day, Mark seconded.  All in favor.  Briefly discussed whether or not the Selectmen will require students to go to the closest school that offers the program they wish to take.

The next item on the agenda is to discuss Chief Elovirta’s police duties restored during Emergency.  Maddy Elovirta asked if this could be discussed at this meeting if it was not on the posted agenda.  Craig advised that because it was an emergency he thought they could discuss this at this meeting.  George advised that if they did not discuss it at this meeting, it would need to wait until the next meeting.  He also asked if Bill Elovirta wanted to go into an executive session to discuss this.  Bill E. was fine with them discussing this publicly at this meeting.  The Selectmen would like to discuss two other items before they deal with this item.  Bill E. was fine with this.

The Selectmen discussed the Emergency Management Director’s rate of pay.  Craig advised that he spoke with Ray Tarjick about the rate of pay that MEMA would reimburse the town for the EMD’s duties during an emergency.  Ray thought it was $16 per hour.  Bill advised that he was not aware that the emergency management director could be paid for his duties and as long as the town will be reimbursed for this he had no problem paying him.  Bill motioned to pay the emergency management director the rate that FEMA will reimburse for that particular duty, Mark seconded.  George would like Craig to get back to them with the amount when he finds out what it will be.  Bob Ronzio advised that FEMA only reimburses 75% of the amount that will be paid to the EMD.  He asked who would cover the 25% that it does not cover.  George believes that FEMA would cover 100% of the pay for the EMD.  Briefly discussed this issue.  George feels that as long as the Selectmen are meeting next week this could wait until then.  Bill motioned to withdraw his motion to pay the EMD the rate that FEMA will reimburse for that particular duty, Mark seconded.  Craig will check into this before the next meeting.  All in favor.

The Selectmen discussed the manual switch for the town hall generator.  George advised that he spoke with Ron Ellsworth, the electrician that has been working to repair the electrical switch for the generator at town hall.  He recommends that both switches be replaced that control the generator because they are both old and if you do not replace the other switch then it could go at anytime.  George advised that if the electrician replaces both switches to a manually operated transfer switch it would cost $10,126.74 and if he replaces both switches with what is currently there, which is an automatic transfer switch, it would cost $13,093.50 and if he replaces only the one broken switch to a manually operated transfer switch it would cost $2,365.00.  Craig advised that the electrician recommends the first option of changing both switches to a manually operated transfer switch.  Bill advised that he spoke with the electrician and the one thing good about going with the manually operated switch would be if the town had to replace the generator it would work with any generator but if you went with the automatic transfer switch then you would need to replace the generator with the exact generator we have now.  Bill advised that the kitchen has some issues with some of the outlets and he would like the electrician to repair them also.  Ron Ellsworth, the electrician, gave the Selectmen an update on the work he has completed so far.  Briefly discussed where the money would come from to pay for this repair.  Craig will check to see if MEMA would reimburse us for some of the cost.  Bill motioned to go with the manually operated transfer switch not to exceed $9,000, Mark seconded.  Briefly discussed checking the outlets in the town hall to see that there are any wires overheating in the walls.  All in favor.  

Craig advised that there was one more thing that the Selectmen should take care of tonight.  The YMCA Camp donated food for the emergency workers and the citizens who were at the town hall during the hurricane on Sunday, August 28th and Nina composed a letter of thanks for this donation.  Bill motioned to send the letter of thanks to Chaz Atwell at the YMCA Camp, George seconded.  Bill Elovirta suggested that a copy of the letter be sent to Phil Conner, the camp director.  All in favor.

The Selectmen discussed Chief Elovirta’s police duties restored during emergency.  Craig advised that he spoke with George and Bill about allowing Bill to return to police duties during emergencies and Bill Elovirta spoke with Mark about this and Bill and Mark were okay with this but George was not okay with it.  Craig said that because this was done outside a meeting he felt the Selectmen should vote on this during a meeting.  Bill Elovirta explained that some of his officers were unable to work during the hurricane and there have been times that an officer needed backup but there was no one available for this.  He feels that this not only puts the public in jeopardy but it also puts the officer in jeopardy.  George does not feel that Bill E. should have been working until the Board voted at a meeting to restore his duties.  Bill E. understood that as long as two Selectmen said it was okay to return to his police duties that it was okay for him to do so.  If he misunderstood that he is sorry but he thought that Craig said it was okay to return to his police duties once he heard from all of the Selectmen.  Craig advised that the Selectmen should just vote tonight to determine whether or not Bill E. could resume his police duties through the emergency.  Bill advised that the Selectmen have declared a state of emergency in the past without being in a meeting.  He remembers getting a phone call from the town administrator asking to declare a state of emergency and then renewing the vote at the next Selectmen’s meeting.  He feels the Selectmen did the same thing with the police chief.  Bob Ronzio feels the Selectmen violated the Open Meeting Law by what they did and he is ready to file a complaint with the Ethics Commission.  Craig advised that he received a news blast from Kopelman and Paige and a section of this deals with emergencies and a board can forego the 48 hour notification in an emergency.  He feels that this issue is covered by this section of state law.  Bill feels that the Selectmen voted to place the police chief under administrative duties only and they could vote to lift that restriction.  George feels that there will be repercussions if they do that.  Bill motioned to allow Chief Elovirta to resume duties as a police officer until September 14, 2011, Mark seconded.  George voted against this.  Motion passed.

8:04 PM Mark motioned to adjourn, Bill seconded.  All in favor.

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