Members present: Mark Karlberg, George Fuller
Jeanne Pryor - participated remotely
Others Present: Craig Kleman, Bill Elovirta, Colleen O’Connor, Beth VanNess, Karen Karlberg, Eva Birkette, John Amato, Rita Furlong, Pat Portieri, Angela Hilton, Bob Ronzio, Liz Will, Chuck Andrews, Bob Gross, Geri & Doug Walter, George Roberts, Kathy Hayn, and others
7:00 PM Meeting opened.
Mark asked if anyone from the audience was recording this meeting. Bob Ronzio is audio taping the meeting. Mark announced that Jeanne is participating~remotely due to geographic distance. It was mentioned that all votes would need to be done through role call when someone participates remotely.
Select Board’s Comments and Announcements: Mark thanked Heather Hunt, Bill Girard and the seniors working on the Senior Tax Work-Off Program for painting the meeting room. He advised that they would be continuing to paint other areas of town hall.
Town Administrator’s Report: Craig advised that the budget for FY13 has been given to the Finance Committee and the Select Board and he will schedule a joint meeting to go over the budget. He also thanked Heather and Bill and the seniors for painting the town hall. He advised that Bill Girard has been filling the penetrations in the attic with insulation at town hall to stop the leaks and to make it more energy efficient. He also advised that the first meeting of the Police Chief Search Committee will be tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. He also advised that the health insurance for the town has increased a tad under 8%. Craig asked the Select Board if they feel we should stay with the current van situation or should he start looking into renting another van for vocational school transportation. Mark feels we should stay with what we have now until it is determined which school will act as the primary voc school.
The Select Board reviewed the minutes of the last meeting. Jeanne asked Nina if she got her last minute correction. She advised that she changed one typo and explained it to the other Select Board members. George motioned to accept the minutes of February 15, 2012, Jeanne seconded. Roll call vote: Jeanne-yes, George-yes, Mark-yes. Motion passed.
Public Input: Colleen O’Connor asked why the replacement vehicle for the police department is a Crown Victoria. She feels that in light of the gasoline prices going up to almost $4.00 per gallon and continuing to rise the town would choose a Crown Victoria. She feels that a more fuel efficient vehicle should have been chosen. The town voted to become a Green Community and by doing that it should be choosing more fuel efficient vehicles. Craig advised that public works, public safety, police and fire vehicles are exempt from the Green Community designation. Bill Elovirta advised that the Crown Vic is the standard police cruiser used in police departments. He also advised that this was voted on the Annual Town Meeting. Mark advised that the town gets a better deal because it
purchases the vehicle through the State. Bob Ronzio asked if the Crown Vic is rear wheel drive. He advised that rear wheel drive vehicles do not do well on gravel roads in the winter. Bill advised that it is rear wheel drive but the police department also has a 4 wheel drive vehicle to use in the winter. George asked Bill what the cost difference was between the Crown Vic and the Expedition. He thought that it was approximately 5 or 6 thousand dollars.
Rita Furlong advised that there will be a public hearing prior to the Select Board meeting at 6:30 p.m. on March 21, 2012 to review application received by the Community Preservation Committee. She also advised that there is only one application from the Mullen House Education Center to have the exterior of the Mullen House painted. She is inviting everyone to this public hearing.
Chuck Andrews asked if there was a way to get part of Hamilton Road widened. He said there is one area that is very dangerous if two cars meet up at the same time. It is approximately one mile in length. Craig will check with the highway superintendent to see if this could be done.
The Select Board reviewed the letter from Kopelman & Paige asking if the board wants town counsel present during Annual Town Meeting. George motioned to have Kopelman & Paige attend the Annual Town Meeting, Jeanne seconded. Roll call vote: Jeanne-yes, George-yes, Mark-yes. Motion passed. Craig will send Kopelman & Paige a letter requesting that they attend the annual town meeting.
The Select Board reviewed the IRS Standard Mileage rates. George motioned to accept the IRS Standard Mileage Rate of 55.5 cents effective as of today and to be effective until the next rate change, Jeanne seconded. Briefly discussed voting to accept the IRS rate whenever it changes so that it does not have to keep coming before the Select Board. George feels the Board could just vote to accept the rate changes as they receive them from the IRS. Roll call vote: Jeanne-yes, George-yes, Mark-yes. Motion passed.
George asked if Brian Middleton was here to speak with the Board about being appointed as assistant plumbing/gas inspector. Craig advised that he is not in attendance. George feels he should come to a meeting to meet with the Select Board before they approve his appointment as assistant plumbing/gas inspector. Nina will contact him and see if he can come to the next Select Board meeting.
The Select Board reviewed the Becket Ambulance Department Request for Write-Off Report. George motioned to send all of the requests on the Becket Ambulance Department Request for Write-Off Report to the collection agency, Jeanne seconded. Roll call vote: Jeanne abstained from voting because she did not see this report. Mark-yes, George-yes. Motion passed. George asked if we get any notification from the collection agency about whether any of these get paid. Craig was not sure if Jim receives anything or not. Craig will call the collection agency to see what is happening to all of these requests and get back to the Select Board.
The Select Board reviewed the monthly reports of the Ambulance Department, Police Department and Citations Issued. Briefly discussed the ambulance department runs from last month. There were 35 runs, 1 of which was to Otis and 1 of which was to Washington but the rest were Becket runs.
Any other business: Briefly discussed the $200 Million Chapter 90 Bond Bill that the Governor filed. Craig wrote letters to Senator Benjamin Downing and Representative Paul Mark asking them to fast-track the Chapter 90 Bill and increase the program above $200 million. Jeanne motioned to sign and send letters to Senator Downing and Rep. Mark on Chapter 90 Bond Bill, Mark seconded. Roll call vote: Jeanne-yes, George-yes, Mark-yes. Motion passed.
Briefly discussed the letter from Dr. Cameron, school superintendent, asking the select boards and finance committees of the seven district towns to meet with central office administrators and school committee representatives. George feels it would be easier for us to find out when they are available to come to Becket and then try to get everyone to come to meeting. Nina will try to set something up and will get back to the Select Board and Finance Committee.
Nina informed the Board that the State completed the annual inspection of the ambulance and they had a perfect inspection.
Jeanne asked Craig where the ad for the police chief was going. He advised that he is placing the ad in the Berkshire Eagle and the MMA publication and he is also posting it at town hall. Craig read the advertisement. George asked why the ad states the town is looking for a fulltime chief when it has not been voted on yet. Craig replied that the majority of the Board wants it to be fulltime and it is in the budget and any applicant that comes in will be told that it is contingent on the budget passing at town meeting. John Amato feels that the salary range should be included in the ad as well as residency within 15 miles is required. He also thought that putting the ad in a police magazine would be helpful. George Roberts feels the ad should stay the way it is because it could
prevent people from applying for the job. Jeanne feels the search committee could send letters to applicants with more information or speak with them about these kinds of things. Mark advised that the Select Board could provide an outline to the search committee of what should be told to the applicants. Colleen O’Connor feels the ad should not be vague because it may attract a large percentage of applicants who would not be eligible for the job. She asked if the State Law says that the Police Chief is required to live within 15 miles of the town. Craig stated that he would have to look at the State Law again to see. Bob Ronzio stated that State Law states that police chiefs and fire chiefs are exempt from the residency requirements. George is against the ad because it states that it is a fulltime position and the town has not voted yet to see if it will be fulltime and he feels this is false advertising. Craig explained that in
order to have someone on board by July 1st you need to start the process now. George stated that he feels the town should not advertise until it knows whether it will be a fulltime position or not. He feels the current sergeant could step up and act until a police chief is hired. Rita Furlong asked why the chief could not work fulltime even if it is not voted in at town meeting because he could work certain hours as chief and patrol the remaining time. Jeanne believes the State Law requires police chiefs to live within 15 miles of town within six months of being hired. John Amato feels the police chief search committee could have some suggestions about the advertisement so it should wait until the committee meets before the ad is placed. He feels there should be an email address available for applicants to obtain the job description. He also feels that the Board needs to decide if the applicant needs to live within 15 miles or
not because the search committee needs to know what to do.
Nina advised that Len Tisdale gave her some FEMA contracts that need to be signed that pertain to Hurricane Irene work completed on George Carter Road, Hamilton Road and Quarry Road. George motioned to sign the standard contract forms from MEMA for George Carter Road, Hamilton Road and Quarry Road, Jeanne seconded. Roll call vote: Jeanne-yes, George-yes, Mark-yes. Motion passed.
Nina advised that she received a copy of the variance application that will go before the Zoning Board of Appeals on April 3, 2012. Mark and George reviewed it. Jeanne asked Nina to email a copy to her.
Rita Furlong advised that she spoke with Ed Contini who was a long time member of the Recreation Committee about the beach property and he stated that the town owns more than what Camp Greylock’s survey says and she feels the town should look into this. She does not know if Camp Greylock looked into the deeds that Ed has regarding the beach and thought that Foresight Land Services could do a survey for the town to see if what Camp Greylock says they own is what they actually own. George Roberts advised that he is acquainted with some reputable title searchers and he could pass this information to Rita if she would like. Bob Ronzio offered to check the titles to the properties. Jeanne asked Craig if the town ever did a title search on this property. He did not think it was ever done. (8:26 PM It was determined that the connection with Jeanne was lost. 8:27 PM Jeanne was called back and re-entered discussion. The last comment she made was at 8:25 PM.) Jeanne feels that our
town counsel should do the title search of this property so we are sure exactly what we own. Briefly discussed the cost of completing a title search. Craig will check to see how much Foresight Land Services will charge and also what our attorney would charge before they decide who will do the title search.
8:30 PM George motioned to adjourn, Mark seconded. Roll call vote: Jeanne-yes, George-yes, Mark-yes. Motion passed.
George and Mark reviewed payroll/expense warrants.
Respectfully submitted, _______________________________
Nina Weiler, Secretary Mark L. Karlberg, Chairman
Documents discussed at meeting: