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Select Board Minutes 3/21/12
Members present:        Mark Karlberg, George Fuller
                        Jeanne Pryor - participated remotely

Others Present: Craig Kleman, Bill Elovirta, Colleen O’Connor, Beth VanNess, Eva Birkette, Rita Furlong, Pat Portieri, Angela Hilton, Bob Gross, George Roberts, Jeremy Dunn, Brian Middleton, John Bartels, Dan Parnell, Ann Spadafora

7:05 PM Meeting opened.

Mark asked if anyone from the audience was recording this meeting.  Beth VanNess 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: None.

Town Administrator’s Report: Craig advised that Joel Bard of Kopelman & Paige will be attending the Annual Town Meeting.  He also advised that he and Bill Elovirta attended a workshop sponsored by the MMA and the MMPA regarding Predictable Risk Management.  This will help the town as it moves forward in selecting a police chief.

The Select Board reviewed the minutes of the last meeting.  Jeanne motioned to approve the minutes of March 7, 2012, Mark seconded.  Roll call vote: Jeanne-yes, Mark-yes, George-no.  Motion passed.  

Public Input: Colleen O’Connor asked what Nicole Miller’s job description on the Police Chief Search Committee is now that there will be a police chief on the committee.  Jeanne advised that Nicole was appointed as a non-voting member to give the Police Chief Search Committee advice about issues that involve the Becket Police Department.  Colleen also asked why she was appointed as she is one of the newest appointed police officers on the department.  Jeanne answered that she submitted a letter of interest just like the rest of the people who wished to be on this committee.  Colleen was concerned that she was appointed to the committee because they did not have a female appointed to this committee and that the only reason they wanted her was to have her complete the stereotypical secretarial duties.  Robert Gross advised that the committee agreed that the members, aside from the chairman, would all take turns doing the minutes to the meetings.  George thinks that Colleen wanted to know why you would need Nicole if you are going to appoint a former police chief.  Mark explained that John Bartels would be there for the chief aspect and Nicole would be there for the local aspect to the operations of the police department.  Colleen was concerned because Nicole was the youngest person on the force and is a woman and that was the reason why they wanted her on the PCSC.  Jeanne stated that the Select Board tried to appoint a woman but each time someone motioned to appoint one it never was seconded.  She also stated that Nicole was not appointed because of her age or gender.  She feels that having a woman on the committee to advise about issues involving women is very important and also feels that having women officers is important.  Bill Elovirta wanted to make a correction about Nicole.  He advised that she is not the youngest person on the police department.  Eva Birkette stated that she feels the Police Chief Search Committee is a fiasco and feels that Marc Portieri should just be moved up to the position of police chief because he is the senior officer and has been on the department for 17 years.

Craig advised that he was looking for a former police chief to appoint to the Police Chief Search Committee to provide useful information to the committee.  Mr. Bartels has expressed interest in being appointed as a non-voting member of the committee and he spoke with Craig before the meeting.  George asked Mr. Bartels if he was in the position of sergeant when he was appointed as police chief in Dalton.  Mr. Bartels advised that he was not a sergeant when he was appointed police chief, he was a patrolman.  He also advised that there were 52 applicants nationwide that applied for the position.  Jeanne motioned to appoint Chief Bartels to the Police Chief Search Committee, George seconded on the condition that he still opposes us doing the search committee for police chief because we do not know if it is full time or part time or if we have the budget to fund a fulltime officer.  Jeanne asked Mark if it is necessary to say this again when it has been said for the last three meetings.  He did not think it was necessary either but George made a statement and we will put it in the minutes.  Roll call vote: Jeanne-yes, George-yes, Mark-yes.  Motion passed.  Chief Bartels thanked the Board and is looking forward to working with the committee.  Craig explained that there were a series of letters that the Police Chief Search Committee chair wanted to be sent out and he wanted to talk about that.  The first letter was an acknowledgement letter to be sent to all applicants explaining the process but there was another letter that the chair wanted sent out.  This letter would go to all applicants that would not be considered for interviews.  Craig feels that this letter should not go out until the interview process was completed and someone was chosen and a contract was signed.  Bob Gross agreed with Craig.  George wanted to know if the PCSC would be letting the applicants know that the position of fulltime police chief would be contingent upon the budget passing at the Annual Town Meeting.  Bob Gross advised that this would be explained to all applicants that are interviewed.  Craig advised that the PCSC thought that the requirement which states an applicant must have a “Certificate of Completion from the Massachusetts Police Academy” would hinder an applicant who may have worked in another state.  Craig explained how a person could receive a waiver for this requirement.  Briefly discussed hiring someone long term.  George was concerned that some of the applicants could be close to retirement age.  Ann Spadafora advised that the town could not discriminate against age or gender.  Briefly discussed Bill Elovirta presenting two separate budgets; one for a fulltime chief and one for a part time chief.  Jeremy Dunn advised that the finance committee is meeting tomorrow night and the Select Board is invited to this meeting.  Bill Elovirta will be at the meeting to present his budget and that will be discussed then.

Brian Middleton introduced himself to the Board.  Nina explained why we needed another assistant plumbing/gas inspector.  George motioned to approve the Town Administrator’s appointment of Brian Middleton as the assistant plumbing/gas inspector, Jeanne seconded.  Roll call vote: Jeanne-yes, George-yes, Mark-yes.  Motion passed.

George motioned to sign Annual Town Caucus warrant to be held on April 4, 2012 from 12:00 noon to 7:00 p.m. at the town hall, Jeanne seconded.  Jeanne suggested that the town clerk place this in the newspaper so that people know who will be on the caucus.  Roll call vote: Jeanne-yes, George-yes, Mark-yes.  Motion passed.

George motioned to sign the seasonal liquor license renewals for Berkshire Berries for a seasonal all alcoholic package store license; Becket Country Store for a seasonal all alcoholic package store license; and Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival for a seasonal all alcoholic restaurant license, Jeanne seconded.  Roll call vote: Jeanne-yes, George-yes, Mark-yes.  Motion passed.

The Select Board reviewed the letter from Western Massachusetts Electric Company regarding important meeting to review its own emergency response procedures.  Craig advised that Emergency Management Director, Tim Sullivan would be attending this meeting.  Bill Elovirta advised that the police and fire departments would be represented at this meeting.  Beth VanNess asked if she could attend this meeting in place of George.  Beth and Mark will attend this meeting.

Because the Select Board will be attending the Finance Committee meeting tomorrow night, agenda item #10 was tabled until then.  Ann Spadafora advised that Stephen LaBelle had his surgery and is recovering.

Colleen O’Connor feels that per the Open Meeting Law, if Richard was making comments about the meeting then everyone here at the meeting should be able to hear his comments.  Jeanne advised that her husband wasn’t even there.  Jeanne was unable to hear most of Colleen’s and the audience’s comments about this part of the meeting.  She would be glad to let the Board know if anyone is with her when she participates remotely but she expects the same courtesy of knowing who is present and commenting at the meeting.

The Select Board reviewed the monthly report of the building inspector.  Briefly discussed the painting of town hall.

Any other business: Nina asked if the Select Board still wanted the warrants mailed out for the Annual Town Meeting.  She explained that people could pick up warrants at different locations throughout town like the transfer station, post office, town hall, etc.  The Select Board would like to continue mailing the warrants.

Reviewed correspondence.

8:10 PM George motioned to adjourn, Jeanne 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: