Members present: Mark Karlberg, George Fuller, Jeanne Pryor
Others Present: Craig Kleman, Bill Elovirta, Colleen O’Connor, Beth VanNess, Eva Birkette, John Amato, Gale LaBelle, Bob Gross, Ryan Clemo, Carrie Clemo, Ann Sullivan, J.R. Mailliard, Tim & Jessie Sullivan, Paula Cianfarani, Angela Hilton, Patricia Portieri, Travis Miller, Katie Brelsford, Mark White
7:00 PM Meeting opened.
Mark asked if anyone from the audience was recording this meeting. No one is recording.
Select Board’s Comments and Announcements: Jeanne advised the Board that there has been a sign placed at the end of Big Bass Lane and Wade Inn Road that states “Notice By Authority from the Town of Becket Emergency & Authorized Vehicles Only”. This is at the entrance of the Crystal Pond Development. She feels that if the Planning Board voted to approve this then the board should have notified all the other boards and commissions in town so that they were aware of the road closure. The Conservation Commission had to go on a site visit but could not get into the development because the road was closed off. Jeanne asked if the Select Board could get copies of the approvals for all the road closures. Bob Gross of Indian Lakes advised the Board that there are roads that are
closed in the Indian Lakes development and he could advise the Town Administrator when the roads would be closed and he could pass this information along to the different boards and committees so they are aware of this.
Town Administrator’s Report: Craig advised that he is in the process of executing the contract with Berkshire Housing for the housing rehabilitation portion of the CDBG. He also advised that part of the grant requires that the town appoint two advisors for the housing rehab portion of the grant. These people will assist in going through the applications to find who would be awarded the grants.
Craig advised that he spoke with Ed MacDonald in Chester and the vocational transportation will be the same cost next year as it is this year. He also spoke about electric contracts. This year the contract with Constellation New Energy will be expiring so they will need to check out other electricity options.
George advised that he reviewed the annual town meeting warrant and found that the highway department is not correct. There is no money in the vacation and holiday account. Craig will review this and see what happened to this line item.
George asked why the Select Board never went into executive session on April 4, 2012 to discuss personnel issues. Craig advised that he will speak with the Select Board after the annual town meeting about this. He advised that they could not go into executive session to discuss this so he will talk about this at a later time. George motioned to approve the minutes to the meeting on April 4, 2012, Jeanne seconded. All in favor. Jeanne motioned to approve the minutes to the joint meeting of the Select Board and the Finance Committee on April 11, 2012, the Select Board minutes to the April 18, 2012 meeting, and to the joint meeting of the Select Board and the Finance Committee on April 25, 2012, George seconded. All in favor.
Public Input: Colleen O’Connor asked who pays if a tree falls at 2 o’clock in the morning and takes out three municipal vehicles parked on private property. She asked if the town’s insurance company would pay for this. She advised that when she got insurance for her vehicle, the insurance company wanted to know where she garaged her vehicle. She also asked if it was the opinion of the Select Board or the Becket Police Department or the opinion of Bill Elovirta regarding Dan Andrews being a deterrent to trying to obtain work on the Becket Police Department. She is asking the Board to stop pandering to the needs of a few and ignoring the will of the mass of this town.
The Select Board reviewed the request from Cub Scouts Pack 26 to utilize the small room at town hall where the Boy Scouts met. The Boy Scouts do not use this room anymore and the cub scouts would like to use this room. Travis Miller advised the Board that about 6-8 kids are in the cub scouts. He also advised that the cubs scouts do a lot of arts and crafts and it would be easier to store the materials in the room then to have to lug them to the town hall each time they meet. He explained what they would need to store and the free standing shelves they would bring in. He advised that they used to store their materials in the closet in the community room but the playgroup took that space over. He also feels that the small room would better contain the children then the big room would. Jeanne asked if there would be a problem if the town needed to use this room as a small meeting room if they needed to. Travis advised that he would be happy to share the room if needed. Jeanne
motioned to approve the Cub Scouts request to utilize the small room at town hall, George seconded. All in favor.
George asked why they are considering extending the police chief appointment until June 30, 2012 when the home rule petition states he is appointed until June 30, 2012. Craig advised that Bill Elovirta’s appointment with the town was only until May 12, 2012. Bill would like to have the approval of the board to stay on until June 30, 2012. Jeanne motioned to approve the extension of the appointment of William Elovirta as police chief until June 30, 2012, Mark seconded. Jeanne and Mark voted yes. George opposed. Motion passed. Colleen O’Connor asked how this would benefit the town. Mark advised that the new chief would not be appointed before May 12th so this would allow Bill Elovirta to continue until a new chief is hired. John Amato explained the
process of the Police Chief Search Committee and the timeline for interviews and when the committee would have the finalists ready for interviews with the town administrator and Select Board. Mark feels there will be about two to three weeks that the new chief could work with Bill and that should be sufficient.
Craig advised that the Ambulance Director spoke with the Attorney General’s office regarding Jessie Sullivan’s vacation and personal time while she was out on Worker’s Comp. He was advised that in Massachusetts a person who is on worker’s comp. does not earn personal, sick or vacation time. Jessie was originally asking to roll over one week of vacation time and wanted to be paid for the rest of her time. Craig advised that the accountant said that a person could not be paid over the 52 weeks for their salary. Craig advised that because Jessie will be starting to work during the rest of this fiscal year, she would earn vacation and sick and personal time on a pro-rata basis. Jessie advised that in the employee handbook it states “Vacation is meant to be used each
year. Except in unique circumstances, such as emergency workload requirements or pressing personal emergency, employees will not be allowed to carry over vacation time from one year to another.” She feels that having two shoulder operations would fall under “pressing personal emergency” so she feels she should be allowed to be paid for her unused vacation time. Briefly discussed what was done in the past when an employee was out on worker’s comp. Craig advised that he will contact the attorney general’s office to get clarification for their next meeting.
Select Board reviewed the monthly reports of the Ambulance Department, Police Department and Citations Issued. George asked Bill Elovirta how many break-ins there were since he put an officer on overnight. Bill advised that there were not any break-ins that he was aware of. He also advised that the overnight officer found a brush fire that rekindled and probably would have caused a structure fire had the police officer not found it when he did. George asked if the ambulance director could use a bigger font when he does his report because he almost needs a microscope to read it now. Craig will check with him regarding this.
Any other business: Nina had a letter of thanks for the Select Board to sign for a member of the Volunteer Fire Department who recently retired.
She also asked if any of the Select Board members would be attending the Berkshire County Selectmen’s Association Dinner Meeting in May. She will need to know who is attending this meeting so she can make the reservations.
The Select Board reviewed a special permit application from the Planning Board for a furniture restoration business that is proposed to go where the old Becket Mini-Mart was.
Jeanne had a few documents that she wanted the Select Board to review for handouts at the Annual Town Meeting. Two of the documents had to do with WiredWest, one document was regarding the home rule petition regarding enforceable speed limit on Johnson and Fred Snow Roads and one is the Open Town Meeting Participation Guide. Mark advised that he would read them over and let her know if they were okay to hand out at the meeting.
Nina advised that the Annual Town Meeting warrants were mailed out to the registered voters today. Nina thanked Beth VanNess who helped to get these set to go out in the mail.
Briefly discussed the construction that will be taking place in North Becket and the noise from this construction.
7:55 PM Jeanne motioned to adjourn, Mark seconded. All in favor.
Reviewed payroll/expense warrants.
Respectfully submitted, _______________________________
Nina Weiler, Secretary Mark L. Karlberg, Chairman
Documents discussed at meeting: