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Select Board Minutes 6/20/12
Members present:        Mark Karlberg, Jeanne Pryor, William Elovirta

Others Present: Craig Kleman, Colleen O’Connor, Eva Birkette, Beth VanNess, Geri Walter, Liz Will, Amy Lane, Chris Bleau, Bill Cavanaugh, Kathy Hayn, Ken Bilodeau, Pat Mullins, Don Fitzgerald, Craig Brazell, Bob Ronzio, Katherine Hoak, Jeanne Morano, Julia Maynard, Bob Will, Bob Gross

7:02 meeting opened.

Mark asked if anyone was recording the meeting.  No one is recording.

Select Board’s comments and announcements.  Bill advised that Brian Bean has resigned from the Recreation Committee after being on it for 16 years.  The Select Board would like a letter of thanks written to Brian.

Mark had a mild complaint about Jacob’s Pillow putting up signs all over but they never asked the Select Board if they could do this.  In the past, the Pillow would let the Select Board know when they would be putting up signs but this year they did not.  

Town Administrator’s report: Craig advised that most of the items in his report would be covered later on in the meeting but he asked the Select Board if they wanted Bill Girard to come back to their next meeting to discuss the increase in permitting fees.  The Select Board would like him to come in at the next meeting.  

Craig also advised that he attended a meeting regarding Other Public Employee Benefits that are offered to retirees and he spoke with the Finance Committee about this and they would like to have a joint meeting with the Select Board to discuss this topic.  

Craig advised that the Planning Board is being sued by Mr. Fortune and he sent out an email regarding this.  The Planning Board has sent this to town counsel for them to review.

Craig advised that he is in the process of scheduling a training in September regarding performance evaluations.  This will be a regional meeting so other towns could attend.  He will be requiring all department heads to attend this training.

Craig asked the Select Board how they should proceed with Colleen O’Connor’s issue.  They would like town counsel’s opinion so that everything is done correctly.  This would need to be done in executive session.  Craig will speak with town counsel and set something up.

There were no minutes to review.

Public Input: Bob Ronzio advised that he spoke with Bill Girard about Jacob’s Pillow’s signs and was told that they have permission to put them up by the telephone company.  Bill Girard also gave them permission to put up the signs.  Mark does not think the signs are obnoxious but he would like to get a heads up when they plan to put them up.

Beth VanNess asked the Board if there was any way to get transportation for the senior citizens.  Right now there is no transportation for some seniors who cannot drive themselves.  She advised that Elder Services could come to Becket if they received 24 hour notice but all of the drivers are volunteers and they do not want to come to Becket.  Briefly discussed different options and doing some research with Berkshire Regional Transit Authority.  Bill will be the representative to the BRTA this year and will attend the monthly meetings.

The gentleman from Constellation Energy was not here yet so the Select Board moved to item 6.  Pat Mullins from BRPC explained the Green Communities grant that the town has.  This grant was originally for a salt shed for the west part of town but that did not happen so this grant will go toward installing central air at the town hall and also to make the highway garage more energy efficient.  When the Environmental Compliance Services completed an energy audit for the highway garage, their solution was to work from the inside out.  When the architects looked at the solution they did not agree with the plan.  Don Fitzgerald, of Bradley Architects in Pittsfield, spoke about the two different choices the town has to make the building more energy efficient.  He explained that if you were to insulate from the inside out it would take six full time employees a total of ten days or more to move everything out of the building before insulating could take place.  This cost was not included in the budget by ECS.  He went and looked at the building and said that the building looks bad from the outside and if you were to do the insulating on the inside, it would still look the same from the outside.  He feels that if you insulate on the outside of the building then it would improve the appearance of the building and you would not have the additional cost of moving everything out.  The Department of Energy Resources was okay with the new proposal.  Briefly discussed covering the existing skylights and using energy efficient lighting.  Jeanne motioned to move forward with the Green Communities Grant for the highway garage project as presented with the exterior approach, Bill seconded.  All in favor.

Craig Brazell, of Constellation Energy, spoke about electricity program offered by Constellation Energy.  Constellation Energy is a generator of energy and provides electricity throughout the country.  He showed the relationship between the cost of natural gas and electricity prices and explained how the prices fluctuate.  He gave estimates for a 12 month contract and 24 and 36 month contracts.  The town’s current contract with Constellation Energy goes until October so the Select Board will need to decide if it wants to continue with Constellation Energy or go some other way.  The Select Board thanked him for coming.

Bob Ronzio advised that now that the town has completed its two votes for Wired West, it now needs to appoint a Municipal Light Plant Manager and appoint a delegate and alternate before it can become a full member of Wired West.  Jeanne asked if this could be postponed until she has time to read all of the information.  This will be tabled until next week.

Craig explained the Permitting Software Contract.  Jeanne asked if Bill Girard had spoken with the Board of Assessors about how this will affect their office.  She is concerned that all the offices that will be involved with this software get the proper training.  Mark would like to table this until next week so he has time to look this over.

The Select Board asked if there was anyone from the Becket Arts Center to speak about the one-day permit for the BAC Summer Solstice Party on June 23, 2012.  No one from the BAC was in attendance.  Nina advised that when she was on vacation last week someone came in to request the permit and was supposed to send an email explaining exactly what they wanted but she never received the email.  Last year they only wanted to serve wine but this year they did not specify what they wanted.  Jeanne motioned to issue the Becket Arts Center a one-day beer and wine permit for its Summer Solstice Party on June 23, 2012 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. with a notation that next year they must come to the meeting and explain what kind of permit they are asking for, Bill seconded.  All in favor.

Jeanne asked why appointment slips with the exact terms are not being used anymore.  Nina advised that the Town Clerk does not want to use them anymore.  Jeanne advised that the Board of Registrars and the Election workers have a different term than the rest of the Boards and Commissions and they should have appointment slips so the person who is appointed gets a copy.  Jeanne motioned to go back to using appointment slips, Bill seconded.  All in favor.  Bill asked Craig if he had done any of the training for the chief procurement officer position.  Craig advised that he has not because it is very expensive.  Bill believes that you have a certain amount of time to complete the training in order to become the chief procurement officer.  The Select Board would like to hold off on the appointments until next week.

Jeanne advised that she did not want to sign the Wage and Benefit Agreements until she reads through them because they are not all the same.  Some departments get overtime and some do not.  This will be on hold until next week so the Select Board can come in and review them.

Mark motioned to transfer $400 from Outreach Program to Police Department Salaries and $5,000 from Veterans’ Benefits to Police Department salaries, Jeanne seconded.  Bill abstained.  Motion passed.  Jeanne motioned to transfer $3,900 from Veterans’ Benefits to Legal Expenses, $5,000 from Veterans’ Benefits to Ambulance Salaries, $3,975 from Health/Life Insurance to Ambulance Salaries, $200 from Veterans’ Benefits to Memorial Day Expenses, $9,870 from Health/Life Insurance to Payroll Taxes, $1,130 from Outreach Program to Payroll Taxes, Bill seconded.  All in favor.

The Select Board reviewed the monthly report of the Building Inspector.  The Select Board would like the report to have headings on the columns and wants the correct totals.  Nina will talk to Bill Girard about this.

Any other business: Jeanne thought that the town meeting guidelines would be on tonight’s agenda but it was not so she asked if this could be put on the next meeting agenda.

Jeanne advised that she met with Rita Furlong and they went to the Mullen House and looked at the room that is available and also the room at town hall.  She said that Rita does not object to moving to the Mullen House but she felt that the Historical Commission should have a presence in town hall.  Jeanne was concerned that the stairs in the Mullen House were very narrow and it could be difficult to move everything into the room.  She also advised that it would cost approximately $200 per month for the Historical Commission to stay at the Mullen House.  She was also concerned about the handicap ramp at the Mullen House.  She was not sure what the rules were but she thought anyone in a wheel chair would have a hard time getting into the building.  When she looked at the current room that the Historical Commission uses she noticed that it was disgustingly dirty and feels that the records being kept in there would be ruined if they did not use a dehumidifier.  She spoke with Joan Moylan about the room next to the Community Room and asked her if she would be willing to share this space and Joan advised that the COA does not use this room any longer.  Jeanne feels the Historical Commission could use one of the rooms at town hall but it would need to be temperature controlled because of the records.  The Select Board will come in later this week to look at the rooms downstairs.

Bill motioned to continue participating in the Household Hazardous Collection Program for an additional year, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.

Mark motioned to send a letter of thanks to Brian Bean for his service on the Recreation Committee, Bill seconded.  All in favor.

Briefly discussed conducting performance evaluations.  Kathy Hayn suggested putting together a committee to review employee policies, job descriptions, performance evaluations, salary survey, etc.  

Reviewed correspondence.

9:20 PM Jeanne motioned to adjourn, Bill seconded.  All in favor.

Reviewed payroll/expense warrants.

Respectfully submitted,                                                         _______________________________
Nina Weiler, Secretary                                                          Mark L. Karlberg, Chairman

Documents discussed at meeting:

  • Electricity Pricing Information from Constellation Energy