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Select Board Minutes 8/15/12
Members present:        Mark Karlberg, Jeanne Pryor, William Elovirta

Others Present: Craig Kleman, Colleen O’Connor, Bill Cavanaugh, Karen Karlberg, Kris McDonough, Beth VanNess, Colleen Cox, Rob Gorden, Bruce Garlow, Tim Fogarty, Katherine Hoak, Bob Ronzio, Liz & Bob Will, Steve Rosenthal, Doug & Geri Walter, Markelle Smith, Cindy Delpapa

7:00 Meeting opened.

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

Select Board’s comments and announcements. Mark advised that he attended the Planning Board meeting the other night and he was impressed with the handling of this meeting.  He felt it was a well controlled meeting.

Town Administrator’s report: Craig advised that he is still working on the electricity analysis and should have something by the next Select Board meeting.

Craig advised that he met with Gomes Construction and Len Tisdale and Berkshire Regional Planning Commission to go over the North Becket Village Infrastructure Project.  He is waiting for the payment and performance bonds to come in before he can issue a notice to proceed.  This project may start the week before school starts.

Craig advised that the fulltime police officer position has been advertised and some people have already come in for application packets.

Bill motioned to approve the minutes of July 18, 2012, August 1, 2012 and August 7, 2012, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.

Public Input:  Bob Ronzio asked about appointing a member to the Board of Health.  He advised that the agenda for the Board of Health meeting stated that they are looking to train someone to take Ginger Conner’s place and they would be voting to appoint someone at their meeting.  He wanted to know if this can be done if the position is an elected position.  Jeanne advised that this item was removed from the agenda and it was not discussed at the meeting.  

Bob Ronzio also asked about the state law in regard to the housing of motor vehicles in Massachusetts.  He stated that there are many vehicles that are garaged in Becket that are not registered in Massachusetts.  M.G.L. Chapter 90 section 3 ½ deals with motor vehicle registration misrepresentation and the fines that go along with it.  He said there are a lot of vehicles in town that are not registered in Massachusetts but the owners are living in Becket.  Bill advised that he is aware of the law and has dealt with this kind of thing while working on the police department.  He said some cases are not so cut and dry.  He would speak with the new police chief about this.

Colleen O’Connor expressed her concern about a member of the Board of Health’s ability to train another person regarding public water supplies and Title V.  She feels that if a person takes a position, they should do what the position entails and if they cannot then they should not keep their position they should give it up.  She briefly spoke about the town suing her for an easement.

Bill Cavanaugh wants to know what the status is of the school opening.  He stated that the school’s septic system was tampered with and the first day of school is fast approaching and he is concerned because his grandchildren will be going to this school.  He would like the Select Board to clarify what is happening with the septic system.  He heard that the septic system is working as a tight tank and needs to be pumped out every three days.  He wants to know what occurred, what actions will be taken to see that the children are safe and if the school will be open on time.  He heard that a police officer will be at the school for the first couple of weeks and that scares him even more.  He feels a restraining order is in order for the person who keeps threatening the school.  Bill E. advised that the school committee has said the school will be open on time.

Beth VanNess asked why a member of the Board of Health would bring someone in and start training them.  She asked if this should be advertised.  Bill feels that the position should be advertised.  Jeanne advised that there are only two members that are working on the Board of Health and they are finding it very hard to complete all of the work.  Beth wants the Select Board to ask the Board of Health who they have been training.

Bob Ronzio spoke about school choice and knows that this is not in the Select Board’s purview to find out if someone is attending a school that should not be but he feels this is a problem in Becket.  He advised that he will be going to the school committee about this.

Mark advised that he would be moving agenda item number twelve up because Rob Gorden has another appointment and needs to go soon.  Discussed use of the Historical Commission Room by the Police Department.  Bill advised that the police department has grown and needs more space.  Rob does not think the Historical Commission has a problem with moving to another room at town hall.  The main issue the commission had was they wanted to have a presence in town hall.  Jeanne feels the town should spend some money on furniture for the new space that would better accommodate the Historical Commission’s records.  Rob advised that the Historical Commission will discuss this at their next meeting so this can be resolved soon.

Markelle Smith of the Nature Conservancy updated the board on the property off of Maple Street.  She advised that the appraisal was completed and that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife has offered the town $88,000, which is fair market value for a land-locked piece of property, and if the town accepts this offer then the USFW would maintain the property.  Bill advised that the assessed value of this property is $117,000 but was told by the Board of Assessors that the town paid $60,000 for it.  He thought the town got it through a tax taking.  He also asked if the town could counter offer because there is a big difference in the offer and the assessed value.  She advised that the town could have its own appraisal done if it wants.  A question was asked about access to this property.  This property is landlocked so there is no legal right-of-way to this property.  Markelle advised that the USFW is in the process of figuring out the access and she was not at liberty to discuss this.  Liz Will asked if there was an issue on this property who would police it.  Markelle advised that the USFW would police it.  Bill said that he knows this property will be managed by the federal government but if there is an incident on this property the police department would be called to check it out.  Briefly discussed access to this property.  Jeanne suggests that the town have a public hearing with all of the abutters before town meeting so they are aware of what will be happening with this property.  Markelle suggested that Tom from the US Fish and Wildlife come to the meeting with all of the access information so he could answer questions from residents and abutters.

Craig advised that Pat Mullins from Berkshire Regional Planning Commission could not make it to the meeting so he explained the contract amendment.  He advised that a section of sidewalk was added to the plan and the additional engineering would cost about $5,200 which would come out of the CDBG grant.  Bill motioned to authorize additional $5,200 for work for the North Becket Village Infrastructure Project, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.

Police Chief, Kris McDonough, updated the Select Board on police department issues.  He advised that there are now three shifts to cover 24 hours a day.  He has heard good feedback from residents that are pleased to see the cruiser out early in the morning.  He advised that since they added the midnight shift Breaking and Entering has dropped dramatically.  He is projecting approximately 3,000 police calls for this year.  He also advised that he will be in the office on Wednesday and Thursday evenings to attend Select Board meetings when needed and to assist the public with FID applications.  He also advised that he is in the process of accepting applications for a certified fulltime officer to cover the midnight shift and will be hiring after the September 7th deadline.  He invited Bob Ronzio to come to speak with him regarding the issue he spoke about earlier regarding vehicles being registered in other states and welcomed anyone to come and speak with him about concerns or complaints.

The Select Board met with Harbor Master candidates Timothy Fogarty and Steve Rosenthal.  Tim Fogarty began by introducing himself and explained why he was interested in this position.  The Select Board asked him questions about training and he advised that he would be willing to take the necessary training for this position.  Steve Rosenthal introduced himself and gave the Select Board a list of his credentials.  He explained why he was interested in this position and advised that he would take the necessary training for this position.  Briefly discussed having an assistant Harbor Master.  Bill motioned to appoint Steve Rosenthal as Harbor Master term to expire June 30, 2013, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.  Bill would like to look into if it is possible to have an assistant harbor master and asked Tim if he would be interested in being the assistant.  He would be okay with this and Steve Rosenthal would be okay with having an assistant.

Discussed the Suggestions for Future Town Meetings.  Bruce Garlow thought that all of the suggestions were good.  Briefly spoke about separating voters and non-voters.  Jeanne does not think anyone should be separated from their children.  Bill asked if they could not use the chains to separate voters and non-voters anymore and the Select Board agreed to stop using these chains.  Jeanne will speak with the Town Clerk about these issues and also about having the ballot questions reviewed by town counsel.  Bruce advised that the Town Meeting Bylaw Review Committee would be meeting sometime in September.

The Select Board discussed changing yield signs on Yokum Pond Road and YMCA Road to stop signs.  Bill advised that he spoke with the police chief and Len Tisdale had not gotten a hold of him yet.  Bill also spoke with Steve Turner from the camp and he does not have a problem with the yield sign staying up.  The Select Board will table this until they receive new information.

The Select Board has made a couple of changes on the Wage and Benefit Agreements for full time employees.  Bill advised that he wanted something included on the highway superintendent’s WABA.  He wanted “including overtime” inserted after the annual salary amount and the weekly salary amount.  Also, anyone who does not receive overtime can receive comp time for hours worked over forty hours in one week.  This would need to be approved by the supervisor or Town Administrator or appointing authority.  Geri Walter advised that she only works 24 hours a week.  Briefly discussed amending her WABA to read any hours worked between 24 and 40 per week would be taken as straight comp time and anything over 40 hours would be time and a half comp hours.  Jeanne advised that there will be more changes but they will wait until next year.  These are changes recommended by town counsel.  Jeanne motioned to amend Geri Walter’s Wage and Benefit Agreement for comp time to read any hours worked after the 24 hours up to 40 hours will be at straight time and any comp hours over 40 will be at time and one half, Bill seconded.  All in favor.  Jeanne motioned to sign the Wage and Benefit Agreements for the following employees: Kathleen Hayn, Tax Collector; Kenneth Bilodeau, Assistant Tax Collector; David Zagorski, Principle Assessor; Elizabeth Will, Assessor; Geraldine Walter, Assessor; Craig Kleman, Town Administrator; Christine Bleau, Treasurer; William Girard, Building Inspector; Highway Department; Leonard Tisdale, Highway Superintendent; Mark White, Highway Department/Transfer Station Attendant; Marc Portieri, Police Sergeant; Kristopher McDonough, Police Chief; Nina Weiler, Secretary; James Kupernik, Ambulance Director; Joseph Mechare, EMT; Jessie Sullivan, EMT, with change to Geri Walter’s WABA, Bill seconded.  All in favor.

Jeanne motioned to sign the warrant for the State Primaries to be held on September 6, 2012 from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Bill seconded.  All in favor.

Jeanne motioned to sign the agreement between the Town of Becket and the Becket Athenaeum for FY13, Bill seconded.  All in favor.

The Select Board reviewed the monthly reports of the Ambulance Department, Police Department, Citations Issued and Animal Control Officer.  Briefly discussed the ambulance department using a town vehicle on occasion.  The Select Board feels they should use their own vehicles and get paid for mileage when they have to.  This only happens occasionally so this should not be an issue.

Any other business: Craig advised that he wrote a letter of support for the grant for the repair of Washington Mountain Road for the Select Board to sign.  Bill advised that he attended a Select Board meeting in Washington and he expressed his support for this project but Craig told him that Mr. Huebner stated that Bill was not in favor of this.  Bill does not know how he thought that.  He told the Washington Select Board that he and the rest of the Select Board were in favor of this.

Jeanne advised that when she reviewed the payroll warrant she noticed a few things that should be addressed.  One thing was the lifeguards and the employees who are running the summer program did not have the recreation committee’s signature on their pay sheets and they should.  Nina advised that she has been faxing the pay sheets to Tina LeVasseur and she has been signing these sheets.  Jeanne also feels that the animal control officer should be submitting his own pay sheet every week.  She also feels that the town accountant should have a pay period on her pay sheet like everybody else.

Reviewed correspondence.

8:45 PM Bill motioned to adjourn, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.

Reviewed payroll/expense warrants.

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

Documents discussed at meeting:

  • None