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Selectmen's Minutes 05/07/2007

May 7, 2007

PRESENT:  Selectmen Emma Smith, Stephen White, William Roach, Richard Leone and Frederick Gallup.  Town Manager Donna Nashawaty.

OTHERS:  Peter Urbach, Linda Urbach, Ellie White, Mary Epremian, Norm Bernaiche, Donna Gazelle, Nancy Clark, Anne Nilsen , Sue Gottling, Dan Banks and Lisa Bozogan.

The meeting was opened by Chairman Emma Smith at 7:05 PM.

ITEMS FOR SIGNATURE:  Please see agenda attached to the file copy of these minutes.


Peter Urbach, Library Trustee, presented the Selectmen with copies of his exchange of correspondence with Catherine Bushueff regarding the Abbott Library.  He stated he was upset with what he feels are accusations from C. Bushueff that the Library Trustees are  not following the law.  He feels this boarders on harassment.  He also expressed concern that accusations such as this will hurt the community with regard to volunteering for the various boards and committees.  P. Urbach read a letter addressed to the Board regarding C. Bushueff’s letter.  A copy of the letter is attached to the file copy of these mintues.  P. Urbach stated that he thought the Public Comment section of the meeting was to be kept at a minimum of 15 minutes and noted that often times they run on much longer.  He feels that those being criticized  should have the opportunity of being present to rebuff any accusations.  Stephen White agreed the time should be limited adding that appointments should be made for those who need more time. Emma Smith stated that she will attempt to control the time for those who speak during Public Comments.  Richard Leone stated that he thought the Public Comments part of the agenda was needed but those that feel they need a longer time to discuss an issue, should make an appointment.  Emma Smith thanked Peter Urbach for his response to the letter regarding the library.

Donna Gazelle asked the Board to explain the outcome of the vote on Article 49 at the 2007 Town Meeting.  Donna Nashawaty explained that the vote on the article does not allow the Selectmen to receive land unless a town meeting vote authorizes it.  D. Gazelle and P. Urbach expressed concern that a vote such as this does not show trust in either the Board of Selectmen or the Library Trustees.  

Board of Selectmen
May 7, 2007


Norm Bernaiche – Assessor

Norm Bernaiche was present to provide the Selectmen with an update on the inventory of Sunapee properties.   He stated that he and his assistant have been reviewing the property values to  determine if they are consistent with sales.  He stated that 86.2% is the weighted mean and is the median ratio of 146 sales.  103 of these were used to receive a ratio of 88%.  N. Bernaiche stated that between 2005 and 2006 the values are still rising even though the market has slowed down.  He and his assistant are looking at different areas to make sure that assessments are consistent in all neighborhoods and adjusted to the ratio.  Richard Leone asked how the assessing department can get away from “snob assessing”.  N. Bernaiche explained that they look at the relationship with the land and buildings in the different neighborhoods.  He added that a letter is sent to the property owner after the sale that asks what enticed them to purchase the property.  Stephen White stated that he has received positive remarks about the new tri-town assessor and the work of the assessing department.  Emma Smith agreed.  Donna Nashawaty stated that the number of abatement requests has decreased since the incorporation of the tri-town assessor.  N. Bernaiche informed the Board that to date the town has an added assessment of $21 million.  He stated that he and  his assistant just want to get it right and complimented his assistant,  Kris McAllister, for her  knowledge  and experience in the assessing field.


April 23, 2007:  Emma Smith noted she would like to make some corrections to the meeting minutes.  She will explain these to the recording secretary and review them at the next meeting.


1.  Right to Know Law

Emma Smith presented a copy of a newspaper article addressing the Right to Know law.  The law is now in the hands of the Senate.  E. Smith stated that she felt maybe the Board should set this aside for discussion after legislation.  Donna Nashawaty reported that she found out that only 10% of the classes offered by Terry Knowles discuss the Right to Know Law.  D. Nashawaty presented a copy of a section from the Local Government Center booklet which explains the law thoroughly.  She stated she would like to condense the material from the LGC booklet to make a basic handout for board and committee members.  The Board agreed.

Board of  Selectmen
May 7, 2007

2.  Warrant First Issue Tax Bills

Donna Nashawaty presented  the Board with the warrant for first issue taxes for their signature.  She reported that the tax bills will be in the mail the end of this week or the following week.  D. Nashawaty will work out for the Selectmen the impact on the tax rate.


Emma Smith presented the Board with copies of news articles.  One article was regarding the Sullivan County jail.  The County Commissioners are looking at a new jail at the cost of $45 million.  Discussion was held on the proposed Sullivan County Recycling Program.  William Roach expressed concern that the Town of Sunapee would go bankrupt if it had to contribute to a new jail and a county-wide mandatory recycling program.  Mary Epremian reported to the Board that a meeting to discuss tax reform in NH is being held at the high school library on Tues., May 8 at 6:30 PM.


A.  Sullivan County Task Force

Donna Nashawaty reminded the Board that Sullivan County Task Force Forum is scheduled for May 22, 2007 at 6:30 PM at the Newport Sugar River Tech (Media Room).

D. Nashawaty also discussed a letter received from Pat Remick addressing CACR 0018 relating to the funding of public education.  She asked that if the Board cannot attend the hearing scheduled for Thursday, May10th, a letter be sent to the House Finance Committee in support of the bill.   Stephen White offered to compose the letter and present it to the other Board members for approval or changes.  Motion was made to approve the writing of a letter to the House Finance Committee in support of CACR 0018 (White/Fred).   William Roach stated that he did support CACR but with reservations.  The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

B.  North County Agreement for Disposal

Donna Nashawaty presented the Selectmen with copies of an agreement between North County and the Town of Sunapee for the disposal of solid waste.  The amount to be charged is $47.00 per ton.  She stated that the agreement has been approved by Town Counsel with some changes.  North County will accept solid waste, C and D, pressure treated materials, etcetera.  Electronics will still go to Claremont and are not included in the agreement with North County.  D. Nashawaty explained that she had budgeted
Board of Selectmen
May 7, 2007

removal at $50.00 per ton so this will come in under budget.  She explained the contents of the agreement.  One item that still needs to be addressed is that the State wants to see a 10 year plan of solid waste disposal and the agreement with North County is only 3 years.  The Board agreed to review the agreement further and to discuss this at the May 21st meeting.

C.  Old Town Hall Committee

Donna Nashawaty informed the Board that the Old Town Hall Committee met last Thursday with Domenic Ciavarro of Plan NH to discuss the Charrette.  D. Nashawaty explained the process.   An open forum will be held on a Friday and Saturday.   A second session will follow with a pot luck supper.  Anyone can attend.  A get together is also planned at the Knowlton House in the harbor.  The Old Town Hall Committee is meeting again on Tuesday, May 8th.  Emma Smith suggested that the Charrette be discussed at the Summer Town Meeting so that summer residents can learn of the project.  D. Nashawaty also informed the Board that the Old Town Hall Committee wishes to have that title and not the title of French Livery Committee.  A motion was made and seconded (Gallup/Leone) that the official name of the committee will be the Old Town Hall Committee.  The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

Donna reported to the Board that the Old Town Hall Committee is purchasing its own web page.  The address is  William Roach stated that he was amazed at the expertise being brought in for the Charrette.

D.  Tax Deeded Properties

Donna Nashawaty presented the Board with deeds for five properties.  Three are owner unknown and will revert to the Town of Sunapee.  She explained that the deeds have not been recorded.  The Board asked D. Nashawaty to check with the Tax Collector, Betty Ramspott, to make sure all certified return receipts were received.


Fred Gallup asked Donna Nashawaty to speak with the Road Agent in regard to the drain gate at the pump station in the harbor.  He also requested that the reflecting pool be looked at.

Motion was made by Richard Leone to enter non-public session at 9:35 PM in accordance with RSA 91-A:3 to discuss personnel.  The motion was seconded by Fred Gallup.  The vote was unanimous with a show of hands.

Motion was made by Richard Leone to leave non-public session at 9:45 PM.  The motion was seconded by Stephen.  The vote was unanimous with a voice vote.

Board of Selectmen
May 7, 2007

Motion was made by Stephen White to seal the minutes of the non-public session.  The motion was seconded by Fred Gallup.  The vote was unanimous.

The meeting adjourned at 9:47 PM.

Submitted by,  Darlene Morse                            Approved______________

______________________________                  ____________________________
Emma M. Smith, Chairman                         Stephen W. White, Vice Chairman

______________________________                  ____________________________
William Roach                                           Richard Leone

Frederick Gallup