Nathan Media Center
Fuller Meadow School
April 26th, 2011
Call to Order – Chairperson Lindberg called the meeting to order at 7:30. Present: Mr. Houten, Ms. Jones, Mr. Prentakis and Town Administrator Mr. Singer.
Approval of Minutes - Mr. Houten made a motion and was seconded by Mr. Prentakis to read and initial the minutes to indicate their acceptance. The motion carried 4-0-0.
Approval of Warrants - The Board approved a Payroll Warrant in the amount of $356,916 which included the bi-weekly school payroll of $254,847 as well as small amounts of overtime for the DPW and the Electric Light Department, as well as the monthly part time payroll for the Fire Department. The Payables Warrant totaled $353,035 of which $129,483 was payroll deductions. The School Construction Warrant totaled $1,119,133
Town Administrators Report
The land auction which Custodian of Town Lands, Bob Murphy discussed with the Board at the last meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, April 27th at 3:30 PM here at the Fuller Meadow School. Nine parcels will be auctioned. Minimum bids range from $5,000 to $25,000.
A letter has been sent to the chairs of both Town Party Committees asking for nominees to be election workers. Applicants will be appointed by the Board of Selectmen.
Amie Galeuszewski has resigned from the Recreation Committee, after a many years of dedicated service. Replacements are being sought
A number of pieces of legislation are of interest to the Board. The House has recently passed the Municipal Health Care Reform Act. An amendment called the Union Alternative is being proposed. Mr. Singer feels that this amendment would set the Town back in its ability to negotiate. He suggests the Selectmen contact their legislators to see where they stand. The Senate has presented its budget proposal. It offers some restoration of aid which may restore some of the Town’s levy capacity.
The Middleton School Building Committee (MSBC) Design Sub-committee has submitted its plan for the layout of the new playground at Howe-Manning. Some of it will be over the reserve area for the septic system so the Board of Health will be involved. Mr. Prentakis asked it if this would be an item that will be reimbursed by the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA). Mr. Singer said it would not. There are gray areas that the Town is negotiating with the MSBA. But this is definitely not reimbursable.
Bostik has sent the Town an update on its efforts to monitor the environment and to restore its manufacturing processes. The update will be sent out to the 2000 subscribers to Town News.
Appointment of Officer Robert Currier as Sergeant on the Middleton Police Force – Chief DiGianvittorio introduced Office Currier. Officer Currier is a lifelong Middleton resident and 28 year member of the Middleton Police Force. He currently serves as the Motorcycle and ATV officer, the liaison to the elderly and Triad representative.
Mr. Houten made a motion to appoint Officer Robert Currier as Police Sergeant. Mr. Prentakis seconded the motion an all were in favor. Town Clerk, Sarah George was present and administered the oath of office in front of a crowd of Sergeant Currier’s friends and family. Sergeant Currier will begin working the midnight shift on May 7th.
Appointment of Temporary Town Clerk – Town Clerk, Sarah George expects to be out of town for both the Annual Town Meeting and the Town Election. Though it is the Assistant Town Clerk’s job to take the place of the Town Clerk when she is away, Ms. George would like Assistant Town Clerk Kate Brochu to be officially appointed Acting Town Clerk during this particularly busy time.
In addition, since Ms. Brochu already has duties at Town Meeting, it will be necessary to appoint an acting Town Clerk to act as Recording Secretary at Town Meeting. Mary Jane Morrin has agreed to take on this responsibility. The procedure will be that the Moderator will ask the Selectmen for a nomination. Assuming there are no additional nominations, the Moderator will ask the Chairman of the Board of Selectmen to cast one vote for the temporary Town Clerk. The Moderator will then swear in the temporary Town Clerk. Mr. Houten asked if this had to be done twice, one for the Special Town Meeting and one for the Annual Town Meeting. Mr. Singer said that he would ask for advice from Town Counsel.
Mr. Prentakis made a motion to appoint Ms. Brochu as temporary Town Clerk for any period during which the Town Clerk is absent between now and June 1st. Ms. Jones seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Final Review of the Annual Town Meeting Warrant
Omnibus Budget and Latest FY 2011 State Aid Totals from House and Senate Local Aid Resolutions – Mr. Singer reported that though state aid numbers are not final, it is expected they will be much higher than was assumed. This will enable the Town to restore some of its unused levy capacity. Since it is not final, nothing can be done with the information at this time.
Masco built in a 5% reduction in State Aid. This reduction is not happening. This means that they will be able to maintain programs even if the overrides don’t pass. The unanticipated aid totals $225,000 and the overrides total $400,000 so there is still a gap but a gap that can be dealt with. The FinCom has not discussed this as yet. Chairperson Lindberg asked if there were new assessment numbers from Masco. Mr. Singer said there were not but it was possible that the Masco School Committee could re-certify the budget a third time.
Review of Warrant Articles and Selectmen Recommendations and Support - Chairperson Lindberg indicated that she would like the Selectmen to divide up the warrant articles that might require explanation. The following assignments were made:
Override Mr. Houten
CPA Mr. Prentakis
Water Ms. Lindberg
Boy Scout Mr. Prentakis
Home Rule Petition Mr. Cresta.
Sign the Return of Service for the Special Town Meeting Warrant. Mr. Prentakis read the one article on the Special Town Meeting Warrant. Mr. Singer informed the Board that the Town is expecting $40,000 to $45,000 in FEMA disaster assistance for one of the January storms. This will take care of half the shortfall. It is still necessary to appropriate the entire amount and then wait for reimbursement.
Schedule Public Hearing on the Application of Dr. Wayne E. Pasanen for Liquor License at 216-220 South Main St in conjunction with indoor Golfing Facility, “OptiGolf New England LLC”
Ms. Jones made a motion to schedule this hearing for May 17th, 2011 at 7:45 PM. Mr. Houten seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Review of New Business Development Partnership with Town Officials and Departments and Appointment of a Selectmen’s Liaison to the Board of Trade Business Development Committee - Mr. Singer reported that the Board of Trade feels that their relationship with the Town has not been as good as it was. They feel that the Town is not inviting to new businesses. The down turn in the economy has resulted in many vacancies in commercial property. An informal Business Development Committee is being proposed. The process of applying for various permits can be complicated, involving the Board of Health, Conservation Committee, Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board and state permits. The Board of Trade would provide a liaison to work with a new business and even attend various hearings with them.
Currently the Town has a Design Review Committee consisting of staff and chaired by the Public Health Director. Perhaps these meetings could be opened to the Board of Trade. Ms. Lindberg asked if we could be creating a new level of bureaucracy. Mr. Singer said that the purpose would be to assist. Mr. Houten noted that it would be strictly advisory. Chairman Lindberg said that she feels that the Town has been very open to changing by-laws in response to feedback from the business community and Mr. Singer pointed out that the Town Charter requires a review of the by-laws every five years.
Mr. Singer reported that the Building Commissioner is planning on scheduling seminars for the general public in the Fall. This was done a number of years ago and was ell received. The Building Commissioner is also planning a monthly coffee with his staff where local business could come and bring their suggestions.
Ms. Lindberg nominated Mr. Cresta to serve as liaison to the Board of Trade Business Development Committee. Mr. Houten seconded the nomination and all were in favor.
Mr. Houten nominated Mr. Prentakis to also serve as a liaison to the Board of Trade Business Development Committee. Ms. Jones seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Adjournment – Mr. Houten made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Prentakis seconded the motion and all were in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 8:25.
Brian Cresta, Clerk