Skip Navigation
Welcome to Middleton, Massachusetts

This table is used for column layout.

Online Payment Center
Make a Payment


Selectmens Meeting Minutes - 9/13/11
Selectmen’s Meeting
Nathan Media Center
Fuller Meadow School
September 13th, 2011
7:30 PM
Call to Order –Acting Chairperson Jones called the meeting to order at 7:44.  Present: Mr. Cresta, Ms. Lindberg, Mr. Prentakis, Town Administrator Mr. Singer and Police Chief James DiGianvittorio.  Chairman Houten joined the meeting at 8:00.
Ms. Jones noted that members of the community have passed away recently.  Dorothea Faulkner was the first woman Selectman in Middleton and first woman chair of the Board.  She also served on the Council on Aging and was a long time library volunteer.  She was 93.  Isabella Harris was proprietor along with her husband Tom of QuikCopy.  They were residents since the 1970’s and were both very active in the Board of Trade.  Dorothy Maytum was the widow of George Maytum and was always a smiling face.  Ms. Jones asked for a moment of silence in their memory.
Approval of Minutes - Mr. Prentakis made a motion and was seconded by Mr. Cresta to read and initial the minutes to indicate their acceptance. The motion carried 3-0-0.
Approval of Warrants - The Board approved a Payroll Warrant in the amount of $341,786 which includes the school payroll of $231,886.  They also approved a Payables Warrant in the amount of $563,645 which includes the monthly payroll deduction.
Town Administrator’s Report
       Phase 2 of the school Building Project is moving along.  Layers of soil are being compacted and the retaining wall is being built. The baseball field will be sodded tomorrow.  The TotLot surface has been installed. The              main playground has been started but won’t be complete until Spring. There are still some issues with technology, and noise mitigation.  Emphasis is being put on quickly resolving functional issue such as noise,             ventilation and technology.  It is hoped that the School will be ready to host a Special Town Meeting in late November. At the moment a classroom is dedicated to serving as the secondary exit to the school until the               front is complete enough to use.
       A pre-construction conference was held for the Regional Emergency Communications Center (RECC).  The chosen contractor is GBW out of East Boston.  Department of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) is                     overseeing the project and the project manager will come from them.  There is a 14-16 month timeline for the first towns coming online.  Acquisition of the software and technology is on-going.
       The new consolidated North Shore VoTech/Essex Agricultural School will be right next door.  That is a $120 million project. It would be good if the RECC were complete before the construction on the technical school is       started.
       The Attorney general has approved the by-law change exempting private wells from water restrictions.
        The final RFP for the Landscape etc has been issued.  The due date is October 4th, after which the design review Committee will meet. The time frame has been set so that implementing the plan can be part of the FY ’13       capital Budget.
       Conservation Agent Michele Grenier has resigned to take a full time job.  The position is being advertised.  Resumes will be accepted until September 29th.  Ms. Grenier has finished the re-draft of the Open Space Plan
       Mr. Singer gave an update on Bostik incident.  OSHA has levied an enormous fine on Bostik.  The plant is essentially shut down.  If they don’t reopen soon, it is feared that their operations will be moved elsewhere.                 Representatives of the Town are meeting with them weekly.  They were found to have violated the fire code but Mr. Singer is confident that they are doing due diligence.  The OSHA concern is separate from the Fire            Marshall’s findings.  Authorization for the fine came from Washington.
        Further regulation of chemical process safety has been proposed on  state wide level but not adopted.  Danvers has adopted a local by-law to require an independent consultant to review processes.  This provides an           additional level of foresight.  There will be an opportunity to put a Danvers type by-law on the Special Town Meeting warrant.  Chief Twiss has read the press release on the OSHA website.  They found 50 violations, 41       of them serious and 9 of them willful.
        Local agencies do not have the expertise to oversee process management.  That is why independent oversight is needed.  Mr. Cresta asked who bears the cost of the independent oversight.  Chief Twiss said that the             facility bears the cost and the Danvers by-law achieves a happy medium in the method of choosing the independent consultant.  Mr. Singer said that it took Danvers two years from the time of their explosion to pass the       by-law.  The State Fire Marshall wants this adopted state-wide.  Mr. Singer said that he would invite Bostik in to discuss the matter.  He also noted that the only other facility in town that a by-law might apply to is Ferrell       Gas.
       Mr. Prentakis congratulated the committee who put together the 911 remembrance ceremony including the Fire Chief and Police Chief.
Middleton Cultural Council Appointment, Marisa Greenfield – Ms. Greenfield’s resume is in the packet.
        Mr. Prentakis made a motion to appoint Ms. Marisa Greenfield to the Middleton Cultural Commission for a term expiring June 30th, 2014.  Mr. Cresta seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Application to Extend Victualer’s License Operating Hours at McDonalds Restaurant, 255 South Main Street to 24 Hours – Mr. Robert King, Owner.  The item has been postponed at the petitioner’s request.
License Application from David Hill DBA Tesoro Boston for Purchase and Sale of Metals and Secondhand Articles under Chapter 160 of the Middleton Town Code – Mr. Singer noted that Middleton has a by-law dating from 1949 and amended in 1957 regulating the sale of precious metals.  The object of the regulation is to insure that the metals don’t disappear too quickly.  Mr. Hill introduced himself.  For the past 25 years, he has been in the diamond business, traveling around the world He and his partner Ms. Parisi plan to operate a private jewelry store operating by appointment only and leasing space in the Teresa’s Plaza.  They do 70% of their business on-line and would like to add the ability to buy gold over the counter to their business.  Mr. Hill has talked with the Police Chief about the necessity to keep logs.  Ms. Parisi has worked for an intellectual property firm and formerly worked for the State Fire Marshall’s office.  
        Mr. Prentakis asked about hours of operation.  Mr. Hill said they would probably be 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.  They haven’t finalized the space. The whole operation will take up 1280 sq. ft. with 400 to 600 sq. ft. being the show room and buying office.
        Ms. Jones asked if this was a pawn shop.  Mr. Hill said it was not.  Their plan is to buy gold, hold it for the required time and sell it to a processor.
        Mr. Prentakis made a motion to grant a license for the sale of precious metal to Mr. David Hill and Ms. Nerisa Parisi doing business as Tesoro Boston pending the finalization of their location.  Mr. Cresta seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Appointment of Police Reserve Officers – Chief James DiGianvittorio – The chief described the process by which the candidates who he is recommending were selected.  In March 53 applications were received.  Twenty individuals were called in for interviews.  Six candidates were asked to take the IPMA police entry level test and all of them passed.  The Chief recommends that five of them be offered reserve officer positions.  They are:
Mark Finer – Peabody
Jose Hernandez – Methuen
Michael Linehan – Georgetown
Daniel Musto -.Salem
Michael Vangelist – Woburn
        The Chief also discussed the outstanding qualifications of these candidates.
        Mr. Prentakis asked if these candidates are all hoping to become full time officers.  The Chief said they were but they were also aware that it could be a long process.  Mr. Cresta asked if these candidates were applying to be reserves in multiple communities.  The Chief said that two of them have taken the Civil Service Exam and Mr. Singer added that as candidates with higher and higher qualification come on board, it is inevitable that they may be moving on.  Mr. Houten, who participated in the interviews, said that he felt that these individuals were looking for the experience of working in a small town department.  They have full time jobs but want to add to their experience.
        Mr. Prentakis made a motion to appoint Mark Finer, Jose Hernandez, Michael Linehan, Daniel Musto, and Michael Vangelist as Reserve Police Officers subject to  the normal conditions.  Ms Jones seconded the motion and all were in favor.
       The Chief said that he would invite the candidates to the next Selectmen’s meeting.
Recommendation for Appointment of Middleton Police Sergeant – Chief DiGianvittorio explained the process by which he made his recommendation.  The review committee consisted of the Town Administrator, Board of Selectmen Chair, Mr. Houten, the Peabody Police Chief and the Manchester-by-the-Sea Police Chief in addition to Chief DiGianvittorio.  Both candidates from within the department were very well prepared.  The Committee unanimously recommended David Arathusik as the new Sergeant.
        Mr. Prentakis made a motion to appoint David Arathusik as Sergeant.  Ms. Jones seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Review of Request to Waive Cemetery Rules and Regulations for Purchase of Graves in Town Cemetery, Mr. Robert LaBossiere, DPW Superintendent – A former resident has written a letter to the Selectmen in their capacity as Cemetery Commissioners requesting a waiver to cemetery rules to allow her to purchase multiple lots at a resident’s rate, since she already has a family member buried there.  Mr. LaBossiere explained the current rules and rates.   Former resident cannot buy four person sites and must pay a higher rate for the one and two person sites.  He said that his department receives 12 to 20 requests a year from former residents.  Ms. Jones pointed out that allowing former residents to buy plots has only been allowed in the last twenty years.  Mr. Singer pointed out that the cemetery is limited in size.  Cemetery lots cannot be sold but they can be deeded to heirs.  
        The petitioner, who already has a four person site, is asking for a waiver to both buy additional four person sites and to pay the resident rate.  The Selectmen felt that the ability to buy single of double at the non-resident rate was sufficient.
        Mr. Prentakis made a motion to take no action on this issue.  Ms. Lindberg seconded the motion and all were in favor.
        Mr. Cresta asked that the Selectmen be provided with a final build-out number for the cemetery.
Request to Adopt Statewide Mutual Aid Law Chapter 40, Section 4J and Public Works Mutual Aid Law, Chapter40, Section 4K – DPW Superintendent LaBossiere, Fire Chief Twiss and Police Chief DiGianvittorio were present for this discussion.  Mr. LaBossiere explained that mutual aid is already done on an informal basis.  This legislation allows cities and towns to affirmatively opt in to the mutual aid agreement and addresses issues of liability and insurance.  He added that the Essex County Highway Commissioners organization strongly supports opting in to this agreement.
        Ms. Lindberg asked if it would put a burden on the DPW.  Mr. LaBossiere said that offering mutual aid is not mandatory.  The Department will only offer what it can.  She asked if there is any advantage to signing on since few local communities have done so.  Mr. Singer explained that once the law is implemented, the informal agreements might cause legal problems for towns that haven’t signed on.
        The Police Chief said this mutual aid law provides a second line of protection.  Aid could come from all over the state.  Chief Twiss added that this encompasses all forms of public safety.  Mr. Singer said that Towns are coming on-line and feels that many Towns do not know they have to take an affirmative action to opt in.  Mr. Cresta worried that Lawrence might take excess resources from surrounding towns.  Mr. Prentakis read from the memorandum which states that towns may withhold resources at their discretion.
        Mr. LaBossiere indicated that he thought the State might withhold aid if a Town has not opted in.  Ms. Lindberg expressed her concerns about getting reimbursement.  Mr. Singer said in all the years of informal equipment sharing, he does not feel the Town has been taken advantage of or has taken advantage of any other town.
        Ms. Jones asked if it would be difficult to opt out of the agreement.  Mr. Singer said that the memo says that the Town just needs to give ten days notices if they want to opt out.  Mr. Cresta asked what the advantage of this is.  Mr. Singer said it is about insurance, indemnification and liability.  It provides an umbrella of protection. Ms. Lindberg asked what happens to existing agreements.  Mr. Singer said the only formal agreement is for the Fire Department and the memo specifically states that this agreement does not supersede existing agreements.
        Ms. Jones made a motion to adopt Statewide Mutual Aid Law Chapter 40, Section 4J and Public Works Mutual Aid Law, Chapter40, Section 4K.  Mr. Prentakis seconded the motion.  The vote was 4-1-0 with Ms. Lindberg opposed.
Set Date for Fall Special Town Meeting – The suggested date for the Special Town Meeting is Tuesday, November 29th.  This date will hopefully be late enough so that the meeting can be held at the new Howe-Manning School.  The following items have been suggested for the meeting.
1)      The Town has received formal notice of the sale of 18 Acre Land Parcel at 121 East Street from J&E Family Trust.  The property is adjacent to the Town’s athletic complex on East. St.  The Town has 90 days to respond.  Though the November 29th date is past the 90 days, Mr. Singer is confident the family will grant the small extension.  
        The land could accommodate a new soccer field and one other recreational field.  The two complexes can be connected.  If the Town does not buy the land it could be developed as house lots.  Mr. Cresta asked if there would be restrictions on the land.  Mr. Singer said that he assumed that the land would be restricted to Open Space and recreational use.  Mr. Singer said he would ask the family for a letter agreeing to the extension
2.      The second item could be a Petition and or Request to Selectmen for Zoning Amendment to Remove Prohibition on Restaurants with Drive-through Lanes.  This Zoning change is another reason for the late date.
        Ms. Jones made a motion to set the date of the Special Town Meeting for Tuesday November 29th.  Mr. Cresta seconded the motion.  The vote was 4-1-0 with Ms. Lindberg opposed.
        Mr. Prentakis pointed out that the annual Classification Hearing would have to be held after the Special Town Meeting.
Other Potential Special Town Meeting Business
        Mr. Prentakis made a motion to open the warrant for the Special Town Meeting.  Ms. Jones seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Repeal of the By-law prohibiting drive-thru windows at restaurants - The attorney for the Dunkin Donut on North Main St. has been appealing the ZBA decision to deny his client the ability to have a drive-thru window.  Town Meeting might want to reconsider the by-law that prohibits drive-thru windows.  This would trigger a tight time table of public hearings and notifications that would take at least 40-45 days.  The Selectmen could place the item on the STM warrant as could the Planning Board or a citizen’s petition.  At a Special Town Meeting, citizen’s petitions require 100 signatures to be placed on the ballot.
Repaving of streets abutting the new school – It has been 21 years since the Square project.  Washington St., Central St. (including the parking lot)  and Park St. need to be repaved.  Park St. also needs to be widened.  DPW Supervisor LaBossiere has put together an estimate of about $76,000 for the work on Park St.  This is something that needs to be done without regard to the new school.  The source of funding would be a reauthorization of funds we are borrowing for the school project.  Mr. Cresta asked if this job was in the Capital Plan.  Mr. LaBossiere said that it was not in the 5 year plan because of the school project. The wear and tear requires a full repaving.  He recommends appropriating $175,000 for the entire project.  It would be scheduled for immediately after school gets out in June.
Bylaw for handling chemical processes – This by law could also be on the STM warrant.
Adjournment – Ms. Jones made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  All were in favor and the meeting was adjourned at 10:10.

Respectfully Submitted,

Mary Jane Morrin                        
Mary Jane Morrin, Recording Secretary