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Selectmens Meeting Minutes 03-19-2013
Selectmen’s Meeting
Nathan Media Center
Fuller Meadow School
March 19, 2012
7:30 PM
Call to Order – Chairman Cresta called the meeting to order at 7:32.  Also present were Ms. Jones, Ms. Lindberg, Mr. Prentakis, Town Administrator Mr. Singer and Assistant Town Administrator Mr. Ferrara.
Minutes – Mr. Prentakis made a motion to accept the minutes of the March 5th meeting.  Ms. Lindberg seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Approval of Warrants –Payroll Warrant #1337 was presented totaling $374,015.  Payables Warrant #1337 totals $411,342.  There are large items on both the payroll and the payables warrant for snow removal. Mr. Prentakis made a motion to approve the warrants.  Ms. Lindberg seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Mr. Cresta said that due to a scheduling issue, the Board would take an item out of order.
Application of Serenitee Catering Corp d/b/a Maggie’s Farm, 119 South Main Street for a Change of Manager from Suzanne Waitkus to Pier Petronzio for the Alcoholic Beverage License – Attorney Jill Mann represented the petitioner.  Ms. Mann stated that Ms. Petronzio has been at Maggie’s Farm for a few months.  Ms. Waitkus has been working in Serentee’s main office and overseeing operations in Middleton until a new manager could be found.  She noted that the packet contained Ms. Petronzio’s resume.  Ms. Petronzio has held licenses for different entities before.  The packet also contains evidence of residency and citizenship, a copy of the CORI application and the personal information form required by ABCC.  Mr. Cresta asked if Ms. Petronzio was TIPS certified.  She said she was.  Mr. Cresta asked Ms. Petronzio to use this opportunity to introduce the business.  She said that she has been in the restaurant business for 22 years.  She enjoys the business and the concept of Maggie’s.  She hopes to be in for the long haul.  She has been joining community groups in Middleton and wants Maggie’s to be part of the community
Ms. Jones noted that Ms. Petronzio’s past several positions had been brief.  Ms. Petronzio answered that the last two restaurants she worked at were sold.  She hopes this will be long term position.
Ms. Lindberg made a motion to approve the application of Serenitee Catering Corp d/b/a Maggie’s Farm, 119 South Main Street for a Change of Manager from Suzanne Waitkus to Pier Petronzio for the Alcoholic Beverage License.  Ms. Jones seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Town Administrator’s Report
       Mr. Singer asked that the Board take action under New Business to address the snow deficit that will be incurred due to this storm.  With $17,000 left in the budget, he had thought that the Town might squeeze through, but this storm will cost $30,000.  An overdraft authority will be required.  Addressing this deficit will require action by both the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee.
       As requested by the Board, an opinion has been sought from the Department of Revenue (DOR) concerning the procedure for acting on the offer of first refusal from Richardson’s Farm of their intention to convert part of their property from Ch. 61A to commercial use.  Assuming an answer is received from the DOR, a discussion with Richardson Farms will be scheduled for the April 9th meeting.
       Also on the schedule for April 9th is a meeting with Middleton’s legislative delegation to discuss legislation for the transfer of open space parcels which are now owed by the State and controlled by the Division of Capital Asset Management (DCAM).  April 9th would also be a good time to schedule a formal discussion and possible vote on the notice of right of first refusal for the property on which the North Shore Vocational Technical School currently sits.  This will also be an opportunity to get an update from Middleton’s legislators on state aid and any other matters of interest to the Town.
       The annual Joint Hearing on the Budget which is required by the Town Charter will be held this Thursday, March 21st at 7:30.
Selectmen and Housing Authority Joint Appointment under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 54, Section 11 to a fill Vacant Position on Middleton Housing Authority through the May 2013 Town Election.  The candidates are Mr. Richard Nazzaro and Ms. Lisa Cabral.
Also present for this discussion, were Ms. Twiss and Ms. .Bakoian from the Housing Authority.  Ms. Twiss is the chair.  Mr. Cresta said that there is currently a vacancy on the Housing Authority which can be filled by vote of a joint meeting of the Board of Selectmen and the Housing Authority.  The appointment will be good through the annual Town Election in May. If the individual appointed wished to continue on the Board, they should take out papers to run for the office.  He wished to make sure that the two individuals who have stepped forward know that they need to collect their signatures by April 1st.
Mr. Cresta asked Ms. Cabral to go first.  Ms. Cabral said that most of the reason that she is interested is that she lives at Memorial Dr.  She has two children in the Middleton school system.  She grew up in Danvers and has lived in Middleton for a number of years.  She has never served on a Board but she does have experience running an office.  She feels that living there gives her a vested interest in this Board, and that is why she is here.  She feels that it is important to have someone who lives there in a position where people can come to them and talk about what changes need to be made.  A tenant should be on the Board
Mr. Cresta noted that the five member Board includes one person appointed by the governor and four elected members.  He asked Ms. Cabral if she intended to run on the ballot in May.  She said that she has already taken out papers.  Mr. Prentakis asked if there were anything specific Ms. Cabral wished to address.  She answered that she has asked her neighbors if they have any issues that are important to them and to give them to her.
Ms. Lindberg asked how the Board was formed.  Mr. Cresta answered that it was formed through the Town’s Charter.  The Charter does not specify that a tenant be on the Board.
Ms. Twiss commented that it was important to understand the Board’s role.  The Board does not get involved in day-to-day operations.  Tenants have rights and they need to go through a process with the Executive Director.  Ms. Cabral noted that the tenants need to know where to go if they don’t feel they can go to the Executive Director.  Ms. Twiss added that it would be great to have a tenant’s organization.  There was one but it dissolved.  Ms. Twiss added that she came to the Board thinking that as an advocate, she could make a difference but she realized that the Board’s actions are tightly governed. She also noted that the Governor’s proposed Housing Authority reforms might alter the Board’s responsibilities completely.  Ms. Twiss asked Ms. Cabral if she were available at night for meetings.  She said she was.
Mr. Cresta asked Mr. Nazarro to introduce himself
Mr. Nazarro said that his experience included operations, logistics, and problem solving.  He has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts and a Master’s Degree from Anna Maria College in Paxton MA.  He also served in the US Army.  He is a master plumber.  He has worked for a gas company in Malden where as a union representative he was responsible for negotiating contracts and handling grievances. He is also retired from the State Police.  He has served as president of a condo association in Reading.  He currently lives at Ferncroft where he is president of the Board of Directors.  
Mr. Cresta asked if he would run for election to the office. He said he would.
Ms. Twiss asked what his interest in serving on the Housing Authority was.  He answered that he is retired and interested in giving back.  He would like to be involved in the Town.  He has a good understanding of housing systems so this position seemed appropriate.  He is sure the Housing Authority has to deal with problems with their various systems.  Ms. Twiss noted that they have a wonderful maintenance staff.
Mr. Cresta commented that Housing Authorities struggle with limited budgets.  They try to do a lot with a little.  Mr. Nazzaro replied that he has been involved with budgets in Reading and at Ferncroft and has worked to avoid increases in the condo fees.
Ms. Jones made a motion to place the names of Ms. Lisa Cabral and Mr. Richard Nazzaro in nomination for appointment to the Middleton Housing Authority.  Ms. Lindberg seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Mr. Cresta asked for the votes
Mr. Prentakis said he liked the idea of having a resident on the Board so he voted for Ms. Cabral.
Ms. Jones said that she felt Mr. Nazzaro’s skill set would be helpful so she voted for him.
Ms. Lindberg also liked the idea of having a tenant on the Board so she voted for Ms. Cabral.
Ms. Twiss voted for Ms. Cabral
Ms. Bakoian voted for Ms. Cabral.
Mr. Cresta voted for Ms. Cabral
Mr. Cresta said that this was a position which is often filled by write-in so it was good to have two people interested.  This appointment would just be for one meeting before the election.  The election would be for the remaining four years of Ms. Couture’s term.  He asked for unanimous consent
Ms. Lindberg made a motion to appoint Ms. Lisa Cabral to the Middleton Housing Authority for a term ending in May of 2013.  Ms. Jones seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Application of Sage Restaurant Manager LLC d/b/a Doubletree by Hilton, 51 Village Rd, for a Change of Manager from Michael Harrison to Kate Brill-Daley in the Inn holder and Alcoholic Beverage Licenses -- Attorney Nancy McCann represented the applicant.  She was accompanied by the prospective manager, Ms. Daley.  The current manager, Mr. Harrison, could not be present.  Mr. Harrison has been offered a promotion within the Sage organization.  Ms. McCann introduced Ms. Daley and explained that she has held management positions at this site for 5 years.  For the last four years, she has managed the Coco Keys facility.  She has been in the food and beverage industry for 35 years.  She is TIPS and crowd manager certified.  She expects to be on site at least 40 hours a week.  
Mr. Cresta commented that changes of the manager for the liquor license for this facility are a regular occurrence.  There have been instances where the manager has actually left before the new manager was brought to the Board of Selectmen.  While he feels that Ms. Daley is obviously very qualified and hopes she will be there for some time, he is concerned that the lack of continuity may allow things to fall through the cracks.  He appreciates the upgrades to the facility but worries about the regular occurrence of change of manager.  
Ms. Jones said that the problem is not necessarily the change, as much as the lack of notification.  She suspects that Ms. Daley has already been functioning as manager.  That is typical for this facility.  Mr. Cresta asked when Mr. Harrison was promoted.  Ms. Daley said it was about three weeks ago.  Mr. Singer said he found out about Mr. Harrison’s departure because he was invited to an event there, and Mr. Harrison called to tell him he was leaving at the beginning of March.  Mr. Singer reminded him that if he left, the facility would lose its license to serve liquor until a new manager was on-site.  Ms. McCann said that Mr. Harrison was still on site.  He drafted a portion of the letter in the packet.  She feels Sage understands the Board’s concerns.  However, she warned that there may be an application for a transfer of license to a new operating entity coming before you in the near future.  If that should happen the intention is that Ms. Daley should stay on for continuity.  She noted that Ms. Daley has been on site for longer than the last few mangers.
Mr. Singer asked what role the new General Manager will play with Ms. Daley as the Liquor License manager.  Usually the General Manager and the Manager for the Liquor License are the same.  Ms. McCann said that Ms. Daley’s position is Director of Operations.  The General Manager has responsibility for the whole hotel operation.  Mr. Singer asked if the General Manager could override Ms. Daley’s decisions concerning the sale of liquor.  Ms. Daley said that this would not happen while her name is on the license.  Mr. Singer asked if the General Manger understood this.  She said he did.  Mr. Prentakis asked who the General Manger is. Ms. Daley said the General Manager was an interim and his name is Chris Alsot.
Ms. Lindberg made a motion to approve the Application of Sage Restaurant Manager LLC d/b/a Doubletree by Hilton, 51 Village Rd, for a Change of Manager from Michael Harrison to Kate Brill-Daley in the Inn holder and Alcoholic Beverage Licenses.  Mr. Prentakis seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Review First Draft of FY 2014 Annual Town Meeting Warrant.
Mr. Cresta noted that this coming Thursday is the Joint Hearing with the Finance Committee to go over the budget.  However, the warrant is the document that Town Meeting works with.  There is going to be an additional article because Executive Office of Environmental Affairs has asked for a language change to last year’s article regarding the purchase of land on East St.  This must be passed in order to actually get the $54,000 in grant money.
Mr. Prentakis asked if it would be possible to combine the four revolving fund articles into one.  He noted that the Moderator usually puts into one vote.  Mr. Singer said he would look into it.  The numbering of the articles may change.
Article 4 is amendments to the Zoning By-Laws.  Final language from the Planning Board is needed.  Ms. Lindberg, who is chair of the Planning Board, said that they had sent the by-laws back to the By-Law study committee with comments.  They will be coming back to the Planning Board when it holds its Open Hearing on the sign by-law Citizen’s Petition on March 27th.  The proposed moratorium on Medical Marijuana is part of the article.  Mr. Cresta commented that the timing was good, as the Attorney General has disapproved of actions of towns that tried to ban these entirely.  The Planning Board recommends changing the date for the end of the moratorium to July 1, 2014.  2015 might be overreaching.
Article 5 is the annual article for the Community Preservations Act budget.  Mr. Prentakis, who chairs the CPA Committee said that the Committee will be meeting on March 25th to finalize the budget.  The Department of Revenue (DOR) recommends budgeting the match at a slightly lower level than last year because there are more communities in the program.  
Article 6 is for acceptance of the Valor Act, which is similar to the Senior Tax Work-Off.  It extends the program to veterans.  The number of available positions will be increased from 40 to 50.  This money comes from the Overlay account but is fairly nominal.
Mr. Singer asked the Board to let him know which articles they would like to see summaries for, under Purpose for article.  Mr. Cresta said that he would like to see the summaries for items that are new to Town Meeting
Articles 12, 13, 14 and 15 are for the Fire Department’s Capital Budget
Article 16 is from the Historical Commission.
Articles 17 18 19 and 20 are capital items for the schools.  Mr. Singer said that he may not recommend Article 20.  Mr. Cresta asked if this item had been on previous capitol plans.  Mr. Singer said that it could have been classified as an improvement to the HVAC system.  This proposal seems to be for a system similar to the state of the art system at Howe Manning.  Mr. Singer said that he would like to see a cost benefit analysis before recommending a $23,000 expenditure.
Article 21 does not have an amount at this time.  It is always dependent on what is approved by the Legislature in the bond bill.  Town Meeting can accept all the money.  It is usually around $300,000 but if there is an increase as expected, it could be over $400,000.
Article 22 is also a target since it is dependent on how much is available form article 21
Article 23 is for the sidewalk repair in the Town Center.  Mr. Cresta asked if this could be done when the State is doing the road work on Rte. 114.   Mr. Singer said that one doesn’t impact the other.  It could be coordinated with the new brick sidewalk on Pleasant St. and repair of the brick in front of the Library.  Ms. Lindberg asked about the funding source.  Mr. Singer said that he was recommending Free Cash.  Ms. Lindberg asked about the Sidewalk Fund which is a fund that developers contribute to in lieu of putting certain sidewalks within their development.  Mr. Singer doesn’t think there is a very high balance in that account.  Ms. Lindberg was surprised at that.  Mr. Prentakis asked how the Town assures that developers pay into the fund as required.  Mr. Cresta asked if the payment is made at the beginning of the project or is paid when the Bond is released.  Ms. Lindberg said she thought the payment had to be made before the covenant is released and the properties can be sold Mr. Prentakis observed that the money could have been collected and gone into General Fund.  Mr. Cresta expressed his opinion that whatever is in the account should be focused on new construction.  Repairs should be done from regular highway funds.
Article 28 is for new vehicles for the Building Commissioner and the Public Health Director.  They will probably be Ford Fusions which get around 28 mpg.
Articles 29 & 30 combine some upgrades in Town Building, some of which may be eligible for CPA funding.
Article 31 is the Citizen’s petition for amendments to the sign by-law.  This will be presented at the Planning Board’s Public Hearing on March 27th.
Article 32 is to replace cast iron water pipe on Lake St.  This should improve the drinking water quality in that area.
Article 33 is a request for DCAM to transfer parcels of land it obtained when Essex County was dissolved.  The wording can be shaped after the discussion on April 9th, with the Conservation Commission.  It would be good to have feedback from DCAM as to the chances of something happening.  They may have to get fair market value for the property, even though county taxes were used to purchase these lands.  The lots include the fields that are farmed along Peabody St.  Mr. Cresta thinks we would have difficulty getting DCAM to convey the property to the Conservation Commission.  They might be more inclined to give the land to an entity such as Greenbelt.  DCAM currently leases the land to a local farmer.  
Articles 34 and 35 are street acceptances.  Ms. Lindberg said that there have been so many changes that she would like them reviewed by the Town’s engineer.  Ms. Cresta said that they could be included in the warrant and passed over if the Planning Board does not recommend them.
Article 38 is still being negotiated with the Electric Light Commission.  There is money in the Omnibus budget to pay the full amount. The Town is still negotiating for a larger Payment in Lieu of Taxes.
The rest of the articles are standard.
Article 42 is to amend last year’s article for the purchase of the land on East St.  The Executive Office of Environmental Affairs wants some additional language.  When that is passed the Grant Administrator will feel the terms have been complied with and will send the $54,000 check.
On Thursday, the Personnel Plan and the full Omnibus Budget will be discussed with the Finance Committee.
New Business
Authorization to overspend snow and ice budget – There is $17,000 left in the budget for snow related expenses.  The DPW Superintendent estimates the current storm will cost $30,000 including fuel.  Mr. Cresta asked if FEMA and MEMA have made a declaration concerning the February blizzard.  Mr. Singer said that they have not.  If the storm is declared a disaster, the Town could recoup 75% of its $80,000 expenditure.  Mr. Singer added that this won’t have to go on next year’s tax rate as it can be handled by a transfer from the Finance Committee Reserve.  The Town is in good shape because it always budgets the correct amount for a typical New England winter.
Ms. Lindberg made a motion to authorize over spending in the snow related budget items.  Ms. Jones seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Mr. Cresta noted the passing of long time Middleton Business owner, Mr. Michael LeClair.
Adjournment - Ms. Lindberg made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Ms. Jones seconded the motion and all were in favor.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:00.
Respectfully submitted,
Mary Jane Morrin                
Mary Jane Morrin, Recording Secretary
Christine Lindberg, Clerk