Nathan Media Center
Fuller Meadow School
July 22, 2014
Call to Order – Chairman Jones called the meeting to order at 7:40. Also present were Mr. Cresta, Mr. Houten, Mr. Prentakis, and Town Administrator Mr. Singer
Ms. Jones noted the passing of Robert Gnoza, a long-time member of the community who was very involved with youth sports serving as a baseball referee and also a coach for Masco youth football. He also served on the Planning Board. A moment of silence was observed.
Introduction and Welcome to Newly Appointed Masconomet Superintendent Dr. Kevin Lyons -Mr. Prentakis who also serves on the Masconomet School Committee introduced Dr. Lyons. He has served as superintendent of the Hudson School System for five years. He also has experience as a high school teacher, a middle school teacher, a reading specialist in the lower grades and some college level experience. He lives in Hampton NH which is only 25 minutes from Masconomet so the Towns can be assured he will be available. Mr. Prentakis asked Dr. Lyons to say a few words.
Dr. Lyons thanked the Board for the opportunity to introduce himself. He had not intended to look for a new job. However, having grown up in Haverhill and lived and worked on the North Shore, when the position at Masconomet opened up, he knew it had to try for it. Masconomet has a great reputation and he is honored to be chosen as Superintendent. He added that Masconomet is known across the State for its highly qualified staff. He is married with two grown children, one a nursing student and one serving in the Special Forces. As an educator he has taught at all levels, but he most enjoyed being a Superintendent. This will be his first time serving in a regional school district. He invited the Selectmen to call on him any time. He said he would do everything
he could to get to know people through events and visits to the elementary schools.
Mr. Cresta noted that there were some differences between three towns. He feels that this board has worked very well with Masconomet over the past few years, because of good relationships with his predecessor and with Masconomet’s Chief Financial Officer. He added that it can be difficult since the three Towns can have different interests. Dr. Lyons said that communications is key, and extended an invitation to the Finance Committee and others in Town to get in touch with him. Ms. Jones thanked him for taking the time to meet with the Board tonight.
Minutes – Mr. Houten made a motion to approve the minutes of the June 24, 2014 Regular Session. Mr. Prentakis seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Approval of Warrants – This is the first of the new bi-weekly warrants. There is still one weekly warrant for FY 2014 which the Selectmen should come into Town Hall and sign next Tuesday. This is the second set of warrants for FY ’15. Payroll Warrant 1502 totaled $394,634 and includes small amounts of overtime including the monthly overtime for the Fire Department. The Payables Warrant totaled $539,427. 25% of that is for Payroll Deductions. $157,700 is for Purchase of Power.
Mr. Prentakis made a motion to approve the warrants. Mr. Houten seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Town Administrator’s Report
- Increase in FIOS rates – The packet contains a copy of a notice from FIOS announcing a 14% increase in their bundled rate. Municipalities have no ability to control those rates. Competition is the only remedy. Middleton is fortunate to have two companies that completely serve the community. It is interesting that the legislature, as part of its Economic Development Bill has a provision to remove the permitting authority of municipalities over the siting of telecommunications towers. The piece of legislation is still in conference committee. The Federal Government is working on uniform regulations, so it may not be worth local authorities coming up with their own rules . The technology is changing and the issue is not going away.
- State Budget - The Governor has signed the $36.5 billion budget. There is no significant change in local aid. Transportation aid for Masconomet is $32,000 more than budget. The School Committee has to vote on the assessments for the three Towns in March before they have these numbers so they are conservative. The State budget also includes a freeze on negotiating retiree’s contribution rate for health care until 2016. Middleton is only paying 60 % of the rate and the lowest allowed by State Law is 50 %, so this does not have a large impact on Middleton
- DCAMM Land – The Environmental Bond Bill included an amendment requiring DCAMM to deed back to the Town the land in the Town acquired by Essex County for conservation purposes. This follows last May’s Annual Town Meeting action to ask for a special act for this purpose. DCAMM offered the land to other state agencies as they are required to do when they declare land surplus. Two Agencies have expressed interest. It is the position of the Conservation Commission that this would be a good alternative if this amendment does not stay in the final bond bill, so the Town has been at least partially successful. These are parcels that run along the River and shouldn’t be developed. It is always possible that if DCAMM needs land, it could find a way to develop this land.
- Additional CPA Funding - Ms. Singer said that the Legislature had approved additional money for the CPA fund. Mr. Prentakis said that Middleton should expect an additional $32,000. He added that the funding depends on the receipts from the Registry of Deeds. which are down. The Town expects to get somewhat less than last year, approximately $75,000. The Town has received a little over $800,000 since it adopted the program.
- Crosswalks The Town has completed painting crosswalks red. The Town’s request that the State Highway Department paint the crosswalks in Middleton Square red is pending. The Town does not own that right of way. The State Highway Department says that federal standards only allow for two white lines. The Town can do it with their permission, but will have to pay for it. The Town also made a formal request for pedestrian signalization in the Square. . Mr. Singer would like a pedestrian warning sign so that people making right turn on red will see that there might be pedestrians. Ms. Jones asked about the type of flashing light one sees at Rail Trail crossings. Mr. Singer replied that these are for more hidden crosswalks and are standard for rail trails.
- Road projects – DPW Superintendent, Mr. LaBoissiere reports good progress on the Chapter 90 program. He will be starting grinding and paving on River St. and Boston St. next week. That should take three to four weeks. They are currently working on Upton Hills Rd. The work includes relocation of water line.
- Planning Board Vacancy - Applications have been received from three citizens interested in the Planning Board vacancy. Mr. Singer would like to set up the required joint meeting with the remaining Planning Board members, depending on their availability. He suggested August 5th, 12th or 19th. The 19th did not work for two members, so it will be either the 5th or the 12th. Mr. Cresta asked about the time frame for the Attorney General to review the Annual Town Meeting action establishing the two alternate positions. Mr. Singer said that the package has gone to the Attorney General. The review can take 120 days.
- Roof Repairs on Library – These repairs are complete. There were some slates deteriorating over the children’s wing. The failure was probably just due to bad weather. The bill was around $3500.
Application of the American Legion Post 227 to Change the Alcohol Liquor Club License Manager from Mr. David Jeter to Ms. Robin Paolucci by American Legion Post 17 Treasurer Ted Butler and Post Commander, Fred Osterfield – Mr. Butler introduced Ms. Paolucci. She is a member of the Legion’s Women’s Auxiliary and has a son on active duty with the Marine Corps who is also a member. Ms. Jones noted the requirement that the Liquor Manager be TIPS certified. Mr. Butler said that she was and the certificate was in the package.
Mr. Houten made a motion to approve the application of the American Legion Post 227 to change the Alcohol Liquor Club License Manager from Mr. David Jeter to Ms. Robin Paolucci. Mr. Cresta seconded the motion and all were in favor
Appointment of Alternate Member to Recreation Commission, Mr. Thomas Dixon – Mr. Dixon’s letter of interest is in the packet.
Mr. Houten made a motion to appoint Mr. Thomas Dixon as an Alternate Member of the Recreation Commission for a term ending June 30, 2015. Mr. Cresta seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Re-appoint Board of Registrar Member, Mary Jane Morrin
Mr. Houten made a motion to re-appoint Ms. Mary Jane Morrin to the Board of Registrars for a term ending June 30, 2017. Mr. Cresta seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Re-appointment of Council on Aging Member, Ms. Martha Fucarile
Mr. Cresta made a motion to re-appoint Ms. Martha Fucarile as a member of the Council on Aging for a term ending June 30, 2017. Mr. Houten seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Appointment of Alternate Industrial & Commercial Design Review Committee Member, Robert Murphy
Mr. Houten made a motion to appoint Mr. Robert Murphy as an alternate member of Industrial & Commercial Design Review Committee for a term ending June 30, 2015. Mr. Cresta seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Appointment of Alternate Council on Aging Member, Ms. Erin Bennett
Mr. Houten made a motion to appoint Ms. Erin as an alternate member of the Council on Aging for a term ending June 30, 2015. Mr. Prentakis seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Recommendation of Chief DiGianvittorio to appoint Reserve Police Officer Robert Marino as Full Time Police Officer (including a probationary period of one year) – Chief DiGianvittorio referred to his letter of July 15, 2014 recommending Officer Marino for the position of full-time patrolman. A vacancy opened up and was posted on July 1st. All the reserve officers were given a chance to apply but only Officer Marino did apply. Mr. Singer noted that the Town is very fortunate to have a candidate with 14 years’ experience including as command staff and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration
Mr. Prentakis made a motion to appoint Reserve Police Officer Robert Marino as a Full Time Police Officer for a term ending June 30, 2015 which includes a probationary period of one year. Mr. Houten seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Assistant Town Clerk Ilene Twiss swore in Officer Marino.
Acceptance of $3,775 Donation from Bostik Inc. to the Middleton Food Bank - Mr. Singer explained that the donation had come a while back and did not have a cover letter. Ms. Jones noted that Bostik has always been generous to the community.
Mr. Cresta made a motion to accept with thanks a $3,775 Donation from Bostik Inc. to the Middleton Food Bank. Mr. Houten seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Execution of Quit Claim Deeds for Right-of-Ways Accepted as Public Streets at May 13, 2014 Annual Town Meeting for:
- White Lane from Michael Lane LLC to the Town of Middleton
- Ross Lane and Warren Drive from Smith Farm Estates Development Corp. to Town of Middleton
- Dolan Drive from Dolan Drive LLC to Town of Middleton.
Mr. Singer gave credit to Atty. Jill Mann and to the underlying owners particularly Smith Farm Estates Development Corp. for finishing the process of getting these roads accepted. There were difficulties and not everyone is happy. However, this is an important final step in the development of a sub division. If it does not happen, the Town can have problems when work needs to be done.
Mr. Cresta made a motion to execute the Quit Claim Deeds for:
- White Lane from Michael Lane LLC to the Town of Middleton
- Ross Lane and Warren Drive from Smith Farm Estates Development Corp. to Town of Middleton
- Dolan Drive from Dolan Drive LLC to Town of Middleton
Mr. Houten seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Ms. Mann had deeds signed by grantors which she asked the Board to sign. Her office will complete the work at the Registry of Deeds and present the Town with the completed documents.
Approval of Memorandum of Agreement with the Essex County Sheriff’s Department and the Essex County Regional Emergency Communications Center (ECRECC) communities including Middleton and Inter-Municipal Memorandum of Agreement between Essex and Middleton – Chief DiGianvittorio explained that there are two MOIs. The first is between the Sherriff’s Department and the communities of the ECRECC to use the Jail as a regional lock up. This is not really going to change how Middleton handles arrests since the jail is so close. Essex is the only department taking advantage of the regional lock-up because they have no lock up of their own and currently use Manchester. Now they will come to the Jail. The only problem is that the Jail does not have a Breathalyzer.
They are trying to get one. In the meantime, if a person suspected of Operating Under the Influence is arrested in Essex, they will come to the Middleton Police Station for the Breathalyzer and then be transported to the Jail. The Chief said that this is not a perfect situation but it is the best that can be done right now. The MOI was drawn up by the Jail’s attorney. Mr. Singer noted that this is an example of working together regionally around the ECRECC.
Mr. Cresta asked if the Breathalyzer test would be administered by an Essex officer or a Middleton officer. The Chief said that the Essex officers are being trained on its use. In the meantime, a Middleton officer could administer the test. Mr. Cresta asked if this would mean the Middleton officer could be called into court. The Chief said that could happen. Ms. Jones asked why they were no longer using Manchester. The Chief answered that Manchester was not part of the ECRECC so their computer systems were not compatible. Mr. Singer added that Manchester is looking into joining the ECRECC. Mr. Houten asked what happens if the prisoner is below the legal limit. The Chief says that the Essex officer will return them to Essex. Middleton has no
responsibility for the prisoner.
Mr. Houten made a motion to authorize the chair to sign the Memorandum of Agreement with the Essex County Sheriff’s Department and the Essex County Regional Emergency Communications Center (ECRECC) communities to hold prisoners taken into custody by member communities. Mr. Cresta seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Mr. Houten made a motion to authorize the chair to sign the Inter-Municipal Memorandum of Agreement between Essex and Middleton to allow the Town of Essex to utilize Middleton Police facilities to issue breath tests for operators of vehicles suspected of operating under the influence of alcohol. Mr. Cresta seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Request from Steve Clifford, Director of Facilities, Tri-Town School Union, for Approval to Use Pesticides and Herbicide Products and Other Remedial Turf Care Measures, Consistent with the Tri-Town School Union’s Integrated Pest Management Plan Under the Provisions of Chapter 85 of the Acts of 2000 – Mr. Clifford explained that this is a tool in the Integrated Pest Management esthetic use policy. It is a policy that must be renewed annually. An example of where it would be used is targeting weeds on turf grass such as baseball fields. The approving authority (the Board of Selectmen) must approve control of weeds by use of pesticide. The use must still be posted and all reporting procedures followed. Mr. Cresta asked who would be applying the pesticides. Ms. Clifford
said that it could be a contractor or the Public Works Department. Mr. Cresta asked if any Public Works employees had the proper certification. Mr. Singer was not sure. Someone may be working on getting the certification. If no one is licensed, then the DPW will not be able to do it. Mr. Clifford added that these are similar to the products that would be used residentially. Ms. Jones asked when the pesticide application would be done. Mr. Clifford said that it would probably be in March.
Ms. Jones expressed concern about the gravelly area in the play area. Mr. Singer replied that that was part of the building project but was not completed to the Town’s satisfaction, so there is still some funding that was held back. The Town will put out a specification for re-loaming and re-seeding. The area will also probably need irrigation. Mr. Singer expects to sign that contract in October. The DPW is also working with the Boy Scouts to arrange for final design of the landscape barrier between the school and the 15,000 sq. ft. that the Boy Scouts lease from the Town. The work will begin October 1st if there are no water restrictions at that time.
Mr. Prentakis made a motion to approve the use of Pesticides and Herbicide Products and Other Remedial Turf Care Measures, consistent with the Tri-Town School Union’s Integrated Pest Management Plan under the Provisions of Chapter 85 of the Acts of 2000. Mr. Houten seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Appointment of Town Officials who constitute the Stormwater Permitting Authority (SWPA) for Administration, Implementation, and Enforcement of the New Stormwater Control By-Law Adopted at May 13, 2014 Annual Town Meeting: They are
- Robert LaBoissiere, Superintendent of Public Works
- Judith Schmitz, Conservation Agent,
- Derek Fullerton, Public Health Director
- Katrina O’Leary, Planning Coordinator
- Richard Bienvenue, Building Commissioner
Ms. Jones read from the Stormwater Bylaw as follows: “The SWPA shall consist of five (5) members whom shall permanently be the Town Superintendent of Public Works, the Planning Coordinator, the Conservation Agent, the Public Health Director, and the Building Commissioner.” Mr. Cresta asked if the phrase or their successor should be added. Mr. Singer said that if there is turn over, the Board could just appoint the new individual.
Mr. Houten made a motion to appoint Robert LaBoissiere, Superintendent of Public Works Judith Schmitz, Conservation Agent, Derek Fullerton, Public Health Director Katrina O’Leary, Planning Coordinator and Richard Bienvenue, Building Commissioner as the Stormwater Permitting Authority (SWPA) for Administration, Implementation, and Enforcement of the New Stormwater Control By-Law Adopted at May 13, 2014 Annual Town Meeting for an unlimited term. Mr. Cresta seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Executive Session under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 30 Section 21A, Paragraph 3 (To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining)
Ms. Jones announced that the Board would be going into Executive Session under MGL Chapter 30A, Section 21, Paragraph 3 and would not be coming back into open session. Mr. Prentakis called the role. Mr. Cresta voted yes. Mr. Houten voted yes. Ms. Jones voted yes. . Mr. Prentakis voted yes. The Board entered Executive Session at 8:45.
Mary Jane Morrin
Mary Jane Morrin, Recording Secretary
Kosta Prentakis, Clerk