05-07-2013 Select Board Meeting Minutes


Town of Bowdoinham

Select Board Meeting

May 7, 2013 5:30 p.m.



1.         Call the Meeting to Order & Establish a Quorum


The meeting was called to order and quorum established by Chairman Hobart at 5:30 p.m.  Select Board members Brian Hobart, Kathy Gallant, Kathy Tome, M. Theresa Turgeon and Douglas Tourtelotte were present.  Staff present included Town Manager William Post and Planning and Development Director Nicole Briand.  Also present were Stewart Burrell, George Christopher, Wendy Gray, Tina Bisson, Lynn Spiro, Janet Begert, Sherri Joseph and Darcie Moore representing The Times Record.


2.         Public Hearing to obtain public comments on the warrant articles to be voted on at the Annual Town Meeting on June 11 and 12, 2013


            Chair Hobart opened the public hearing at 5:30 p.m. 


            The Town Manager described the warrant articles to be voted on at Town Meeting beginning on June 11th and concluding on June 12th. This year’s annual town meeting is a bi-furcated meeting, meaning that it will be completed in two parts. The town meeting actually begins on June 11th with the opening of the polls because there is at least one referendum question on the warrant dealing with a local liquor sales option. The Board may also add another referendum question concerning the petitioned Fireworks Ordinance. The town meeting will then resume for the open portion of the meeting on June 12th at 7:00 p.m. at Town Hall.


            The first section of the warrant includes the local liquor sales option question, and several ordinance questions. The Fireworks Ordinance was submitted by petition and the language cannot be changed either in the article or in the ordinance. Then there are eight articles concerning amendments to the Land Use Ordinance and one article with an amendment to the Fire Department Ordinance.


            Following the ordinance articles are the budget articles and general business articles.


            George Christopher asked if the article on the Fireworks Ordinance would be voted on at open town meeting or by referendum. Chair Hobart stated that the Select Board would make that decision later in the meeting.


            Jan Begert asked about the process for the Fireworks Ordinance. The Manager stated that because the ordinance was submitted by petition, the language in the article and in the proposed ordinance could not be changed. Once town meeting has decided on the proposed ordinance, the Select Board could then address the issue, if they choose.


            There being no other public comments, Chair Hobart closed the public hearing at 5:34 p.m.

3.         Amendments to the Agenda – None


4.         Approve Consent Calendar

  1. Meeting Minutes of April 9, 2013


On motion of Hobart/Gallant, the Board voted 3 – 0 (Tome and Tourtelotte abstained) to approve the minutes of April 9, 2013 as presented).


  1. Warrants & Financial Reports:
    1. Treasurer’s Warrant #60 for $42,632.45


On motion of Turgeon/Tourtelotte, the Board voted 5 – 0 to approve the remainder of the consent calendar as presented.


5.         Action Items


            A.  Act on An Ordinance to Amend the Land Use Ordinance to Expand the “Commercial Fisheries/Maritime Activities District”


            Planning & Development Director Nicole Briand stated that the Planning Board held a public hearing on this ordinance amendment that would expand the Commercial Fisheries/Maritime Activities District to allow additional commercial use of property owned by James McPherson. Briand provided a map detailing the expansion. After the public hearing, the Planning Board approved the amendment and is asking the Board to approve it and place it on the town meeting warrant.


            Board member Turgeon asked why the entire area is not added to the district. Briand stated that there were environmental concerns expressed from the Planning Board, but they agreed on the area as shown on the map.


            Board member Gallant asked if the amendment will allow the landowner enough space to do what he wants for his business. Briand stated that it would.


            On motion of Tourtelotte/Tome, the Board voted 5 – 0 to approve An Ordinance to Amend the Land Use Ordinance to Expand the “Commercial Fisheries/Maritime Activities District” and place it on the Town Meeting Warrant.


            B.      Act on Acceptance of Petitioned Articles for Town Meeting Warrant


            The Manager stated that two petitions were submitted with articles for Town Meeting. One was for the local liquor option to allow malt liquor to be sold at restaurants and the other was for the Fireworks Ordinance. Both petitions were validated by the Town Clerk. The Manager read the petitioned article language.


            Lynn Spiro stated that she submitted two petitions, one for malt liquor and one for wine consumption on premises. The Manager stated that the Town Clerk only certified one petition for malt liquor. Briand stated that she believes that two petitions were submitted. Lynn Spiro and Briand reviewed the petitions that were submitted and discovered that there were two submitted and there was confusion because the petitions are almost exactly the same language with the exception of “malt Liquor’ on one and “wine” on the other. The Manager noted that a number of signatures on the second petition were counted as duplicates on the first petition instead of being counted towards the number needed for the second petition. He stated that it appears there are enough signatures on the second petition for it to be valid.


            On motion of Turgeon/Tourtelotte, the Board voted 5 – 0 to accept the petition articles and place them on the town meeting warrant, with the assumption that the second liquor option petition is valid.


            The Manager stated that by state law, the liquor option questions must be voted on by a referendum vote, while the Fireworks Ordinance question can be by referendum or at open town meeting.


            Board member Turgeon stated that the Fireworks Ordinance question involves discussion and then should be voted on by secret ballot. Board member Tome agreed that the residents should have an open discussion on this ordinance.


            Chair Hobart stated that the only way to have an open discussion is to have the ordinance voted on at the open portion of the town meeting, and then the voters at town meeting could vote to hold the actual vote on the ordinance by a paper secret ballot. But the Board cannot make that determination, only whether the ordinance will be voted on by referendum vote or at the open portion of town meeting.


            On motion of Tourtelotte/Tome, the Board voted 5 – 0 place the Fireworks Ordinance on the town meeting warrant for the open portion of the meeting.


            Chair Hobart asked the Board if they wanted to place on recommendation on the warrant concerning the Fireworks Ordinance. The Manager explained that because the article will be voted on at the open portion of the town meeting, the Board could put a recommendation on the warrant.


            Tome stated that a complete ban is not necessary. She asked if the Board could draft a different ordinance if this ordinance fails. The Manager stated that the Board could develop a different ordinance if they so choose, but enforcement is still the issue.


            Tourtelotte stated that regulating fireworks in certain areas would be acceptable.


            Turgeon stated that she was told that the judge would enforce a restraining order against fireworks if the Town had an ordinance in place.


            Tome stated that she empathizes with the residents that are dealing with this issue.


            Sherri Joseph stated that there needs to be reasonableness. The current loud, cannon-like noises that wake up people in the middle of the night are not reasonable.


            The Manager suggested that he arrange a meeting with residents concerned about the issue of noise and fireworks with the Sheriff and himself. The residents and Board agreed that this would be beneficial. Chair Hobart asked for a report back on the meeting for the May 28th meeting.


            On motion of Hobart/Tourtelotte, the Board voted 5 – 0 to place a recommendation on the Fireworks Ordinance article of not to pass.


            C.     Act on Approval of Annual Town Meeting Warrant


            The Manager stated he will need to add the second liquor consumption article after the Town Clerk has re-checked the second petition and the Board’s recommendation for the Fireworks Ordinance. Those will be the only amendments from the draft Town Meeting warrant.


            On motion of Turgeon/Tome, the Board voted 5 – 0 to approve the Annual Town Meeting warrant as amended.


6.         Discussion Items – None


7.         Town Manager’s Report


The Manager stated that the Town has 40 credit card transactions in April with a value of approximately $42,000. This is due mostly to tax payments. He expects that use with increase as soon as Visa lifts its restrictions on the type of transactions for which Visa cards can be used.  He expects the restrictions to be removed in the next month.


The current part-time administration employee that is out on maternity leave may not be coming back to work.


Eleven legislators have developed a new tax reform proposal that would transform income, sales and property taxes. This was presented last Friday and will be watched closely to see what affect it has on the state’s proposed budget.


8.         Selectperson’s Requests for Agenda Items for Next Meeting – None


9.         Announce Future Meetings and Events (Meetings at Coombs Building unless noted)

A.  Select Board Meetings

1.  May 14th – Regular Meeting

2.  May 28th – Regular Meeting

            B.   Comprehensive Planning Committee Meeting May 7th 6:30 p.m.

            C.  Bowdoinham Farmers’ Market Opens – May 18th 8:30 a.m. Merrymeeting Grange

            D.  Annual Library Plant Sale – May 18th 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

            E.   Food Pantry Opens May 18th 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.



10.       Comments from Select Board Members


            Doug Tourtelotte stated that there is a dip on Main Street by the interstate. He asked the manager to contact the Department of Transportation.


            Kathy Gallant stated the chicken barbeque planning is going well and the event should be fun and successful.


11.       Comments from the Public – None


12.       Adjourn


            The meeting adjourned by acclamation at 6:37 p.m.



                                    Select Board                                                                                                   

                                    Town of Bowdoinham, Maine   Brian Hobart, Chair





                                                                                                M. Theresa Turgeon, Vice-Chair





                                                                                                Kathleen Gallant





                                                                                                Kathy Tome




                                                                                                Douglas Tourtelotte




                                                                                                Respectfully Submitted,



                                                                                                William S. Post, Town Manager