2010-03-23 Select Board Meeting Minutes

Town of Bowdoinham
Select Board Meeting Minutes
March 23, 2010


Residents in Attendance: Kevin Prout, Pam Ross, Richard Leighton, George Christopher, Bradley Meads, Jennifer Foley, Darryl Whitney, Sharon Mitchell, Mary Stride, Dory Streett, Bob Kane, Margaret Patterson, Todd Woofenden, Brooke Cox, Dotty Baker, Stewart Burrell, Alice Pollis, Darragh Ferranti, Ed Ferranti, Brad Foley, Kate Cutko, Susie Reinheimer, Sonny Uhle, Hal Ahlers, and Lola the cat.

Non resident: Nicole Briand, Darcie Moore

Item 1: Call the meeting to order – The Chair called the meeting to order. All members were present: Chair Whittlesey, Selectperson Hobart, and Selectperson Billings

Item 2: Consideration of the minutes from March 4, 2010 Special Select Board meeting and the March 9, 2010 Regular Select Board meeting

The Board reviewed the minutes of the March 4, 2010 Special Select Board meeting, Selectperson Billings moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

The Board reviewed the minutes of the March 9, 2010 Regular Select Board meeting. Selectperson Billings moved to approve the minutes as amended, seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 2-0 in favor. Chair Whittlesey abstained since he was not present at the March 9, 2010 meeting.

Item 3: Comments from the Public -

Resident Bob Kane of the Post Road asked the Select Board if they had received his comments regarding the Town’s Personnel Policy as well as a policy he drafted for the Board to consider. He acknowledged that the draft submitted had not been reviewed by legal counsel. He offered his assistance to the Board in drafting a new policy. Chair Whittlesey acknowledged that the Board had received Mr. Kane’s comments and thanked him.

Item 4: New Business

a) Consideration to accept Bowdoinham Business Services Directory Project – Todd Woofenden - Mr. Woofenden, town resident and designer of the Town’s current website, submitted a proposal for a Business Services Directory for the Board’s consideration. Mr. Woofenden stated that the Services Directory will augment the present website by creating a searchable directory of all Bowdoinham businesses as well as give business owners the ability to update their individual pages once the Directory is up and running. Chair Whittlesey asked about the long term maintenance costs of a Directory. Mr. Woofenden stated that the Directory would be part of the ongoing economic activities of the Town. The Town Manager stated that the Project would be paid for through the town’s Community and Economic Development budget funded from the Northeast Maritime Pipeline TIF. Selectperson Billings inquired about the initial data gathering. Mr. Woofenden acknowledged that there would be a great deal of research needed to gather the initial data from the local businesses. Mr. Woofenden also stated that after the Directory is completed, a marketing effort would be needed as well as making sure that the Directory is kept up to date. Cost of the project is $500/month or $6,000 for one year. Selectperson Hobart moved to approve the Project as outlined in the proposal at a cost of $500/month for one year, seconded by Selectperson Billings. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

b) Consideration to accept amended bylaws for Finance Advisory Committee – Jennifer Foley, FAC Chair – Ms. Foley presented the revised bylaws to the Board. She stated that the Finance Advisory Committee had reviewed and unanimously recommended the approval of the revised bylaws to the Select Board. Selectperson Billings moved to approve the revised bylaws of the Finance Advisory Committee as submitted, seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

c) Update on Walkable Village Plan – Brad Foley, Chair of the Biking, Walking, and Paddling Committee presented the Walkable Village Plan to the Select Board. He stated that the Plan is similar to a Comprehensive Plan and has recommendations for both short and long term goals relating to the upgrading of roads in town. Mr. Foley stated that the BWP Committee is asking that the Select Board place the Plan on the June Town Meeting Warrant for town approval. Selectperson Billings inquired as to the purpose of placing the Plan on the Town Meeting Warrant. Mr. Foley stated that if the Plan is endorsed by the Town, it legitimizes the Plan and puts the Town in a better position for future grant opportunities. Selectperson Billings asked if there was a budget request being made along with the Plan. Mr. Foley replied that the Plan sets a direction for the Town and that there was no budget request. Mr. Billings replied that any budget request would require town meeting approval. The Board decided to review the Plan and discuss it at the April 13 Select Board meeting.

d) Update on Merrymeeting Trail – Ben Long, Member BWP Committee – Mr. Long was unable to attend the meeting and therefore Item d. was tabled to the April 13 Select Board meeting.

e) FY11 Budget Discussion – Selectperson Billings stated that the Finance Advisory Committee was just getting into the details of the FY11 budget. He stated that it would be helpful to the FAC if it had direction from the Select Board in regard to the budget as a whole. Selectperson Billings reported that he, along with FAC Chair Jennifer Foley and the Town Manager had attended a meeting with representatives of the SAD 75 and town officials. At present, it is likely that the school assessment increase to Bowdoinham will be between $50,000 and $60,000. The County assessment will likely increase by $1,500. On the revenue side, the Town will receive approximately $46,000 less from the current year projections for Municipal Revenue Sharing. Also, with the changes to the Homestead Exemption Program, the Town will likely see a $135,000 budget gap. The good news is that half of the budget gap can be addressed by decreasing the overlay. Selectperson Billings stated that while he does not believe there will be a need to eliminate any staff positions like other neighboring towns are facing, salaries and benefit packages will need to remain flat. Finance Advisory Committee Chair Jennifer Foley agreed with Selectperson Billings. She acknowledged the difficulty in taking the proposed direction of no salary increases but emphasized the importance of job security. Chair Whittlesey asked about the projected budget difficulties of the following year, FY12 and whether the Board should be considering how taking a stand this year would impact on the following year. The Board also discussed the importance of keeping to the Town’s Road Plan. Selectperson Billings stated that there is flexibility in how the town funds the Road Plan since the town reduced its overall debt at last year’s town meeting and two other smaller bonds will be paid up in the next two years.

f) Discussion on Select Board procedure(s) regarding retention and response to communications from public – Chair Whittlesey acknowledged that the Select Board has received letters and emails from residents as a result of the February 2nd election and that according to the Freedom of Access Law, once received by the Board, they become public record. After discussion, the Board decided that any written correspondence that they receive both by email and mail, regardless of where the correspondence was sent (home, office, town office, etc.) should be forwarded to the Town Manager and kept on file at the town office for retention and public access. In addition, the Board decided that for each letter received, an acknowledgement showing receipt should be sent. The Board stated that substantive discussions between members of the Select Board via email are not permitted pursuant to the Freedom of Access Law.

g) Update on preparations for June election – Chair Whittlesey outlined the steps that will be taken as a result of the Select Board decision:

• Personnel Policy – Section 19 as it relates to political activities has been revised by the town attorney and will be available on the town’s website in track-changes mode and at the town office for resident review and comment. The revised Section 19 will be discussed at the April 13 Select Board meeting. In addition the entire Personnel Policy is being reviewed and revised by the town attorney and available for Board review in early May.
• Deputy Secretary of State - Julie Flynn has agreed to come to the town to look at the town’s election procedures after the AG’s investigation is completed. Training will be provided to all those who work on the elections.
• A Registrar of Voters will be hired specifically to process absentee ballots.

Selectperson Hobart moved to hire a Registrar of Voters for the June election, seconded by Selectperson Billings. The vote was 3-0 in favor.


h) 2010 Municipal Warrant for Unlicensed Dog Owners-Keepers – The Board reviewed the 2010 Municipal Warrant for Unlicensed Dog Owners-Keepers. Selectperson Hobart moved to approve the Warrant, seconded by Selectperson Billings. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 5: CEO/Planner Report – Nicole Briand

a) Update on proposed amendments to the Land Use Ordinance - Ms. Briand stated that the proposed amendments relate to the Shoreland Zoning Performance standards. When the Ordinance was approved, the distances used as it relates to the Shoreland District were not consistent throughout the ordinance. In one section of the ordinance, the minimum distance used for construction within the Shoreland District was 100 feet and in another section, the minimum distance used was 75 feet. Ms. Briand stated that the intent by the Land Use Committee was to use the more stringent standard of 100 feet. Selectperson Billings stated that if the intent was to clear up the language and to be consistent, he recommended the adoption of the less stringent 75 feet standard so that they are not accused of trying to sneak in more stringent language. Chair Whittlesey stated that if the intent was the stringent 100 feet, should not the ordinance be consistent with the 100 feet standard? Ms. Briand stated that the Planning Board would be discussing the Ordinance at its next meeting along with the comments from the Public Hearing and would return to the Board’s April 13 meeting with a final recommendation.

b) Discussion regarding the discontinuing of two town owned roads – Ms. Briand reported that the town has received requests that the Carrot House Road and an old portion of Route 24 (at the end of Pork Point Road and conveyed over to the Town when the new Route 24 was built) be discontinued. The Board reviewed the requests. Selectperson Billings moved to authorize the Town Planner/CEO to notice abutters of the proposed discontinuation of the two roads for discussion at the April 13 meeting, seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

c) Update on Sidewalk Project – Ms. Briand stated that a contract with Pine Tree Engineering had been signed and that the survey work would soon begin. She reported that there would be a public input session before the preliminary design was completed.


Item 6: Town Manager’s Report

a) Town Report – The Town Manager asked the Board to consider changing the size of the Report to 8 ½ inches by 11 inches. The Board considered the request and decided to keep the Town Report at the traditional size of 5 inches by 7 inches.

b) Expense & Revenue Reports – The Town Manager presented the Board with the Expense and Revenue reports through February. The Manager acknowledged that overall the revenues look good though the Revenue Sharing and Investment Income lines will not meet projections. Motor vehicle excise taxes should meet projection of $390,000. Expenses are currently all within budget. Public Works, Planning/Codes and TIF budgets are all expected to be under budget in June.

Item 7: Consent Items - none

Item 8: Consideration of FY10 Treasurer’s Warrant #18 - Accounts Payable: $60,440.62
Payroll (2/11/2010): $16,566.37
Total: $77,006.99
The Board reviewed the Treasurer’s Warrant #18. Selectperson Hobart moved to approve the warrant, seconded by Selectperson Billings. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 9: Selectperson’s Request for Agenda Items for next meeting (April 13, 2010)

Comcast Cable Discussion
Discussion to increase Select Board from 3 to 5 members
Discussion to move the Municipal Election from June to November


Item 10: Announce Future Meetings, Workshops, Events

• April 1 @ 6:30 pm – Finance Advisory Committee
• April 13 @ 6:30 pm – Select Board Regular Meeting
• April 15 @ 6:00 pm – Finance Advisory Committee
• April 22 @ 6:30 pm – Finance Advisory Committee (tentative)
• April 26 @ 4:00 pm – Nomination Papers are due to Town Clerk
• April 27 @ 6:30 pm – Select Board Regular Meeting – Finance Committee presents FY11 Budget recommendations
• May 11 @ 6:30 pm – Select Board Regular Meeting & Public Hearing on FY11 Budget and Warrant Articles
• May 25 @ 6:20 pm – Select Board Regular Meeting – Scheduled Date for Signing of Town Meeting Warrant
• June 8 – Election
• June 8 @ 6:30 pm – Select Board Regular Meeting
• June 9 @ 7:00 pm – Annual Town Meeting at Town Hall

Item 11: Consideration to enter into Executive Session pursuant to 14 MRSA Section 405(6)(C) Discussion or consideration of the condition, acquisition or the use of real or personal property permanently attached to real property or interests therein – (Lease on Solid Waste Facility)

Selectperson Billings moved to enter into Executive Session pursuant to 14 MRSA Section 405(6)(C) Discussion or consideration of the condition, acquisition or the use of real or personal property permanently attached to real property or interests therein (Lease of the Solid Waste Facility), seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Selectperson Billings moved to exit from Executive Session pursuant to 14 MRSA Section 405(6)(C) Discussion or consideration of the condition, acquisition or the use of real or personal property permanently attached to real property or interests therein (Lease of the Recycling Barn), seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor. There were no decisions or actions taken while in executive session.

Selectperson Billings made the following motion:

The Town Manager is to inform the Department Heads of the following:

1) Expenditures on capital items over $500 that have not already been approved as part of the budgetary process must be first authorized by the Select Board.

The motion was seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 12: Adjourn – Chair Whittlesey adjourned the meeting at 9:45 pm