2010-04-13 Select Board Meeting Minutes

Town of Bowdoinham
Select Board Meeting Minutes
April 13, 2010

 

Residents in Attendance: Sharon Mitchell, Jen Foley, Joanne Smith, Mrs. Beaudoin, Bruce Ross, Pam Ross, Whitney Leighton, Dick Leighton, Kevin Prout, Brooke Cox, Ben Long, Margaret Patterson, Kurt Reinhart, George Christopher, Bradley Meads, Dotty Baker, Henry Mitchell, Joan Mitchell, Albert Stehle, Bob Kane, Brad Foley, Sarah Stapler, Bob Bremm, Stewart Burrell, Jean Briggs, Bill Briggs, Rebecca Bernier, Steve Bernier, Robert Pollis, Alice Pollis, Kathy Gallant, Dwight Sholes, Ben Dobson, Susan Brown, Michael Egan, Christine Egan, Wendy Rose, Tom Walling, Susie Reinheimer, Hal Ahlers, Lynn Sternfels, Kathy Durgin-Leighton

Nonresidents in Attendance: Jim Connolly, Nicole Briand, Whitney Leighton, and Darcie Moore

Item 1: Call the meeting to order: The Chair called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm. All members were present: Chair Whittlesey, Selectperson Hobart and Selectperson Billings.

Item 2: Consideration of the minutes from March 23, 2010 Regular Select Board meeting and April 2, 2010 Special Select Board Meeting.

The Board reviewed the minutes from March 23, 2010 meeting. Selectperson Billings moved to accept the minutes, seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

The Board reviewed the minutes from April 2, 2010 Special Select Board meeting. Selectperson Billings moved to accept the minutes, seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 3: Comments from the Public – Resident Albert Stehle stated that the Maxwell Cemetery was in poor condition and had not been cleaned up by the Public Works crew. He stated that all of the cemeteries in town were in need of care. The Town Manager stated that the Public Works Department had been at the cemetery to clean it and that 6-8 additional cemeteries are cleaned each year. Selectperson Hobart stated that it was still early in the season and that the cemetery would be cleaned in time for Memorial Day. Resident Michael Egan suggested that it was early in the season to get equipment on the cemetery grounds and suggested that volunteers help in the cleaning effort. Resident Bruce Ross suggested that the Village Masons could provide help to the Town to clean the cemeteries. He also suggested that the Brunswick Naval Air Station personnel may be looking for community service projects. It was also suggested that local schools may be looking for similar projects.


Item 4: New Business

a) Update on the Merrymeeting Trail – Ben Long, Member Biking Walking Paddling Committee – Mr. Long gave a brief overview of the Trail and the work that has been completed to date. The Trail will connect two trails that currently serve the Town of Brunswick and the City of Augusta/Gardiner. The proposed trail is a rail/trail with the rail system kept in place and will be for multipurpose activity (biking, walking, horse backing riding, etc.). A grant from Maine Department of Transportation and the State Planning Office will be used to conduct a feasibility study of the proposed trail. The study will provide a map of the trail, design options, obstacles (wetlands, etc.), as well as phasing considerations. Chair Whittlesey asked when construction of the trail might occur. Ms. Briand, Town Planner stated that the construction will depend upon funding and that 5- 10 years is optimistic.


b) Consideration to accept Gift of Aerial Photography from Paul Vose – The Manager reported that Bowdoinham landowner and photographer Paul Vose has offered to donate a gift of aerial photography of the town to use on the town’s website and publications. Examples of Mr. Vose’s work were included in the Select Board’s packets for review. The gift has a value of $300 - $500. Selectperson Hobart moved to accept the generous gift from Mr. Vose, seconded by Selectperson Billings. The vote was 3-0 in favor.
 

c) Consideration to Order of Discontinuance of Carrot House Road and place on June Annual Town Meeting warrant for approval no questions –Nicole Briand, Town Planner and CEO presented information to the Board regarding the Order of Discontinuance. All abutters were notified and invited to the Board meeting to give comment on the proposal. Ben Dobson, owner of Atlantic Organics and Locally Known who leases the land along Carrot House Road, spoke in favor of the proposal. There were no other comments regarding the proposed Road Discontinuance. Selectperson Hobart moved to approve the Order of Discontinuance of Carrot House Road and to place the Discontinuance on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant for town consideration, seconded by Selectperson Billings. The vote was 3-0 in favor.


d) Consideration to Order of Discontinuation of two portions of old Route 24 located at the end of Pork Point Road and place on June Annual Town Meeting warrant for approval. – Nicole Briand, Town Planner and CEO presented information to the Board regarding the Order of Discontinuance. All abutters were notified and invited to the Board meeting to give comment on the proposal. James Connolly, Regional Wildlife Biologist from Inland Fisheries and Wildlife was in attendance to speak in favor of the discontinuation. The Department of IF& W are the only abutters of the road and are requesting that the road be discontinued in order that IF&W may block vehicle access and prevent the dumping of tires, rubbish that has been a problem. The Department will continue to provide a place for vehicles to park so that people can walk along the trails. The road was the original Route 24 that was abandoned by the State of Maine when the curve to the road was improved leaving two spurs to the Town of Bowdoinham. Selectperson Billings moved to approve the Order of Discontinuance of two portions of old Route 24 located at the end of Pork Point Road and to place the Discontinuance on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant for town consideration, seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor.


e) Consideration to accept proposed changes to Section 19 Political Activities of the Personnel Policy – Selectperson Billings stated that the proposed changes posted on the Town’s website were not the changes being proposed by the Town’s attorney and being considered the Board. The proposed changes on the website included the wording, “or campaign” that had been removed from the original policy language by the Town’s attorney but had inadvertently not been removed when it was posted on the website. Chair Whittlesey acknowledged that the Board’s intent was to clarify and make more consistent the language in the policy. He thanked Selectperson Billings for providing the Board with the language in the Hatch Act that governs political activities of federal employees and noted that Bowdoinham’s current policy is more restrictive. Selectperson Billings stated that the policy should not limit a town employee’s right of free speech. He also stated that the current policy is ambiguous and with the proposed changes, first amendment rights are protected and the policy language is clarified. Chair Whittlesey stated that the Town Attorney is in the process of drafting a new Personnel Policy that will also define “employee”. Selectperson Billings also noted that the new language prohibits town employees from seeking or accepting a position to local office which many neighboring towns do not. When asked, Selectperson Hobart stated that he liked the new policy language. Selectperson Billings moved to approve the proposed language to the town’s Personnel Policy - Section 19 Political Activities as drafted by the Town Attorney, seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor.


f) Consideration to place Walkable Village Plan on June Annual Town Meeting warrant – Chair Whittlesey stated that he was impressed with the depth, scope and vision of the Plan. Brad Foley, Chair of the Walking, Biking and Paddling Committee reiterated the importance of Plan’s adoption at Town Meeting in securing additional grant funding. Selectperson Billings moved to place the Plan on the June Annual Meeting warrant for town consideration, seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor.
 

g) Discussion regarding expanding the Select Board from 3 members to 5 – Selectperson Billings stated that a couple of residents had suggested increasing the size of the Select Board from 3 members to 5 in an effort to provide better representation of the whole town. One resident noted that other Town Boards with less authority than the Select Board have five members. Selectperson Hobart stated that his experience shows that it is easier to get things done with a 3 member Board and that five members adds more bureaucracy and results in longer meetings. Chair Whittlesey wondered whether there would be the same level of engagement with a five member Board. After discussion, the Board asked the Manager to obtain information on the number of towns similar to the size of Bowdoinham with three member vs. five member Boards. Selectperson Billings stated that if the Board pursues changing the number, he recommends that it be put to referendum vote in November.


h) Discussion regarding changing the date of the municipal elections from June to November – Selectperson Billings stated that according to the information provided by the Maine Municipal Association, most towns have their municipal elections in November when there is larger voter turnout. Chair Whittlesey wondered if having the municipal election in November would make the municipal election secondary to the State and National election with fewer people informed of the local election. Also, with the November election a partisan election, would this make the municipal election more partisan? Selectperson Billings stated that the June election coincides with the party primaries, one of the most partisan elections. He also stated that in some primary elections one party may have a contested election bringing out many voters while the other party may have an uncontested election bringing out few voters. After further discussion on the pros and cons of changing the date of the municipal election, the Board decided to consider putting the issue to town meeting vote. Though the Board has the authority to choose the date of the election, the Board agreed that it should be decided by the legislative body in the form of an ordinance.
 

i) Discussion regarding skateboard park funds – Selectperson Billings requested this item on the agenda. Over $8,000 was raised by donations in memory of Matthew Parker along with additional fundraising. Also, $10,000 was raised and appropriated by the Town. The Manager stated that the combined $18,000 was not enough to build the Park. Also, after attempts to solicit residents to work on the Park, no one had come forward. It was agreed that the Town had an obligation to not have the funds just sit in an account. The Manager will contact the family of Matthew Parker to discuss how the Town can use the money in honor and memory of Matt.
 

j) Consideration to dispose and/or sell trailer/outbuilding formerly used as recycling facility currently located in parking lot of Recycling Barn – The Town Manager provided photos of the building for the Board’s review. It was decided that the Town had no use for the building and that the cost of moving the building may be greater than the amount from any sale of the building. Selectperson Hobart moved to give the building to David Berry, Solid Waste Manager at no cost provided he move the building and should Mr. Berry not want the building, the Public Works staff are directed to destroy the building at its present site keeping material for suitable for recycling income, seconded by Selectperson Billings. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 5: Old Business

a) Consideration to approve proposed revisions to the Land Use Ordinance as recommended by the Planning Board for June Annual Town Meeting warrant – Ellen Baum, Planning Board Chair reported that the proposed revisions were to clear up inconsistencies in the present ordinance. The town’s prior ordinance restricted building in the shoreland zone to 100 feet however, when the new ordinance was drafted and passed at last year’s town meeting, the 100 foot restriction was not consistently used. The intention was to keep the 100 foot setback and was unanimously approved by the Planning Board but a section of the new ordinance had a 75 foot setback. Also, the Planning Board recognized that it had limited expertise in regard to the proposed upgrade to the electrical distribution lines by Central Maine Power and therefore the proposed ordinance revisions limit the Board’s review authority over the upgrade while maintaining the timing of the construction and other impacts on the Town under the Board’s review authority.

The Select Board also discussed the need to update the town’s Comprehensive Plan. The Plan is ten years old and therefore needs to be updated. The updating process is typically a two year process and therefore needs to begin in the next fiscal year. Selectperson Billings expressed concern that there was no money in the draft budget for the Comprehensive Plan revision work. Chair Baum agreed that money was needed and that the work should begin in the next fiscal year. Selectperson Billings stated that he would bring the expenditure up at the next Finance Advisory Committee meeting.

Selectperson Billings moved to place the proposed changes to the Land Use Ordinance as approved by the Planning Board on the June Town Meeting warrant for town approval, seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 6: Town Manager’s Report

a) Town Manager Plan – At the request of the Select Board, the Town Manager reported that she had researched whether the Town had adopted the Town Manager Plan. The Town did adopt the Town Manager Plan at a Special Town Meeting on February 4, 1950 and that according to the Maine Municipal Association, any changes to the Plan subsequent to the Town’s adoption, would automatically become part of the town’s Plan.
b) Expense & Revenue Reports through March 2010 – The Manager presented the Expense and Revenues to date.
c) MDOT road and culvert work located on Rt. 138 (Post Road) between Main Street and Millay Road – The Manager reported that the road would be closed for ten days for culvert repair.

Item 7: Consent Items

a) Assessing Agent Personal Property Tax Abatement for the following:

Abatement Number 15 – Sullivan, John and Jessica, 19 Railroad Ave - $53.28 Tractor not owned by Sullivan’s

Selectperson Billings moved to approve Abatement Number 15 for $53.28, seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

b) Assessing Agent Real Estate Property Tax Supplement Assessment

Supplement Number 5 – Krechkin, Alexej A Jr. (Pers. Rep.), 596 Church Road, Augusta, Maine – Property location: Ridge Road, Map R03, Lot 20 - $909.04 – Farmland Withdrawal Penalty

Selectperson Billings moved to approve Supplement Number 5, seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 8: Consideration of FY10 Treasurer’s Warrant #19 – Accounts Payable: $52,745.94
Payroll (2/11/2010): $15,547.81
Total: $68,293.75

The Board reviewed Treasurer’s Warrant #19. Selectperson Billings moved to approve Warrant #19, seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 9: Selectperson’s Request for Agenda Items for next meeting (April 27, 2010) –

• Old Fire Station land

Item 10: Announce Future Meetings, Workshops, Events

• April 15 @ 6:00 pm – Finance Advisory Committee
• April 22 @ 6:30 pm – Finance Advisory Committee (tentative)
• 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 @ 6:30 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: Adjourn – Chair adjourned the meeting at 8:45 pm.