2011-10-25 Select Board Meeting Minutes

MINUTES

Town of Bowdoinham

Select Board Meeting

October 25, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.

 

Item 1:  Call the Meeting to Order & Establishment of a Quorum

Meeting called to order and quorum established by Chairman Hobart at 6:30 p.m.  Selectmen Brian Hobart, Dan Billings and Doug Tourtelotte present.  Staff present included Town Manager William Post, Assessors’ Agent Ron Beal and Assessors’ Clerk Dotty Baker. Approximately eight members of the public were also present.     

Item 2: Public Hearing on Special Town Meeting Article 3: Shall an ordinance entitled

“Ordinance for the Recall of Elected Municipal Officers” be enacted for the Town of Bowdoinham pursuant to 30-A M.R.S. Section 2602(6)?

Chair Hobart opened the public hearing at 6:30 p.m. and asked for public comment on the proposed ordinance.

George Christopher stated that one concern he has about the proposed ordinance is the unintended consequences that Board members may not vote in the best interests of the Town because of the fear of a recall vote, and will vote in a different manner on a particular issue.

Selectperson Billings stated that he is generally ambivalent on the idea of recall ordinances, but Mr. Christopher’s concern is legitimate. He stated that he is comfortable with the ordinance as it has been through a number of revisions.

Christopher asked if there was any language that could be added to address his concern.  Selectperson Billings stated that Selectperson Tourtelotte and Theresa Turgeon tried to address this concern with the language under “grounds for recall” so that the discussion about why any official was being recalled would be focused.  He also stated that the procedures in place in the ordinance make it somewhat difficult to recall an official.

Theresa Turgeon stated that, as part of the process of writing the ordinance, she looked at a number of ordinances in other towns and tried to make it somewhat difficult to recall an official. She stated that it is important to have a process in place to make selectmen accountable.

Christopher reiterated his point.  Selectperson Billings stated that unless recall reasons are limited to very specific actions such as missing meetings or committing crimes, then it is a political process.

There were no further public comments. Chairperson Hobart closed the public hearing at 6:39 p.m.

Item 3.Amendments to the Agenda - None

Item 4:  Comments from the Public - None

Item 5:  Approval of Minutes

 

  1. October 11, 2011

Selectperson Billings noted that his statement on the discussion of the Solid Waste Committee, he stated that the committee’s work was not completed, so the word “not” needs to be added.

On Motion of Tourtelotte/Billings, the Board voted 3 – 0 to approve the minutes of October 11, 2011 as amended.

Item 6:  Business Items:

 

  1. Presentation of Fiscal Year 2011 Audit Report by Smith & Associates

 

Representatives from Smith & Associates presented the FY2011 Audit report to the Board.  The audit is a clean audit, but there were a few things noted by the auditors.

The audit does not include a Management Discussion and Analysis (MDA, which is common for smaller municipalities. Journal entries and corrections should be reviewed, approved and dated by someone other than the individual posting the entries. Department heads should approve employee hours when the hours are not documented on a time sheet and personnel files should contain record of pay rate changes for historical purposes. The auditing firm prepared the financial statements, which is listed as a weakness, but this is very common for a town the size of Bowdoinham simply because there is not enough staff to be able to handle this function.

The auditors stated that the undesignated fund balance increased by approximately $100,000 to $993,221, and is very healthy for Bowdoinham. 

Next year, the Town may need to have a single audit prepared, as the sidewalk grant funding is federal funding and the auditors will need to ensure that the Town complied with various federal requirements, including the Davis-Bacon Act.

The Town should have a fund balance policy as well.  Selectperson Billings stated that the Town does have a fund balance policy, but it needs to be updated.

Town Manager Post responded that he is reviewing journal entries and corrections and approving them.  In addition, he has implemented a new time sheet and ensures that all department heads review and approve their employees’ hours, and he reviews and approves all employees’ time sheets.  He also has created and implemented a payroll change form that documents changes in pay rates, among other things, and those are placed in personnel files.  He stated that he expects to write a Management Discussion and Analysis for the next audit as he has done these before in other municipalities.

 

Selectperson Billings stated that the fund balance is healthy, despite the use of the fund balance in the past year, and the fact that seven or eight years ago the fund balance was around $40,000.

 

The auditor representatives then referred to a handout they prepared which discusses some of the changes in terms for the various funds as required by GASB 54.

 

The Board thanked the auditors for their presentation.

 

  1. Act on Property Tax abatement #3 in the amount of $323.39

 

Assessors’ Agent Ron Beal stated that this abatement is because the land he assessed to Shawn and Christine Lamoreau was actually sold to the Nature Conservancy.     

 

On motion of Billings/Tourtelotte, the Board voted 3 - 0 to approve Property Tax Abatement #3 for Shawn and Christine Lamoreau in the amount of $323.39.

 

  1. Act on Property Tax abatement #4 in the amount of $115.44

 

Assessors’ Agent Beal stated that this abatement is for a building that he assessed as a cabin, but actually is a shed that is used as a cabin. The owners provided photos and dimensions documenting the building. 

 

On motion of Billings/Tourtelotte, the Board voted 3 - 0 to approve Property Tax Abatement #4 for Norman Noble Jr., Nanci Temple and Lisa Bean in the amount of $115.44.

 

  1. Act on Property Tax abatement #5 in the amount of $37.00

 

Assessors’ Agent Beal stated that the outbuildings he assessed for this property were actually on the neighboring property.

 

On motion of Tourtelotte/Billings, the Board voted 3- 0 to approve Property Tax Abatement #5 for Doreen Watson in the amount of $37.00.

 

  1. Act on Public Works Foreman Job Description

 

The Town Manager stated that he has drafted a job description for the position of Public Works Foreman as he believes that the position of Public Works Director is not needed for the Town. He believes that as Road Commissioner, the Town can find a qualified person for foreman that will not have as many administrative duties as the outgoing Public Works Director had. 

Selectperson Billings asked if the position will be salary or hourly and what pay rates the manager expects.  The Manager stated that the position is non-exempt by FLSA standards, which means it is hourly and that the pay rate would be less than they were paying the Public Works Director, but would depend on qualifications of the individual selected.

 

On motion of Tourtelotte/Billings, the Board voted 3- 0 to approve the Public Works Foreman job description as presented.

 

  1. Act on Award of Winter Road Maintenance Contract

     

The Town Manager stated that the Town received two bids for the three-year contract. The low bidder is MJF Enterprises of Bowdoinham at $12,000 for the first year, $12,500 for the second, and $13,000 for the third year.

 

On motion of Tourtelotte/Billings, the Board voted 3- 0 to award the Winter Road Maintenance Contract to MJF Enterprises for three years.

 

Item 7:  Town Manager’s Report

The Manager reported that Carrie Genest of Auburn has been hired for the position of Assistant Town Clerk/Assistant Tax Collector and began work on Monday. She has experience as a deputy clerk in the City of Auburn and Towns of Monmouth and Wales.

The Manager stated that the sidewalk project has been moving along well and the contractor expects that River Road will be done this week, depending on the weather.  They will then begin construction on Main Street October 31st. The contractor also expects to put the final pavement down on Center Street this week or early next week.

 

Item 8:  Consideration of FY12 Treasurer’s Warrant #21 for $680,525.56

 

On motion of Billings/Tourtelotte, the Board voted 3 – 0 to approve Treasurer’s Warrant #21.

Chair Hobart noted that the warrant included the county tax payment of over $400,000 and the school assessment.

 

Item 9:  Selectperson’s Request for Agenda Items for next meeting (November 1, 2011) – None

 

Item 10:  Announce Future Meetings, Workshops, Events

 

  1. Selectmen’s Meetings-
    • November 1st– Regular Meeting
    • November 15th – Regular Meeting

 

  1. November 8th– Election Day and Special Town Meeting by Referendum

 

Item 11:   Convene in Executive Session pursuant to 1 M.R.S. §405(E) to discuss a legal matter

 

               On motion of Billings/Tourtelotte, the Board voted 3 – 0 to enter into executive session at 7:07 p.m. to discuss a legal matter pursuant to 1 M.R.S. §405(E).

 

               On motion of Billings/Tourtelotte, the Board voted 3 – 0 to convene in regular session at 7:17 p.m.

 

               On motion of Billings/Tourtelotte, the Board voted 3 – 0 to authorize the Town Manager to send a letter to the Town’s insurance company providing the Town’s consent to settle a pending legal matter up to the Town’s insurance limit and authorize the payment of the insurance deductible.

 

Item 12: Adjourned at 7:18 p.m.

 

 

 

Board of Selectpersons                                                                        

Town of Bowdoinham, Maine  

Brian Hobart, Chair

Daniel Billings

Douglas Tourtelotte

Respectfully submitted,

William S. Post, Town Manager