2012-11-13 Select Board Meeting Minutes


Town of Bowdoinham

Select Board Meeting

November 13, 2012 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, M. Theresa Turgeon, Kathy Tome and Douglas Tourtelotte were present.  Board member Kathy Gallant was absent. Staff present included Town Manager William Post.  George Christopher was also present.


2.         Election of Officers


  1. Chair of Select Board


Select Board member Tourtelotte nominated Brain Hobart to serve as chair, seconded by Board member Tome. No other nominations were presented.


Brian Hobart was elected Chair of the Select Board by a vote of 4 – 0.


  1. Vice-Chair


Chair Hobart asked for nominations. Tourtelotte nominated Theresa Turgeon, seconded by Brian Hobart. There were no other nominations.


M. Theresa Turgeon was elected Vice-Chair of the Select Board by a vote of 4 – 0.


3.         Public Hearing on the General Assistance Ordinance Appendix C concerning updated housing maximums


            Chair Hobart opened the public hearing at 5:32 p.m.


The Manager stated that each year, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in conjunction with the Maine Municipal Association reviews and updates the maximum allowed amounts of general assistance available in each category, such as overall allowed, housing, food, etc. This year there is only one change to Appendix C of the General Assistance Ordinance concerning allowed amounts for housing. All other amounts remain the same.  The maximum allowed for housing has increased by $1.00 for Bowdoinham.


There were no public comments and Chair Hobart closed the public hearing at 5:34 p.m.


On motion of Tourtelotte/Turgeon, the Board voted 4 – 0 to approve Appendix C for the General Assistance Ordinance as presented.



4.         Amendments to the Agenda – None


5.         Approve Consent Calendar

            A.  Regular Meeting Minutes of October 23, 2012

            B.   Warrants & Financial Reports:

                  1.   Treasurer’s Warrant #25 for $313,839.63

            C.  Reports and Communications

                  1.   Sheriff’s October Incident Report


            On motion of Tourtelotte/Hobart, the Board voted 4 – 0 to approve the consent              calendar as presented.


6.         Action Items


  1. Act on Creation of Advisory Committee on Aging


On motion of Tourtelotte/Hobart, the Board voted 4 – 0 to create the Advisory Committee on Aging.


B.         Act on By-Laws for Advisory Committee on Aging


The Manager stated that he reviewed the by-laws and made a small change: in section II, third paragraph, he added language for staggered terms for the initial appointments. The unofficial committee reviewed and approved the by-laws at their last meeting.


On motion of Tourtelotte/Tome, the Board voted 4 – 0 to approve the By-Laws for the Advisory Committee on Aging.


C.        Act on Appointments for Advisory Committee on Aging


The Manager provided a list of volunteers and terms for the committee appointments. The recommended appointments are: Linda Jariz and Theresa Turgeon for one-year terms; Martha Cushing and Peggy Muir for two-year terms; Gracia Woodward, George Christopher and Judy Gray for three-year terms; and Neal Brown and Ann Davis for three-year terms as alternates.


On motion of Tourtelotte/Tome, the Board voted 4 – 0 to approve the appointments to the Advisory Committee on Aging as submitted.


D.        Act on Appointment of Elaine Diaz to the Solid Waste Committee


The Manager stated that Elaine Diaz has volunteered to serve on this committee after talking with David Berry.


On motion of Tourtelotte/Turgeon, the Board voted 4 – 0 to appoint Elaine Diaz to the Solid Waste Committee for a term ending June 30, 2015.

  7.       Discussion Items


  1. Newsletter Policy (First Review)


The Manager stated that he drafted a Newsletter Policy to guide what is published in the Newsletter and to set advertising rates. The Town has not had a policy before this. The Town attorney is in the process of reviewing the policy, so there may be changes to it to come but he would like the Board’s input on the first draft of the policy.


Board member Turgeon asked who has final editorial authority. The Manager stated that he does, but that he can ask the Board for the advice.


Board member Tome asked why the town attorney needs to review the policy. The Manager explained that there is a difference between freedom of speech and government speech according to the courts. If the Town does not have a policy regarding what can be published in the newsletter, then anything can be published under freedom of speech. However, if we have a policy, then what is published is considered government speech and submissions can be edited, or not published at the Town’s discretion. The attorney needs to review the policy to ensure it meets the tests of the courts in previous cases. The intent of the policy is to ensure that the Town can edit, or not publish submittals that are advocating for one candidate over another or one position over another or that provide partisan viewpoints on any issue. The newsletters purpose is to provide community information about community events or information that will benefit the community in general.



8.         Town Manager’s Report


The Manager stated that the trackless equipment for sidewalk snow removal was delivered last Friday. The public works crew was trained on its use and representatives from H.P. Fairfield will be returning to answer questions and provide additional training after the employees have had a chance to drive the equipment. In addition, the company did not have a reconditioned snow blower, so they delivered a new snow blower. The difference in cost is about $3,500 to $4,000, but there is no additional charge to the Town for the new snow blower.


The shoulder work on Millay Road should be finished this week by the Public Works Department.


The Manager will be at the Maine Municipal Associations’ Legislative Policy Committee meeting all day on Wednesday. This meeting is to decide on MMA’s legislative agenda for the next legislative session. The Manager has asked that the focus be on increasing state aid for education and to return to the original municipal revenue sharing formula. If both of these areas were funded adequately, then local property taxes could be reduced.




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


10.       Announce Future Meetings, Workshops, Events


A.  Select Board Meetings

1.  November 27th – Regular Meeting

2.  December 11th – Regular Meeting

            B.   Cable/Internet Committee Meeting – November 15th, 6:30 p.m. Coombs Building

            C.  Planning Board Meeting November 15th 6:00 p.m. Coombs Building

            D.  Community Development Advisory Committee Meeting November 20th 6:30 p.m. Coombs Building

            E.   Energy Committee Meeting November 20th 5:30 p.m. Coombs Building


11.       Comments from Select Board Members


            Select Board member Tome stated that she has scheduled an information meeting about creating a food pantry for November 29th at 6:00 p.m. at the Community School. She asked the Manager to add this meeting to the Town’s website.


            Select Board member Turgeon stated that she wanted to thank everyone involved with the veterans’ celebration and rededication of the park. She will be wiring a letter-to-the-editor to express her appreciation.


            Turgeon stated that the Advisory Committee on Aging had discussed using the Masonic building, but that is no longer an option. The Committee will be using the Second Baptist Church for a community space and the church has also offered the use of their van for transportation for seniors.  She also stated that the Manager has suggested that the new Recreation Director may be able to work one or two hours per week with the seniors and there may be some funding available in the Recreation budget. She appreciates the support from town staff.


            Chair Hobart suggested that the next newsletter include recognition for the volunteers involved with the veterans’ celebration. 


12.       Comments from the Public


            George Christopher stated that the Recreation Director is already at the Village Elders lunch so he is hoping that she will spend another hour after the lunch. The church van is being donated with a driver and with insurance. The employees at the Recycling Barn are looking out for scrabble games and puzzles for the seniors to use.


13.       Adjourn


            The meeting adjourned by acclamation at 6:05 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