2009-04-28 Select Board Meeting Minutes

Town of Bowdoinham
Minutes Select Board Meeting
April 28, 2009

Present: Ellen Baum, Ed Friedman, Kathleen McGee, Paul Beltramini, Todd Woofenden, Pete Galle, George Christopher, Brent Zachau, Richard Morin, Dan Billings, Kathy Durgin-Leighton

Non resident present: Nicole Briand

Item 1: Call the meeting to order – Chair Ciembroniewicz called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm. All members were present: Chair Ciembroniewicz, Selectperson Whittlesey, & Selectperson Dorr

Item 2: Consideration of the minutes from April 7, 2009 – The Board reviewed the minutes. Selectperson Dorr moved to approve the minutes as amended, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 3: Comments from the Public – Ed Friedman asked by what authority the Harbor Master had in issuing mooring permits outside of the inner harbor. He asked if the Town had an ordinance allowing for permitting and assessing fees. The Town Manager stated that the Harbor Master was enforcing the Rules of the Harbor established by the Board of Selectmen. A question was asked on the enforcement power of a rule that is established by the Board of Selectmen when assessing fees versus an ordinance that is enacted at a town meeting. The Town Manager agreed to ask Maine Municipal Association for its opinion and to get back to the Board and Mr. Friedman.

Item 4: New Business

A. Consideration to accept resignation of Bruce Ross as Local Health Officer – Selectperson Dorr moved to accept the resignation of Bruce Ross with gratitude for his work, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

B. Consideration to appoint Rebecca Miller as Local Health Officer effective April 28, 2009 through June 30, 2012. Selectperson Whittlesey moved to appoint Rebecca Miller as Local Health Officer, seconded by Selectperson Dorr. Ed Friedman asked about process and asked if it might be better to advertise the position rather than to accept an applicant based on a resume. Kathy Durgin-Leighton stated that the position has increased responsibilities that far outweigh the benefit of $325/year. Selectperson Whittlesey acknowledged Mr. Friedman’s concern as a valid point in regard to process however recommended the appointment of Ms. Miller given the present need of a LHO. Selectperson Dorr agreed. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

C. LUPC Presentation on proposed land use ordinances for town meeting consideration –Todd Woofenden, Chair of the Land Use Planning Committee gave a presentation to the Board on the proposed land use articles. Discussion ensued from members of the public present:

Richard Morin –River Road resident stated that he disagreed with the addition of streams to the stream protection zone. He stated that one of the streams added runs through his property and the proposed regulations does not leave many options for the use of the land.

Selectperson Whittlesey asked what rationale was given to changing the Timber Harvesting rules. Ellen Baum, member of the LUPC replied that a State forester attended one of the LUPC meetings and recommended that the town not adopt more stringent rules than the states since it makes if more difficult to determine if timber harvesting is being done correctly when rules change from town to town. The decision to adopt less stringent rules than the current rules, according to Mr. Woofenden, was not a unanimous decision. Ms. Baum stated that the present harvesting rules have been difficult to enforce uniformly due to the Code Enforcement Officers’ lacking the expertise in timber harvesting. The LUPC has been assurances from the Maine Forest Service that they will regulate the rules. Also, according to the Maine Forest Service, timber harvesting is more of an art than a science.

Chair Ciembroniewicz asked what the decision making process was in deciding to go with two articles versus one article. Mr. Woofenden stated that some members of the LUPC believed that if the ordinance was presented as one article it may not pass because of the proposed districting. The decision was therefore to go with two different articles.

Chair Ciembroniewicz asked if all of the subcommittees had an opportunity to have public input. Mr. Woofenden replied that there were two hearings on the entire land use ordinance that included the shoreland and districting plan. Chair Ciembroniewicz asked if changes were made to the proposed ordinance as a result of the public hearings. Mr. Woofenden replied that yes there were changes made including the removal of stream crossings.

Selectperson Whittlesey asked if other options had been considered by the LUPC in regard to the number of articles. Also, on proposals where there was no consensus, was there consideration to hold off on the ordinance for another time? Mr. Woofenden replied that the decision was for two ordinances and to propose the ordinance for town meeting.

Dan Billings, Millay Road resident commented that it was important to recognize that the proposed ordinance is a huge change from what the town currently has. He further stated that because of the change, it was important to allow for time for people to digest it. He suggested that where the LUPC was now in the process is where it needed to be six months ago. Also, districting as well as important policy changes are imbedded in the land use ordinance that raise issues from people from all different perspectives and therefore needed to be given more time to present to the public. Mr. Billings also stated that he had questions regarding the way the public hearings were held and that there was some misinformation given at the first public hearing in regard to the addition of streams to the shoreland zone stream protection district.

Pete Galle - Millay Road resident stated that he attended the majority of the meetings and that there was more agreement about the village district than the other districts. He also stated that the neighborhoods need to be engaged and not just through public meetings.

Kathleen McGee – Wildes Road resident stated that she was in agreement with Mr. Billings in that more time is needed to sell the changes. She also stated that she was concerned with the changes in the timber harvesting rules. She asked the Select Board to allow for more time and to be more involved in the process.

George Christopher – White Road resident asked if the Board delayed the ordinance from going to town meeting, would it give more time to explain the bigger concept?

Todd Woofenden stated that he disagreed with the premise that there was not enough opportunity for public input.

Chair Ciembroniewicz asked what would happen if the ordinance did not pass at town meeting.

Todd Woofenden replied that in his opinion the town would end up with a worse ordinance than what is being proposed in that the current ordinances are worse than what is being proposed.

Selectperson Dorr moved to place the Land Use article (Article 1) on the June 10, 2009 town meeting warrant, seconded by Whittlesey.

Discussion – Selectperson Dorr asked how many people attended the public hearings. Mr. Woofenden replied that 20 attended the shoreland, 40 attended the first public hearing and 30 attended the second public hearing with approximately 50% as repeated attendees. Selectperson Dorr asked Ms. Briand, the Town Planner and CEO if she thought that the ordinances were ready to go to town meeting. Ms. Briand replied that the Land Use Ordinance was ready but that the District Ordinance while a good plan had not gone through all of the community meetings that the subcommittees had intended it to go through. She agreed that the public needed to be better informed of the Districting plan.
Selectperson Whittlesey asked if the necessary outreach could be done before June 10th. He suggested that a good document with a few changes can go a long way. Chair Ciembroniewicz stated that more time would be helpful and didn’t believe that six weeks was enough time for the town to have a good understanding of the ordinance. The vote was 2-1 in favor of the motion (Whittlesey, Dorr – Ciembroniewicz)

Selectperson Dorr moved to place the Districting Amendment (Article 2) on the June 10 Town Meeting warrant, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 5: Old Business -

A. Appointments to Ad Hoc Committee to examine the issue of spreading sewage sludge on agricultural lands – Tabled to next meeting.

Item 6: Town Manager’s Report

A. Pandemic Flu Plan - The Manager reported that due to the recent outbreak of the H1N1 flu, the staff was reviewing its Pandemic Flu Plan in order to update the information.
B. Annual Report – The Annual Report is near completion with the exception of the Warrant and Dedication. The Report will be printed no later than June 2.
C. 3rd Quarter Revenues, Expenses, and Excise Tax Report – The Manager presented the 3rd Quarter reports.

Item 7: Consent Item

A. Assessing Agent Property Tax Abatement requests:

David Lynch, 56 Hemlock Lane, R03-010-D, $99.16 – 3.29 acres reduced to 1.40 acres. Selectperson Dorr moved to approve the abatement, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 8: Selectperson’s Request for Agenda Items for next meeting (May 7, 2009)

Item 9: Consideration of Treasurer’s Warrant #31 – Selectperson Dorr moved to approve Treasurer’s Warrant #31, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 10: Executive Session pursuant to 1 M.R.S.A. § 405(6)(C) to discuss the acquisition of real property or economic development – Selectperson Whittlesey moved to enter into Executive Session, seconded by Selectperson Dorr. The vote was 3-0 in favor. Selectperson Whittlesey moved to exit from Executive Session, seconded by Selectperson Dorr. The vote was 3-0 in favor. There was no decision or action taken in executive session. Selectperson Dorr moved to authorize the town manager to execute a check in the amount of $1,000 for the purpose of real estate escrow, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 11: Announce Future Meetings, Workshops, Events

• April 27, 2009 @ 6:00 pm – Public Hearing on Replacing Harward Bridge with RR crossing
• April 29, 2009 @ 6:30 pm – I-295 Closing Informational Session -(MDOT)
• May 7, 2009 @ 6:30 pm – Finance Advisory Committee presents budget recommendation to Select Board
• May 12, 2009 @ 6:30 pm – Regular Select Board meeting followed by Public Hearing on proposed budget and town meeting warrant

Item 12: Chair Ciembroniewicz adjourn the meeting at 10:35 pm.