Chichester Board of Selectmen
Minutes of Meeting
September 13, 2012
Members present: Mike Paveglio, Jeff Jordan, Richard DeBold
Others present for all or part of the meeting: Nancy Tanner (Town Administrator), Jim Plunkett, Michelle Plunkett, Allen Mayville, Thomas Houle, Brandon Guida
Chairman Paveglio opened the meeting at 5:30pm.
Mr. Paveglio asked for this meeting so that he could review all the events of Mayflower Drive with the Board. Mr. Paveglio said he wanted to give the Board a chance to discuss it without public input so that the Board could put the subject to rest. Mr. Jordan said he was fine with that as long as the Road Agent and his attorney could speak. That was agreed to by all.
Mr. Paveglio expressed his displeasure about decision he feels were not made in the best interest of the town.
Mr. DeBold said he felt this subject had already been put to rest and then the Board received an email with a question of picture taking. He feels this meeting is a result of overreaction and paranoia.
Nancy was asked to prepare a summary of events prior to the meeting. This summary was reviewed. A copy was given to Attorney Guida. The summary is attached to the minutes as a record.
Mr. Paveglio said that he wanted to express his displeasure that we put gravel on a private road; that we had to make several trips of maintenance to fix the mess that was created; and with the hiring practices of seasonal employees. The hiring practices are being looked at by the Board and changes should be coming shortly.
Mr. DeBold is troubled by the Mayflower Drive events. He and Mr. Jordan agree that as far as the legal incident with the seasonal worker the Road Agent did not believe he was doing something wrong. Mr. DeBold is disappointed that the Police Chief did not contact the Road Agent and let him know what was going on.
Attorney Guida stated that he is troubled by the micromanaging of the Board. Mr. Guida said the problem is with the Police Chief and he spoke of another incident where in his opinion someone was charged inappropriately. He feels the Road Agent is doing a good job and it is the Police Chief that needs to be reined in.
Mr. Paveglio stated that the Police Chief is an employee and any performance discussions with him would be non-public.
Mr. DeBold spoke about the importance of trust among colleagues.
A motion by Mr. DeBold and seconded by Mr. Paveglio to adjourn the meeting at 6:04. Motion passes.
Approved when signed
_________________________ _____________________ ________________________
D. Michael Paveglio, Chairman Jeffrey Jordan Richard DeBold
I spoke to Nancy on the phone, She said Jamie Pike heard from anonymous sources that they saw a town truck dumping material on Mayflower Drive. We agreed that anonymous sources did us no good. However, Jamie had seen the town Trucks working at the lot across from Mike Williams (The Stone House) where it appeared fresh gravel like material was being excavated.
I ask Nancy to instruct Jamie to go to Mayflower Drive and take photos or either trucks dumping or of any recently activity. Jamie did take photos of fresh gravel like material that was recently dumped but he saw no trucks town or otherwise.
Nancy and I spoke again and it was decided she would contact Jim Plunkett and ask him if he had knowledge of Town Trucks dumping material on Mayflower Drive. Nancy and I spoke on the phone again and she told me Jim did not have any knowledge of this activity but he would check with his crew and get back to her. After Jim spoke to his crew he and Nancy spoke again which, per Nancy, he reported they both indicated they did not dump material on Mayflower Drive, I learned this from Nancy on our last conversation that day.
In the mean time I contacted Chris Weir as he lives on mayflower Drive, he told me he or his family was not home but he would be home later and call me back if he saw any town truck activity on Mayflower Drive, I did not hear back from Chris that day.
At this point I had no reason to suspect that the Town Trucks were dumping material on Mayflower Drive. So I took no further action.
I got a call from Nancy around 6:00pm or so, she said she had just heard from Chris Weir that he wanted to come to tonight’s Board Meeting and talk about the condition of Mayflower Drive and that he stated he saw the town truck dump material on Mayflower Drive last Thursday when he got home that day from work. He also told her Earl Weir saw them earlier that day and he would testify to us the same. Nancy told Chris that we did not have a meeting but she would let me know what he said.
After speaking to Nancy I drove up to Mayflower drive and met with Chris Weir. It should be noted that Mayflower Drive is a huge mess, it looks like new gravel was spread recently and it has grapefruit size rocks sticking out everywhere. I drove very slowly as any faster than 5mph would have damaged my vehicle. Chris told me when he got home he was outside smoking and “saw the Orange Town Truck pull in and dump a load of bank run type gravel”, he also said he did not recognize the driver. I asked he why he did not call me and he said he wanted to report this to the entire board. He also said he had a problem with they type of material dumped and he wanted it fixed. I told him to take that issue up with the Road Agent.
Around 9:45am I spoke to Jim Plunkett on the phone, I first told him to expect a visit from Chris Weir, Jim said he had already seen Chris that morning. He then proceeded to tell me that he had forgotten that he told his crew to dump material on Mayflower Drive when he spoke to Nancy last Tuesday. He also told me the reason he had the material dumped on Mayflower Drive was because he was planning on dumping ditching material from the Ricker Road project on Gil Vein’s property as well as Chris Weirs property and the Gravel dumped was free. He also said he told Chris Weir this morning that he would send the crew up there to fix the road so he would not damage his trucks when he delivers the ditching material. We spoke of many issues surrounding private roads, around the fact that maintaining a private road was not legal as well as the
fact that once we do we may have some responsibility to continue to do so. His point was that he did not believe what has happen so far constitutes “Maintaining the Road”. We also spoke about the possibility of the town taking over that road, I am not sure how I feel about that.
The bottom line is the fact that the Road Agent has authorized dumping Gravel on Mayflower Drive, using Town Equipment with Town Employees. He believes in good faith that what he is doing is not considered Maintenance. He is also planning on sending a crew up there to fix the rock situation, this will only serve to support that this is maintenance, I did not agree or disagree with his decision to do this.
I know we cannot make a decision without a public meeting but I think it best that he not do any further work on Mayflower Drive until the BOS has had a chance to discuss this with him as to limit our liability. There are also some inconsistencies with the fact that last Tuesday he told Nancy he talked to both his truck drivers and they told him they did not dump material on Mayflower drive and today he remembers he authorized it.
Wednesday 8/1/12 Selectmen’s meeting
Last week someone reported that the Town trucks had dumped gravel on Mayflower Drive, which is a private road. Jim said the whole thing stemmed from a request on Mayflower Drive for ditching material. He brought in the gravel so the trucks could travel the road to deliver the ditching material. There was a discussion about ditching material. Jim said that from now on he will no longer deliver ditching material to residents. The material will be screened and sold. Jim estimates this would generate about $5,000 in revenue for the Town.
Tuesday 8/7/12 Selectmen’s meeting
There was a follow-up discussion regarding Mayflower Drive (see minutes from 8/1). There was a discussion about where to dump ditching material. Mr. Paveglio is very concerned that the Town dumped gravel on Mayflower Drive, which is a private road. Mr. Plunkett stated his reasoning for dumping the gravel on Mayflower Drive was that the road was to rough for the trucks to dump ditching materials at Chris Weir’s house. He also stated as a result of this issue he is no longer going to dump ditching materials on any town resident’s property and that he would bring them all back to the town shed. Mr. Paveglio did not think that was a good decision; however it is the Road Agents decision to make at this time. Mr. Paveglio also noted that the gravel was dumped past Chris Weirs house, down to Gil Vien’s house a
highway department town employee. Mr. Jordan will look at Mayflower Drive before the next meeting.
Tuesday 9/4/12 Selectmen’s meeting
Chris Weir wanted to address the Selectmen about his road (Mayflower Drive). He wants the road fixed. He did go to the Road Agent with his concerns and he feels it was not taken care of. Chris heard he is being used as the reason for dumping gravel on Mayflower Drive and he wants to clarify that he never asked the Road Agent for ditching material. Jim Plunkett told him that Gil Vien is the one who asked for the ditching material. Chris said he did mention to Gil Vien about a year and a half ago that he could take some material, but never to the Road Agent. Chris said that he has not complained when the road has been occasionally plowed by the Town truck or when the Town truck is on the road for something other than town business. Chris said he watched three loads of gravel get dumped by the town
truck on Mayflower Drive. He said what they are left with is essentially a one lane road. Chris would like an apology for being used as a scapegoat. The Selectmen will discuss it at their next meeting with the Road Agent. Chris offered to be at the meeting; however the Selectmen did not feel that was necessary. The Selectmen agree that the road should be fixed. There was a brief discussion about whether or not the Town should take the road over.