Chichester Board of Selectmen
Minutes of Meeting
December 15, 2009
Members present: Stephen MacCleery, Jeffrey Jordan, and Richard DeBold
Others Present: Nancy Tanner (Town Administrator), Richard Halloran, John Martell, Mike Paveglio, Stephen Stock, Alan Mayville, Jim Plunkett, Michele Plunkett, Walter Sanborn, Thomas Houle, Bruce Dyke, Norm LaRochelle, Jason Weir, Scott, Marsden, Matt Cole, Kristina Cole
Chairman MacCleery opened the meeting at 7:00PM.
Highway: Overall the highway budget is down about five (5) percent. Mr. Plunkett has added money to the conference line to allow for more training. Mr. Plunkett explained that the road sign line item has increased and will continue to do so as he begins to replace the signs and bring the Town into compliance with new regulations.
There was discussion about line 4312-26 for tools and supplies this line has been overspent in the past; however, Mr. Plunkett did not feel he would overspend that line again.
One of the maintenance lines was overspent; however, much of that expense was recouped with insurance. Discussion took place as to the correct way to book the expense and revenue. Nancy will look into this issue.
Mr. Plunkett will be addressing some safety issues with the shed.
The line for gravel was decreased and alternatively the line for asphalt was increased. There was much discussion as to the reasoning behind this.
Mr. Plunkett is trying to keep the Highway budget a maintenance budget and have the big ticket items appear as warrant articles.
The proposed warrant articles were discussed. Perry Brook Road was not on the CIP for 2010 and was removed from the list of articles.
The Budget Committee asked Mr. Plunkett to provide a breakdown of fuel used by gallons.
Mr. Paveglio liked how the maintenance for each vehicle was broken out by vehicle and he would like to see the same format with the other departments.
Selectmen: The line for Office Assistant Salary was increased due to a need for an increase in hours for the Office Assistant.
Line 4130-92 $500 for Building Code books should be moved to the Building Inspectors category.
There was a decrease in the assessment line. This is because the town is not doing revaluation work this year. The contract was put out to bid.
Nancy reported a savings of approximately $74 due to the lighting upgrade in the Town Office building. Nancy will look into having the same service done at the safety building.
The Selectmen received another donation request. Bruce Dyke will look at what other towns are doing for donations.
Nancy will have revenue figures for the budget committee at the next meeting.
Nancy will obtain fuel usage by gallon by department by the next meeting.
Nancy will look into getting better pricing on diesel and propane possibly by pooling.
Matt Cole: Mr. Cole asked to speak with the Selectmen regarding fire incidents he read about in the November 24th and December 1st minutes. Mr. Cole inquired as to why he was not asked to come to the meeting at which these fires were discussed as he was involved in the incident. The Selectmen did not feel it was necessary for Mr. Cole to come to the meeting as the issue at the time was a bill owed to the town by a resident. When the resident came to the Selectmen’s meeting she did discuss the events of her fire. The Selectmen told Mr. Cole that had they decided to do an investigation they may have asked Mr. Cole to come in, but this incident did not become an investigation on the part of the Selectmen. Mr. MacCleery explained the events that lead up to Ms. Brown coming to a Selectmen’s meeting
at length starting with the overdue bill. There seemed to be confusion as to why Mr. Cole was frustrated.
Mr. Stock then told the Selectmen that he had shared information with Mr. Cole that was discussed in last week’s nonpublic session. Mr. MacCleery was very upset that Mr. Stock had taken nonpublic issues made them public and breached the public’s trust. Mr. MacCleery expressed his disappointment. Mr. DeBold and Mr. Jordan agreed with the feelings of Mr. MacCleery. Warden Stock said he was very sorry to have violated the town’s trust, but he felt as a department head that Mr. Cole needed to know what was said.
Mr. Cole wanted to give his side of the story for the public minutes. He reported spending about 45 minutes trying to catch up with Ms. Brown to give her the permit to burn. He said he had knowledge of Ms. Brown having previous unattended fires. When he swung onto Ferrin Road he discovered the unattended fire. He reported having his pickup truck with the warning light flashing. He felt that if Ms. Brown saw him raking up coals she should have seen his truck. He said that he was not trying to get the fire going, but he was attempting to suppress the fire with the tools he had available. He reported seeing several areas with smoke, but not flames and he worked to suppress the fires until forestry arrived.
In an incident on route 4 Mr. Cole explained that he had issued a permit to a man who was burning for someone else. On his way to work in the evening Mr. Cole noticed that the piles were still smoldering, but did not stop to check it out. It was raining and he thought the rain would take care of it. However, on his way home from work he saw that the piles were still smoking, unattended, and it was nearing the 9am hour when the fire has to be extinguished. When he checked the pile he also found a substantial amount of illegal material in the pile. He called the Warden and had Fire toned. No personnel responded to the tone. Mr. Cole got the engine and put out the fire by himself. Mr. MacCleery asked if it was customary to respond to a fire call with only one person. Mr. Cole explained that
you have to assess the risk. For example, at a house fire one person would not be enough.
Ms. Cole stated that she feels when there is an issue at a meeting both parties should be given opportunity to explain even when there is no investigation so that both sides are in the record.
Mr. MacCleery made a motion seconded by Mr. Jordan pursuant to RSA 31:95-b, the Board of Selectmen shall accept and expend unanticipated funds in the amount of $550.00 received from the St. Stephens Episcopal Church and Sparks Fly Fireworks in support of the Food Pantry. Said funds to be made payable to the Food Pantry Coordinator, Donna Chagnon. It shall be the responsibility of the Food Pantry Coordinator to maintain an accurate record of all funds, detailing their expenditure, and that such records shall be made available upon request. Motion passes.
There was discussion as to whether or not there should be a line item in the budget for the food pantry for $1.00.
The Selectmen received a letter from the Library Trustees to the Historical Society. It states the Library Trustees have agreed that the Carrigan State of New Hampshire map would be more accessible to the public at the Chichester Historical Society. Therefore, we have no objection to the 5-foot by 4-foot map and wooden case being carefully removed from the Library office. Final approval for its removal must be granted by the Board of Selectmen. The Historical Society is responsible for obtaining the Board’s approval.
Mr. MacCleery made a motion seconded by Mr. Jordan to approve the relocation of the map. Motion Carries.
Mr. Houle inquired about some roads that were plowed late during the last storm. Mr. MacCleery said he was not happy with the plowing either. Mr. MacCleery said that he received a phone call from someone about the roads and he called the Road Agent. Mr. Plunkett explained to Mr. MacCleery that he had trucks that were stuck and other equipment problems which caused the road crew to get behind. There was discussion about putting the wings on the plow trucks and the unfrozen condition of the dirt roads.
Nancy let the Selectmen know if the lighting upgrade is taken from the facilities fund and not the equipment fund there will be a shortage in the fund for the allocation of the PD renovations. Nancy will research.
Nancy explained that she was able to talk with Chief Clarke regarding the Holiday Pay Policy. He felt the intent of the policy was to ensure the employees would be paid for Holidays. His suggestion was to pay the employees for the Holiday, scheduled work day or not. Mr. Plunkett was going to make some phone calls and do research. The Selectmen will discuss the issue again next week.
The Selectmen asked Nancy to call the LGC attorney regarding the public disclosure of nonpublic minutes.
Accounts payable and payroll were approved.
A motion by Mr. DeBold and seconded by Mr. Jordan to adjourn the meeting at 9:41 pm. Motion passes.
____________________________ ___________________________ __________________________
Stephen MacCleery, Sr., Chairman Jeffrey Jordan Richard DeBold