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Town Organization Minutes 09/07/2006
Chichester Town Organization Committee
Meeting Minutes

Meeting Date:   September 7, 2006
Minutes Prepared By:  Bruce Dyke
In Attendance:  Heather Barker, Bruce Dyke , Norm Laracelle & Paul Twomey

-       The meeting started at 7:30pm
-       A review of the Committee’s scope/charter as approved during the last Town Meeting was reviewed.
-       Overall timing for the group’s report to the Selectmen (due in November) was discussed.
-       The size of the Committee was discussed and the potential of adding more participants was deemed worthwhile.  It was unclear as to how many people signed-up for the committee after Town Meeting.  However, it was believed to be more than the five people named to the Committee.  Bruce was to see if the original list was available at the Selectmen’s Office.   The list of people who signed the original petition for the Warrant Article was also identified as a potential source of additional participants. One or two additional committee members was thought to be desirable if interested participants could be found.
-       A review of town departments/groups and their corresponding (approximate) budget impact for FY2006 took place, which included the following summary:
ß       Police Department       $309,000
ß       Fire Department $102,200
ß       Ambulance               $75,600
ß       Highway Department  $559,000
ß       Historic Commission     $6,400
ß       Trash Disposal  $91,200
ß       Conservation            $31,000
ß       Planning/Zoning $31,500
ß       Cemetary                $15,000
ß       Cable Franchise $ TBD
ß       Library                 $42,000
ß       Building Inspector      $4,600
ß       Emergency Mgmnt $3,500
ß       Parks/Recreation        $6,600

-       Due to time constraints with respect to providing a report to the Selectmen as well as recognizing the minimal opportunity for any savings associated with several smaller town departments, the Committee decided to formally pursue the following areas (at least initially):

ß       Fire Dept.
ß       Police Dept.
ß       Library
ß       Cable Franchise
ß       Highway Dept.

-       Although the Cable Franchise doesn’t represent a department, it’s  believed that potential added value could be gained by reviewing the contract.  Paul indicated that he thought George Kraus was involved with the negotiation of the agreement.  Bruce was going to confirm the name with the Selectmen’s office.
-       The planned approach for this review effort will consist of the following:
ß       Initial group meeting with each department head, as defined in the prior bullet) on September 21st.  This will be to review the overall project scope, timing and to gather initial input from each Department Head.
ß       Specific follow-up and information gathering by Committee members, with additional interaction with town departments as required.  This will occur during the last week of September and first half of October.  Committee members will split-up the various departments in order to better utilize the combined resources of the relatively small group.
ß       Follow-up meeting(s) with Department Heads during the second half of October to review findings and potential options to be pursued.
ß       Project overview and recommendations provided to Selectmen during the first half of November.
ß       Additional follow-up/research as may be requested by the Selectmen after recommendations have been provided.

-       At least two Committee members will be assigned to each department identified for review for the purpose of detailed information gathering and identifying potential change recommendations.  Initial thoughts on department assignments, keeping in mind additional Committee members are desired are:
ß       Fire Department  - Norm & Allen
ß       Police Department – Heather & Bruce
ß       Library  - Bruce & TBD
ß       Cable Franchise - Bruce
ß       Highway Department – Paul & TBD

           Note:  Norm will review the current cooperative agreements involving the town Rescue  
  Squad for informational purposes only.

-       Sources of reference information that may be useful to Committee members during their research was discussed.  Known sources include a employee position and salary reference book produced by the Dept of Revenue Admin. which is maintained in the Selectmen’s office (Bruce will borrow the book for review in the next meeting).  The DRA may also have other information available and someone should contact them to verify.  Paul indicated that other sources of information were likely available and he planned to research any such options.

-       It was decided that Committee meetings will likely be held on Tuesdays at 7:15pm.  

-       The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 19th at 7:15pm.  Meeting location TBD.

-       Meeting adjourned at 8:45pm

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