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Town Organization Minutes 10/19/2006
Chichester Town Organization Committee
Meeting Minutes

Meeting Date:   October 19, 2006
Minutes Prepared By:  Bruce Dyke
In Attendance:  Paul Adams, Lisa Drouse, Bruce Dyke, Norm Larachelle, Allen
Not in Attendance:  Lou Barker & Paul Twomey
Location:  Selectmen’s Office Conference Room
Minutes Approved:  TBA

      -    The meeting started at 7:15pm

      -    Draft minutes of the 10/12/06 meeting were reviewed and approved after slight modification to the items dealing with obtaining growth projections and Town Reports from our neighboring towns.

      -        The status of potential, external resources that may be available to the Committee during their research process was reviewed:
               -    Local Government Center:  Awaiting update from Paul T.
-    Fire Chief’s Association:  Norm will attempt to contact them directly.  
-    Road Agent’s Association:  Awaiting update from Paul T.
                -    Office of Energy and Planning:  Awaiting update from Lou.
                       -    Dept of Revenue Admin:  Lisa obtained a fair amount of useful statistics from their web site.  She will be attempting to contact their office directly to see if they have any useful knowledge regarding existing cooperative agreements between other towns.
-   T2 Technology Transfer:  Bruce reviewed their web site which appears to contain a lot of reference material specific to road construction and maintenance.  He will provide the web link to Paul Adams and Paul Twomey, as it may be of use to them during their sub-group analysis.
                -   "Hard Road to Travel":  Continues to be circulated among Committee members  
                             for review.  Lisa D. has it for the upcoming week.
-    Municipal Administrators Listserv Group:  No new information was received since last update, but Bruce still needed to clarify one item from Earl Sires in North Conway regarding PEG Service.
-    Southern NH Regional Planning:  Lisa reviewed a substantial amount of information she obtained from them regarding population statistics, etc.  This information will be placed in a reference binder and made accessible to the group.
-    Municipal Resources:  Paul Adams is still working to obtain information from them regarding their services.
-       US Census Data:  This is another data source identified that may be of value to the group during our research.  Lisa will investigate prior to the next meeting.

-       Paul Adams was able to obtain a copy of the report prepared by Northwood's Town Organization Committee that was recently presented to that town's Select Board and provided an overview to the group.  It appears as though Northwood's approach/intent was similar to what our Committee is trying to do, with the exception of in-depth analysis of town facilities, which was a major part of Northwood's report.  Bruce was going to try to contact the Chairperson of the Northwood Committee to gain any possible addition insight into their process and final recommendations.

-       Copies of the Chichester Master Plan are being reviewed by the Committee members.  Paul A. noted that the plan was created in 1998, then updated in 2004.  It is updated every 5 years.

-       Lisa Stevens left copies of the Town's current Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for the Committee's review.  It was believed that the plan is supposed to be updated annually and this year's update is currently underway.  Bruce was going to confirm.

-       Bruce updated the Committee on his 10/17 meeting with the Selectmen at which time the Selectmen reviewed and approved the draft letter to be sent to bordering towns regarding the Town Organization Committee's existence and charter.  The letter was sent on October 19th and copies of the final letter were distributed to each Committee member.  In addition to the review of the letter, the Selectmen also raised some concern expressed by some departments over potential time/resource impacts the Committee's information requests may have on them (especially in light of budget preparation requirements).   There was also some question about the scope of the Committee's review and potential recommendations.  Bruce provided the Selectmen with a brief summary of the group's activities thus far and the likely format of the final report to be delivered to them.  With respect to the potential concerns of some of the Department Heads, Bruce explained the scope and nature of the initial meeting the Committee had with the Dept. Heads and suggested that everyone would likely become more comfortable with the Committee's intent and approach once the sub-group meetings got underway.  In addition, it was the Committee's hope that Department Heads would recognize the potential value data from this exercise could represent to their future planning and justification requirements, rather than see it as a threat to their current or future operations.

-       Some Committee members expressed concern over potential actions by Dept. Heads to either slow down or undermine the Committee's activities due to concerns they may have over possible recommendations that may be made.  Bruce reminded the group that this Committee exists at the request of the townspeople and everyone should expect a reasonable level of cooperation and good faith effort on behalf of any town employee or official asked to assist with this process.  If any issues arise with respect to this area, they will be brought to the attention of the Selectmen for corrective action.

-       Bruce circulated an updated draft template that could be used for the purpose of data collection and summarization.  Bruce will create a base template for each sub-group and distribute via e-mail prior to the next meeting.  In addition, each sub-group will plan to meet prior to the next meeting in order to define an initial list of key metrics and questions to be asked of Dept. Heads and of surrounding towns.  Any template updates can be provided back to Bruce, who will make the necessary changes on-line and redistribute as necessary.

-       With respect to the metrics to be gathered as part of the review process, it was suggested by Lisa D. that at least a couple towns similar to Chichester in population and geography also be included in the review (along with data from the surrounding towns as previously identified.  The group was in agreement with that suggestion and Lisa will do additional research to identify the additional towns as proposed.  It was also suggested that a trailing 5-year budget trend analysis be included in the final report.  Lisa D. and Bruce will work with Lisa Stevens in the Selectmen's Office to obtain the necessary data for that task.

-       Paul Adams distributed an article regarding mutual aid for the group's review.

-       The next meeting will be Thursday, October 26, 2006 at 8:15pm.  It will be held in the Selectmen's Office Conference Room.

-       The meeting adjourned at 8:45pm.

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