Chichester Town Organization Committee
Meeting Date: November 30, 2006
Minutes Prepared By: Bruce Dyke
In Attendance: Paul Adams, Lou Barker, Lisa Drouse, Bruce Dyke, Norm Larachelle,
Allen Mayville & Paul Twomey
Not in Attendance: N/A
Location: Selectmen’s Office Conference Room
Minutes Approved: December 7, 2006
- The meeting started at 7:20pm
- Draft minutes of the 11/9/06 meeting were reviewed and approved with no revisions.
- The status of potential, external resources that may be available to the Committee during their research process was reviewed:
- Local Government Center: Paul T. is still waiting for Judy Silva to send him a copy of their presentation regarding municipal sharing. He is going to follow-up with the LGC again to try and close out this remaining issue.
- Fire Chief’s Association: Norm was able to contact Christopher LeClair (he's also Portsmouth's Fire Chief) and get his feedback on existing or potential collaborative agreements. In general, Mr. LeClair indicated that communities already do a good job collaborating on an informal basis with regard to items such as equipment purchases, etc. but would like to see more communities working in a more formalized collaborative manner. He also referenced a joint Fire Department between Northfield and Tilton, that appears to work well for the combined communities (Norm is going to get more info on that arrangement).
- Office of Energy and Planning: Lou is still trying contact them.
- Dept of Revenue Admin: No further info. expected from this resource at this point.
- Municipal Resources: Paul Adams had a conversation with Don Jutton at MRI and was told that MRI hadn't done any detailed studies regarding municipal arrangements at this point. He knows towns are reluctant to study the problem, but was willing to speak with us further about this issue, at our request.
Internet Search: No further information is expected from this resource.
- Lisa visited the Secretary of State's Office and reviewed their paper files specific to municipal sharing agreements that have been submitted to them from towns. She went back 20 years and found only 9 agreements on file. However, several of the agreements found were noteworthy and will be explored further by Lisa. In addition, the Committee felt that the requirement for filing copies of the municipal agreements with the Secretary of State's office probably isn't understood by many towns and as such, their files are incomplete. This opinion is based on the lack of filings for other agreements (including the one between Chichester and Loudon for Rescue Services as well as BCEP) that aren't included in their files.
- Central NH Planning: Lou thought this may be a useful resource and was going to attempt to contact them over the next week.
- Bruce updated the group on his discussion with the Chairperson of the Northwood Town Organization Committee (James Hadley) about their Committee's efforts and expected results. Their final report is due to be presented to Northwood's Selectmen in mid-December and contain recommendations for improved town employee training, better communication among Town departments and residents along with several facility related recommendations. Overall, Mr. Hadley thought their study group was a worthwhile endeavor and believes some level of on-going audit/review of Town processes should continue. He believed that the Town of Cantebury had done some type of similar study in recent years and was interested in seeing the results of Chichester's
- Bruce and Paul T. updated the Committee on their meeting with the Barnstead Selectmen on 11/21. Overall the meeting went very well and the Selectmen seemed very enthusiastic about working with Chichester on possible collaborative opportunities and sharing of ideas in general. Copies of the Data Collection Templates were provided to Selectmen at that time and they agreed to provide them back to our Committee within a couple weeks.
- Bruce updated the group regarding efforts to contact other towns as part of the Data Collection effort:
Pittsfield - Is interested in working with us and their Select Board have requested a meeting with our Committee on December 5th at 7pm (in Pittsfield) to discuss the process in more detail.
Pembroke - Bruce had a conversation with Troy Brown, who is Pembroke's Town Administrator. He agreed to assist with our project and Bruce provided him with the Data Collection templates, which he was going to distribute to their Department Heads.
Loudon - Bruce is still trying to contact Dustin Bowles to further explain the Committee's intent so they can decide if they want to participate.
Epsom - Our Selectmen sent a follow-up letter to the Epsom Select Board on November 29th, which was intended to clarify the Committee's charter and ask them to reconsider their decision not to participate in the study project.
- Paul A. suggested the BCEP agreement may serve as a good template for future collaborative agreements between towns.
- Paul T. and Paul A. confirmed the most recent copy of the Data Collection Template for the Highway Department was OK to distribute, after providing a few additional data points. Bruce will update the form and forward it to Barnstead and Pembroke ASAP.
- Bruce indicated that he had started working on a general outline for the final report and will distribute it for review/comment at the next meeting. He also discussed the time constraints the Committee must keep in mind with regard to completing this project. The following time frames were suggested:
- Completion of data collection from all towns by 12/21,
- Finalize report format/content outline by 12/14.
- Follow-up meeting with Chichester Dept. Heads in mid-January
- Presentation of Draft report to Selectmen in late January
- Possible Public Hearing to review Committee's recommendations in mid February.
- Final report made available at Town Meeting in March.
- The meeting adjourned at 8:15pm.