Docstoc

View Minutes for this Select Board Meeting - Camden Select Board

Document Sample
View Minutes for this Select Board Meeting - Camden Select Board Powered By Docstoc
					                                    Camden Select Board
                                     Minutes of Meeting
                                      January 5, 2010


PRESENT:    Chairperson Karen Grove, Vice Chairperson Deborah Dodge, John French, Anita
            Brosius-Scott, Morgan Laidlaw, and Town Manager Roberta Smith. Also present
            were members of the press and public.

ABSENT:     Town Attorney William Kelly


                                           Contents



     1. Public input on non-agenda items.

     2. Approval of minutes of December 1, 2009 and December 15, 2009

     3. Consideration of citizen request for a proposal for No Idling Policy for Camden, ME.

     4. Consideration of appointment to the Parks and Recreation Committee.

     5. Consideration of the following applications for renewal victualer licenses:
           a. Bruce Anderson, d/b/a Norumbega at 63 High Street
           b. Maine Stay, LLC d/b/a Maine Stay Inn at 22 High Street

     6. Public Hearings on the following liquor license applications:
           a. Application of Stuart Smith, d/b/a Lord Camden Inn at 24 Main Street for a Class
                III Vinous Liquor License.
           b. Application of North Winds, Inc., d/b/a The Waterfront Restaurant at 40 Bay
                View Street for a Class I Spirituous, Vinous and Malt Liquor License.
           c. Application of Norumbega, LLC at 63 High Street for a Class III Vinous and Class
                IV Malt Liquor License.

     7. Discussion of long term strategic goals for the Town.

     8. Discussion of FY11 Budget Goals and approval of the FY11 COLA for Town employees.

     9. Committee Reports

     10. Manager’s Report
            a. January 14 TIF meeting


                                     Minutes of Meeting

  Chairperson Grove called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Camden Select Board
Minutes of Meeting- Page 2
January 5, 2010

   1. Public input on non-agenda items.
         a. Board member French complimented the town’s Public Works crew on a very good
              job they did over the weekend’s storm. They had long hours and the streets were in
              excellent shape.
         b. Karen Grove reminded residents it’s a new year and it’s time to check the batteries
              in smoke alarms and to make sure carbon monoxide detectors are working
              properly.
         c. Fire Chief Chris Farley announced that the Fire Department offers free home safety
              surveys and they also have available replacement batteries, smoke alarms, and
              carbon monoxide detectors free of charge for residents.

   2. Anita Brosius-Scott made a motion to approve the minutes of December 1, 2009 and
      December 15, 2009 with minor corrections suggested by Board members Brosius-
      Scott and Dodge. Deborah Dodge seconded this motion. The motion passed on a 5-0-
      0 vote.

   3. Residents Jean Morrison and Tom Hopps presented a proposal to the Select Board for a
      policy to discourage people from leaving their vehicles idling in Camden. Mr. Hopps stated
      that an idling car gets no miles per gallon, pollutes the air and burns gas to no benefit.
      Idling a vehicle for more than 10 seconds uses more gas than it takes to restart the engine.
      No idling laws and ordinances are popping up statewide and countywide and he feels the
      time has come for Camden to join in. The purpose of such a policy is to raise public
      awareness and another way for residents, visitors and businesses to get on the band wagon
      for a cleaner, healthier, and safer town to live in.

       Resident Jean Morrison stated she wanted to make it clear that they are talking about
       passenger vehicles on public ways. The State of Maine already has laws to govern
       commercial vehicles except for fire and police they are exempt when they are in the line of
       duty. She also stated they are not seeking an ordinance that would need to be enforced but
       a policy to promote and educate residents and visitors of the harmful effects of leaving
       internal combustion engines running unnecessarily.

       After further discussion the Board agreed to support the proposal for a no-idling policy in
       Camden and asked Mr. Hopps and Mrs. Morrison to review polices from other towns and
       submit a policy when completed to the Town Manager for consideration.

   4. Anita Brosius-Scott made a motion to appoint Duncan Matlack to the Parks and
      Recreation Committee as an alternate member with a term expiring June 2010. John
      French seconded this motion. The motion passed on a 5-0-0 vote.

   5. John French made a motion to approve the applications of Bruce Anderson, d/b/a
      Norumbega at 63 High Street and Maine Stay LLC, d/b/a Maine Stay Inn at 22 High
      Street for victualer licenses. Morgan Laidlaw seconded this motion. The motion
      passed on a 5-0-0 vote.

Chairperson Grove read the rules and regulations for conducting public hearings in preparation of
the public hearings to be held this evening.
Camden Select Board
Minutes of Meeting- Page 3
January 5, 2010

   6. Public hearings were held on the following liquor license applications. Mrs. Smith stated all
      applications have been approved by the Police Chief.
         a. Application of Stuart Smith, d/b/a Lord Camden Inn at 24 Main Street for a Class III
              Vinous Liquor License.
         b. Application of North Winds, Inc., d/b/a The Waterfront Restaurant at 40 Bay View
              Street for a Class I Spirituous, Vinous and Malt liquor license.
         c. Application of Norumbega, LLC at 63 High Street for a Class III Vinous and Class IV
              Malt Liquor License.

       Chairperson Grove asked to hear from any proponents. There were none.

       Chairperson Grove asked to hear from any opponents. There were none.

       Chairperson Grove closed the public portion of the hearing, no Board discussion followed.

       Morgan Laidlaw made a motion to approve the renewal of the licenses as requested
       in a-c above. John French seconded this motion. The motion passed on a 5-0-0 vote.

   7. The Board and Town Manager Discussed what they thought long term strategic goals should
      be for he town. Manager Smith stated annually we revisit the things that are pending. She
      thinks it always help to stay focused on the bigger picture if you look at the strategic plan of
      the town. A few months ago she asked the Board for the three greatest challenges that they
      felt were facing the town as a starting point to have a discussion on goals and then asked
      you to list what you thought were some of the long range goals that we should be thinking
      about. She put these all together so the Board could read them over and have some
      discussion in terms of prioritization but also to kind of give all of us a reminder of what
      things we should be working towards as we get ready to do the budget.

       Board member French stated this year is going to be a very hard year to set any real big
       goals other than economic development and that is already in the works. With the budget
       restraints things like fixing sewer extensions, road repairs, sidewalks repairs, and under
       drains that need to be done won’t get done but we do need to continue looking forward so
       when the day does come we have some projects ready to go. The biggest things this year is
       keeping the budget in line and making the least amount of impact on the taxpayers for at
       least this year and maybe the next year until things to do start loosening up because people
       are really having a hard time.

       Manger Smith suggested the Board keep in mind this is not financial capital planning. This
       could be ordinance development or other things that you feel are important that is part of
       the ground work that you need to do in order to be ready to do that. The other thing she
       included in the packet was an excerpt from the Comp Plan of the areas where there were
       some recommendations and responsibilities of the Select Board. She think it is helpful to all
       of us to read that over every once in a while especially in terms of capital planning and the
       other goals that the Board has listed. The other thing that the Board did recently was
       approve the CEDAC Vision in terms of the downtown development goals and all of that fits
       into what you identified as the top priority in terms of economic development and what
       CEDAC has done is taken your top priority of economic development and suggested ways to
       address it.
Camden Select Board
Minutes of Meeting- Page 4
January 5, 2010

       Board member Brosius-Scott in reviewing the Comp Plan and the Select Board
       responsibilities there is one item that is in direct conflict with what we voted in favor to
       with the CEDAC Vision and she wants to make sure the Board is aware of that. We need to
       decide whether we are asking CEDAC to counter to the Comp Plan or whether we want to
       ask them to take back our vote and ask them not to spend time making an effort to find an
       alternate route around Camden because the Comp Plan specifically says we do not want to
       do that and she sees that as a direct conflict and we as a Board need to recognize there is a
       conflict and we need to decide how to approach that.

       Board member Dodge stated she does not think it’s in conflict with the Comp Plan because
       CEDAC was saying that they were in support of the Gateway 1 project and the Gateway 1
       project talks about this for a number of communities. With the representation we have on
       Gateway 1 and what CEDAC is trying to do which is support Gateway 1 it falls in line with
       this and does not conflict with the Comp Plan.

       Board member Brosius-Scott stated we all clearly defined that economic development was a
       great challenge being faced by the town. Clearly CEDAC has a very important role for us in
       focusing on economic development and she is concerned about having them spend their
       energies in any aspect that is not directed toward economic development or not something
       that the Comp Plan supports.

       Board member Dodge stated that CEDAC is trying to develop and strength downtown and
       they had concerns about the bifurcation of downtown Camden by Route 1 and they were
       also talking about truck traffic being one of the issues. They are not talking about the local
       shellfish company that comes to deliver shellfish to Cappy’s Chowder House. They are
       talking about the 18 wheelers that are coming through town that are using Route 1 as a
       through way. She does not think that CEDAC decided that they were going to take the
       responsibility for finding Camden a bypass. They were supporting Gateway 1 and using
       what they thought was a problem with the traffic on Route 1 as being something that was
       deleterious to economic development. They don’t have the authority to determine what a
       bypass would be because of all of that would go through our Gateway 1 folks. She would
       disagree she does not see it as a conflict.

       Manager Smith suggested that the Board discuss what they feel needs to be discussed but
       keep in mind when the discussion is over that each of the Board members needs to be
       prepared to give her top three priorities for addressing the town’s greatest challenges.

       Board member Grove stated her long term goals are road repair and infrastructure updates
       – underground (things that can’t be seen like sewer and water lines) and long term
       sustainable jobs. She is very much in favor of spending the town’s money first on essential
       services (police, fire, highway) before we get to any of the leisure time services. She has
       always felt that way even when she was on the budget committee. If we are not doing what
       we need to do on essential services we have no business spending money on dessert. We
       need to prioritize the infrastructure and essential services.

       Board member Dodge thought one of the goals should be to increase participation in town
       affairs. Some examples might be:
Camden Select Board
Minutes of Meeting- Page 5
January 5, 2010

       a. To find a way/process to involve more citizens on an on-going basis in discussion of the
          future of Camden. She would like to see a semi-monthly or quarterly meeting with the
          Select Board, Town Manager, and major committees to talk about on-going future issues
          for Camden.
       b. Recruitment of younger residents to feed the volunteer pipeline (for town committees
          and Select Board)
       c. Creation of a vibrant Town/Community website that acts a portal for both
          residents/businesses and most importantly prospective businesses. To include a
          feature to act as a virtual open house town that gives insight into the various functions
          of Camden government.

       She further stated she thinks the more good ways we can find to communicate will
       hopefully increase participation in town affairs.

       Manager Smith stated that Janice has been doing a lot of work on that with updating for a
       couple years now. We are now working on creating a new website with GovOffice which is
       template that is supported by Maine Municipal Association and ICMA. It’s not going to be
       the best virtual town hall interactive site possible because there is a cost associated with it
       and the last couple years we have not had anything in the budget. There will be
       opportunities to change and upgrade it as time goes by. The most important thing is that
       Janice will be able to do it in house as opposed to paying someone every time we want to
       update it.

       Board member French stated he thinks we need to set this as a goal to spend money over
       the next few years or so to buy the right equipment to broadcast and also to do the website
       to make it more interactive.

       Manager Smith stated as you know we have done some major improvements on the sound
       system and the broadcast capabilities upstairs in the Opera House. The audio/video
       improvements in this building are all part of the capital expense for this building and a lot of
       that is going to feed into the bigger picture and it is a policy question of what do you want
       this building to be and how can it help with your economic development in terms of being a
       very active and successful Opera House and Conference Center that keeps attracting people
       here. Certainly the technical capabilities in the building make a big difference in being able
       to attract conferences and to be able to charge a rental fee for the use of the equipment.
       This is something that we have spent a lot of effort on and finding and trying to budget for
       but there is room for improvement.

       French stated also if we buy the right equipment it would be a valuable training tool for the
       employees because we could use it for real good power point presentations so if we buy the
       right stuff it has multi-use and he sees a lot advantages.

       Manager Smith there is software that will do minutes and index them and we have talked
       about but it is thousands of dollars to invest.

       Board member Laidlaw stated it would be really nice on the website on starting a business
       in Camden, owning a business are you looking to relocate, real estate listings, etc.
Camden Select Board
Minutes of Meeting- Page 6
January 5, 2010

       Manager Smith stated we have to be cautious about advertising businesses so we have link
       to the Chamber of Commerce who then can advertise its own members and there is a lot of
       information available there. We do have link to KWRED in terms of economic development
       but we certainly can put something more in terms of starting a business, who do we contact,
       etc. We can’t put on our website real estate listings or such because if you put on then you
       have to put on everyone and we want to be able to control what is on the website. The best
       thing to do is to have a link to the Chamber of Commerce.

   Board member Brosius-Scott presented a long list of goals:


   a. Hire a Town Economic Development Coordinator. Perhaps the coordinator could develop a
      website that could be linked to the town website. She thinks that should be the job of this
      economic development coordinator and we know it would take time and expense to do that
      and this why we need to focus some of our money to do that.
   b. Think and act more progressively and pro-actively on behalf of town. She thinks we need to
      have Planning / Visioning Select Board discussions at least four times a year.
   c. Communications: Improve communications between Town Office and Public, eg. Through
      regular monthly column in media written by someone representing our town: e.g., “View
      From the Town Office.”
   d. Knox Mill: Find a way to secure the Knox Mill for good office space. Should the Town seek a
      bond to buy the whole thing? Board members Grove and French were not supportive of
      becoming landlords. Board member Dodge stated this would add responsibilities such as
      upkeep and management to the town and would add an increase costs to taxpayers while
      taking away revenue. Brosius-Scott responding by saying that buying the mill would help
      Camden meet many of its goals such as increased parking, conference and office space.
      Board member Dodge asked if she wanted to be in competition with all the other people
      who own commercial space in downtown Camden. Manager Smith stated we should
      probably have a lesson some night on what’s a public good and what’s a private good
      because you really mixing up the two. She worked for a community that for one reason or
      another ended up acquiring a commercial property and she can tell you there is no way you
      want to be a landlord. On top of that you are talking about a huge investment to acquire it,
      you’d be talking about a quarter of a million dollar loss tax revenue a year plus many
      hundreds of thousands of dollars to upgrade those buildings and cover the operation and
      maintenance and that would end up being a tax burden and that tax burden would translate
      to higher costs for all the other businesses and properties in town that would further drive
      them out. What you have to focus on is how do you support and encourage the natural
      market forces to do what you need it to do and that is what you have been doing in terms of
      thinking of terms of a downtown tax increment financing district that would generate some
      revenue so that you could make improvements to downtown that would make it more
      attractive for more businesses to come here. In terms of the zoning and tax increment
      financing district and the whole perspective that CEDAC is working on which is how do you
      focus on downtown and make it more business and more pedestrian and more tourist
      friendly so that people want to come here and businesses want to come here and then the
      market takes care of itself.
   e. Tannery site: Continue marketing.
Camden Select Board
Minutes of Meeting- Page 7
January 5, 2010

   f.   Wind power on Ragged Mountain: continue to evaluate and pursue possibility of
        community wind power.
   g. Seabright Hydro: Continue to pursue getting and keeping the hydro power plant
      functioning. Manager Smith stated that we got notice yesterday that our second grant
      application did not get funded.
   h. Green Camden: Envision Camden as taking a leadership role state-wide in being a model
      “green” town, enacting policies and incentives encouraging reduced dependence on fossil
      fuels for energy, reduced energy needs, increased alternative transportation etc.
   i.   Green Energy Retrofit Incentives: Pursue municipally-driven funding mechanism /
        incentive for green energy retrofits via long-term amortization and payment for retrofits
        through an individual property owner’s property tax (which stays with property when
        property sold to new owner) – as exemplified by such programs in existence in appx. 20
        other cities in USA, including Boulder, Colorado.
   j.   Laite Property zoning: Ask the Camden Planning Board to explore rezoning the property
        next to Sagamore Farm that currently belongs to Parker Laite with an eye to allow Wayfarer
        Marine to work on boats at that location..
   k. Pathways: She wants the Select Board to advocate for the creation of more public sidewalks
      / pathways, creating safe ways for people to exercise and walk through town. Advocate for
      the Megunticook Riverwalk, a pedestrian link between the tannery commercial district, the
      River District and downtown Camden, along the river. Take an active role and interest in
      finding a way to secure last remaining property for creation of easement.
   l.   Light Pollution: Address light pollution from private properties by strengthening ordinance
        dealing with the issue. She would like to see the ordinance for that we more carefully
        written so that is enforceable.
   m. Property Maintenance / unsightly properties: Address issue of junky properties.
   n. Public Hearings: She would like the Planning Board and Select Board to make a significant
      effort towards scheduling public hearings in such a way that feedback provided at public
      hearings can meaningfully inform policy / ordinance-writing decisions. Scheduling public
      hearings so that it is too late for any input gained to have any influence on the drafting of
      the subject ordinance or the issue at hand is a farce and only serves to sour and alienate the
      public to the process of public participation in government. Board member French stated
      he thinks that is unfair because we have held up ordinances because at the last minute
      somebody has come up with a suggestion and ordinances have been held off until another
      vote. Board member Dodge commented that the Planning Board has made a consorted
      effort to get input earlier in the process. Manger Smith commented that if the board wants
      to do something about it then you need to encourage the public and you to need participate
      yourself much earlier in the discussions. That does not mean you have to go every public
      meeting a lot of them are broadcast. By the time things have gotten to this Board and there
      is a decision whether to put it onto the ballot or not it has been discussed and discussed and
      at least a couple public hearings held. It does not usually come down to whether or not we
      have to pass something that is flawed or not anything at all. That is a personal opinion or
      decision in terms of how flawed it is. Just because one person thinks there is one thing we
      could make a little better but maybe that is not what the majority of the people think. It’s
      the democratic process and you are never going to get away from the fact at the last minute
      something will come up that someone wishes was different. That is not to say we shouldn’t
Camden Select Board
Minutes of Meeting- Page 8
January 5, 2010

       try to inform the public and engage them in discussion but she does not think it’s true to say
       that the town has been doing a dismal job over the last couple of years. There has been a lot
       of opportunity for discussion and input its’ just the nature of the beast that those things
       come up at the last minute. There are a lot of things that are being discussed that is covered
       in the news as well so if people aren’t attending the meetings or tuning in to Channel 22 or
       going to the public hearings they have an opportunity to read about it. Board member Grove
       stated she thinks we have been doing a lot better job over the couple years of informing the
       public.
       Board member Morgan Laidlaw suggested that the town needs to come up with some ways
       to directly attract small business to Camden. He fully supports the CEDAC vision for
       downtown Camden however there are a few action items on their plan that are sort of in
       indirect business development tools and he thinks as a town we need to find a direct way to
       attract business to town. Something he sees is feeding the pipe line with 1, 3, and 5 person
       businesses. If we can find a way to attract 1, 3 and 5 person businesses to town eventually
       they will grow and succeed to 5-9, then to 10-19 then at the top of the pipeline 20+
       employees. How we pay for this and how we deal with existing businesses is something
       that he has not put a lot of thought into. But with attracting new businesses to Camden he
       came up with a rent program, a stimulus program and an energy program that is based on
       the size of the business they and they would have some type of stipend for rent. For an
       example a one employee business moves to town and they are a CPA and they want a
       second floor business in the Village District, they would receive a 10% rent subsidy and for
       every additional employee they get another 5% . This formula would cost the town around
       $50,000 a year. The reason he came up with this is because he was trying to think of ways
       to spend the TIF money. One of them is a development director. We can hire a development
       director and it would make a nice difference. They could apply for grants and try to attract
       conferences but a development director is going to need tools so if we go ahead and hire a
       development director there is going to be a salary but they are also going to need a tool
       chest so to speak with ways to attract and keep businesses in town. If we go in that
       direction this might be something to think about because it is going to cost a lot more than
       just a paid position. The gain would be a lot more than the paid position. We are a
       competitive world and we need to be aggressive about attracting business. This is
       something that could differentiate Camden from any other place.

       The Board looked at tge summary prepared by the Code Officer/Planning Officer Jeff Nims
       pulling from the Town of Camden Comprehensive Plan the items that included the itmes
       that have Select Board responsibility for a specific goal that was established by the Comp
       Plan. The Board discussed the responsibilities at great length and because of the late hour
       of the meeting it was the consensus of the Board to postpone the remainder of the review
       and discussion of the Board’s responsibilities as a workshop discussion at a later date.

   8. The Board discussed FY11 Budget Goals and approval of the FY11 COLA for Town
      employees. Manager Smith stated she is currently working with Department Heads on the
      development of the FY11 Budget proposal. It is always helpful if the Board provides some
      guidance on their overall goal for this year’s budget. Manager Smith reported that the
Camden Select Board
Minutes of Meeting- Page 9
January 5, 2010

       municipal spending limitation calculations are dictated by LD1. The spending limitation for
       the upcoming year is based on the potential spending growth and the municipal
       commitment can be $156,346. The state average real total personal income growth has
       been calculated by the state at 1.78% and the town’s property growth factor at 1.35% so
       that’s a total growth of 2.05%. Last year’s projected state municipal sharing revenue for
       Camden was estimated at $349,000 and when she did the budget last year she estimated
       $315,000 for revenue sharing. To start out with the $77,000 loss in funding that the
       Governor’s budget would project in terms of Camden for revenue sharing you are not
       looking at that because we set the tax rate on $315,000 in municipal revenue sharing rather
       than $349,000. That is just the Governor’s budget it is hard to say where it will all sift out
       chances are it will not be that drastic. There are some proposed changes between the
       formula for municipal revenue sharing in terms of what they call revenue sharing I and
       revenue sharing II. There is a proposal that would benefit service center communities and
       Camden is one of them. It is hard to tell because revenue sharing is based on revenues
       coming into the state so we don’t know what those revenues are going to be even if nobody
       messes with the formula for distribution. Any changes to the formula for distribution has to
       go through the legislative process. It is a concern but we are starting out lower than what
       was projected.

       Board member Brosius-Scott commented that increased efforts have been made by the
       town and Midcoast Solid Waste Corporation to keep spending down.

       Board member Dodge stated she has a little problem making this kind of decision without
       looking at some of the capital improvement projects and infrastructure needs to help make
       a priority decision.

       Manager Smith stated we go through that exercise when we review the budget because
       there are so many pieces of it. This is an affordability question. What is it that you feel that
       you could support for the taxpayers in terms of the impact of the question?

       Board member Brosius-Scott we also need to look at the cost of living issue and if we are
       going to tighten our belts across the Board that needs to be consideration as well.

       John French made a motion to set the budget at a zero impact. Deborah Dodge
       seconded this motion. The motion passed on a 5-0-0 vote.

       Manager Smith stated her recommendation for the COLA is to set at zero percent.

       Board member Dodge asked if there was any recent data about the CPI (Consumer Price
       Index) and 2009 cost of living expenses not including things like medical care.

       Manager Smith said to be quite honest she didn’t look because she didn’t think it would
       matter to the Board.

       Board member Dodge stated they have been saying there has not been any inflation in spite
       of the stimulus package going on. Board member French stated Social Security was a zero
       increase.
Camden Select Board
Minutes of Meeting- Page 10
January 5, 2010

       Board member Dodge stated it’s easier to say zero when it comes to a thing then it is to say
       zero when it comes to paying employees. She certainly understands the town’s need to
       keep everything in line because we don’t know what the impact is going to be on our
       revenue.

       Board member French stated the other side is the benefit package is going to go up which
       the town is absorbing. The premium health insurance rate increase this year is 8%.

       Manager Smith stated that is part of the reason that she recommended zero on the COLA is
       because she feels that preservation of the health insurance benefit is a higher priority for
       the employees.

       Anita Brosius-Scott made a motion to approve a zero percent increase for COLA as
       recommended by the Town Manager. John French seconded this motion.

       Police Chief Roberts asked to speak before the vote.

       One of the comments that he has heard from Board members in the past and really
       surprised he didn’t hear it again tonight that there are people out there on fixed incomes,
       people just barely making ends meet. Quite honestly he thinks it is a cliché the vast majority
       of people who live here in Camden live here because they can afford to live her. This town
       has a reputation even out of state as being one of the more expensive places to live in the
       midcoast area. Those people with lower incomes that do live here probably aren’t the
       property owners they are people who are renting and the tax rate on real estate is not going
       to affect them anyway. On the other hand we have 13 full time employees at the Police
       Department and only 2 of them live in the Town of Camden. One of them lives in the
       Affordable Housing complexes and the other one is a retiree from one or two jobs and this is
       a second income. He brings this up because that has changed since he started working here.
       When he started here half of the Police Department lived in town but they can’t afford to
       live here anymore. Tonight you were talking about incentives for people coming into town
       with a business well you already got people here how about taking care of them. We talked
       about pathways and sidewalks aren’t your people more important. The town manager
       talked to him about this before and he knew the figure she was going to recommend and he
       had no intention of speaking about this but it got under his skin.

       Board member French stated we have always been very supportive of the employees of this
       community. We think the world of them and they have done an excellent job by us but on
       the other hand we have a lot folks in this community that don’t have a job, are taking less
       money for the job, lost benefits or had their benefits cut, and they are trying to make ends
       meet. Not everyone that owns homes in this town is rich. He works hard for his money just
       as well as everybody else does but they are trying to make an adjustment to maintain the
       health benefit. Somewhere it has to give.

       Phil Roberts stated it’s not just the budget cut and historically the town has treated the
       employees very well and quite honestly he understands the Board’s position but
       understand too of the 13 employees in his department there are about 13 school age
       children being raised and another 5 or 6 paying college loans. It just needed to be said.
Camden Select Board
Minutes of Meeting- Page 11
January 5, 2010

       Board member Brosius-Scott stated this is why this is so painful. But she also gets the sense
       that you are coloring Camden as a bunch of rich people who can afford to pay the public
       servants. From where she sits at her house that is not the color of Camden. They are
       regular people with kids that go to school and who knows what income. Camden is not all
       about the rich people in Camden.

       Phil Roberts said he understands Anita’s statement but keep in mind that with the wages
       these people are making they are not in any of Camden’s neighborhoods they are living way
       out of town.

       Board member Dodge reiterated that it is not hard to think about zero when it comes to
       things but it is very difficult to think about zero when it comes to people. She wishes she
       knew more before making this decision. She understands what you get paid is personal but
       it is not because the Board feels that employees are not deserving of something it’s just a
       fact of life of where we are.

       Board member Grove stated with the way things are now in the economy and she is hearing
       this every day because she happens to work in an environment where she does hear about
       people’s finances on a moment to moment basis and she is hearing things like furloughs, 10
       % pay cuts so they don’t get laid off. It is heartbreaking and it is hard to say to the people
       that she sees all the time that just for this year we can’t afford an increase. It is very hard to
       say and she does not say it easily.

       Board member Brosius-Scott stated she is very grateful that we can keep the benefit
       package and she thinks that is very important to keep that in place. In a sense it is an
       increase into the benefits to keep them where they are.

       Board member Laidlaw stated it’s a real tough thing and a real balancing act. He would love
       to look around but he does not know of too many organizations that have a cost of living
       increase.

       Manager Smith stated she does know that the County is giving a 2% cost of living but she
       has not heard about anyone else in the area who has established an increase.

       Chairperson Grove asked for a vote on the motion on the floor.

       The Board vote on the motion on the floor was 5-0-0.

       Fire Chief Farley stated he just heard about the Board’s involvement with different
       committees and he has been here nineteen months and he has only seen one member of the
       Select Board at the Public Safety Building unless it is an election. He thinks it is important if
       the Board thinks the employees are doing a good job that you let them know that.

       Board member Dodge asked as we go through this budgeting process and as we are looking
       at where we are going to spend our money can we say okay it looks like we can spring for
       an increase? Is it possible to go back and visit this later? Manager Smith said it is possible
       it’s just that the COLA and everything that is a function of what the wages are is spread
       throughout the whole budget. She can pull it out but in terms of doing the budget and all the
Camden Select Board
Minutes of Meeting- Page 12
January 5, 2010

       budget pages if you change the COLA it impacts several different lines. She does not want to
       discourage you from doing that because there is nothing she would like to see better than
       an increase for the employee’s but from what employees have indicated to her the health
       insurance is more important than the COLA. If something has to go than it probably makes
       more sense for that. But if you find that there is room for that then by all means we can do
       the calculations. Board member Dodge would like everybody to keep that in mind and
       revisit that if we can.

   9. There were no Committee Reports

   10. Manager’s Report
          a. Manager Smith reminded the Board about the public Stakeholder’s Meeting on the
             discussion about the TIF proposal on Thursday, January 14th at 7 pm in the WSCR.
             It’s a review on what a tax increment financing district is and gathering some input
             in terms of projects and if a TIF district were approved what would you designate
             the revenues for.
          b. CEDAC had asked for another appraisal on the Tannery property and we have done
             that and it should be available in 2-3 weeks.

A motion was moved and seconded to adjourn at 10:35 pm


                                                 __________________________
                                                 Janice L. Esancy
                                                 Recording Secretary

				
DOCUMENT INFO