HALIFAX BOARD OF SELECTMEN SELECTMEN MEETING TUESDAY OCTOBER 28 2008 – 7 30 P M SELECTMEN MEETING R by pnv52623

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									                      HALIFAX BOARD OF SELECTMEN
                              SELECTMEN MEETING
                  TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2008 – 7:30 P.M.
                         SELECTMEN MEETING ROOM
               -------------------------------------------------------------



Meeting came to order at 7:30 p.m. with Selectmen Margaret T. Fitzgerald and
Troy E. Garron present. Selectmen John H. Bruno II was not in attendance.

The following business was discussed:


AGENDA

Selectman Garron added an Executive Session on collective bargaining issues.
With that addition, the Agenda for Tuesday, October 28th, was approved.


MINUTES

No Selectmen Meeting Minutes were considered or approved.


ABATEMENTS/ COMMITMENTS/ BILLS/WARRANT/TURNOVERS

Moved by Garron and seconded by Fitzgerald, Board affirmed committing for
collection Ambulance Commitment #10A in the amount of $17,248.00

Moved by Garron and seconded by Fitzgerald, Board affirmed approval for
payment of Vendor Warrant #33 in the amount of $33,471.26

Moved by Garron and seconded by Fitzgerald, Board committed for collection
Mobile Home Park License Fee #11 in the amount of $5,160.00

Moved by Garron and seconded by Fitzgerald, Board approved payment of the
following warrants:

   Payroll Warrant           #34        $324,524.51
   Vendor Warrant            #35        $101,971.38

Moved by Bruno and seconded by Fitzgerald, Board approved for Payment of the
following Selectmen bills:

   W. B. Mason (office supplies) …………………………...…… $ 65.99
   Mass Municipal Association (annual meeting/Jan) ……….….. $ 140.00
   Halifax Postmaster (postage) …………………………………. $ 50.00
Selectmen Meeting – October 28, 2008                                 Page 2


   Constellation New Energy (Pope’s Tavern/Oct) ……………… $ 96.75
   National Grid (Pope’s Tavern/Oct) …………………………… $ 40.27
   National Grid (street lights/Oct) ……………………………… $1,030.98
   National Grid (pole at old police station/Sep) ………….…….. $ 31.93
   Constellation New Energy (Town Hall/Oct) ………….……… $ 585.01
   National Grid (Town Hall/Oct) ………………………………. $ 276.97
   South Coastal Legal Services (services Jul-Sep) ……………... $ 875.00
   Rose Campbell (vacation pay) ………………………………… $4,118.45

Moved by Garron and seconded by Fitzgerald, Board acknowledged payment of
the Selectmen Office payroll for the period ending October 25, 2008 in the
amount of $5,988.53

Moved by Garron and seconded by Fitzgerald, Board acknowledged the following
Payments to the Treasurer:

   TURNOVER NUMBER              AMOUNT

        2009-12                $     32.80
        2009-13                $333,571.91


GENERAL MAIL/BUSINESS

A. Sixth Grade Essay

   Garron stated he spoke to the sixth grade class at the Halifax Elementary
   School. The class is writing an essay on being a public official.

B. Passing of Alfred DePaulo

   The Board acknowledged the passing of resident Alfred DePaulo, a long time
   public servant who most recently served as a Water Commissioner and
   Constable for the Town.

C. Appointment – Republican Election Workers

   Moved by Garron and seconded by Fitzgerald, Board appointed Marion Heath
   of 7 Christmas Tree Lane and Barbara Merrick of 87 Elm Street as
   Republican Election Workers, terms to expire July 27, 2009.

D. Appointment – Democratic Election Worker

   Moved by Garron and seconded by Fitzgerald, Board appointed Cathleen
   Miller of 395 Plymouth Street as a Democratic Election Worker, term to
   expire July 27, 2009.
Selectmen Meeting – October 28, 2008                                     Page 3


E. Alcoholic Beverage Commission Decisions – Recent Stings

   Selectmen acknowledged notification from ABCC of action taken against the
   following alcoholic beverage licensed establishments who were cited for
   violations as a result of a recent sting conducted by ABCC:

    - The Wine and Malt Package Store License issued to Halifax Mobil was
      suspended for three days and the suspension will be held in abeyance by
      ABCC for two years unless Halifax Mobil has an additional violation.

    - The All Alcoholic Beverage License issued to All Seasons Restaurant and
      Lounge’s was suspended for four days in December. All Seasons can
      appeal this decision or negotiate a fine in lieu of suspension.

   The Board is still awaiting a decision on Hawaii Garden Restaurant. Once
   that has been received, the Board will set up a meeting with the three license
   holders.

F. Use of Town Vehicle Policy – Water Department

   The Board discussed a request from the Water Commissioners to allow the
   Water Superintendent to drive his town vehicle to the Housing Authority (for
   whom he also works) and then drive the vehicle home so that he can use the
   vehicle to respond to an emergency for the Town should it occur while he is at
   the Housing Authority. He will not use the vehicle for the purposes of the
   Housing Authority. Selectmen noted that Clark does not live far from the
   Housing Authority property. The Board was not in favor of this request,
   noting there are other employees who also have other jobs they go to after
   working for Halifax. Moved by Garron and seconded by Fitzgerald, Board
   voted that the decision had been made that all employees who have
   town-owned vehicles must bring those vehicles home at the end of the
   working day for Halifax and the Board did not want to change its decision on
   this matter.

G. Route 36

   The Board discussed problems encountered by two residents as a result of the
   reconstruction work on Route 36. The resident at 106 Holmes Street wants a
   new driveway onto Marjorie Drive because the pitch of their driveway onto
   Route 36 is severe since the road was lowered substantially in front of their
   home. The resident at 34 Holmes Street has the opposite problem in that the
   sidewalk in front of his home is substantially higher than his property.

   The Board instructed Seelig to talk with the Highway Surveyor and ask for his
   solutions to these problems.
Selectmen Meeting – October 28, 2008                                      Page 4

DOG HEARING – MAUREEN SVOPA / SHERWOOD DRIVE

In accordance with MGL Chapter 140, Section 157, Fitzgerald opened a hearing
to address a complaint that a five year old Schi-Tzu named “Annabelle” owned by
Maureen Svopa of 1 Sherwood Drive bit a nine-year old girl on the finger while
the girl was in Svopa’s home. The hearing was held at the request of the
Selectmen based on a report from the Animal Control Officer (copy attached
hereto as Exhibit A and made an official part of these Minutes); therefore,
testimony by the injured party or her parents was not required. The parents of the
nine year old girl were notified of the hearing date and time.

The following individuals were present for the hearing and were sworn in by
Notary Public Beverly Smith:

   Denise Horton        Animal Control Officer
   Maureen Svopa        Dog Owner

Following are questions asked by Selectman Margaret Fitzgerald (in italics);
responses by Denise Horton immediately follow:

   Do you want to tell us about what you found at the scene; do you want to tell
   us about your investigation.

   Lea Mason, the nine year old girl that was nipped on the finger, I guess she
   was coming through the front door. There were no parents at home. With all
   the excitement of everyone coming in through the door, the dog jumped up on
   her and nipped her on the finger.

   Did you see the dog?

   I saw the dog,

   What was your impression of the dog?

   He wasn’t too friendly.

   Do you think he is a regular biter?

Horton’s response was inaudible. She began to respond and Svopa corrected
Horton saying the dog was a female not a male.

Following are questions asked by Selectman Margaret Fitzgerald (in italics);
responses by Maureen Svopa immediately follow:

   Do you want to tell us about the incident?

   She was a friend of a little girl who came to my house. She came into the
   house with my other children. Maybe she was not use to animals. She got
Selectmen Meeting – October 28, 2008                                      Page 5


   excited, put her hand down and my dog nipped her finger. That was the story
   I got from my older children. I have a seventeen and an eighteen year old
   daughter.

   Did you talk to the parents of the little girl?

   Oh yes. I called them right away. He (the father) said he did not want to
   make a big deal out of it. She was nipped. They put a bandage on her finger.
   Did not need stitches.

Selectman Troy Garron asked if the dog was up to date on rabies, etc. Horton
stated the dog was up to date.

Following are questions asked by Selectman Troy Garron (in italics); responses
by Maureen Svopa immediately follow:

   Do you know who this little girl is?

   No I don’t know who she is.

   How did she get into your house?

   There was another neighbor girl who knows my daughter who is 10 and they
   know my instruction that no one comes in when I am not home. The door
   opened and she came in and I think both dogs got excited. The older girls said
   she got excited and was screaming. She had to have put her hand down to the
   dog’s level to be nipped.

In response to a question from Garron, Horton said there have been no other
incidents or complaints involving this dog.

Garron continued his questions to Svopa:

   How long have you had the dog?

   Five years.

   No problems?

   No. They are small dogs. Whenever I have other children in the house, they
   are small dogs and I always put them in another room

There being no further testimony, Fitzgerald closed the hearing. Under the
circumstances and based on what was presented, Garron felt the Board should
send a letter warning Svopa to keep the dogs under control when outside the
house. Fitzgerald agreed, noting the owner of the dog took precautions telling her
children not to let other people in the house when she is not home and keeping the
Selectmen Meeting – October 28, 2008                                     Page 6


dogs in the house. With no other incidents, she agreed a letter of warning should
be issued to keep the dog restrained when outside. Svopa stated the dogs are on a
leash at all times when out of the house.

Moved by Garron and seconded by Fitzgerald, Board voted to issue a Warning
and instructed Svopa to keep her dog restrained whenever the dog is outside.


GENERAL MAIL/BUSINESS (CONTINUED)

H. Telephone Bills/Audit

   The Chambers Advisory Group is amongst a number of companies which
   offer to audit the Town’s telephone bills for errors and suggestions for cost
   savings and then take a cut of the savings. Given the Town’s financial
   situation, Seelig did not see a problem with this as there is no way in which
   he would have the time or the expertise to do the work. However, given the
   amount the company might receive in compensation, this probably would
   have to go out to bid or the Town might have to obtain three quotes. Moved
   by Fitzgerald and seconded by Garron, Board instructed Seelig to oversee the
   audit of the Town’s telecommunications to make them more efficient and
   economical and to contact Chambers Advisory Group to undertake the work
   with the provision if the amount of compensation is over $5,000 the Town
   will have to bid the work out or receive three quotes .

I. New Ambulance

   Moved by Garron and seconded by Fitzgerald, Board authorized the Chairman
   to sign the contract between the Town of Halifax and Specialty Vehicles, Inc.
   for the purchase of the new emergency medical vehicle. It was noted that one
   sentence in the contract was crossed out and initialed by Chairman Fitzgerald.

J. Police Fundraiser

   In response to a question from Fitzgerald, Seelig said he did not ask the
   President of the Halifax Patrolman’s Association what percentage the police
   retain and what percentage the fundraising company makes as a result of the
   fundraiser currently under way. Fitzgerald pointed out she had asked Seelig
   to get this information in order to inform residents what portion of the money
   would be deducted from their donation to pay the fundraising firm. Seelig
   said he felt this information was not the Town’s business and wanted to bring
   it before the Board before asking for the information. Garron said that anyone
   wanting this information should ask the person calling before committing to a
   donation.
Selectmen Meeting – October 28, 2008                                       Page 7



K. Pool Table License Renewal – Tee Box

   Moved by Garron and seconded by Fitzgerald, Board approved the renewal of
   the Pool Table License for Unit 5 Bar LLC, d/b/a The Tee Box located at
   284 Monponsett Street.

L. Alternate Town Seal

   The Board had notified the Halifax Historical Commission that another
   Halifax Town Seal has been created by Andrea Wilson and released to the
   public domain which is a different design than the current Seal. Fitzgerald
   read a letter from Town Historian Susan Basile opposing any change in the
   Halifax Town Seal. Selectmen made clear the Board had no intention nor any
   interest in changing the Town Seal. Police Sergeant Ted Broderick was
   present and informed the Board the police officers are developing a pin with
   the current official town seal design to wear on their uniforms.

M. Trailer Permit – Hatch/Holmes Street

   The Board acknowledged a request from David and Gayle Hatch for a ninety
   day extension on their trailer permit for property located at 435 Holmes Street.
   Selectmen noted that, the last time they met on this issue, the permit was
   extended for a fifth time and the Board made it clear further extensions would
   not be considered. Fitzgerald and Garron were concerned with the precedent
   being set on this permit.

   The Board postponed action until the next meeting when a full Board would
   be present. Seelig will schedule the Hatch’s to meet with the Selectmen.

N. Newbury Complaint

   The Board discussed a letter from resident Maureen Newbury complaining
   about taxes, the new recycling fee, clarity of the language in the town meeting
   warrants, and various other issues. Fitzgerald was concerned with the
   statement that the Town imposes taxes without input.

   Moved by Fitzgerald and seconded by Garron, Board voted to respond to
   Newbury clarifying that (a) the recycling fee was approved by voters at town
   meeting, (b) taxpayers have a say in every article at town meeting,
   (c) everyone gets a copy of the warrant mailed to their home, and (d) the
   Selectmen do not make those decisions; town meeting participants do. In
   addition, issues are discussed at public meetings open to everyone and the
   Selectmen’s office is available to answer any questions someone may have on
   a warrant article prior to the town meeting.
Selectmen Meeting – October 28, 2008                                         Page 8


O. Appointment – Cultural Council

   Moved by Garron and seconded by Fitzgerald, Board re-appointed Ava
   Grimason of 348 Twin Lakes Drive to the Halifax Cultural Council, term to
   expire November 8, 2011.

P. Public Safety Awards

   The Board acknowledged notification that the Halifax Fire Department
   received a Life Safety Achievement Award for 2007 from the Residential Fire
   Safety Institute, recognizing zero fire deaths in structures for that year. Police
   Sergeant Ted Broderick was present and inform the Board the Police
   Department also received an award from the American Automobile
   Association for zero pedestrian deaths. The Board congratulated both
   departments in keeping Halifax residents safe.

Q. SEAMASS Contract Amendment

   Moved by Garron and seconded by Fitzgerald, Board authorized the Chairman
   to sign the Seventh Amendment to the Service Agreement between the Town
   of Halifax and SEMASS Partnership; the amendment is the result of a change
   in the law.

R. 40B Blackledge Farm/Franklin Street

   The Zoning Board of Appeals has scheduled a public hearing for
   November 10th at 8:30 p.m. Moved by Fitzgerald and seconded by Garron,
   Board voted to write to the ZBA and inform them of the following:

    - The Selectmen will be unable to attend the public hearing scheduled for
      November 10th because they will be meeting that night instead of on
      Tuesday which is a holiday.

    - The Selectmen have a number of concerns regarding this project which
      were forwarded to the State when the 40B eligibility application was
      submitted to MassHousing; and, although the project has been downsized
      somewhat from the number of units originally proposed in that
      application, the concerns remain the same. A copy of the letter to
      MassHousing will be attached for their reference.

    - The Selectmen continue to feel the Town has a substantial amount of
      affordable housing although it is not subsidized and, therefore, not
      recognized by the State as part of the Town’s affordable housing quota.
      According to recent Assessor records, Halifax’s housing stock contains
      over 32% of affordable and moderately priced homes which more than
      meets the need for such housing in our community.
Selectmen Meeting – October 28, 2008                                           Page 9


    - The Selectmen plan to attend any future hearings on Blackledge Farm and
      would appreciate being advised of the dates and times as they are
      scheduled.


PLANNING BOARD

The Board met with Planning Board members Gordon Andrews, Dean Jafferian
and Edward Whitney and applicant Robert Piccirilli to consider Piccirilli for
appointment to fill a current vacancy on the Planning Board. The Planning
Board recommended his appointment.

Fitzgerald stated the Board thought there might be a conflict in that Piccirilli is the
Assistant Building Inspector. Whitney said this was discussed by the Planning
Board members and they felt no conflict existed since the jurisdiction of the two
departments do not interrelate. Seelig said a conflict could be perceived since the
building department reviews building permit applications and sometimes those
applicants have to go before the Planning Board for review. Whitney did not see
this as an issue, stating the Building Inspector would abide by the by-laws which
clearly determine when someone must meet with the Planning Board. Seelig
contended there can be difficulty involved when one person is making two
decisions on the same application. Andrews noted the individual would appeal to
the Zoning Board of Appeals if they felt the Building Inspector was incorrect.

Piccirilli asked if the Board was concerned about the appointment on the basis of
ethics or appearance. He had contacted the Ethics Commission and was told he
just had to fill out a disclosure form and have it approved by the Selectmen.
Fitzgerald said that knowing the Ethics Commission had no problem negates the
Board’s concern. Garron felt an applicant’s perception could be affected if he/she
has to meet the same individual in two different departments involved in making a
decision on the application.

Moved by Selectman Margaret Fitzgerald and seconded by Selectman Troy
Garron, the following vote appointed Robert Piccirilli of 20 Paradise Lane
Extension to the Planning Board, term to expire upon the next election in May
2009:

        Board of Selectmen     Margaret T. Fitzgerald     yes
                               Troy Garron                yes
        Planning Board         Gordon Andrews             yes
                               Dean Jafferian             yes
                               Edward Whitney             yes
Selectmen Meeting – October 28, 2008                                       Page 10


POLICE OFFICER INTEREVIEWS

The Board met with the following candidates who were recommended by the
Police Department preliminary interview committee to fill two Permanent
Full-Time Police Officer positions. One of the members of the interview
committee, Sergeant Ted Broderick, was present. The Board had been provided
with a file on each candidate and the recommendation from each member of the
interviewing committee.

A. Robert M. McDonnell

   In response to questions from the Board, McDonnell stated he is twenty nine
   years old, moved to Halifax three years ago, has a Bachelor’s Degree in
   Business Management and is currently a full-time member of the United
   States Coast Guard. He likes the Town of Halifax, working with and helping
   the public, and being a role model. He would have to be released from the
   Coast Guard to accept appointment. He has spoken with them and they are in
   agreement to release him from duty once he has been hired by the Town.

   Based on the recommendation of the initial interview panel, moved by
   Fitzgerald and seconded by Garron, Board appointed Robert M. McDonnell of
   576 Twin Lakes Drive, Halifax as a permanent full-time police officer for the
   Town of Halifax contingent upon his passing a physical and the abilities test,
   completion of the Police Academy, and release from full-time duty with the
   U. S. Coast Guard.

B. Christopher Moore

   In response to questions from the Board, Moore stated he wanted to serve the
   community , serve as a role model, and give respect to the residents. He
   researched surrounding communities, wanted to start his career in a smaller
   community and liked Halifax. He graduated from Silver Lake High School
   and has a degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in sociology from
   Bridgewater State. He chose Criminal Justice because his intent was to go
   into law enforcement and it would give him a better understanding of what the
   career entailed. He did not see any problem in his ability to perform his duties
   in the town where he lives. The law is the law and his job is just to enforce it.

   Moore said he is a calm individual, patient and sociable with people. He
   works out at the gym, is taking EMT classes and currently works full-time for
   P. A. Landers.

   Based on the recommendation of the initial interview panel, moved by
   Fitzgerald and seconded by Garron, Board appointed Christopher Moore of 6
   Autumn Lane, Halifax as a permanent full-time police officer for the Town of
   Halifax contingent upon his passing a physical and the abilities test and the
   completion of the Police Academy.
Selectmen Meeting – October 28, 2008                                    Page 11


   The Board noted that another candidate had scored higher than Moore on the
   Civil Service List based on residency preference; however, that individual did
   not meet the requirements for residency preference because he did not live in
   Halifax.

DISCUSSIONS

A. Recycling Fee Abatements

   Selectmen reviewed abatement requests for the Recycling Fee and made the
   following decisions:

     Partial Payment/Moving … Moved by Fitzgerald and seconded by Garron,
     Board denied a request for partial abatement based on the fact the resident
     was moving. As the current owner, the person is responsible for the
     payment of fee and should make whatever arrangement for partial
     reimbursement between themselves and the buyer as part of the sales
     agreement.

     Farmer Exemption … Seelig was waiting for a response from the applicant
     showing an agricultural exemption is required under the law. Board
     postponed action until the next meeting.

     Foreclosure … On property that has been foreclosed on and no longer
     owned by the owner of record, the Selectmen’s office will find out who the
     new owner is or the bank that now owns the property and re-send the bill to
     them.

     In-Law Apartments … Board postponed action until next week.

B. Energy Challenge

   Seelig is collecting the data that will accompany the letter notifying EPA
   Halifax is joining the energy challenge.


TOWN ADMINISTRATOR REPORT (CHARLES SEELIG)

A. Autumn Lane

   Seelig provided the Board with options on how to proceed with Autumn Lane.
   Board postponed action until next meeting when a full Board will be present.

B. Retirement Earnings

   Seelig provided the Board with a report showing the return on retirement
   earnings by the Plymouth County and the State retirement systems.
Selectmen Meeting – October 28, 2008                                      Page 12


C. Governor’s Plan to Cut Fiscal 2007 Budget

    The Governor’s plan will reduce circuit breaker money substantially and
    contains some type of amendment on communication taxes paid to the Town
    which may reduce lottery money as a result. Fitzgerald asked Seelig to get
    details on this issue and report back to the Board.


EXECUTIVE SESSION

Moved by Garron and seconded by Fitzgerald, Board voted as follows to enter
into Executive Session at 8:55 p.m. to discuss collective bargaining issues:

   Margaret T. Fitzgerald          -   yes
   Troy E. Garron                  -   yes

Fitzgerald announced no statement would be made at the end of the Executive
Session and the Board would not reconvene in open session.

----------

Moved by Garron and seconded by Fitzgerald, Board voted as follows to come
out Executive Session at 9:20 p.m.

   Margaret T. Fitzgerald          -   yes
   Troy E. Garron                  -   yes

There being no further business, moved by Garron and seconded by Fitzgerald,
Board voted to adjourn the meeting at 9:20 p.m.




------------------------------------------
Troy E. Garron
Clerk



/bfs


ATTACHMENT: SVOPA DOG HEARING – EXHIBIT A / ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER’S REPORT

								
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