Select Board/Finance Committee

Tuesday, April 4, 2023, 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm
Town Hall
A meeting of the Selectboard

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https://zoom.us/j/94460276391?pwd=N294R3hyQzlyMUtsZ1ZkMTBjL3BPdz09

Meeting ID: 944 6027 6391

Passcode: 650146

Meeting of Selectboard

Members: (Quorum)

  • Present: Tom Hankinson, Chair, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Patricia Duffy, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Melissa Colbert, at 7:00 PM

Also Present:

  • Present: For the Select Board: Tom H.
  • Melissa C.
  • Pat D.
  • Margie M.
  • Lisa S. for the Finance Committee: Jed P.
  • Phil C.
  • Nancy G. for the Fire Dept.: Brian C.
  • Shelly H.
  • Amy R. Also present: Carol H.
  • Matt B.
  • Shannon G.
  • Scott M.
  • Richard N.
  • and George B. for the Montague Reporter

See original Agenda Approved Meeting Minutes

Meeting opened: 7:00 PM

Meeting closed: 9:44 PM

  1. Meeting Preliminaries

  2. Business

    • Approve minutes of March 21

      General Discussion...
      The minutes of March 21 were approved.

    • Earth Day support given for Community Builders to collect trash and leave bags for highway dept. - and post banner on common

      General Discussion...
      Support was given for the Community Builders to collect trash and have the highway department collect it and post a banner on the common advertising.

    • Sign authorization of debt spending for ARHS

      General Discussion...
      The authorization of debt spending at the regional school was signed.

    • Sign Police Chief Contract

      General Discussion...
      The Police Chief Contract was signed.

    • 7:00 : Review Budget, Special Articles, and Capital Expenses

      General Discussion...
      Tom began the discussion by telling the meeting that the Personnel Board, in their meeting 2 hours ago, had approved Brian’s request to bring a full-time Fire Chief with an increase to his salary of $30,000 to the Select Board and ATM for approval. The vote was 3-1 in favor. Phil spoke as a member of the Finance Committee and Personnel Board stating that he was very uncomfortable about the fact that the process for Brian’s request circumvented the protocol and therefore not enough time or research was given to the request and that the public was not given enough notice about the change to weigh in on it.

      In lieu of Phil’s concern Tom offered a compromise; to offer the full-time position and salary beginning in 6 mos. to save money and as an example of how not to propose a salary increase. Phil was concerned about setting a precedent. This idea was not agreed to by either board. Tom then suggested that in order to give the request some visibility to voters that it be in the form of an article instead of in the budget.

      Capital Articles were reviewed.

      Special articles were discussed next. Margie told the boards that Free Cash may be certified by as little as $100,000 this year but should recover some by next year. Phil C. suggested that the usual $41,000 from Free Cash to Stabilization not be transferred. Agreed by all. Melissa gave an update on the mosquito control article. The amount this year for an enhanced program that covers the entire season will double the cost brining it to @ $ 11,000. The Medicaid reimbursement to the school and OPEB contributions were also taken out of the requests.

      Chief Minckler informed the boards that he was removing his request for at 4th full-time officer to give a year’s worth of public education about the need.
      Then there was a very long discussion about the Chief’s part-time officer request which increases the police budget without the 4th full-time officer.

      MOTION, moved by Tom Hankinson, seconded by Melissa Colbert: . Motion (Jed) to include the Fire Chief’s request in the FY ‘23 budget for ATM. Vote: on in favor, one opposed, one abstention. .

      Pass: Aye: Tom Hankinson, Melissa Colbert, Patricia Duffy.

      MOTION, moved by Tom Hankinson, seconded by Melissa Colbert: Motion (Tom): to include the request in the FY ’23 budget as an article instead of within the budget. No second.
      Motion (Pat): to include the increase in the Fy’23 budget. Seconded by Melissa. Vote: 2 in favor, one opposed.
      .

      Pass: Aye: Tom Hankinson, Melissa Colbert, Patricia Duffy.

      MOTION, moved by Tom Hankinson, seconded by Melissa Colbert: Motion (Tom) to approve all three capital items for inclusion on the warrant. Vote: 3-0 in favor. Finance Committee Vote: 3-0 in favor.

      Pass: Aye: Tom Hankinson, Melissa Colbert, Patricia Duffy.

      MOTION, moved by Tom Hankinson, seconded by Melissa Colbert: . Motion: To accept the special articles for inclusion in ATM minus the ones removed above. Vote: 3-0 in favor.

      Pass: Aye: Tom Hankinson, Melissa Colbert, Patricia Duffy.

      MOTION, moved by Tom Hankinson, seconded by Melissa Colbert: Motion: to approve the budget minus the 4th full-time officer. Finance Committee: 3-0 in favor.

      Pass: Aye: Tom Hankinson, Melissa Colbert, Patricia Duffy.

      MOTION, moved by Tom Hankinson, seconded by Melissa Colbert: Select Board vote on the above motion: 2 in favor, one abstention.

      Pass: Aye: Tom Hankinson, Melissa Colbert, Patricia Duffy.

  3. Mail

    • Donna MacNicol--increase in fees

    • Letters regarding 4th full-time police officer

    • National Grid-- Right-of-Way work

  4. Meeting Wrap-up

The listing of matters is those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law.

Minutes prepared by Lisa Stratford

Minutes approved on Thursday, May 18, 2023