Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes & Agendas

Jul 7, 2017

Board of Selectmen Minutes - July 10, 2017



MONDAY, JULY 10, 2017
4:30 PM


Present:  Town Manager Andrew Dorsett, Chairman Schuyler Sweet, Vice Chairman Franco Rossi, Selectman Milton T. Bratz, Executive Secretary Ceil Stubbings

Others Present:  Chad Fillion (Channel 2), Rudy Gelsi, Joe DePalma (Public Works Director), Bruce Hadlock, Chief Joe Mercieri (Littleton FD), Karen Noyes (Finance Director), Richard Woosley

Pledge of Allegiance

Public Hearing: Cancelled

LIDC Sale of Town Owned Property – Cancelled

Sweet announced the public hearing that was scheduled has been cancelled.  It was cancelled because a group of registered voters hired an attorney and presented a petition, which by law which takes the issue to a warrant article at the next Town Meeting.  There is no point in having the public hearing because it is out of the hands of the selectmen.  It will be in the hands of the voters next March. 

Appointments:  None

Town Manager’s Report:
Dorsett said the first item he was going to address was the storm damage.  Joe DePalma was not present yet so he provided a brief update.  Most of the roads have been cleaned up.  There is still some ditch work to be done.  Grafton County experienced over ten million dollars of damage.  Our initial estimate had Littleton at a little over half a million.  The regional representative from FEMA was here today to survey the Town.  We will have more information on that to see if we qualify for assistance.  Bratz asked where the worst damage was located.  Dorsett said there were some areas where the drainage were the worst, like on Union Street and Palmer Brook.  There was also a lot of flooding on the mobile home park where there was a voluntary evacuation.  The ditches on Manns Hill were filled up with material.  There is a lot of work that needs to be done to help prepare for future events.  Bratz asked if there were any road closures.  Dorsett said there may have been some, but that DePalma could speak to that.  Dorsett said he did a tour around of some of the other areas of Grafton County and noted there were was significant damage on 116. 

Dorsett then went over the budget overview.  At the last meeting it was suggested we provide a different report that show the year to date figures as compared to last year.  Karen Noyes explained the differences in the areas of the budget that reflected increases from the previous year. 

Joe DePalma arrived at the meeting from his meeting with FEMA.  DePalma provided the board with photographs of the damage in the most affected areas.  We filed the application last week, plus $648,000 is what we thought we had in a dollar value of damage at the time.  That includes some engineering costs associated with some of the repairs.  DePalma said he was hoping FEMA would refund for some of the work that has already been done.  Sweet stated that Joe DePalma and his crew worked on this and kept him informed through texts and photos. 

Dorsett said the next item was just a personnel policy update.  Karen Noyes has a change to the policy she would like the board to review for future consideration.  Noyes said they are looking to come changes in our harassment, sexual harassment and hostile work environment policies.  Noyes said that right now they have two policies in place and they have been in place since 2002.  The sexual harassment police was updated in 2007.  She sent them to the insurance company for review.  They sent her back a consolidated policy.  Their recommended policy give a lot more detail on what is harassment. 

Dorsett then provided a Safe Routes to Schools Project update.  Construction began today.  The project should be completed before the start of school. 

Other Business: 
Zoning Officer Appointment (July 2017 through March 31, 2018)
Dorsett said they received one letter of interest for the position.  The goal is to fill the remaining term.  David Moberly sent in his letter of interest and he is a Littleton resident.  Sweet said they should take action on this under board action rather than now. 

Old Business:  None

New Business:
New Road Name for a Mobile Home Park on Railroad Street
Dorsett said this has been through the whole zoning/planning process back in 2014.  The sites are ready for occupancy.  Under the E911 program the name they suggested is Crowe’s View Drive.  Sweet said this also should be taken up under board action in the event someone has an issue with it and wants to have public comment. 

Public Comments:
Richard Woosley introduced himself and stated he lives on Maple Street just above High Street.  His personal concern is that the school has great resistance at cleaning up the parking lot at the corner of High and Maple Streets.  He does not know why but they just won’t clean it up.  He has for years cleaning up the leaves and mowing the grass between the two perimeters.  He has asked them more than twice to do this.  They just won’t do it.  It is a small job but he is old and tired and he is not going to do it anymore.  He has talked to them at their school meetings a couple of times.  They just say they will take it under advisement.  Woosely also had concerns about the stop signs at the four way stop.  A lot of drivers just go right through. 

Bruce Hadlock said the Old Whitefield Road he is not positive if that is the state highway.  That was the original highway that went to Whitefield.  He does not think it was ever turned over to the Town of Littleton.  You should be looking at billing the state of New Hampshire for the damages that occurred.  Joe DePalma said he has not lived here as long as Hadlock, but in his seventeen years it has been posted by Littleton.  Sweet said they would look into it.  Hadlock said that was one observation.  The hearing that you postponed.  Sweet said they did not post pone the hearing they cancelled it.  Hadlock said he tried to find out in the minutes of the meetings where they decided to sell the property for one dollar.  He could find nothing, where it was and who did it.  Hadlock said he found no evidence that there was a particular motion made to sell it for a dollar.  Hadlock is asking where the motion was made for the article.  Bratz said it was never in a warrant article.  It was from the language of an old warrant article that used the work nominal.  Bratz said nominal could be anything from a penny to another amount.  Hadlock asked if they came up with it in a nonpublic session.  Bratz said no, the dollar was just a standard number because over the years when parcels were sold, that was the going rate.  Franco said the whole thing is moot at this point.  Hadlock said that if Schuyler was on the board at that time and he voted on this, then this article is completely illegal.  Franco said it is moot because they just filed a petition to go to Town Meeting.  Hadlock said if he voted to put it on there, this whole thing is not to go onto the Town record because it was illegal.  Sweet said they are not deciding on the sale of this or the price it is out of our hands.  Sweet said the warrant article will be drawn by the Town attorney in March.  Hadlock said it does not make any difference if it is done in the beginning illegally.  Sweet said that all it is, is a repeat of 2014.  Sweet said it was done legally.  Hadlock said yes, but that does not give you the right to sell it for one dollar.  Sweet said they didn’t set it at a dollar because we didn’t decide it.  Hadlock then asked why are they holding these public hearings and referencing the one dollar.  Sweet stated again that nothing was set.  Hadlock said he had a couple of other questions.  He asked the board how many people have applied for abatements.  Hadlock used the power companies as an example and said they get big assessments and then file for abatements.  He wants to know how many the Town received, and how many of them are power companies on the new tax rate.  Eversource has filed all over the state for tax abatements.  Sweet said he did not know, but if it is public information they would be happy to give it to him.  Hadlock then asked where we are with the new power company.  Sweet said they have contacted us to setup a meeting.  He did not believe they have arranged an agreeable date yet.  Hadlock said he was asking because of the impact it would have on the taxpayers.  He was told the tax rate would go down.  Sweet said they intend to meet with them in the near future.  Bratz said when the new owners bought the property they honored the current contract.  Dorsett said there is a process, the Moore Dam Committee will meet with them.  Once we work with them and we have an actual agreed upon figure we will make that information public. 

Ralph Hodgman said that he went to the Apthorp event on Friday night.  Parks and Recreation did a fantastic job over there.  The place was packed.  Everybody had a fantastic time.  Hodgman said he goes to the Transfer Station every week with his three dollar trash bags.  He stated it has never looked as bad as it does right now.  Hodgman said he didn’t know if the board had been there recently or not, but when he and his wife drove through they both said this place is horrible.  Everything is just piled up everywhere.  You say they are making good money, everything is piling up on both sides of the road.  There are mattresses piled sky high.  He does not know if it is a personnel issue or a matter of getting some volunteers in there to help clean it up.  He just wanted to make the comment that the board may want to drive over and take a look at it.  In twenty two years it has never looked as bad as it does now. 

Hodgman said it is not only a bad reflection on our Town but residents from surrounding Town’s use our Transfer Station.  Sweet said they would look into it. 

Rudy Gelsi asked if any committee like the zoning come up with a final decision on something the people present, does the board get it and look at it to see.  Is the planning and zoning committees above the final solution is looked at to decide whatever they decide is done by the law?  Let’s just say if I present to the Zoning board that I want to build a fence at my house, and maybe the people on the planning and zoning go “oh that is Rudy, forget it.”  Do you guys get involved with stuff like that?  Sweet said the board does not get involved.  Sweet explained that if you are denied something in zoning that you wanted it does not come to the board of selectmen.  You have the right to appeal it.  Sweet said that if the appeal is shot down, you have the right to take it to court.  Gelsi asked what about if it is a special favor to someone.  Sweet told him if that is going on you can go to the Town Manager. 

Everyone that belongs to the right to know committee all over the state questions why the board goes into a nonpublic session.  People know if you hire or fire.  He knows that a particular individual that you guys discuss has the right to be heard by the public.  Bratz asked him what his question was.  Gelsi said every time you have a meeting you go into a nonpublic session.  If you are firing a guy does he not have the right to say I want everybody to know about it?  Bratz said we usually go into nonpublic for contract situations.  We have to file labor laws.  Gelsi said he just found out that you guys hired two people in the last six months that no one knows about.  Karen Noyes said not all committees have rules they follow like the budget committee, they report to the selectmen.  Gelsi said he personally knows there are special favors going on in town. 

Bruce Hadlock said that a petition can be signed by anybody and put on the Town Warrant.  Let’s say that you had a road and you wanted it taken over by the Town, and it was turned down by the legal process that you have, you can still petition it and put it on there so the people can vote on it.  Sweet told Hadlock he was exactly right.  Sweet told Gelsi that if he had a personal problem with any committee member he can go to the Town Manager.  Gelsi said that at a couple of meetings he went to, you could see and tell there were favors given to certain individuals.  The Town Manager was there but he is neutral on this particular subject. 

Board Action:

Sign the Town Clerk’s 2017 Dog Warrant
Sweet read the warrant to the public.  There are one hundred and eighteen unlicensed dogs in Littleton.  Rossi moved to accept the warrant.  Bratz seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.

Zoning Officer Appointment (July 2017 through March 31, 2018)
Bratz made the motion to appoint David Moberly as the Zoning Office from July 2017 through March 2018.  Rossi seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.

New Road Name for a Mobile Home Park on Railroad Street
Rossi made the motion to name the road Crowe’s View Drive.  Bratz seconded the motion.  Sweet said there was not public opinion on it and asked if the board wanted to have a discussion on this.  Rossi said he wanted to make sure if it is possessive or plural.  Sweet said it sounds possessive.  Dorsett said Crowe is the last name of the owner.  Rossi said it is a small thing but with his experience of dealing with 911 addresses, it becomes a pain later on down the road when it becomes possessive.  Dorsett suggested they change it.  Sweet asked if they should table this.  Rossi amended the motion to Crowe View Drive with no s.  Bratz seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0. 

Dorsett just wanted to make one quick announcement on upcoming meetings.  Tomorrow night there will be a Granite State Power Link meeting proposing a utility expansion will hold a meeting at the Opera House Tower Room and it is open to the public. 

Sweet asked for a motion for adjournment.  Bratz motioned to adjourn.  Rossi seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.  The meeting adjourned at 6:14 PM.