Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes & Agendas

Oct 20, 2017

Board of Selectmen Minutes - October 23, 2017

5:00 PM


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

Others Present:  Chief Paul Smith (Littleton PD), Chad Fillion (Channel 2), Jason Roshak (The Courier), Rudy Gelsi, Karen Noyes (Finance Director), Bruce Hadlock

Sweet called the meeting to order at 5:00 PM

Pledge of Allegiance

Chief Paul Smith (Littleton PD) – Accept and Authorize to Expend Four Highway Safety Grants

Littleton In-Cruiser Video - $3,210.00

Littleton STEP - $3,860.96

Littleton DWI Patrols - $6,370.00

Littleton Pedestrian/Bicycle Patrols - $2,269.38

Smith said it is that time of year again when they inform if we have were approved for the grants.  Smith presented the Littleton Pedestrian/Bicycle Patrols grant for $2,269.38.  This is mainly for foot patrols on Main Street.  We are looking to reduce pedestrian and motor vehicle and bicycle collisions.  Bratz said the PD used to have bicycles and it was a top-rated program.  Smith said this grant allows for bike patrols, in fact, we did bike patrols last year.  Bratz asked if the three bikes belong to the individual officers.  Smith said the PD owns the three bikes. Rossi asked how this works.  Smith said the Office of Highway Safety receives federal grant money to reduce pedestrian accidents in several different areas, DUI, distracted driving, road rage and those types of incidents.  They also provide funding for highway safety equipment.  Smith explained that they are not to exceed the amount of what the amount awarded.  Smith then moved onto the Littleton STEP Grant in the amount of $3,860.96.  This is basically for safety patrols such as patrolling around the schools and looking for distracted drivers etc.  Smith said the department usually applies for these grants in April on an annual basis.  They inform us if the grants were awarded in late September.  We now have a year to expend the funds where before we only had about three months.  Smith then moved onto the Littleton In-Cruiser Video for $3,210.00.  It covers 50% of the cost for a new cruiser video.  Some of our cruiser videos are antiquated.  The last grant he presented was for the Littleton DWI Patrols for $6,370.00.  This grant is for saturated DWI patrols at certain times and only on certain days of the week.  Sweet thanked Smith and moved onto the Town Manager's Report.

Town Manager’s Report:
Personnel Policy Change – Chapter 4.4 Application
The intent of the changes to the policy is to have the ability to fill critical positions.  The current policy requires internal advertising for a week.  Karen Noyes stated it also allows us to use a program called National Organization Able.  Dorsett said this gives us the flexibility to work with internal applicants and those through the program.  Sweet asked if the board had to act on this.   Dorsett said the board has to approve all policies.  Sweet said they would address this under board action of the agenda.

 Franchise Agreement Extension
Dorsett said they extended the agreement last year and they need to extend the agreement for one more year.  The extension would allow for negotiations for a long-term agreement.  Dorsett said they have been having some difficulty getting some of the outside communities to attend the negotiation meetings.  Sweet said this item would also be taken care of during board action. 

Other Business: None

Old Business:  None

New Business: 
Sweet said there had been some statements made, some in writing, some verbally and some of them in emails, about "good ole boys club," about favoritism, about special favors to certain people.  Sweet said he wants whoever is here and whoever is listening on Channel 2 to know that there is none of that going on.  There is none of that that has gone on.  The Select Board and the Town Manager do not abide by those practices.  There has been some suggestion that there has been favoritism displayed in the granting of variances and or special exceptions for building projects in the Mill Street area.  Sweet said that is also not true.  When the Zoning Board issues a ruling, there is a statement which says their verdict is conditional that the applicant complies with all state, local and federal regulations.  If there is some issue, there is a way to address legally.  Sweet said it is not that it bothers the Town Manager or the board, it is the people on the street that are being maligned.  It is not fair, they have done nothing and they have not received these so-called special favors.  Sweet said he just wanted to have this on the public record. 

Public Comments:
Bruce Hadlock asked the board if they were aware that the keno game has to be put on the ballot.  If you do not do it you can lose up to $1,100 per kindergarten students.  Hadlock said keno is a game of chance which you can apparently make money.  Apparently, every Town has to vote on it.  If you don't vote on it, you will not get the money from the state.  Sweet asked if this was a Town issue or a school issue.  Hadlock said it is a vote that has to be put on the Town ballot.  Hadlock said he was suggesting the board look into it and make sure it gets on the ballot.  Franco Rossi told that Hadlock might be right, he has a different understanding of it.  He believes that all Town's would get $1,100 per student and those that put it on the ballot will get more.  Sweet thanked Hadlock and said they would look into it.

Rudy Gelsi said he really appreciated Sweet’s comments earlier.  Special favors are going on in this Town.  He has it in black and white on paper.  He is always trying to find out what is going on and he talks to the people.  You guys are never around and you guys never want to talk to the people.  He tries to get in touch with the Town Manager and ask him why you got seven million dollars in grants and bonds.  People are always asking him.  People want to know, people are very interested to know what is going on in Town.  Prosperity is a difficult thing.  What have you guys done this year or the year before?  He sent twenty letters of intent to be more involved with the Town.  You guys throw all of my letters in the garbage.  This is the truth.  Because even today there are people missing on the budget committee and on the planning.  As for special favors, you got a CDBG grant for one million dollars for infrastructure.  This is to support the expansion of Shillings.  If people read this what are they supposed to say, what are they supposed to think.  Tell me.  It’s right on paper.  You have got a half a million for a company and no matter what way you turn it around it comes from the taxpayer.  He has a lot of people that go to him and ask him what are they to do, they cannot pay the taxes.  When I ask a question and I don’t get an answer, what is he supposed to say?  Special favors!  The Tannery, five years ago that place was a cesspool.  It got money from the River District.  The value went down from $500,000 to $375,000.  Gelsi told the chairman that if he wants to go to court, he is willing to go to court because he has everything on paper.  People talk to him if he makes a mistake talk to him.  Franco Rossi said he had to tell Gelsi one thing.  The thing that makes it difficult to deal with him is because he makes statements as though they are facts that are not true.  Gelsi responded that Rossi should go and visit him at his house.  Rossi said he was sorry but he was not going to visit him at his house it is just not going to happen.  Gelsi said he goes around and talks to people and if they ask him a question and he has a piece of paper then he has the answer.  Sweet told Gelsi there is a process if there has been wrongdoing, follow the process and nail the people that did it.  Gelsi then said, Mr. Chairman, I am not going to spend any money on an attorney.  I am my own attorney.  Sweet said he should do it himself and bring some charges.  Gelsi asked for what?  Sweet said for your unsubstantiated charges.  Gelsi said he had it on paper.  Dorsett said that Shillings was actually the one doing a favor to the Town with the CDBG grant.  We couldn't even apply for the grant except for the fact that Shillings was willing to supply all of their financial information and job growth to help the Town with the infrastructure.  Dorsett said the Tannery was funded before he was even here.  That was funded with the Northern Borders initiative. Rossi asked Gelsi if he looked at other commercial properties.  A lot of commercial properties went down, not just that one.  Gelsi went on to say the facts are facts everything has proof and it is in black and white.  Sweet said that is not proof.  Rossi said he would like to know something now.  You just received an explanation on the grant that you referred to in a letter.  Now are you going to still tell people that certain people are getting special favors?  Now that it has been explained that it is not a special favor, in fact it is a special favor in the other direction.  Gelsi said it is in black and white.  Rossi told Gelsi he has completely misunderstood.  Gelsi said he was not afraid of Rossi. 

Karen Noyes listed some businesses who received grants through the Town over the years.  Bruce Hadlock said all of the grants have to come in front of the board to get approved.  His only criticism is that the board is not studying it to see if it is a great thing or not.  That is what they should be doing.  Hadlock told the board that you people arranged a meeting to talk about a tax rate issue that the state was considering that would impact the Town of Littleton.  This meeting was not advertised, and they held the meeting.  Sweet said the Town Manager does not publicize every meeting he goes attends.  Sweet said he didn't coordinate it he was invited to it.  Dorsett noted Brad Baily organized the meeting.  Hadlock offered several alternatives. Sweet asked if there were any further comments.  There being none he moved onto board action.  

Board Action: 
Sweet said they would vote in the same order as listed on the agenda.

Littleton In-Cruiser Video - $3,210.00.  Bratz made the motion to accept.  Rossi seconded the motion.  The motion passed 3-0.Littleton STEP - $3,860.96.  Bratz made the motion to accept.  Rossi seconded the motion.  The motion passed 3-0.  Littleton DWI Patrols - $6,370.00.  Bratz made the motion to accept.  Rossi seconded the motion.  The motion passed 3-0.  Littleton Pedestrian/Bicycle Patrols - $2,269.38.  Bratz made the motion to accept.  Rossi seconded the motion.  The motion passed 3-0.

Personnel Policy Change – Chapter 4.4 Application.  Bratz made the motion to approve.  Rossi seconded the motion.  The motion passed 3-0.

Franchise Agreement Extension.  Bratz made the motion to approve.  Rossi seconded the motion.  The motion passed 3-0.


Approve the following minutes:

June 28, 2017.  Bratz moved to approve.  Rossi seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.
July 10, 2017.  Bratz moved to approve.  Rossi seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.

The August 14, 2017 and the September 11, 2017 minutes are being passed over because they have not had a chance to go over them.  Rossi made the motion to adjourn.  Bratz seconded the motion.  The meeting adjourned at 5:57 PM.