Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes & Agendas

Aug 10, 2015

Draft Minutes Aug 10, 2015

5:00 PM

Present: Interim Town Manager Merelise O’Conner, V. Chairman Milton T. Bratz, Selectman Schuyler Sweet, Chairman Marghie Seymour remote attendance from New Mexico, Executive Secretary Ceil Stubbings

Others Present: Kate Vaughn (Littleton Senior Center), Michael Schaefer, Captain Chris Tyler (Littleton PD), Robert Blechl (The White Mountain Record), Darin Wipperman (The Courier), Rachael Doriski (Channel 2), Dann, Rudy Gelsi, Amy Sharp, Ron Bolt, Mary Boulanger, Jerry Lesage, Dave Ernsberger

Bratz called the meeting to order at 5:00 PM and announced that Seymour was attending via phone conference from New Mexico on personal business.

Pledge of Allegiance

Interim Town Manager Introduction – Merelise O’Connor
Bratz introduced Merelise O’Connor as the interim Town Manager who is contracted through MRI. Merelise is here two days a week until the new Town Manager starts.

Kate Vaughn – Littleton Senior Center
Tree Harp – Gift to the Town
Kate Vaughn read from a prepared document to gift the tree harp sculpture to the Town of Littleton. They have located a sight just off the Riverwalk. The property owner has agreed to let us use the land with conditions. They require a five million dollar insurance rider. Vaughn said that it is her understanding the Town already has a policy in place. Bratz asked Seymour and Sweet if they had a problem with this. Seymour said they should let people state concerns they may have. O’Connor said that most boards have the authority to accept gifts to the Town. Dave Ernsberger and Vaughn went over many different sites on the right hand side of the pathway. Vaughn said the site chosen has wonderful birch trees. Dann asked if the River District Commission gave the money for this project. Vaughn said they did not give all of the funds but donated five thousand dollars. Dave Ernsberger said it was their their own money donated from left over from fund raising events. Sweet asked if we had checked with our insurance carrier so see if the insurance could be added to the current policy without additional costs. Vaughn said she had a conversation with the Town’s finance director and she said it was just a formality. Seymour suggested that if they accept the gift tonight they should make it on the condition that they already have the coverage. Seymour said her other concern is where they want to place the sculpture. Seymour said she heard concerns about vandalism and that the site being proposed is too far away from lights. Seymour made the motion to accept the tree harp with the condition that our insurance will cover it and we have some decision making power in terms of the placement. Sweet seconded the motion. The motion passed with a 3-0 unanimous roll call vote.

Littleton Off Road Riders Snowmobile Club
Michelle Schaefer, Roger Emerson, Steve Height
ROW Permission Slips
Michelle Schaefer explained she was in attendance to present the board with permission slips for the board to sign giving the snowmobile club authorization to continue using the trails they have used in the past. O’Connor said there are eight permission slips but the question is how long would these carry. Sweet made the motion to approve permission for five years. Seymour seconded the motion. The motion passed 3-0 by a unanimous roll call vote.

Carl Hilgenberg – Community Center Parking Lot Sinkhole
This item was passed over

Dann – Board of Selectmen’s Citizen Input Concerns
Dann read from a prepared written statement as follows:
Selectmen have no problem with the “tone” of people who agree with them, it is when people who have taxes stolen from them voice their discontent that the “tone” “…has to change”..?! If selectmen have no control over a subject all they have to do is make that known. Where is there wisdom that no one be allowed to speak at select meetings because someone MIGHT bring up a subject selectmen have no control over..?!

There are about 20 select meetings a year – there is one deliberative session. The last deliberative session ran 6 hours and it was all designed to favor the warrants the selectmen favored, and it did not give equal time for any opposing positions. Those who favored spending millions of tax payer dollars for the river district were given over a half hour of both video and speaking time to try and convince people into voting to take their neighbor’s property for the article; the opposition was not given equal time; and because the time was running long a whole group of 7 to 10 articles were lumped into one vote in order to get them passed and, thus, opposition to the individual items was not allowed to be heard. If anyone thinks this is not the truth they can go to the video of the meeting and see for themselves. So, to say that people can speak at public meetings is only a half-truth – if someone is in favor of a warrant they are given as much time as they want while any opposition is given short shrift. A full copy of the statement can be requested by contacting the Town office.

Captain Chris Tyler – Board Acceptance of Highway Safety Project Grant
Littleton DWI/DUI Patrols
Captain Chris Tyler explained the purpose of the grant. Captain Tyler stated they applied for and were granted the Littleton DWI/DUI Patrol Grant that will run from the beginning of August through the middle of September. The purpose is to conduct thirteen DWI patrols. Sweet made the motion to approve the grant. Seymour seconded the motion. The motion passed 3-0 by a unanimous roll call vote.

Citizen Concerns:
Dann said he had heard about Gorham allowing ATV’s on the public roads and it is encouraging business. Bratz said Gorham is vastly different than Littleton. Dann said this access was for ATV’s only. Captain Tyler said he thinks it is going to happen as we are seeing this in other communities. Tyler stated that he has had discussions with the Chief regarding this and it is only a matter of time. Bratz asked when it happens will the final decision come before the board. Tyler said it would need the board’s approval. Seymour said she would not be in favor of the Town opening its roads to ATV’s. Bratz said this has worked elsewhere. Seymour said she received a call from Mary Posy who is the transportation rep. Posey called her because she was concerned about discontinuing the rail line while others are trying to re-establish it. Dann said they should talk to Gorham before they make any decisions. Dave Ernsberger said the River District Bridge is designed to be multi-model but no decision has been made for the actual usage of the bridge to date.

Town Manager’s Report:
Merelise O’Connor said she did not have a formal report but wanted to update the board on some of the things she has been working on. This is her seventh day working for the Town. The days have been full with trying to get orientated and meeting with certain individuals. O’Connor provided a snapshot of some of the things she has been working on. On the first day the Chairman Marghie Seymour advised her that one of the most important things to the board was to straighten out the situation at McDonalds and the Old County Road. O’Connor reported that she has talked several times with McDonalds by the name of Gregory Michael. He was very helpful and advised her an agreement would be signed imminently. It could have been signed last week. She called the attorney today and he has not returned her call. She is aware this project has been on the table for years. O‘Connor said she met with Dufresne Group to discuss the water separation project. There was a grant application that was submitted to the state and the fed’s last week. She also met with the assessors regarding the reval. Bratz wanted to explain that in 2012 we had an engineering firm that was to look at all of our sewer systems. They identified areas that were in need of upgrades. The storm water is getting into the sewer pipes. Nothing happened for a few years and we now have a new engineering firm. They are going to be running cameras through the sewer system to check the extent of the necessary repairs. O’Connor said the Town received a notice of a violation from the DES for high levels of copper going into the waste water treatment plant. We are going to be filing a waiver on the local limits violation because our most recent copper report card was favorable. The grant from the Northern Border Regional Commission for the bridge now has a new grant administrator. O’Connor also met with members of the Energy Conservation Committee. They were discussing the possibility of installing solar panels at the landfill. She also met with all of the departments who were in Town. O’Connor spoke with Adele Fulton who is one of the Town’s attorneys and she provided her with a brief on outstanding cases. Bratz provided a brief overview of the list of ongoing projects that Fred left a list of.

Old Business:
Bratz announced they have offered the Town Manager position to a current Town Administrator. His name is Andrew Dorsett and he will begin working here next Tuesday on a part time basis. Schuyler Sweet asked when he would be starting full time. Bratz said he would start full time on September 1st and noted that this was a full time exempt position. Seymour said they interviewed several qualified people and we were very impressed with Andrew. Bratz said they had eleven applicants and they picked six to interview. Four of them had direct Town experience. Three withdrew prior to the date of the interviews. The board is very happy with this appointment.

New Business:
Budget Committee Appointments
Bratz thank the people who applied to be members of the Budget Committee. Bratz stated that Eddy Moore assured the board that he will be returning as a member. If he is unable to attend he will be put on a leave of absence so we can appoint another person to replace him. Seymour moved to appoint Evan Nelson to the Budget Committee. Sweet seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. Seymour moved to appoint Ron Bolt to the Budget Committee. Sweet seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. Seymour made the motion to appoint Michael Stevens to the Budget Committee. Sweet seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. Seymour moved to appoint George Kirk as an alternate to the Budget Committee. Sweet seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. O’Connor asked if the appointments.

River District Appointment – Mary Boulanger to replace Val Poulsen
Sweet made the motion to appoint Mary Boulanger to the River District Commission as the Conservation Commission Representative. Seymour seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.

MS-1 Extension – October 1, 2015
KRT Appraisal Extension to August 31, 2015
Merelise O’Connor said this is in two parts. One is the request to the DRA to extend the MS-1 submission to October 1 and the other is the request from KRT to extend their reappraisal until August 31st. Bratz read the request for the extension from KRT Appraisals for the public record. Bratz asked for one motion to approve both requests. Sweet made the motion to approve both extension requests. Seymour seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.

Town of Littleton Permanent Easement Approval – V. Chairman Signature
River District Multi-Model Bridge
O’Connor said there are four easements being sought and one is for Town property. Bratz said they are looking to approve the easement request for the multi-model bridge. Sweet made the motion to approve the easement request. Seymour seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.

Other Business:
Bratz said he had two editions to the agenda but they are under nonpublic session.
The additions are RSA 91-A:3, II (c) regarding a contracted vender and RSA 91-A:3, II (d) concerning the sale of property.

Citizen Concerns/Comments:
Rudy Gelsi asked to have a copy of the list of projects that Fred left behind. O’Connor said she would be happy to provide him with the list. Gelsi then asked if the new Town Manager comes from Vermont. Bratz said he works in Vermont but he has worked in New Hampshire and he was a member of the NH state legislature. He has been in Town Administration in New Hampshire but right now he lives in Vermont. Gelsi then asked what he would be making for a salary. Bratz said he will be making $85,000 a year. Gelsi then asked if he was going to move to Littleton. Bratz said it is illegal to pose that as a question. Schuyler Sweet stated that where the Town Manager was from was not a criteria. Gelsi said it is a criteria for the taxpayers in Littleton. Dann just wanted the board to keep in mind that the Town of Lincoln just saved $90,000 by firing their Town Manager. The selectmen are taking over all of the duties. Bratz said the complexity of this municipality dictates that you have a full time person here. Selectmen by definition are not Town Managers. Years ago the community voted to have a Town Manager and we are honoring that commitment.

Approve the following minutes:
July 13, 2015
Sweet made the motion to approve the July 13th minutes. Seymour seconded the motion. Bratz said he had a couple of questions under old business – transfer station and parking meter fees. Steve Kelley asked to appoint committee members to work with department heads. Last year the budget committee thought we should look at parking meter fees and the charges for the bags at the transfer station. The transfer station came forward with a report for the budget committee to review. The budget committee will have a meeting sometime in August for all members. Bratz said that the board made a promise at the last meeting that they need to act on. This is in regards to the request from the farmers market to put up a banner on the covered bridge. Once we put a sign up how many more requests will there be and how long should it be allowed to stay up. Bratz was going to recommend we deny the request instead of coming up with a policy. Seymour made the motion to deny the request. Sweet seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. Bratz had one more item from the minutes and that was someone had mentioned naming the transfer station after Tony Ilacqua. Bratz said they would discuss that at a later time. The motion to approve the minutes passed 3-0.

Bratz announced they would take a short break before entering into the nonpublic sessions.

Seymour made the motion to go into a nonpublic session per: RSA 91-A:3, II (a):
RSA 91-A:3, II (a) The dismissal, promotion, or compensation of any public employee or the disciplining of such employee, or the investigation of any charges against him or her, unless the employee affected (1) has a right to a public meeting, and (2) requests that the meeting be open, in which case the request shall be granted. Sweet seconded the motion. The board entered the nonpublic session at 6:33 PM after a unanimous roll call vote.

Present: V. Chairman Milton T. Bratz, Selectman Schuyler Sweet, Chairman Marghie Seymour by remote phone participation from New Mexico, Interim Town Manager Merelise O’Conner, Captain Chris Tyler and Executive Secretary Ceil Stubbings

O’Connor had sent the board an email regarding the AG’s office recruiting our prosecutor. O’Connor stated the Chief really wants to keep this employee. He has agreed to stay with a $5,000 pay increase. From all reports he is doing a really great job. O’Connor met with the prosecutor last week and he stated that he realizes the offer is a career opportunity. He further stated that he would commit to stay for two years and that he would really like to stay. O’Connor said there is money in the budget to do this because there are some vacancies. Seymour said she has been told he has done a good job and is not opposed to the pay increase as long as he gives us more time. O’Connor said that he stated as a matter of honor he would not seek or pursue other opportunities. Captain Tyler said the majority of the union membership is in favor of this in order to keep the current prosecutor. The board agreed by consensus to approve the wage adjustment. The board did not seal the minutes. Seymour moved to come out of nonpublic session. Sweet seconded the motion. The motion passed 3-0. The board came out of the nonpublic session at 6:43 PM.

Seymour moved to go into nonpublic session per:
RSA 91-A:3, II(c) Matters which, if discussed in public, would likely affect adversely the reputation of any person, other than a member of this board, unless such person requests an open meeting. This exemption shall extend to include any application for assistance or tax abatement or waiver of a fee, fine or other levy, if based on inability to pay or poverty of the applicant. Sweet seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. The board entered the nonpublic session at 6:44 PM. Seymour made the motion to seal the minutes. Sweet seconded the motion. The motion passed 3-0. Seymour made the motion to come out of nonpublic session Sweet seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. The board came out of the nonpublic session at 6:56 PM.

Seymour made the motion to go into nonpublic session per:
RSA 91-A:3, II(d) Consideration of the acquisition, sale or lease of real or personal property which, if discussed in public, would likely benefit a party or parties whose interests are adverse to those of the general community. Sweet seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. The board entered the nonpublic session at 6:57 PM. Bratz made the motion to seal the minutes for a period of three hundred sixty five days. Sweet seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. Seymour made the motion to come out of the nonpublic session. Sweet seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. Seymour made the motion to adjourn. Sweet seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. The meeting adjourned 7:13 PM.