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Town Seal of Lynnfield
 
Board of Selectmen Minutes 02/22/2011
Board of Selectmen
February 22, 2011
Regular Session
Selectmen’s Hearing Room, Town Hall

Present:
Al Merritt, Chairman
Robert P. MacKendrick, Selectman
Arthur J. Bourque III, Selectman

Chairman Merritt called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m. and announced that the meeting was being recorded for the purposes of transmission via cable television.

Joint meeting, Lynnfield Center Water District
Chairman Merritt called into session the annual joint meeting of the Board with the Lynnfield Center Water District Board of Water Commissioners, held for the purpose of setting the District’s compensation to the Board of Assessors and Tax Collector for processing the District’s tax bills.

On the motion of Commissioner John Smith, seconded by Commissioner Stefan Taschner, the joint meeting voted unanimously to name Chairman Merritt as chairman of the joint meeting.

On the motion of Commissioner Stefan Taschner, seconded by Commissioner John Smith, the joint meeting unanimously voted to waive the minutes from the February 9, 2010 joint meeting.

On the motion of Commissioner John Smith, seconded by Commissioner Stefan Taschner, the joint meeting unanimously voted to approve compensation for Fiscal Year 2011 annual compensation for services rendered to the Lynnfield Center Water District to be set as follows: Tax Collector, $400 and Assessors, $200 each.

On the motion of Commissioner Stefan Taschner, seconded by Commissioner John Smith, the joint meeting unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting sine die. The meeting was adjourned at 7:07 p.m.

Joint meeting, Lynnfield Water District
Chairman Merritt called into session the annual joint meeting of the Board with the Lynnfield Water District Board of Water Commissioners, held for the purpose of setting the District’s compensation to the Board of Assessors and Tax Collector for processing the District’s tax bills.

On the motion of Commissioner James Finegan, seconded by Commissioner John Harrigan, the joint meeting voted unanimously to name Chairman Merritt as chairman of the joint meeting.

On the motion of Commissioner James Finegan, seconded by Commissioner John Harrigan, the joint meeting unanimously voted to waive the minutes from the February 9, 2010 joint meeting.

On the motion of Commissioner James Finegan, seconded by Commissioner John Harrigan, the joint meeting unanimously voted to approve compensation for Fiscal Year 2011 annual compensation for services rendered to the Lynnfield Center Water District to be set as follows: Tax Collector, $400 and Assessors, $1500 each.

On the motion of Commissioner James Finegan, seconded by Commissioner John Harrigan, the joint meeting unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting sine die. The meeting was adjourned at 7:14 p.m.

Fiscal Year 2012 Budget – Police Department
Police Chief David Breen appeared to present is Fiscal Year 2012 budget request to the Board.

Chief Breen presented the Board with comparisons with area communities showing that those communities with populations similar to Lynnfield have larger police departments. He said that the department’s current staffing is less than minimally adequate. He said the fiscal impact study conducted for the Market Street at Lynnfield (formerly Meadow Walk) project recommended that three positions be added to the department, two patrolmen and one detective.

In the current configuration of the department, Patrolman Anthony Hnath serves as a part-time detective. Patrolman Louis Trapasso is also receiving training for this purpose. The chief strongly urged the Board to address this in the future, as it would be advantageous to have a full-time detective available for regional weekly meetings of detectives and it is difficult to maintain high-quality investigations with a dedicated detective.

Chief Breen said he had discussions with the police chief in Dedham about the impact of Legacy Place, a lifestyle development owned by National Development, developer of the Market Street at Lynnfield project. He reported 695 calls last year for service, which was a 564 percent increase over the amount from the facility that previously occupied that site. The Lynnfield Commons development has also caused in increase in call volume.

Chairman Merritt said that this need should be addressed when the development comes on line. Chief Breen said the report calls for three additional officers in additional to the 19 authorized positions. The department is operating one sergeant short on the day shift.

Selectman Bourque said that due to the need for Police Academy training and in-town training, the process to being on a new officer is seven to nine months. He said to have officers ready for when the development is underway, the Board may have to take action during this fiscal year.

Town Administrator William Gustus said that the earliest the development will be open in the fall or winter of 2012.

Chief Breen said that one way to shorten the lead time is to accept a transfer from another department. He said that he also has the desire to see a Lynnfield resident hired from the eligible list. He favors the use of an assessment center to choose a permanent sergeant and a permanent captain. He has discussed the filling of the vacancy for sergeant with an assessment center to be held as early as May. After the sergeant position is filled, the captain selection process will begin. Civil Service is holding a regional assessment center for chief and deputy chief; as assessment for captain will be held later this year. No regional assessment center is offered for sergeant. He is not in favor of using the standard written exam administered by Civil Service.

Chief Breen said that the department has been inadequate in addressing training needs. Some of this can be done during regular shifts, but most training cannot.  The department is updating its policies and procedures, some of which are outdated. A complete review of the 140 policies is underway, with one or two being addressed per week to avoid overwhelming the officers. All officers recently completed domestic violence training.

The capital budget request includes a four-wheel patrol vehicle, which the department does not have. The Chevrolet Tahoe is near failing and is expensive to maintain. The department has radar units in three patrol vehicles, and one portable unit. The department will seek to repair the mobile radar trailer. The mobile radar unit is quite old, and replacement with a used unit is being considered. The department has two Taser units, one of which is defective and will be replaced by the manufacturer. The cost is $700 to $800 per unit and training on their use is expensive.

Chief Breen said he would like to add two “tough book” computers for new vehicles, with software that allows reporting and accessing or reports from the field. These reports can be reviewed at the station while the officer is in the field. He also said the department’s handguns are at the end of their useful life; some were manufactured in 1990. A trade-in value of $200 will be applied to new purchases. New duty holsters will also be required, as well as ammunition. The department’s body armor is also well beyond it effective life. Some new officers do not have body armor. The cost would be $10,000 for new body armor for all officers.

Selectman Bourque asked if the number of calls is increasing. Chief Breen said that medical aid calls, housebreaks, and care breaks have increased recently. He said that in Dedham, the calls at Legacy Place are attributable in large part to medical aid, shoplifting, car accidents and alarm activations. There are also incidents related to establishment that serve liquor. Selectman Bourque asked Chief Breen to provide statistics on calls for the last two years to the Board.

Selectman MacKendrick said that networking with colleagues from area departments is important for detectives. He said he wants to be sure the Town can count on the additional tax revenue from the Market Street development before committing to new positions.

Chairman Merritt thanked Chief Breen for his presentation.

Fiscal Year 2012 Budget – Fire Department
Fire Chief Thomas Bogart appeared before the Board to present his Fiscal Year 2012 budget request.

He said the Fire Department budget request reflects salary increases included in the new collective bargaining agreement: a two-percent increase as well as step increases. The overtime rate is affected as well. The budget includes six existing full-time firefighter positions as well as a new administrative assistant position and the approximately 33-member call department budget.

The number of calls and runs are up significantly, totaling 1668 for both fire and emergency medical service calls. The previous year’s total was 1497.

The proposed budget utilizes $575,000 in revenue from the ambulance enterprise fund. New ambulance rates were approved at the previous Board of Selectmen meeting.

A grant from the federal homeland security agency will be used to fund protective gear purchases. A request for the entire amount has been withdrawn and a $4600 match will be required for the $92,000 purchase.

In the capital budget, new portable radios and computers are needed for each of the three ambulances, and would be funded through the emergency medical services enterprise fund. Selectman Bourque asked if this equipment could be funded as “personal protective gear” through the grant. Chief Bogart said it could not be.

Chairman Merritt said decisions on funding capital items would be made later, in general.

Mr. Gustus said that due to the operating budget challenges, there were no funds for capital items included in the original budget model. But he said there are capital needs and that departments have submitted capital requests, including some that are quite sizeable. The Department of Public Works has submitted over $1 million in requests, the Police Department about $100,000, and the Fire Department somewhat less. The only way to address these needs would be to seek a multi-purpose, multi-department equipment loan, for a term of five or ten years, depending on the expected useful life of the equipment. This would add to the Town’s debt service in Fiscal Year 2013 and beyond. The Town has numerous technology-related needs. The additional $120,000 to $150,000 in debt service should be able to be accommodated within the Proposition 2-1/2 levy limit starting in Fiscal Year 2013. Thos would allow ca capital program of between $750,000 and $1.25 million. These limits are based on the Town’s capacity to pay for capital items rather than the Town’s true needs.

Chairman Merritt said that money from the Market Street development agreement allowed the Town to build its reserves, but that a reduction in state aid and increases in health insurance costs have required the Town to draw on those reserves. With federal stimulus funds no longer available and stabilization and free cash funds drawn down, the Town finds itself looking at a draft budget that has a deficit of $ 1 million to $1.5 million.

Chairman Merritt said that he is working with Mr. Gustus and members of the Finance Committee to offer options to the voters for dealing with these issues, and that voter education will be needed prior to the annual town meeting.

CodeRED emergency notification system
Chief Bogart provided the Board with an update on the CodeRED emergency notification system provided by the Emergency Communications Network. In his capacity as Emergency Management Director, Chief Bogart is working with department heads and the two water districts on the implementation of this system. The system allows messages to be sent to users in various categories, including geographical areas. Hone phones, cellular phones, and e-mail addresses can be added to the network. The annual cost is $7800.

Mr. Gustus said that the cost is being split three ways between the Town and the two water districts.

Selectman Bourque said that in another community, a home invasion was followed by a call using this or a similar system to alert neighbors in the area to close their doors. He thanked the chief, Assistant Emergency Management Director Kenneth Burnham, and the two water districts for their work on this effort.

Administrative matters
On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to approve the proclamation of May 1-8, 2011 as Holocaust Remembrance Week. Board members signed a proclamation to that effect (see attached exhibit).

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to approve the proclamation of April 29, 2011 as Arbor Day. Board members signed a proclamation to that effect (see attached exhibit).

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to approve a request to allow the use of town streets for the annual Little League parade on May 1, 2011.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to approve a request to allow the hanging of a banner for the Reid’s Ride event from July 5-17.

The Board put of consideration of a request to use the common for a graduation party on June 25, 2011 while awaiting a recommendation from Public Works Director Dennis Roy.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the January 10, 2011 executive session.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the January 24, 2011 regular session.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn the meeting at 8:00 p.m.






 
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