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Board of Selectmen Minutes 04/11/2011
Board of Selectmen
April 11, 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 transmitting via cable television.

CodeRED emergency notification policy
Chairman Merritt said that a draft policy on the use of the CodeRED notification system had been circulated to Board members (see attached exhibit).

Chairman Merritt said that the chief issue is whether to use the network only for emergencies or to allow its use to provide residents with information about events such as town meetings. He asked Board members to consider it, and noted that the Town Administrator’s office is surveying other communities on their policies.

Recommendations on warrant articles
Chairman Merritt noted that a Town-wide meeting of Town employees and retirees to place earlier today at Lynnfield High School. Town Hall was closed for the day and the schools had a previously scheduled staff day with no students. Town Administrator William Gustus is working with employees and retirees to reduce the Town’s cost for employee health insurance by $750,000. In the afternoon, Mr. Gustus and Mr. Merritt met with employee and retiree representatives as the Public Employee Committee to discuss the issue. He noted that much of the information was complex and changes in health plans are not accomplished easily. He thanked employees and retirees for their participation and their cooperation. He said that the Town is blessed with a good group of people working for it, who will do their share to ensure the Town continues to offer the current level of services to residents. He said the residents can do their part by approving the warrant articles on the local meals tax and the pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) proposal.

Mr. Gustus said that he has made the point during today’s employee meeting that the proposed budget requires the cooperation of all stakeholders in the Town government, including employees, taxpayers, and users of Town services. He answered dozens of questions and there was an animated discussion in which several people made good points. Unions and the retirees then caucused. Representatives of the retirees and each employee union convened as the Public Employee Committee (PEC) for a formal bargaining session. After this meeting, not further comment will be made on this work, as it is a matter of collective bargaining.

Mr. Gustus noted that the annual town meeting will be held on April 255 and that the Board, the Finance Committee and the employees seem to agree that a level-services budget should be put forward. Employees take pride in their work and do not want to see program eroded due to lack of funding. They expressed a desire to work with the Town. They want input on specific changes to the health insurance plan. The PEC voted to bargain in good faith toward meeting the goal of avoiding layoffs, conditioned on the Town residents approving measures that would do the same. He applauds the employees for making a commitment to do what is necessary to avoid layoffs and continue the current level of services. He said changing insurance plans will be hard work, and the commitment has been made to complete this work by June 1. He believes this will allow the Town to move forward on its budget as proposed.

Selectman Bourque said that the presentation was very comprehensive and praised the employees for their willingness to work with Town officials toward this common goal. He said he has heard questions about how the Town found itself in this unprecedented position. A year ago, the Town was in very good shape financially but further cuts in state aid and an unexpectedly large increase in the health insurance premiums have caused serious problems. The long-term plan was sound, but these changes could not be anticipated. No member of the Board wants to compromise Town services. He urged voters to come to town meeting and make the necessary decisions.

Chairman Merritt said that Mr. Gustus began this process with employees two days after learning of the 16.6 percent increase in the health insurance premium on February 15.

Recommendations on warrant articles
The Board took up for consideration the warrant articles, previously approved for inclusion on the warrant and printed below:

ARTICLE 1. To act on reports of town officers and special committees as published.

Submitted by BOARD OF SELECTMEN

ARTICLE 2. To choose all Town officers not required to be chosen by ballot: ~viz.; three field drivers, one pound keeper and three wood measurers.

Submitted by BOARD OF SELECTMEN

ARTICLE 3. To see if the Town will vote to FIX THE COMPENSATION of each of the Elective Officers of the Town as required by General Laws, Chapter 41, Section 108, as amended. ~~~~~

                                Submitted by BOARD OF SELECTMEN

ARTICLE 4. ~To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds, sums of money to supplement certain accounts in the current 2011 Fiscal Year where balances are below projected expenditures for various reasons; or what action it will take thereon.

Submitted by BOARD OF SELECTMEN

ARTICLE 5. ~To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate from Emergency Medical Services Enterprise receipts and/ or transfer from Ambulance Enterprise Retained Earnings a sum of money to defray the costs and expenses of the Emergency Medical Services Enterprise operation in the current 2011 Fiscal Year; or what action it will take thereon.
        
Submitted by BOARD OF SELECTMEN

ARTICLE 6. ~To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate from Golf Enterprise receipts a sum of money to defray the costs and expenses of the Golf Enterprise operation in the current 2011 Fiscal Year; or what action it will take thereon.

Submitted by BOARD OF SELECTMEN

ARTICLE 7. ~To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate or appropriate by transfer from available funds, sums of money to pay overdue bills of a prior fiscal year, or what action it will take thereon.

Submitted by BOARD OF SELECTMEN

ARTICLE 8. To see if the Town will vote to accept the provisions of G.L. c. 64L, § 2, to impose a tax upon the sale of restaurant meals originating within Lynnfield by any vendors at a rate of three-quarters of one percent (.75%) of the gross receipts of such vendors from the sale of restaurant meals, and that such provisions take effect on July 1, 2011; or what action it will take thereon.

Submitted By BOARD OF SELECTMEN

ARTICLE ~9. To see if the Town will vote to accept the provisions of G.L. c. 44, Sec. 53 F1/2 establishing a Solid Waste and Recycling Enterprise Fund effective Fiscal Year 2012 to implement a Pay as You Throw Program to defray the cost of disposal of solid waste; and to raise and appropriate or transfer from enterprise receipts a sufficient sum of money to operate the Solid Waste and Recycling Enterprise Program; or what action it will take thereon.

Submitted by BOARD OF SELECTMEN

ARTICLE 10. To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, appropriate by transfer from available funds, or otherwise, a sum of money for the necessary Town charges and expenses; or what action it will take thereon.

Submitted by BOARD OF SELECTMEN

ARTICLE 11. To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, appropriate by transfer from available funds or by borrowing, or from any or all such sources, sums of money for the purchase of various equipment and items in the nature of capital expenditure and to give authority to credit the value of the various old equipment to be turned in toward the purchase price of said items, said sums of money to be expended under the direction of various Town boards, committees, or officers; or what action it will take thereon.

Submitted by BOARD OF SELECTMEN

ARTICLE 12. To see if the Town will vote to reauthorize the establishment of a Revolving Fund under the provisions of Chapter 44, Section 53 E-1/2, to be spent by the Council on Aging, limited to a certain amount, without further appropriation during FY 2012, to pay expenses and contractual services required to operate Senior Center Activities and field trips; said fund to be credited with all fees and charges received during FY 2012 from persons taking part in said activities and field trips; or what action it will take thereon.

Submitted by BOARD OF SELECTMEN

ARTICLE 13. To see if the Town will vote to reauthorize the establishment of a Revolving Fund under the provisions of Chapter 44, Section 53 E-1/2, to be spent by the Board of Health, limited to a certain amount, without further appropriation during FY 2012, to pay expenses and contractual services required to operate the Flu Clinic; said fund to be credited with recovery through third party billing received during FY 2012 from persons taking part in said activities; or what action it will take thereon.

Submitted by BOARD OF HEALTH

ARTICLE 14. To see if the Town will vote to reauthorize the establishment of a Revolving Fund under the provisions of Chapter 44, Section 53 E-1/2, to be spent by the Board of Library Trustees, limited to a certain amount, without further appropriation during FY 2012, to pay expenses related to book replacement and new book acquisitions, said fund to be credited with all fines collected for the loss of library books ~received during FY 2012 from persons paying such fines; or what action it will take thereon.

Submitted by BOARD OF LIBRARY TRUSTEES

ARTICLE 15. To see if the Town will vote to reauthorize the establishment of a Revolving Fund under the provisions of Chapter 44, Section 53 E-1/2, to be spent by the Recreation Commission, limited to a certain amount, without further appropriation during FY 2012, to pay expenses and contractual services required to operate Recreation Activities and field trips; said fund to be credited with all fees and charges received during FY 2012 from persons taking part in said activities and field trips; or what action it will take thereon.

Submitted By BOARD OF SELECTMEN

ARTICLE 16. To see if the Town will vote to appropriate a sum of money from Emergency Medical Service Enterprise receipts to defray the cost of providing emergency medical services in the Town of Lynnfield; or what action it will take thereon.

Submitted By BOARD OF SELECTMEN

ARTICLE 17. To see if the Town will vote to appropriate a sum of money from Golf Enterprise receipts and or Golf Enterprise Retained Earnings to pay expenses and contractual services required to operate the Reedy Meadow Golf Course and King Rail Golf Course, said Enterprise Fund to be credited with all fees and charges received during Fiscal Year 2012 from persons using the golf course; or what action it will take thereon.

Submitted By BOARD OF SELECTMEN

ARTICLE 18. To see if the Town will vote to appropriate a sum of money for highway design, construction and maintenance and for all other purposes which are authorized by law and to fund such effort with so-called Chapter 90 money approved for said use by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; or what action it will take thereon.

Submitted By BOARD OF SELECTMEN
On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to recommend Article 1.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to recommend Article 2.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to recommend Article 3.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to recommend Article 4.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to recommend Article 5.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to recommend Article 6.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to recommend Article 7.

On Article 8, Selectman Bourque said he is in favor of the local meals tax and acknowledged it had been rejected by town meeting in the past. Since then, surrounding communities have implemented it. He said the amount paid by Lynnfield residents under this local tax will be minimal compared to the amount out-of-towners dining in Lynnfield will contribute, especially once the Market Street development is open.

Selectman MacKendrick agreed and said that 75 cents in a $100 bill was a small amount, but would add up for the Town. Chairman Merritt noted that Lynnfield residents are paying this tax when they dine in other communities. He said 75 percent of the local meals tax will likely be borne by non-Lynnfield residents.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to recommend Article 8.

On Article 9, Selectman MacKendrick said that he is reluctantly in favor of the PAYT proposal. He said he would be willing to hear about alternatives. He said he belives this measure should be recommended to town meeting and looks forward to a far-reaching discussion. He said as a heavy recycler, he will be able to minimize his costs, as others will be able to by taking the same policy.

Selectman Bourque said he opposes this measure except as a last resort, and would even prefer an override of Proposition 2-1/2 as a budget solution. He agreed that additional funds are needed to maintain Town services, but he said taxpayers expect this basic service to be provided through the regular budget. Once this fee is imposed, he said, it will never be rolled back. Residents don’t have the option of taking their trash to the town dump, as none exists.

Chairman Merritt said that until a few weeks ago he was not in favor of PAYT either. He said the advantages are that it will increase recycling voluntarily and will lower costs for senior citizens and smaller households, who will likely pay about $1 per week. He said this is part of a package of cost-cutting and revenue-raising measures that are aimed at spreading the cost of solving the Town’s budget situation in an equitable manner.

On the motion of Chairman Merritt, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted 2-1 (Selectman Bourque in the minority) to recommend Article 9.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to recommend Article 10.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to recommend Article 11.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to recommend Article 12.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to recommend Article 13.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to recommend Article 14.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to recommend Article 15.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to recommend Article 16.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to recommend Article 17.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to recommend Article 18.

Payroll delegation form
The Board took up the Payroll Delegation Form, which Chairman Merritt explained was an option the Board could avail itself of, in which one Board member could be delegated to sign the payroll on behalf of the other members. Mr. Gustus noted the Board could also continue with the current policy of having the signature of two members necessary to approve the payroll. The three selectmen all said they did not find the current situation burdensome or an impediment to the Town carrying out its business.

Administrative matters
On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board unanimously approved the use of the Common for the annual Townscape, Inc. Geraniumfest on May 14.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board unanimously approved the placement of the banner for the Geraniumfest above the common for the period of May 1 through May 14, 2011.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board unanimously approved the use of the South Hall parking lot for a car wash held by the Lynnfield High School boys’ lacrosse team on May 15.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board unanimously approved a one-day liquor license at the Knights of Columbus for a private party on May 1, 2011 from 1-5 p.m.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board unanimously approved the use of the Common for the annual Townscape, Inc. Geraniumfest on May 14.

On the motion of Selectman MacKendrick, seconded by Selectman Bourque, the Board unanimously approved the minutes of the meetings of March 7, 2011 and March 21, 2011, with a minor correction on the dates of the anniversary of the Meeting House and Lynnfield’s establishment as a Town on the March 7, 2011 minutes.

On the motion of Selectman Bourque, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board unanimously voted to recess at 7:39 p.m. until such time the votes for the annual Town Election were tabulated.

Election results and reformation of the Board
At 8:22 p.m., Chairman Merritt called the Board back into session and the meeting to order. Town Clerk Amy Summers read the results of the Town Election, in which the following candidates were elected. All of them ran without opposition. Selectman – Al Merritt; Assessor – Bonnie Celli; Library Trustee- Robert Calamari; Moderator – David Miller; Planning Board (unexpired term) – Charles Wills; Planning Board (full term) – Alan Dresios; School Committee – James Fagan.

Ms. Summers swore Mr. Merritt into office. He thanked the voters for their support and said it had been great working with his colleagues for the past three years. He said he thinks the Board is doing a good job for the Town with the help and guidance of Mr. Gustus. Selectmen MacKendrick and Bourque congratulated him on his re-election and thanked him for his service as chairman.

On the motion of Selectman MacKendrick, seconded by Chairman Merritt, the Board unanimously elected Arthur Bourque to serve as Chairman.

On the motion of Selectman Merritt, seconded by Chairman Bourque, the Board unanimously elected Selectman MacKendrick to serve as Vice Chairman.

On the motion of Selectman MacKendrick, seconded by Chairman Bourque, the Board unanimously elected Selectman Merritt to serve as Clerk.

Chairman Bourque thanked the Board for its support and said he would be working on his goals soon. He announced this will be his final year as a selectman and said he hopes young people will come forward to serve the Town. He said he looks forward to working with his colleagues, members of other boards, town employees and the residents in the next year.

On the motion of Selectman MacKendrick, seconded by Selectman Merritt, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn at 8:31 p.m.












 
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