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Board of Selectmen Minutes 06/07/2011
Board of Selectmen
June 7, 2011
Regular Session
Selectmen’s Meeting Room, Town Hall

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

Chairman Bourque called the meeting to order at 4:29 p.m. He announced that the meeting was being recorded for purposes of transmission via cable television.

Memorandum of Understanding and Memorandum of Agreement on Employee Health Insurance
Selectman Merritt said that this is a momentous time for the Town, and that Lynnfield has been on the cutting edge of dealing with issues that have a statewide impact.

He said that Town Administrator William Gustus and representatives of all employee unions and retirees on the Public Employee Committee worked together to reach an agreement  and said he admired all involved for negotiating in good faith and looking at what is both in their interest and in the Town’s interest.

He also noted the assistance of Sen. Katherine Clarke and Reps. Brad Jones and Donald Wong in working with state officials to allow the Town to participate in the state Group Insurance Commission health plan.

He noted that the voters of Lynnfield agreed to measures that would close half of the Town’s budget deficit through additional taxes and fees, and the Town employees have now agreed to this change in health insurance to make up the other half. He said he did not expect that the Town will face this budgetary uphill battle again because the Town is not relying on the use of reserves to fund its budget going into Fiscal Year 2012.

Selectman MacKendrick said that this agreement will be beneficial to both taxpayers and employees, and will allow the Town to get the skyrocketing cost of health insurance under control. He said that if this agreement and the proposed revenue measures had not been adopted, the Town of Lynnfield would cease to exist as we know it in terms of services. He praised the taxpayers and employees for being very reasonable and for working in the Town’s best interest.

Chairman Bourque said that this is the final major piece of the budget process, and expressed the gratitude of the Board to Mr. Gustus, the union and retiree representatives, Town employees and retirees. He said that around the state, there have been massive layoffs in municipalities, in some cases because employees and officials could not work together. Because of the work of Town employees, Lynnfield is the place it is today. This is why voters at town meeting and the polls supported the measures necessary to preserve Town services. These events bode well for the Town’s future, as does news that the Market Street at Lynnfield project is moving forward with new tenant signings. The long-term budget prospects are optimistic.

On the motion of Selectman Merritt, seconded by Selectman MacKendrick, the Board voted unanimously to approve the Memorandum of Understanding and the Memorandum of Agreement regarding the Town’s Health Insurance program. Members of the Board signed both agreements, as did employee bargaining unit representatives and members of the Public Employee Committee.

Lynnfield Teachers Association President Lorie Kelly said the process has been one of good faith, and said the taxpayers’ support of the revenue measures and the vote of employee and retiree representatives to approve these documents were for the integrity of the Town and continuation of Town services.

School Committee Chair Dorothy Presser thanked the Town employees and the voters for their efforts to maintain Town services.

On the motion of Selectman MacKendrick, seconded by Selectman Merritt, the Board voted to adjourn at 4:44 p.m.

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