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June 7, 2005
Regular Session 7:00 PM
Mr. MacIver, Ms. Tully, Mr. Edmundson
Public Hearing - Relocation of Pole 31/4 in the vincinity of 152 Gardiner Street
Mr. Todjakian explained that it would be necessary to move the pole a distance of 10 feet towards Whiting Street in order to allow ample room for a new development called Gardiner Terrace. There are no engineering problems associated with such a move.
Voted - to approve a Grant of Location to the Hingham Municipal Light Plant and Verizon New England Inc on their joint petition to relocate Pole #31/4, in the vicinity of 152 Gardner Street, approximately 10 feet in a southwesterly direction towards Whiting Street, as shown on plan marked HMLP, No. 25-04-05, dated 4/25/2005.
Continuation of Discussion regarding Center Field
Mr. Edmundson explained that the ad hoc committee had met and discussed various options regarding the proposed memorial to Donna Powers. Mr. Gay, speaking on behalf of the project proponents, said agreement had been reached on benches and a plaque to be placed on a memorial rock in back of the backstop. Mr. Gay said it was further agreed that there would be no signs on the backstop and no flagpole but that the field would be named Donna Powers Field. Mr. Edmundson said that although the committee had reached consensus on the flat benches of a neutral color and the memorial rock there had not been an agreement on the naming of the field. Ms. Skinner said she had been under the impression at the meeting that Center Field would retain its name. Mr. MacIver suggested that the two issues be considered separately. Various individual spoke to the issues. It was the sense of the Board that they would revisit the issue of naming the field at a future meeting.
Voted - to approve placement of a memorial on a stone at Center Field behind the backstop in honor of Donna Powers.
Continuation of Dog Hearing on a Rottweiler Owned by Benjamin & Diane Bastianelli
Mr. MacIver recapped the progress of the hearing of May 17, and the four areas of consideration in reviewing the testimony and evidence in the case. The areas Mr. MacIver referenced were the nature of the animal, the nature of the attack, the nature of the neighborhood and the nature of the owners. Mr. MacIver said the previous hearing demonstrated that it was an attack by an animal that is being kept as a hobby rather than a pet; the neighborhood is one populated by many children and the owners are nice people who are on a learning curve with the dog. The Police Chief's recommendation is that the dog, Bear, be destroyed. The Board, after discussion, decided to recommend that the dog be banned from the Town.
Voted - to adopt the following ORDER:
That the Rottweiler, named Bear, owned and kept by Benjamin and Diane Bastianelli, be permanently removed from the Town of Hingham within two weeks of this order. Proof of removal of said dog must be sent to the Board of Selectmen. If an appeal process is initiated the dog must be kept muzzled and fully restrained at all times.
Long Range Planning Committee for South Shore Country Club
Mr. Edmundson explained there has been discussion with the Country Club Management Committee and Advisory Committee to form a committee to look at the long-range needs, strengths and assets of the country club facility. The committee would report conduct its investigation and report back in about nine months. Mr. Walsh agreed that the country club is a great asset and that a great deal of energy needs to be put into a long-range plan. He suggested three topics for consideration: (1) golf course maintenance - town employees versus the current method of a private management contract which currently costs $735,000 per year; (2) the catering facilities which consist of two dining rooms and the fairway lounge and are subject to a lease that expires in 2010 and (3) other needs and activities such as golf, bowling, swimming, tennis and in the future possibly a fitness center, enclosed swimming pool and paddle tennis. Mr. Walsh mentioned that many residents feel that they don't get that much use out of the facility because they don't golf. The Country Club Management Committee wanted to have the study completed within six months in order to involve some people they had identified as potential study committee members. The Committee strongly advocated to be the appointing authority for at least four members of the long range planning committee. The Board of Selectmen indicated that they would be the appointing authority and in all likelihood there will be liaisons from both the Advisory and Capital Outlay Committees. Mr. Edmundson noted that the Long Range Planning Committee for the Hingham Municipal Light Plant was similarly appointed and it has been quite successful. The Board encouraged interested parties to contact the Selectmen's Office.
Fire Chief Finalists
The six finalists were asked to prepare and submit two essays prior to the interviews. The first was to be about the candidate's greatest achievement and the other was to be about a vision of the fire service in a town of 20,000 residents in the 21st century.
Lt. Robert Keyes became interested in the fire service while still in high school. In order to prepare himself he went to EMT school and then went to work for an ambulance service. After joining the Hingham Fire Department Lt. Keyes spent 12 years on the ambulance, during many of those years he was the EMS Coordinator. AT the time he became EMS Coordinator the department was transitioning from Basic Life Support to Advanced Life Support. Lt. Keyes identified and trained his successor EMS Coordinator. He then became the Department SAFE Officer and was instrumental in founding the Citizens' Fire Academy with the support of his fellow firefighters. He characterized his management style as one that leads by example, builds trust among the employees and creates leadership opportunities at all levels of the organization. Lt Keyes stressed the need for consistency and being centered on principle. He felt the Department could do a better job of gathering information on which to base projections of customer needs and demands for service. The lieutenant noted that during his tenure as EMS Coordinator he tried very hard, and succeeded, to maintain a positive relationship with South Shore Hospital and other agencies. He suggested that areas that could be improved included integrated training with the Police Department and coordinated training with area towns for more effective mutual aid.
Capt. Francis Krause, a 28 year veteran of the force, has participated in meetings of station remodeling and has had experience with the maintenance budget for the past several years. Capt. Krause stressed the importance of the Fire Chief knowing the personnel and making them aware that he represents them. In non-Fire Department related employment Capt. Krause has worked at a variety of positions in his parents' business for 36 years. In his opinion the Fire Department performance evaluations could be more useful if the were more duty-specific and reviewed during the year instead of just done on an annual basis. He emphasized the importance of training particularly in view of the fact that the newer members of the department are so focused on paramedic skills that there is much to be learned about firefighting. Capt. Krause also mentioned team building as an important focus for the next fire chief. Planning for future needs will be aided by the statistics available through the department's computer information system.
Chief Lance Benjamino, currently a member of the Halifax Fire Department, previously worked for the Town of Randolph for a number of years before becoming chief in Halifax. He served as an firefighter/paramedic in Randolph and started the Advanced Life Support program that is currently in place in that town. If chosen to be chief he would meet with each member of the Fire Department individually as well as meeting with each department head to discuss needs, etc. Finance and budgeting is a big part of his job. In Halifax, he initially he did a swat analysis of the budget Went back ten years to study operations and response times to study where the department should be heading. As a leader he has an open door policy and believes in open communications and leading by example. The most difficult professional situation he has encountered was that of personnel issues that were of long standing when he became chief. Chief
Benjamino created a new training program within the department and team building. Personnel evaluations are done through the town, not the fire department. Training is held twice a month in the department and 40 hours are required annually for each member of the department. Halifax uses mutual aid on a regular basis particularly to cover ambulance runs. During negotiations Chief Benjamino sits in but a designee of the Selectmen conducts the actual negotiations. In his time in Halifax he has instituted fire station open houses and CERT programs as well as carbon monoxide and fire detector programs for senior citizens all funded through donation money - various business such as Walmart and CVS have been very helpful. He has also actively sought grants to fund these programs as well as a child safety seat installation program.
There are a number of accounts that have been historically under-funded; these issues were addressed in the budget process but that won't show up until next year. The balance in the reserve fund is currently about $280,000.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Town Meeting Expenses Account in the amount of $6,280.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Greenbush Consulting Account in the amount of $7,266.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Settlement of Claims Account in the amount of $1,518.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Town Hall Salaries Account in the amount of $5,550
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Meetings and Seminars Account in the amount of $1,106.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Selectmen's Postage Account in the amount of $1,127.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Dispatch Repair and Maintenance of Equipment Account in the amount of $2,000.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Police Vehicle Fuel and Video Expense in the amount of $12,000.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Town Hall Utilities Electric in the amount of 24,712.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Town Hall Custodial Supplies Account in the amount of $12,490.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Library Expense Account in the amount of $14,466.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Veterans Salaries account in the amount of $1006.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Harbormaster Salaries Account in the amount of $8,000.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Street Lighting Expense Account in the amount to $15,611.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Unemployment Expense Account in the amount of $18,111.
Voted - to grant request for counsel as submitted by the Harbor Development Committee.
Voted - to adopt a resolution to support legislation to close the telecommunications property tax loophole.
Voted - to designate Charles Cristello as the Town of Hingham contact for closing the telecommunications property tax loophole.
Voted - to appoint Robert Shepard a trustee of GAR Hall for a term expiring in 2008.
Voted - to appoint John Davenport a member of the Open Space Acquisition Committee for a term expiring in 2008.
Voted - to appoint Declan Boland as Hingham's representative to the Massport Citizens Advisory Committee.
Voted - to appoint Thomas Hickie a member of the Council on Aging for a term expiring in 2008.
Voted - to appoint Donald Kidston a member of the Development and Industrial Commission for a term expiring in 2006.
Voted- to appoint the following as Special Police Officers for the upcoming year:
James Wells Salvatore Amonte
Paul Wuori Frank Allegra
Jonathan Gordon Russell Erikson
Robert Beal Walter Reed
Joseph Mayer Michael Bradley
Donald Clark Leo Fraser
Gerald Dicecca Edward Jones
E. Gardner Jones Raymond Campbell
David Jones C. Warren Lincoln
Aaron Smith Joan Sullivan
Ronald Lincoln Thomas Steen
Kevin J. Bulman Joachim-Ingo Borowski
Richard Morgan John Souther
Kenneth R. Corson, III Gerard Travers
Voted - to approve the request of the Hingham Lions Club to use the harbor area for the annual fireworks display and concert on July 2, with a rain date of July 3, 2005.
Voted - to grant the South Shore Conservatory three one-day liquor licenses for their Evenings Under the Stars concerts for July 9, July 16, and July 23, 2005.
Voted - to grant South Shore Catering Group Inc eight one-day liquor licenses for golf tournaments to be held June 8, June 11, June 12, June 13, June 15, June 20, June 22, and June 27, 2005.
Mr. MacIver noted that June 20 is the Selectmen's Golf Tournament and there are still spaces available for foursomes. Ms English's recently wrote a letter on the accidents at High, Free and Main Streets. Ms. Tully advised that the accident data has been forwarded to Mr. Cook for further analysis. It is expected that he will report back in two weeks. There have been 10 accidents since the geometric changes were made. Mr. MacIver contracted Mr. Foster about public safety at Bare Cove Park. The recent incidents, while certainly disturbing, do not change the fact the Bare Cove Park is safe. DHCD has approved the Local Initiative designation for the second Habitat House. The Citizen of the Year award was given to Mary Niles who was quoted as saying "always heed the generous impulse". Firefighters Sunday is this coming Sunday.
Meeting adjourned 10:55 PM.
Betty Foley, Clerk