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June 20, 2006
Regular Session 7:35 pm
Mr. Edmundson, Ms. Tully, Mr. Riley
Voted - to approve the minutes of May 1, 9 and 12, 2006
Voted - to approve the minutes of May 23, 2006 (Mr. Edmundson and Mr. Riley)
Questions from the Public
Mr. Letson and the Palmers of the Planters Lane/ Kimball Beach Rd area advised the Board that Keyspan had treated residents on Planters Lane very poorly. These issues were brought to the attention of the officers on detail. All vehicles, including heavy trucks, were detoured down Planters Lane which is a private way. Mr. Cristello said that if Keyspan has done damage they are obligated to fix it. Ms. Palmer said that Keyspan agreed to fix the road, sent a crew out to look at it, but never did the work. Mr. Edmundson advised that the Board would investigate things and make sure that Keyspan was contacted.
Ms. Vigil presented a petition regarding the property on 2 Beach Lane. It is her concern that the public beach is being encroached upon and a Notice of Intent has been served on the Conservation Commission. The residents of the area have attempted to have mediation with the Frye-McPhersons and they have refused. Ms. Vigil also presented a newspaper article from 1996 about this problem stating that in 1999 the residents of 2 Beach Lane refused to work with the mediators. Mr. Edmundson said the Board would take it under advisement and schedule a separate time for a more thorough discussion.
Mr. Norton of 22 Thaxter Street said that the Hersey Field is completely torn up and dust an debris is going onto abutters' properties. He also stated that there is not adequate parking and the play area is not safe. This is a problem that has been getting worse over time. Mr. Campbell agreed that the field area has gotten worse and the Recreation Commission has set up a sub-committee to address the issue. Mr. Edmundson pointed out that neither the Recreation Commission or the Selectmen have the authority to spend capital money to do something of the scope that is being discussed.
Public Hearing on Petition of Mass Electric Company to relocate Pole #61
Aileen Darois representing Mass Electric advised that Pole #61 needs to be relocated approximately 6' in a northwesterly direction due to changes in the roadway. No one spoke in objection.
Voted - to approve the Grant of Location to the Massachusetts Electric Company to relocate Pole #161 approximately 6 feet in a northwesterly direction, as shown on Massachusetts Electric Company Plan No. 2006-74, dated 5/16/2006.
Continuation of the Shade Tree Hearing
Mr. Edmundson advised that the Board had a site visit last Tuesday to look at the situation with the trees at the intersection. Mr. Richards and Mr. Lynch spoke in favor of removal of the trees to improve the sightlines of the intersection. Ms. Manning said the problem is not trees but the speed of travel on Cushing Street. She requested a four way stop at the intersection. Ms. Sommer requested further study and a stop sign before taking down trees. Ms. Tully said input had been received from Chief Carlson, Captain Mills and an engineer from Coler and Colantonio. The engineering plans have been done in conformance with the guidelines for standards of how far back you need to be able to see in order to go through the intersection. Ms. Tully came to the conclusion that all three trees should come down. The engineering standards recommend all three trees be removed. There was also discussion about putting an island out there. Mr. Riley said he was a member of the Planning Board when this was being discussed during the Boston Golf permitting discussion. The Planning Board recommended that all three trees be removed. Mr. Edmundson remarked that having heard from the professionals that all three trees should go he would agree to the tree removal.
Voted - to uphold the tree warden's decision regarding three trees at the intersection of Cushing Street and Old County Road.
Mr. O'Brien of the Housing Partnership reviewed the changes to the Request for Proposals based upon Mr. Riley's suggestions. This is the rfp for the affordable housing project to be located on 12 acres off Beal Street, known as the Selectmen's parcel.
Voted - to approve the RFP for affordable housing on the Beal Street Selectmen's parcel to be issued by the Housing Partnership.
Community Preservation Committee
Ms. Talmage advised the closing on the 730 Main Street project was coming soon. The Community Preservation Committee and the Hingham Land Conservation Trust have collaborated on the conservation of property in this area. The Land Trust worked with neighbors of the 730 Main Street parcel. The five conservation restrictions are being reviewed. Ms. Reardon expressed the Hingham Land Conservation Trust's gratitude to the people around 730 Main Street who rallied to put their neighborhood under restrictions.
Voted - to accept the conservation restrictions from the following individual on backland parcels: George and Helen Bennett for 712 Main Street, Lee and Judith Forker for 718 Main Street, Bruno and Carol Blanchet for 726 Main Street, and Erin Russell for 748 Main Street.
Voted - that the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Hingham herewith approve, pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 40, Section 8C, the acquisition by the Hingham Conservation Commission for conservation purposes of a parcel of land shown as parcel A of a plan entitled "Proposed Subdivision of Land 730 Main Street, Hingham, Massachusetts" prepared by McKenzie Engineering Group, Inc., and an easement across lot 1 on said plan and a conservation restriction on the "CR Parcel" on said plan.
Hersey House Plan Update
Mr. Hastings explained that the McDowells agreed to relocate the barn to the corner of Parcel 144. He remarked that both Hersey House and the barn are in a severe state of decline. The floorboards in the barn were covered by asphalt, which is a load that the barn was not built for. The house has a similar problem because between the barn and the house there is nothing but pavement with goes up to the house sill. The sills in the house are rotten due to water sitting on the sills. There is only a partial foundation. The slate roof was added after the house was built and the roof timbers were not changed when the slate was added. The P & S called for a payment of $1,515,000 for no less than 16 and no more that 21 units. The new plan is 13 market rate townhouses, 5 affordable units and 2 single-family homes. The Hersey House would be moved forward and a new single family home would be located toward the front corner of the lot near the church. Mr. Hastings said that this would maintain the streetscape on North Street. There would be a new stonewall similar to those on Thaxter Street. The proposed townhouses would be 2 and one-half story structures with an attached 2 car garage, central air, etc. The five affordable homes would be sold for approximately $200,000 apiece. Mr. Hastings noted that there is another benefit to the town in that the developer is limited to 20%, anything over and above that would be returned to the town. Mr. Riley said that it was his understanding that these units would not be counted by DHCD because they are located on less than five acres. Mr. Cristello reported that originally the selectmen designated that Mr. Hastings should use the LIP program. At a meeting with Jane Gumble it was suggested that this development project be done through Mass Housing. It was agreed to use a similar process as the LIP program that would give up front approval to the Board and the units would still be counted. Mass Housing will do a pre-assessment, similar to a 40B and the Selectmen will have to approve before it goes any further. Mr. Edmundson asked about the size of the units. One-third of the units will have two bedrooms on the first floor; the remainder will have one first floor bedroom. The density of the projected development will be 6 units per acre, with a building area about 20 percent of the site. Mr. Edmundson said the Board would take this under advisement.
Mr. Cristello reported that one bid had been received for the property adjacent to Hersey House. The McDowells submitted a proposal that offered the town $270,000 for the parcel and the offered a restrictive covenant that would preclude any further development beyond the barn.
Voted - to award the bid for parcel of land containing 35,566 Square Feet, formerly known as Parcel 144, off North Street to John and Kimberly McDowell.
Barnes and Steamboat Wharves
Mr. Edmundson reviewed the background of the RFP process for the wharves. Mr. Riley expressed concerns with the way in which the leases written and the amount of money to be paid to the town for that property. He felt that it was incumbent upon the Selectmen to raise revenue for the town particularly in view upcoming school building projects, etc. Mr. Cristello commented that he felt that the technical issues of the leases were not fatal but the issue of compensation is a different case. Lincoln Maritime has been using the wharf for many years. Mr. Cataldo explained that there are family one-time fees to make the program more affordable. There is no membership - these are just user fees. Mr. Riley suggested a rent of $1,000 per month plus 5% of the gross income. Mr. Cataldo explained that the club had taken on some responsibilities in terms of landscaping to go with the building, etc. in addition to the boats. Boats are supplied for kids and adults - both sail and rowing. He noted that there is about $100,000 worth of rowing equipment that will need to be turned over in the next couple of years. Mr. Edmundson commented that the Board is in a difficult place by taking something that was done in a way that perhaps it would not have done if it were being done now. He remarked that there are precedents for this in other properties such as the fire museum and the model railway club where there are tenants of the town who do not pay rent. Ms. Bush, a trustee of Lincoln Maritime, said the center has never turned anyone away. Many others commented on the excellence of the program and the affordability of such a program. The condition and age of the boats indicates that this indeed an operation run on a shoestring.
Mr. Patch said the wharf was taken as a landing for use of the residents of the town and Lincoln does not leave it open for others. Mr. Gaughgen, a trustee of Lincoln, explained that lease is non-exclusive. Mr. Clark remarked that he can't use the wharf when the Maritime Center is there. Mr. Fitzgerald replied that there are 42 weeks when the sailing program is not using the wharf. Mr. Cataldo explained that the Back River was not a viable option for either a sailing or rowing program because of the strong currents in the area. Mr. Edmundson said he would not be in favor of charging the rent because this is a grandfathered use and a great resource. The comparison was made to other sports and recreation within the town such as the Little League use of town fields. He also commented on the need to bend over backwards to get the word out that this is not an exclusive lease. Ms. Tully agreed that the technical changes are worth a review. She commented that the Board did this to formalize the relationship between the Center and the Town and make it clear that this is not an exclusive use and it is in writing now. Ms. Tully said she does not think the Town should charge rent. This is a great asset for many reasons - it came out of a group of people who wanted to do something for the town and they came together and created something that lasted for over 30 years. Mr. Riley said it is not his intention to shut down the Maritime Center. The Board of Selectmen just signed a lease with the Credit Union for $26,000 per year so this is not an approach that is totally new. The Board will take the matter up at a future meeting.
Public Parking at the Harbor
Ms. Lacy advised the Board that the Planning Board is looking for input regarding the use of public parking in the Waterfront District to support businesses in the area. There is a provision in the Zoning By-law that requires one parking place per slip for a marina. The permitting authority has the authority to waive that requirement. Availability of parking is not a problem but the question is whether parking should be committed for that purpose. Mr. Amdur said there are several points to keep in mind: the slips were installed in 2003 by reducing the number of moorings, the number of days per summer where parking is an issue is limited to 4-6 days per summer and in terms of the demand for parking it does not appear to be problematic. Mr. Amdur indicated that there is a balance involved in moorings and slips - power boats tend to use slips; sailboats use moorings. Mr. Riley said allowing a private concern to use our public parking facilities is problematic. Mr. Amdur commented that the public parking spots are available for any use. Currently there is no retail operation in the building so the owner is free to park his vehicles in the parking spaces. The Planning Board is concerned that a precedent is being set. Mr. Patch said Mr. Perrette's marina is not part of a public park and should not be entitled to use public parking. Ms. Tully said there is an overarching policy of wanting an active and vibrant waterfront. Allowing the public use of parking for slips is not an unreasonable use for the parking. Ms. Tully remarked that she does not think it is an incredibly long walk from the bathing beach to the slips on those few days when there is a parking crunch. Mr. Riley said the town is missing the boat. The Board has to look at the harbor in a comprehensive way to bring benefit back to the town in terms of revenue. He would suggest that the Board ponder the 10A given to Mr. Perrette for the slips which expires in December and would recommend the use of public parking be continued until the season is over then look at the harbor to the full extent. Mr. Edmundson remarked that he did not like the history of how this transpired and asked if it would be possible to allow this use temporarily and we will go back to question the slips versus parking issue.
Ms. Cohen said Samuels & Associates entered into an agreement with SeaChain last summer and saw an opportunity to create a mixed-use urban village. Mr. Manfredi, the architect responsible for the new plan, explained the goal is to create a "sense of place" that is special to this location. The outside sidewalks and open space are as important as the buildings themselves. The new plan includes building with some heft. Mr. Edmundson asked what is different about the plans from the original submission: the cinema and health club. Ms. Cohen said there are comparable Samuels projects in the Maryland area but none locally. The commercial pier is staying the lobsterman will remain and the travel lift will remain in operation. The projection is for approximately 10 restaurants (37,000 sq ft to 45,000 sq ft) of varying types and an 8-screen cinema. Representatives of Patriot Cinemas advised that is necessary to have multiple screens in order to get first run movies. The Samuels group is going in for a modification of an existing permit for a portion of the site. Mr. Edmundson expressed deep reservations about the changes in the project noting that he does not like the movie theatre or the increase in the restaurant space. Mr. Riley agreed and also mentioned a concern about the number of restaurants projected and possible liquor licenses required.
Chief Carlson made his recommendation as to those individuals to be appointed to the position of permanent patrolmen. Mr. Ford impressed the interview board with his preparation and presentation. The police interview board unanimously agreed to recommend Mr. Ford above all other candidates. John J. Walden presented himself well and also received a recommendation from the interview board. Chief Carlson said Mr. Ford and Mr. Walden were both very viable candidates. Ms. Tully agreed with the chief's recommendation. Mr. Edmundson also agreed and encouraged people not chosen this time to continue to pursue the wish to become an officer.
Voted - that the Board of Selectmen, while acting in the capacity of Appointing Authority for the Town of Hingham extends to Thomas W. Ford and John J. Walden a conditional offer of employment as a permanent police officer for the Town of Hingham. This offer is contingent upon the successful passing of all required medical and psychological screening examinations and all other requirements related to, but not necessarily limited to the following:
A. Successful passing of the required medical examination;
B. Successful passing of the required physical abilities test (PAT);
C. Successful passing of the required psychological screening process;
D. Successful passing of all other requirements for entrance into the police academy;
E. Entering into a satisfactory agreement with the Town of Hingham relative to payment of the $2,300 recruit training fee;
F. Any and all other requirements as mandated by law or regulation.
The first day of employment will coincide with the next available police academy as determined by the Police Chief.
Interviews for position of police lieutenant
Glen Olsson, a 26-year veteran of the Hingham Police force, advised the Board that he became a sergeant in 1999. In those seven years he has enjoyed working with people and he has earned his degree in Criminal Justice. His most challenging experience would be dealing with an incident involving a child - one where a child drowned in a swimming pool. It helps to be able to talk about these things. While that incident may not have been the most difficult is was certainly the most troubling. Sgt. Olsson said good leadership means leading by example and being one step above. In times of disagreement he will discuss things with the individual. He said one of his character assets is a sense of fair play. By being fair, people feel that they can come and get an honest answer. Attracted to the position because it is time to take the next step. He would like to get the officers to follow through on more cases. Sgt. Olsson said the job would change drastically in the next 10 to 20 years. His goal as a lieutenant would be the expansion of the role of a police officer and an attitude change within the department. The greatest recent accomplishment would be getting the bachelors degree.
Michael Peraino has both a Bachelor's and Master's Degree from Curry College and is a 28-year veteran of the police force. He is currently the assistant prosecutor, traffic officer, racial profiling officer, public information officer and director of the Citizens Police Academy. He noted that Hingham is growing incredibly and the calls for service will increase dramatically. Over 60% of the officers have less than 10 years experience. His experience in the schools has taught him training and leadership skills. Sgt. Peraino gave an example of one of his leadership moments: last summer there was a microburst. The power went out, then the emergency generator went out the police department was completely dark and there was no one else around. He managed to establish communication with officers on patrol through the Nextel phone service and keep everything under control despite the loss of power and phones in the dispatch center. He sees the biggest issues facing the town to be the train, which will require a huge educational process, and the need for an officer for the elderly to deal with issues such as identify fraud, identity theft. Sgt. Peraino advised the Board that his ability to communicate is his greatest asset; his weakness would, which he is working on, is delegating.
Kris Phillips, a 20-year veteran of the Hingham police department, said he holds a number of certificates and teaches at Newbury College. He sees the position as an opportunity to coach young officers and help them and to be in direct communication with the chief. If appointed he would be interested in fine-tuning the field training of the officers. Sgt. Phillips said his greatest strength is good common sense. His goals as a lieutenant would be that training be done in a timely manner and the approval of permanent intermittent officers, which would be a good opportunity for the department to evaluate potential officers and augment the department when the need arises. He advised that Board that he had demonstrated his leadership as a sergeant during the bank robbery at Hingham Institution for Savings. In a high priority call and you have to make sure the scene is secure and everyone is safe. Sgt. Phillips said perhaps his greatest weakness is that he has little tolerance for an officer that is not working to their ability or capability.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Emergency Management Salaries Account in the amount of $54.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Town Hall Utilities - Electric Account in the amount of $34,100.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Town Hall Utilities - Natural Gas Account in the amount of $14,235.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Hersey House Heating Oil Account in the amount of $3,426.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Board of Appeals Advertising Account in the amount of $508.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Historical Salaries Account in the amount of $461.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Veterans Salaries Account in the amount of $848.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Unemployment Claims Account in the amount of $12,026.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Accounting Administrative Support Account in the amount of $7,192.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Accounting Miscellaneous Celebrations Account in the amount of $5,390.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Employers Medicare Tax Account in the amount of $27,394.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Public Works Salaries Account in the amount of $20,000.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Public Works Expenses Account in the amount of $25,434.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Landfill/Recycling Salaries Account in the amount of $16,000.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Public Works Tennis Courts Capital Outlay Account in the amount of $20,000.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Library Expenses Account in the amount of $24,800.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Fire Department Expenses Account in the amount of $6,000.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Legal Services Account in the amount of $25,000.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Unclassified Consultant Services in the amount of $182.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Selectmen's Meetings Expense Account in the amount of $1,000.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Town Hall Salaries Account in the amount of $4,005.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Selectmen's Engineering Account in the amount of $38,600.
Voted - to recommend a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the Veterans Celebrations Account in the amount of $136.
Voted - to appoint James Mamary to the Council on Aging for a term ending in 2009.
Voted - to appoint Keefer Welch to the Country Club Management Committee for a term ending in 2009.
Voted - to appoint Jane P. Shute to the Hingham Cultural Council for a three-year term ending in 2009.
Voted - to appoint David Beal to the Harbor Development Committee for a three-year term expiring in 2009.
Voted - to appoint the following to the Cable TV Advisory Committee:
Eric Gauthier for a three-year term expiring in 2009
Amy Goebel for a two-year term expiring in 2008
Guy Conrad for a one-year unexpired term expiring in 2007
Eric Connerly for a one-year unexpired term expiring in 2007
Voted - to appoint Gene Raymond to the Historic Districts Commission for a three-year term expiring in 2009.
Voted - to appoint Keith Jermyn as a Trustee of G.A.R. Hall for a three-year term expiring in 2009.
Voted - to appoint Benjamin N. Spruill to the Conservation Commission for a three-year term expiring in 2009.
Voted - to appoint Sean P. Coleman to the Conservation Commission for a three-year term expiring in 2009.
Voted - to appoint the following special police officers:
Robert Blazuk Michael Bradley
Gerald DiCecca Kenneth Corson
Russell Erikson Jonathan Gordon
David Jones Ronald Lincoln
Joseph Mayer David Orlandi
Aaron Smith John Souther
Thomas Steen James Wells
Voted - to grant the South Shore Catering Group, 274 South Street a one day liquor license for the following golf tournaments to be held on the following dates:
June 21, July 10, July 24, August 7, 12, 13, 14, 21 and 28
September 10, 11 and 15.
Meeting adjourned 12:30 am.
Betty Foley, Clerk