Back to Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes
November 17, 2009
Regular Session 6:20 pm
Ms. Burns, Mr. Rabuffo, Mr. Riley
Fire Department Award from the ASCPA
The ASPCA national award was given to the Hingham Fire Department for Jim Sheard, Michael Woods, Tim Krall and Nicole Bickers. The dog would have not survived except for the efforts of the firefighters. .
Chief Duff complimented the community for supporting the public safety services. The team went in to save the animal properly uniformed, etc. and the backup team was ready to help if necessary, and it was Victor Bernan and Joe Mortland.
Medium Term Financial Strategy
Ms. Burns explained the Town Administrator had said if there was an inclination to fund capital at something less than $2.0 million it should be decided before the departments completed the budget recommendations. The Board had talked about making a change so that capital would be taken wholly from the tax levy. Ms. Burns had suggested funding at $1.0 million rather than $2.0.
Mr. Rabuffo said he knew that there were ongoing discussions about the revenue picture and he felt that it would be useful to know what would not be funded by reducing capital expenditures to $1 million. Mr. Rabuffo said that in a world not used to 5% cuts that may seem drastic. In his world that was nothing unusual. The Board needs to start thinking about the implications if there was just the flat 5% cut and what are the implications for the individual departments that are getting hurt. He said he would like to see the Capital Outlay Committee look at what we should be spending money on.
Mr. Paicos said most of the prognosticators are talking a three year period of time before recovery. Historically, $1.8 million is what has been done on a pay as you go basis in capital. Additionally, the Town has averaged another $400,000 in the operating budget that was used for capital. The fleet is aging, roads need work, and drainage needs work. He said a $2 million budget could be filled with critical items. From a point of view of need, we need $2 million and more. It is his fear is that with $2 million in the budget and OPEB, it is necessary to cut the budget by 5%. This does not include adequate funding for legal or snow and ice which are overspent every year. Mr. Paicos said we are going to cut the budget and a lot of the budgets will get cut more than 5% in order to backfill the budget where it is needed. The budget submitted by the Town Administrator to the Board will have the $1.5 million reduction. Mr. Paicos said that we cannot sustain or balance the town’s budget without fairly extensive cuts on both the town and school side.
Mr. Riley agreed that he would not like to reduce the capital amount without a list. He said that they had heard yesterday that Wellesley took a dramatic step and decided to do an operational override to cover OPEB. He questioned if this would be a smart thing to do since it would be around our necks for years to come. Mr. Paicos said if the Town funded OPEB through an override that would be a significant impact because it says we have a willingness to continue a dedicated income stream. If we were to take a step like that it might be enough to retain the triple A. Wellesley did that as a part of a package when they did some very interesting things in the area of health insurance.
Ms. Burns said she had spoken to people about a fee for the transfer station and several people did say if you have to raise a million dollars do it with an override, not a fee. An override means increased taxes which can be written off.
Lincoln Maritime Center
Mr. English said LMC was founded forty years ago for the purpose of educating and training the citizens of Hingham in maritime programs. Programs in sailing and rowing run March through October. The Board raised the issue of access and storage on the wharf. Mr. English said that given the fact that LMC does need to store things off season they are giving access as best possible. There is room to walk out on the wharf. The gate is unlocked but not wide open. In the past there were a number of floats stored there. That has stopped. No one other than Lincoln Maritime is storing things on the wharf.
There is a large Lincoln Maritime Sign and a small public welcome sign. Since there are a significant number of children on the wharf every day, LMC must be careful about monitoring who has access to the wharf during the Lincoln programs. Ms. Burns commented that she worked very hard to get a sign up and it does not meet her expectations.
Mr. English said that Steamboat Wharf has a plan but it would take about $200,000 to fund the plan. The lease does not take effect until construction begins. Lease effective with Special Permit. He said that If the town has a plan for the wharf, then approach LMC but he would like to pursue the fundraising.
Ms. Burns said that a letter had been received from the Mass Teacher Retirement system stating that the MTRB is having a hard time meeting the deadline of December 1 for verification of creditable service for teachers. School Administration has suggested that the Board revise the deadline to teachers must apply to the MTRB for verification by December 1.
Voted - to send a letter to MTRS grant request for an extension of the verification response from December 1 to March 1st.
Public Hearing – Chipotle Restaurant
The management staff and cashier will be TIPS trained and trained that alcohoic beverages cannot go outside.
Voted - to approve the application of Chipotle Mexican Grill of Colorado, LLC d/b/a Chipotle Mexican Grill, Bryan Masse, Manager, 92 Derby Street, Suite 100, for a General On Premises Malt Beverages Licenses, subject to the approval of all Town Boards and the ABCC.
Change of Manager -Chili’s
The previous manager left and it is necessary to appoint a new manager of Chilis. Mr. Carey has been doing the job for a year. The Management and bar staff are Serve Safe certified. There were no problems reported in the recent sting operation.
Voted - to approve the application for a change of manager for the Restaurant Common Victualler All Alcoholic Beverages License for Pepper Dining Inc, d/b/a Chili’s to William Carey, subject to the approval of the ABCC.
Change of Manager South Shore Country Club
Jay McGrail reported that the new lease for the Country Club restaurant and banquet facility has been signed. He asked that the Board change the manager on the liquor license to Elio Ricci. Mr. Ricci is an experienced restaurateur with facility in Hull.
Voted - to approve the application for a change of manager for the Club Common Victualler All Alcoholic Beverages for the Country Club Management Committee d/b/a South Shore Country Club to Elio Ricci.
In other business,
Voted - to sign a contract with Eastern Minerals for rock salt and solar salt in the amount of 64.00 per ton, delivered.
The Personnel Board reached agreement with the Patrolmen’s Union. The agreement calls for a one year contract that continues the status quo and has no wage increase. The contract does, however, make the union whole with respect to the Quinn bill. This is a one year deal. The grievance pending over the Quinn Bill has been withdrawn.
Voted - to sign a Memorandum of Agreement between the New England Police Benevolent Association AFL-CIO and the Town of Hingham for a collective bargaining agreement to succeed the July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2010 collective bargaining agreement.
Voted - to appoint Tom Shanley to the Lincoln School Apartment Board of Managers.
Voted - to grant a temporary liquor license to SSWBN Educational Foundation, Inc. c/o Sue Carmichael for a “Holiday Fundraiser” to raise funds for scholarships on December 1, 2009 at the Derby Street Management Office.
Permanent Audit Committee Recommendation
Mr. Rabuffo explained that there was a meeting about six weeks ago about how to set up a permanent audit committee. The permanent committee would (1) recommend the firm for the annual audit and the duration of the contract; (2 ) define scope of annual audit and (3) accept the CAFR and annual management letter.
It was the recommendation that a by-law should be used to establish a committee membership and there should also be a discussion with Advisory. Mr. Powers experience said the better committees were people who had no political ambitions – a member of the Board, Advisory Committee and the CFO could serve in ex-officio capacity. By having a by-law this would formalize the relationship with the Board, etc.
After some discussion as to the possible membership of such a committee Mr. Manning agreed to call other towns and ask about permanent audit committees and the role of the CAO and CFO on such committees. The working group will report back at a future meeting.
Reorganization of the Department of Public Works
The Board discussed the reorganization as presented at the previous meeting. They agreed that there was benefit in combining the Tree and Park and Recreation Division. This change would encourage cross training and more flexibility of staff. Under the current structure if the Planning Board sends over a plan the DPW gives input on the plan. The Town would still continue to hire a PE on a consultant basis but the new structure would allow the Town to perform some of those functions which do not require a PE and those functions that a hired PE would normally have someone on his or her staff do.
Randy Sylvester noted that with the reorganization there is about $110,000 savings in salaries and possibly $40,000 in new fees.
Voted - to adopt the DPW table of organization as amended to reflect the Recreation Division as a part of Tree and Park and to subject to the Personnel Board establishing job descriptions for the Assistant Project Manager, DPW Supervisor, Lead Foreman, Project Engineer and DPW Superintendent, if necessary.
Regional Dispatch Intermunicipal Agreement
Hingham has all of the responsibility for the work and the political problem of managing this with four towns. In return, Hingham gets extra revenue that will assist in our budgets. Entry of a new community only requires three votes. This center will be sized for six to eight. Mr. Paicos noted that when the number of participating communities goes to eight the grant funding increases significantly. There was no way to foresee every issue that is going to emerge so this agreement is subject to amendment and change. All four towns must agree to changes. The Cohasset Selectmen were scheduled to vote on this last night but due to a large turnout in opposition and time constraints due to the special town meeting the matter was deferred until November 30th.
Voted - to sign an Inter-Municipal Agreement between the Towns of Cohasset, Hingham, Hull and Norwell for a Regional Dispatch Center.
Mr. Paicos noted that the acceptance of Samuels’ offer of an $180,000 payment in lieu of the traffic signal at the intersection of Beal Street and Sgt. Terry Drive requires a vote of the Board.
Voted - to accept $180,000 in lieu of the traffic signal that Samuels, et al was required to supply to the Town under the terms of the Shipyard Special Permit.
Meeting adjourned 10:30 pm.
Betty Foley, Clerk