Back to Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes
May 11, 2010
Regular Session 7:00 pm
Mr. Rabuffo, Mr. Riley, Ms. Burns
There were no questions from the public.
Mr. Riley reported that the Harbor Task Force met last evening to review outstanding issues as well as the results of the Annual Town Meeting. It is recommended that the Task Force be continued because there are several items that require follow up. The group will create several small sub committees to formulate recommendations for the next town meeting. On another matter, Mr. Riley said that he had a thought that Dick Cook, a former Planning Board member and retired principal of BSC, might be willing to help the town with the study of the Main and Cushing Street intersection. Mr. Riley will approach him on that.
Ms. Burns said that over 600 email messages had accumulated in her inbox during the past couple of weeks one of which was an email from Brenda Black requesting clarification of the Long Range Waste Disposal and Recycling Committee charge. The items under discussion were a fee, possible curbside pickup or closing of the transfer station. While Ms. Burns felt there was not much appetite for the second two options it would be good to do at least a preliminary evaluation.
Mr. Rabuffo said that there were a number of meetings during the past week. The School Committee has resolved contracts with the school administrators and the school superintendent. There was a meeting with representatives of the League of Women Voters held this morning with the incoming chair of the Advisory Committee and others. The topic of this meeting was how to begin the educational process and to get things into the public domain in order to increase citizen participation.
Public Hearing/Grant of Location re: Relocation of a Pole on Industrial Park Road
Mr.Tokadjian explained that the existing pole at the intersection of Industrial Park Road and Derby Street will be in the way of the proposed driveway for the new building on Industrial Park Road. The pole will be relocated about thirty feet in a northwesterly direction on Industrial Park Road.
Voted – to approve the Grant of Location joint petition of Hingham Municipal Light Plant and Verizon New England Inc. to relocate existing pole #8, on Industrial Park Road, approximately 30 feet in the northwesterly direction towards Derby St, in accordance with plan HMLP No. 04-27, dated April 27, 2010.
Recognition of Officer Simonelli
Chief Mills said that Officer Simonelli was working on Hersey Street with the HMLP when a potentially tragic set of circumstances occurred. Officer Simonelli was with the light crew around 9 am when a woman ran out of her house holding a baby shouting “she’s choking, help me she’s choking”. He took the child from the mother and with several blows on her back was able to dislodge the obstruction and allow the child to breathe normally. Chief Mills thanked Officer Simonelli for his lifesaving efforts and noted that Officer Simonelli had given over thirty years of service to the community.
National Grid Grants of Location
The Board discussed continuing the requests for grants of location for National Grid.
Voted - to continue the grant of location request by Nationalgrid until 7:10 pm on May 18, 2010.
Town Administrator’s Report
Mr. Paicos advised that House #4610 should be out of the Senate and onto the House floor in about ten days and then, hopefully, onto the Governor’s desk. This speed is due to the fine work of Senator Hedlund and Representative Bradley. He also reported that it will be necessary to temporarily relocate police records to the town hall to allow construction of the regional dispatch center. It looks as if the dispatch center is still on track for fall. . Under the old design for the dispatch center the space allowed for six desks; it will now accommodate 11 stations. This design will allow sufficient flexibility to expand to include more towns. Ms. Burns asked if the special legislation allows the town to set up an independent agency and not be bound by collectively bargaining.
Mr. Paicos said he received an email from the people who will be helping out with the insurance bid. This is a very talented group who will be getting together soon to prepare the bid documents. Town Counsel will be conducting a municipal forum during the first week of June. The forum will focus on the
May 11, 2010
New Open Meeting Law, Public Records Law and the Conflict of Interest Statute. A letter has been received from the State saying it will fund the replacement of the boilers for Thaxter Park. The Housing Authority said that clearly the Town’s efforts put this on the State’s radar. Mr. Paicos said that Mr. Rabuffo picked this up last winter and ran with it.
Sick Leave Usage
Mr. Basler noted that there was a typo in the agenda since this is a sick leave usage report, not a sick leave abuse report. This is a positive report. This is the second annual report for all full and part-time, benefit-eligible employees, A recent study shows that nationally 34% unscheduled absences are due to personal illness, the remaining time is due to family issues, personal needs, stress or the entitlement mentality.
Mr. Basler said that to combat absenteeism people have to be aware of policies and procedures and the department head must be the first point of contact when an employee calls in sick. Accurate, up to date records are important and this allows the department head to identify trends or patterns. Overall, sick time use decreased from an average of 5.06 days to 4.42 days per year. The Library had an incredible turnaround with a 63% decrease in sick time use. Mr. Paicos said he had been involved in a number of sick leave programs over the years and this is probably the most dramatic result he has seen in a one year program.
Town Meeting Follow-up
Mr. Rabuffo said that as we came out of Town Meeting he felt quite good that there were some contentious issues that were handled quite well up front. It was his thought that from the experience we could learn some other ways of dealing with issues of unity. The League of Women Voters has come up with some good ideas of ways to educate and involve citizens before becoming engaged in the full fledged process. Mr. Riley said a good example of that might be the ad hoc committee for the Harbor Task Force. This was an effort to get every group with an interest in the harbor in one room to talk about the harbor. Mr. Riley explained that people come every two weeks and citizens have become involved. This provides direction as to what residents like and what they would like to see. Ms. Burns said that the task force has proved to be very valuable and has proved to be a great example of how to get things done in an inclusive democratic way. Ms. Burns said if a list of potential articles were available early in the process it might be better than the original town forum. Ms. Burns said the keyword is discipline and that this will be a sea change
Voted, by roll call vote, to adjourn to executive session for purpose of discussion of contract negotiations, collective bargaining and not to return to open session this evening.
Mr. Riley – yes
Ms. Burns – yes
Mr. Rabuffo – yes
Open session adjourned 8:25 pm.
Betty Foley, Clerk