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Board of Selectmen
March 8, 2012
5:09 PM - Open Session
North Hearing Room 3rd Floor, Hingham Town Hall
Present: John A. Riley, Chairman; Laura M. Burns; Bruce Rabuffo; Ted Alexiades, Town Administrator; and Betty Foley, Assistant Town Administrator
With a quorum present, Chairman Riley called the meeting to order and reviewed the order of the agenda.
Questions from the Public: There were no questions from the public.
Warrant Article Discussion and Vote: Article DDD Industrial/Office Park Sewer - Will the Town expand the existing boundaries of the Industrial/Office Park Sewer District, to include those parcels of land as shown on Assessors' Map 176 as Lots 3, 4 and 8; and on Assessors' Map 186 as Lots 3 and 5; and on Assessors' Map 187 as Lots 10 and 12; and as shown on the map entitled "Proposed Sewer District Expansion Plan", prepared by Coler & Colantonio, Inc., dated January 18, 2012, or act on anything relating thereto?(Inserted at the request of the Sewer Commission) Michael Salerno, Chair, and Ed Monahan, member, of the Sewer Commission were present. Mr. Salerno summarized the article, noting that this article is to expand the district and there is a separate article to change the underlying zoning from residential to commercial. Discussion followed regarding the existence of seven unoccupied residences. Mr. Salerno said that the Commission conducted a public meeting, and he has heard of no opposition from residents. Discussion followed regarding whether or not expansion requires the Commission to offer sewer service, the Commission's policy not to expand into residential areas where there is no existing connectivity, and what happens if the zoning article fails. Mr. Salerno stated that if the zoning article fails or is withdrawn, the Commission will withdraw this article or request no action. There was no public comment.
Voted – A motion was made by Ms. Burns and seconded by Mr. Rabuffo to recommend Article DDD Expansion Industrial/Office Park Sewer District to the Advisory Committee and Town Meeting for favorable action. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
Saved by the Belt Citation – Traffic Committee: Police Chief Mike Peraino and Officer Phil Tracey presented the Saved by the Belt Citation to Jenna L. Sartucci, Kelly A. Griffin, and Lauren H. Wiessmeyer. A representative from State Representative Murphy's office also presented Ms. Sartucci, Ms. Griffin and Ms. Wiessmeyer with an award. The Board thanked and congratulated the three teenagers for setting a good example.
Construction and Construction Materials Contract Extensions – Roger Fernandes, Department of Public Works: Roger Fernandes, Projects Engineer, stated that the requested contract extensions are with contractors provided from the South Shore Regional Consortium; this is the third and final opportunity for extension; the pricing is the same as last year; and the DPW has run its own cost/benefit analysis. Discussion followed regarding fuel costs. There was no public comment.
Voted – A motion was made by Mr. Rabuffo and seconded by Ms. Burns to authorize a contract extension through December 2012 of the South Shore Regional Consortium Contract SS 2010-PW1 with G. Lopes Construction, Inc. for #10 earth materials; T.L. Edwards Inc. for #10 earth materials; P.A. Landers, Inc. for #10 earth materials; and Kingstown Corporation for stone. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
Memorandum of Agreement between the Town of Hingham and the M.G.L. c. 32B, s. 21-23 Hingham Public Employee Committee: Mr. Alexiades provided an update on the health insurance discussions, negotiations, and the mitigation plan. The Board thanked everyone involved.
Voted – A motion was made by Ms. Burns and seconded by Mr. Rabuffo to approve the Memorandum of Agreement between the Town of Hingham and the M.G.L. c. 32B, s. 21-23 Hingham Public Employee Committee. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
Request for Assistance of Legal Counsel: Ms. Foley stated that she received an estimate from Real Estate Counsel for four to five hours of time. There was no public comment.
Voted – A motion was made by Mr. Rabuffo and seconded by Ms. Burns to approve the Request for Assistance of Legal Counsel dated March 7, 2012 from Katy Lacy on behalf of the Hingham Planning Board relative to Baker Hill. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
Warrant Article Discussion and Vote - Article CCC Demolition Delay Bylaw: Virginia Tay, Chair, and Robert Curley, member, were present on behalf of the Historical Commission. Mr. Curley updated the Selectmen on changes made to the proposed bylaw in three main areas, with the assistance of Karen Johnson and Susan Murphy, since the last meeting: 1) the definition of "permit," 2) Section 4H and the process to be followed in the event of proposals for changes, and 3) Section 6D with respect to noncompliance. Mr. Curley reported that the Advisory Commission unanimously approved the proposed changes. He also reported that a postcard has been mailed to everyone on the inventory, and Beth Rockoff completed a substantial telephone interview to obtain input from citizens. The Board thanked the Commission for the notification efforts. There was no public comment.
Voted – A motion was made by Ms. Burns and seconded by Mr. Rabuffo to recommend favorable action to the Advisory Committee and Town Meeting on the changes to the demolition delay bylaw presented by the Historic Commission. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
Earth Hour – Energy Action Committee: Pam Harty, Chair of the Energy Action Committee, stated that Saturday March 31 from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm is Earth Hour, and she requested that 1) the Town sign up as an official participant on the Earth Hour website, 2) town departments find ways to reduce or turn off any non-essential lighting during Earth Hour and 3) the Town invite residents and businesses to participate, including by issuing a press release. Ms. Burns said she is in favor but needs input from the Town Administrator. Mr. Alexiades said Police Department lights cannot be turned off, and he will talk to the Recreation Department and other departments. Ms. Harty requested the Board's presence at the kickoff event. Mr. Rabuffo asked Ms. Harty if she had spoken with the restaurants. Ms. Harty said she was waiting for the Board's response. Chairman Riley asked about other businesses as well. Ms. Harty said she would follow up with them as well. There was no public comment.
Voted – A motion was made by Mr. Rabuffo and seconded by Ms. Burns for the Board of Selectmen to support the efforts of the Energy Action Committee to promote Earth Hour on March 31, 2012, including the issuing of a proclamation and notifying the press. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
Fields Agreement – Recreation Commission: Frank Jones, Chair of the Recreation Commission, and Mark Thorell, Director, were present. Mr. Alexiades summarized the terms of the agreement, noting that it asks the Rec Commission to manage all athletic fields under the control of the Board of Selectmen until 2013; it does not include facilities, such as the skate park. Mr. Alexiades also stated that the agreements with youth football and little league will carry over to the Rec Commission who will honor them through the term of the agreement. Discussion followed regarding the Rec Commission's vote on approving the agreement. Chairman Riley asked about having potable restroom facilities at the Carlson Field complex. Discussion followed about portable facilities, permanent facilities, and considering a bulk agreement for Town properties. There was no public comment.
Voted – A motion was made by Ms. Burns and seconded by Mr. Rabuffo to approve the Recreation Commission Field Management Agreement by and between the Hingham Recreation Commission and the Hingham Board of Selectmen. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
School Budget Vote: Mr. Alexiades reviewed the Five Year Forecast, noting a balanced budget for FY2013 after voting School and Capital Budgets. He stated that there will be another vote for smaller items at another meeting. Linda Hill, Chair of the School Committee, thanked Mr. Alexiades and Jon Asher of the Advisory Committee. There was no public comment.
Voted – A motion was made by Mr. Rabuffo and seconded by Ms. Burns to recommend a School Department appropriation in the total amount of $40,567,321. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed. Mr. Rabuffo thanked Linda Hill for her 12 years of service on the School Committee.
Capital Budget Vote: Voted – A motion was made by Ms. Burns and seconded by Mr. Rabuffo to endorse the FY2013 Five Year Capital Plan in the total amount of $1,435,945 A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
Warrant Articles Discussion and Vote:
Article D (Article 4) Personnel Board Report: To hear the report of the Personnel Board appointed under the Classification and Salary Plan, or act on anything relating thereto. (Inserted by the Board of Selectmen);
Article E Salaries of Certain Town Officers: ARTICLE 5. Will the Town fix the salaries of the following Town Officers, viz:
4. Town Clerk
5. Municipal Light Board;
or act on anything relating thereto?
(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)
David Pace was present on behalf of the Personnel Board. Mr. Pace reported on the completion of labor negotiations, a recommendation for a two percent raise for non-union town employees, a wage and reclassification study, reclassification of some positions, and the adjudication of a grievance. With respect to Article 5 (Article D), Ms. Burns discussed having a proviso regarding elected positions. Mr. Alexiades discussed a provision allowing the Board of Selectmen to create a policy regarding moving an employee from the classification plan to contract status. There was no public comment.
Voted – A motion was made by Mr. Rabuffo and seconded by Ms Burns to recommend favorable action on both Article 4 [Article D] and Article 5 [Article E]. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
Article JJJ Clause 56 re: Tax Exemption for Deployed Military Personnel: Will the Town accept Clause 56 of MGL c. 59, §5 which would allow members of the Massachusetts National Guard or military reservists who are on active duty to obtain a reduction of all or part of their real and personal property taxes for any fiscal year they are serving in a foreign country, or act on anything relating thereto? (Inserted at the request of the Veterans' Council) Mr. Alexiades addressed the Board's concerns raised during the February 9th meeting regarding potential technical flaws in the administration of the proposed article. He stated that the article will be renewed from year to year and he does not expect a financial impact on the Town. Discussion followed regarding coordinated efforts among Mr. Alexiades, the Veterans office and the Treasurer/Collector for a process and regarding the "all or part" language in the article.
Voted – A motion was made by Mr. Rabuffo and seconded by Ms. Burns to recommend positive action on Article JJJ Tax Exemption for Deployed Military Personnel to the Advisory Committee. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
Article TTT Will the Town authorize, but not require, the Board of Selectmen to accept grants of easement for streets, water, drainage, sewer and utility purposes or any public purpose on terms and conditions the Board deems in the best interest of the Town, or act on anything relating thereto? Mr. Alexiades stated that counsel was asked to clarify several points which are now reflected in the comment section. There are no appropriations, and the authority extends for a period of one year.
Voted – A motion was made by Ms. Burns and seconded by Mr. Rabuffo to recommend favorable action on Article TTT to allow the Board of Selectmen to accept easements on an annual basis. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
Open Warrant, Insert Article, Close Warrant: Voted – A motion was made by Ms. Burns and seconded by Mr. Rabuffo to open the warrant for the 2012 Annual Town Meeting, insert the following article: "Will the Town authorize, but not require, the Board of Selectmen to accept grants of easements for streets, water, drainage, sewer and utility purposes or any public purpose on terms and conditions the Board deems in the best interest of the Town, or act on anything relating thereto? (Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)", and close the warrant for the 2012 Annual Town Meeting. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
The meeting recessed at 6:37 pm and reconvened at 6:49 pm.
Article HH Barnes Wharf Lease Petition: Will the Town direct and required the Board of Selectmen to amend the Barnes Wharf Lease with Lincoln Maritime Center, Inc. dated August 8, 2006 as amended August 16, 2001 and December 20, 2011 as follows:…." It was announced that the petitioner of the article was running late and currently was not present at the meeting. Mr. Alexiades stated that Town Counsel informed him this afternoon that this is not a legal article because it violates Chapter 30B which requires real estate to be issued under an RFP and bid process. Sturt English, President of Lincoln Maritime Center (LMC), said that it is new information to them. While neither he nor LMC is the proponent of the article, it is a critical issue from LMC's perspective because it involves them. Chairman Riley reviewed the remaining time allocated on the agenda for discussion of this item. Sue Bush, 10 Cottage Street, expressed disappointment that the article cannot come before the Town as it is an appropriate issue for the Town. Chairman Riley reviewed the requirement of state law. Mr. Alexiades clarified the legal issues and explained the public purpose. He stated that the Town can lease the property for less than fair market value but it still must through the RFP process.
Michael Cataldo, the petitioner, joined the meeting. Mr. Alexiades reviewed Town Counsel's ruling on the article, stated that the article cannot be revised after submission, and stated that the only other way around it is to petition the legislature for special legislation. Mr. Cataldo summarized LMC's use and occupancy of the property, and commented on the high school rowing and sailing program, community based, maritime-oriented programs having access to the water, keeping the wharf available, and if this article is not available to come up with another one. Mr. Rabuffo commented on the difference between what Mr. Cataldo just said and what the article says, the Board's obligations under state law, the lease arrangement in place, and the Town not receiving the January 3rd payment from LMC per the lease. Mr. Alexiades said that the January 3rd payment was not received. Mr. English said that he believes the information is incorrect and that the payment was made. Mr. Rabuffo commented that the Board is sensitive to LMC's viability and there is no intent to shut it down as per an e-mail that was circulated. Mr. Cataldo reviewed his prior membership on the board of LMC and stated that the current lease payment is too high and will put LMC out of business. Mr. Rabuffo reviewed the lease negotiations, the agreement to the lease payment amount by LMC, and Mr. Engligh's ability under the lease sit down and review the terms again. Ms. Burns discussed the lease negotiations, the public benefit to the town, taxpayer subsidization of LMC, increased taxes, the impact of giving up all potential rent, funding public safety and education, and this not being an issue of financial gain. Chairman Riley, reading his statement, noted a pledge to continue rowing and sailing in the harbor, the responsibility of the Board of Selectmen to continue to review use of public land, the public bid process, issues of public access, the terms of the lease, LMC's lease of Steamboat Wharf, recent lease negotiations, the agreement of LMC to the terms, and his lack of support of the article because it does not support the public review process. Ellen Dresser, Director of LMC, stated that she dropped off the January 3rd lease payment in the Town's mailbox prior to the opening of business on January 3rd.
The consensus of the Board was not to vote on the article because it is not an actionable article. Chairman Riley said it is the intent to sit down with LMC at the end of the year and review how its season went. He also stated that any rumors that he is in favor of a restaurant or marina on the site are false.
Selectmen/Town Administrator's Reports: None.
Adjourn/Executive Session: Voted – A motion was made by Ms. Burns and seconded by Mr. Rabuffo to adjourn to executive session, not to return to open session, to conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with nonunion personnel. A vote by roll call showed Ms. Burns – in favor; Mr. Rabuffo – in favor, and Chairman Riley – in favor; the motion passed.
The meeting adjourned at 7:38 pm.
Laurie Zivkovich, Clerk Pro Tem
Documents (a complete meeting packet of supporting documentation is on file and available for public review in the Board of Selectmen's office):
1. Correspondence - March 6, 2012
2. 2012 Warrant Article Book
3. Letter dated February 29, 2012, from Roger Fernandes to Chairman John Riley RE: Construction and Construction Materials Contract Extension Request
4. Demolition Delay By-law with all proposed changes through 2.29.12 since Commission's vote; and with all proposed changes to existing by-law through 2.29.12; supplemental materials from the Historical Commission regarding homeowner education and outreach
5. Request for Assistance for Legal Counsel dated March 7, 2012 from Katy Lacy on behalf of the Hingham Planning Board to Board of Selectmen
6. E-mail dated February 17, 2012 from Pamela Harty to Betty Foley re: Earth Hour
7. Five Year Forecast
8. FY2013 Five Year Capital Plan
9. Article 4 Personnel Board Report
10. Article TTT
11. Parcel Summary 0 Summer Street
Approved on: March 15, 2012