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Administrative Assistant's Report

For meeting of October 11, 2007

I'm writing this on Friday the 5th what a spectacular fall day! Lots of stuff going on around town was just at the salt/sand shed project and that's progressing nicely.

I went to the Maine Municipal Association convention for the past two days and got some interesting insights into school consolidation and the state economy in general.

Not too bad an agenda, but the meeting could take a while as you lead off with budget matters.

Minutes Please review them as usual.

Budget Meeting I've put the memo sent to the Budget Committee & Department heads in your packet as well as the Budget Committee's by-laws that were approved by the Selectmen, I believe, in 1992.

General Assistance I posted a notice of a public hearing on the GA updates at the town office. No one ever attends these. I've put the summary letter from MMA in your packet.

Cell Tower Lease Brett & Chris picked up their copies of the proposed lease language from Verizon. A copy of this is in the rest of the packets. Please bring specific suggestions that we can e-mail to Verrill & Dana for their comment. I'll look it over again with some comment as well.

Salt/Sand Shed As mentioned earlier, this is coming along nicely. The paving was done on Monday the 1 st , the carpenters have been going at it all week, and the walls were up as of 1:00 PM. They were just starting to put the roof trusses on when I visited. Very impressive. I'll try to get some pictures this afternoon.

Town Office Reconfiguration I've set up an appointment with Tyra Hanson (my next door designing neighbor) to look over the ideas and come up with a price. She should be in some time next week, and we'll see what happens from there.

HCPC Support Letter The materials for this are in your packet. Pretty much the same idea as the Brownfields, except this is for some other grant program.

Bloomfield Park Survey Kerry Galeaz will be here for the meeting to see what we do now that the new entrance road has been laid out.

Gott ROW I'm still waiting for comment/authorization to proceed from Tim Gott or Steve Salsbury. I'll try to light a fire under one of them.

CEO Update Dennis should be here for the meeting. The Planning Board had questions about the Bradford inquiry from the last meeting. I was of the understanding the Selectmen did not wish to pursue any complaint because it was not clear what was in violation.

Road Work Update - Cos Cob is nearly done paving should occur next week. I know they've graded Berry Cove & Gully Brook. We also got a $31,000 deposit from FEMA!

School Consolidation Update I'm not sure what Cynthia has to report, but as mentioned, there was a lot of information at the MMA Convention. Additionally, the town administrators in the Union 92 communities are attending a meeting with Jim Boothby on the 18 th in regard to the budget process.

Here, in a brief capsule, is what was learned in Augusta . Susan Gendron (DOE Commissioner) says that she will back legislation that will alter the consolidation law so that RSUs can be flexible in the funding formula and that towns such as ours will not get hammered by picking up a larger proportion of the cost than we are now. It's not clear what this really means. The budget approval process is really going to be different, with the equivalent of an open town meeting for the entire RSU on one night, and then a referendum vote in each town no later than 10-days after the open meeting at which the budget will have to be confirmed. That means a special election, and attendance by the Registrar of Voters at the RSU open meeting to check in voters. The RSU will provide ballots, but absentee ballots can only be cast after the open RSU meeting. Many clerks are of the opinion that this is a mockery of the absentee balloting process. The RSU is supposed to provide all the posting and ballots, but the town gets to pay for all the election workers etc. The wording of the ballots won't be known until after the open RSU meeting.

Meanwhile, the DOE is under the expectation that the RPC work will be done by December 1 st and ready for voting on January 15, 2008. They'll pay for that election, but they won't fund any other election date!

The town manager in Windsor brought up a good question that did not get an adequate answer. He asked who is responsible for paying the Superintendent of Schools in a Union once the towns in that Union are members of their respective RSU's. In our case (and I suspect his), the Union is the Superintendent' employer. When the RSU is formed, the Union will cease to exist, so who is liable for the rest of the contract? Commissioner Gendron's only answer to that was that the RSU is not responsible! Another good question.

Brett wanted to be sure to bring up for discussion how the property the school is on is owned in regard to when the RSU owns the school. Good question!

Warrant 7 & 8

Four signed warrant 7. I'm hoping to get what I've got for warrant 8 done up for the packet nothing terribly unusual on either warrant.

Cash & Budget Report Nothing terribly unusual in the budget reports.

Checking Reconciliation This is in your packet balanced up nicely this month.

Excise Tax Report Also in your packet. No alarming trends here that I noticed.

Investment Account Transfers A memo went to the First Advisors to adjust the various accounts to reflect the 6/30/07 fund balance and the FY 2008 appropriations. We hit just over $55,000 in the Salt/Sand shed cash account at the end of September just in time for that appropriation to hit. I've put that memo in your packet.

Next Meetings Your next meeting should be the junkyard hearings for Barry Norris. As of this afternoon I've not received his applications. I'm not sure what schedule you want to keep in December. The next item on the agenda is vacation request (the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas week are being requested). Let's discuss that briefly.

That's it. Looking forward to a lively discussion.

stu