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Adminstrative Assistant's Report

For Meeting of February 11, 2010

Please prepare for a potentially lengthy meeting as there are some hot topics to decide. My goal is to hash the tough stuff out this meeting and have next week's meeting be a sign the expenditure warrant and the town meeting warrant, and any urgent matters only. We shall see.

The good news is that as I write this on the 4th of February, there are just two days of basketball season left for me (excluding some weekend non-school tournaments), so I should be in the office most days until 4PM until baseball season. There have not been any issues that I'm aware of that caused work to not be completed in a timely manner with the staff on board.

Kermit should be here for this meeting. Cynthia advises that she is not able to make the meeting on the 18th .

I will be out of the office on March 5th for the annual town manager's interchange in Orono which is always a useful one-day session. I'll continue to keep a master calendar supplied in your packets. It's amazing how often things on the calendar change.

Minutes of January 21, 2010 – Please review them as usual with written edits most appreciated.

Warrant 15 – Because we've skipped a week, there will be two payrolls on this warrant, and none on Warrant 16 which you will sign on the 18th . We've gotten a couple of lingering projects out of the way which are on the warrant. We had several record books preserved by Brown's River, and $1,000 of that had been encumbered in the previous year. Jay Fowler finally sent the bill for the rest of the flood damage, and that had all been encumbered. I've sent the notice to Maine Emergency Management Agency that the work is complete, and we'll have plenty left over to put back into the road fund. The total bill was about half of what I'd estimated, and with the state assistance, we paid very little for the flood damage.

There are payments to some of our fire department members and to the fire department for various purchases having to do with equipment maintenance. The big payment is to RSU 24 for the latest school renovation bill. We have received the money from the Bond Bank for that.

Cash & Budget Report – Expenditures are just about where they ought to be. Nothing is coming up as a red flag for me on this side of the budget. Revenues are off, mostly excise tax and investment interest which is consistent with what has been trending this year. Actually, I'm surprised that we're not further behind on excise tax. The January investment interest has not been figured into this report yet, as we've yet to receive it from the bank.

Checking Account Reconciliation - The report is in your packet and everything balanced up nicely.

Returnable Applications – The historical society has agreed to swap months with the 8 th grade. We've received two other applications as well. Jo was going to arrange with some 8 th graders to meet with you briefly to tell about their plans for the funds. The RSU middle school cheering competition is the same night as this meeting, so I'm not sure if any will be available for our meeting.

Axiom Technologies – Since our last meeting, Axiom has been in touch and someone from that company will meet with you about what they'd like to do and the grant they want to apply for to offer high speed internet to un-served areas of town.

I did send an e-mail to Time Warner, but have not heard back from Shelley Winchenbach.

Cell Tower-Line Easement – Things are progressing with the cell tower site. The power poles were set this week, the electrical meter panels are installed, just waiting for power from Bangor Hydro to get rolling. You have easements to sign with Bangor Hydro, which is one of the holdups.

Zero Sort Recycling – I met with Mr. DeRoss and a couple others from Pine Tree Waste about a new offer. I will do up a separate report on this offer and the meeting. We're getting closer to making it work. I suspect MRRA would like a shot at this as well.

Census – The Census Bureau is offering testing at the town hall for potential workers on Thursday mornings at 9:30 AM. So far no one has shown up to take the tests.

There is also a form for Jo to sign that we haven't changed the town boundaries. I'll have that at the meeting.

Draft Town Report – This is coming together nicely. I'm waiting for the superintendent of schools, the conservation commission, and pictures from the historical society. Once the town meeting warrant is finalized that will go in, as will the budget. The same folks who printed last year's report have offered to do it at the same per unit cost again this year. That works for me.

AFG Grant - Good news, we made it past the first round. The grant is for a new cutting tool and air bags for the fire department. The paperwork is in your packet.

Town Meeting – Here's where things might get lengthy. The discussion about referendum voting has apparently resulted in some sort of petition being circulated. I briefly saw a copy on the counter at the store the other day, but it has disappeared, and I didn't really get the gist of what was being requested.

From a process standpoint, the question comes down to whether you want to place an advisory question on the town meeting ballot this April, and how it should be worded. Beyond that, the political debate is something you individually should decide – I'd prefer to stay neutral on it (despite what some might think).

The draft of the town meeting warrant has been cleaned up with the corrections made last meeting. The advisory question is NOT included at this point.

The Board has not discussed a citizen of the year for 2010. You should, though it might not be a surprise if the discussion is on TV. I'll do up a list of potential candidates (it'll be short), and maybe there could be a “secret ballot” vote by the board.

School Advisory Committee Meeting – This had been on the schedule for 2/4/10, and the meeting got changed. The committee is meeting on the 25th at the school, and this might be a good opportunity to have the Selectmen meet with that committee without requiring an extra meeting for them.

The GPA/EPS numbers from the state came out, and it's about $600,000 better than expected (the way I read it). I'm not sure that a lot of discussion is needed on your level for this report, but I'll stick it in the packet. It was sent via e-mail at Dick's request.

Shellfishing Ordinance Update – The next meeting is 2/9/10 at Ellsworth City Hall. There may be more to report after that. The minutes of January 12th are in your packet.

Other – The Board of Assessors got notice last week that the Davis and Maine Coast Baptist Church appeals to the Board of Property Tax Review will proceed on February 23 & 24 in Augusta. They have prepared the defense and exhibits and witness list and will exchange the exhibits with the petitioners on Monday the 8 th . They attempted to last night but the petitioners had not separated their exhibits into the separate docket cases. I have played a key role in assisting the Assessors with their cases, writing the arguments (which are in your packet). The Assessors have not requested legal assistance at this point, and are confident in the town's stance.

I will also be out of the office on February 9th as I have been subpoenaed in a court trial for a man who was arrested here in the parking lot of the town hall in 2008.

The meeting schedule is printed on the agenda, reverting back to the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays after this meeting.

Stay warm!

stu