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Lamoine Board of Selectmen Minutes

July 31, 2008

Chair Jo Cooper called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM

Present were: Selectmen Chris Tadema-Wielandt , Richard Fennelly Jr. , Brett Jones, S. Josephine Cooper; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, Assistant Town Clerk Kathleen DeFusco, School Committee Member Bob Pulver. Selectman Cynthia Donaldson was not present in order to attend the RPC meeting, but signed several documents prior to the meeting

Minutes of July 17, 2008 – Jo said she didn't have a chance to read the minutes. Richard said he didn't either. Stu said Chris turned in some minor changes. Selectmen took no action, preferring to table until the next meeting.

Expenditure Warrant 2 – Stu said he did an analysis on whether to pay the fire truck bond in full and felt it would be financially advantageous to do so at this time. Chris moved to approve paying the bond in full. Richard 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0. Selectmen signed warrant 2 for $83,979.48.

Cash & Budget Report – Stu reported he included reports for both fiscal years with the materials handed out prior to the meeting. There was a brief discussion about cash flow and what would happen if cash were needed before taxes started to come in.

Special Town Meeting Order – Jo moved to sign an order setting a special open town meeting for August 14, 2008 and the school budget validation vote for August 19, 2008. Chris 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0. Selectmen signed the order.

School Committee member Bob Pulver said the committee held two successful workshops. He said they got some good numbers on the impact of cuts to the budget. He said Monday is the official vote on the budget from the School Committee after meeting with the Budget Committee.

Chris asked if there were any numbers yet to compare to the last two budgets. Mr. Pulver said it's difficult to say, but there would be some cuts. He said he could not answer for the entire board. He said the School Committee's responsibility is to 115 children and the taxpayers. He said there is a lot of communication this time around, and that's the key thing. He said because the School Committee works so closely with the budget, the details are clear to them, but if a person isn't there, it could be mind boggling. Jo said both she and Richard attended the school budget meeting and a lot of ideas were discussed. Richard said he agreed with that. Jo said she's hopeful for passage this time. Stu said if there has to be another vote; the administration budget will have to increase. A short discussion followed on the timing of the latest budget try and property tax commitment.

Jo said the town is fortunate to have committed people on the School Committee.

Urban/Rural Initiative Program – Jo moved, and Brett 2nd to approve signing the URIP program document providing state highway funds for local roads. Stu said he would fill in the back of the form. There was a very brief discussion about the need for crack sealing on Seal Point Rd.

Universal Waste Letter – Stu reported that one of the commercial trash haulers brought his personal fluorescent light tubes to the transfer station for disposal. Stu said he drafted a letter to both haulers explaining that Universal Waste cannot be accepted. Selectmen briefly discussed the universal waste options and signed the letter.

Contract with Code Enforcement Officer – Selectmen signed the finalized contract with Dennis Ford.

Snow Plowing Contract – Chris said while he was working at the Hancock County Registry of Deeds that he noticed a foreclosure action was being taken against the owners of Nankervis Trucking on property they own in Franklin . He asked if the town would be left “holding the pot” on plowing. Jo suggested meeting with Nankervis in general to make sure they're prepared for the winter. It was suggested to ask Nankervis attend the next regular meeting. There was a short discussion about the configuration of the salt/sand shed.

Paving Contract – Stu reported that he'd heard Lane Construction may not be able to perform their contracts because the price of oil is so high it's driven up the price of liquid asphalt. He said he called Roger Picard and left a message, but Mr. Picard showed up later in the morning with a spreadsheet of the asphalt price in hand. Stu said he requested that Mr. Picard get something in writing from Lane with regard to the cancellation. Chris suggested referring that to the town attorney if and when it's received. A short discussion of the options available followed. Stu suggested South Birchlawn Drive could be eliminated. There was discussion about what shape the Walker Road was in.

Executive Session – Richard moved to enter executive session pursuant to 1MRSA §405(6) (E) and (6) (A) to discuss a legal and personnel matter. Chris 2nd Vote in favor was 4-0. In at 7:30, out at 7:41 PM.

Following the executive session, Jo moved that a communication she wrote in regard to the previous meeting be included in the minutes. Brett 2nd . Vote in favor was 3-0 (Fennelly abstained). The communication is as follows:

July 23, 2008

Dear Selectmen:

Because there might be some misunderstanding of my questions of Richard Fennelly at the meeting this past week, I will read the following into the record of our next meeting:

During our discussion of the school budget vote, I questioned Richard Fennelly who had signed a letter opposing the passage of the school budget which was sent out to voters. This was for several reasons:

  1. Richard signed the letter identifying himself as “Selectman” with his phone number.
  2. The letter criticized the School Board's efforts, although Richard had attended many meetings with the School Board and apparently was in clear understanding that the dramatic rise in the tax bill was not the fault of the School Board. Richard himself has stated (correctly) that the increase is due to a reduction of funding available from the State and because the Town voted to use the “balance forward” last year rather than keep it available for unexpected costs such as we are now facing.

I do want to make it clear for the record that in no way was this a personal criticism of Richard or his opinion. My concern was that he had sent that letter as a Selectman and the letter was so derogatory about the School Board.

Richard answered my questions and, while I do not agree with his actions, I have a better understanding of why he thought it was acceptable to send the letter.

Jo Cooper

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst.