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Lamoine Board of Selectmen

 

l-r William Brann, Gary McFarland, Richard Fennelly Jr., Jo Cooper, Cynthia Donaldson
Minutes of Special Meeting - June 14, 2012

Chair Jo Cooper called the meeting to order in the Code Enforcement Office at 7:00 PM.

Present were: Selectmen Cynthia Donaldson, S. Josephine Cooper, Gary McFarland, Richard Fennelly Jr. (arrived 7:20 PM); Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon. During the workshop phase of the meeting those present included planning board members John Holt, Gordon Donaldson, Don Bamman, Chris Tadema-Wielandt, Perry Fowler and Michael Jordan as well as RSU 24 Representative Brett Jones.

Executive Session – Jo moved to go into executive session pursuant to 1MRSA §405(6)(F) for the purposes of discussing recommendations for the Hodgkins Scholarship. Cynthia 2 nd . Vote in favor was 3-0 (Fennelly had not yet arrived) Stu left the room. Out at 7:23 PM.

Letters re: RSU 24 Withdrawal – Selectmen present signed letters to Education Commissioner Bowen and Superintendent Lukas explaining what the perceived reason for the vote by the town to proceed on a withdrawal plan from RSU 24. Stu reported the Clerk's certification of the vote was sent by registered mail as required by statute the previous day.

Workshop with Planning BoardJo said the Selectmen were looking for feedback from the Planning Board on what they feel is important to the Code Enforcement Officer's (CEO) Position. She said there have been concerns expressed in the past about the presence of the CEO at Planning Board meetings and what the Planning Board expects from the CEO.

Gordon Donaldson said the CEO's presence at the meeting is essential. He said it's helpful to be able to ask questions of the CEO. Don Bamman said the CEO has to be on board with enforcing the ordinances. Perry Fowler echoed both sentiments. John Holt said the Planning Board doesn't normally look at things unless they go through the CEO office. He said it wastes everybody's time to have to start all over again. He said the CEO has to be conversant with the ordinances and what ordinance applies to a particular project. He stressed the section in the Building and Land Use Ordinance that states the CEO is to assist the Planning Board in its administration of the ordinance. He said it's really helpful to have the help with that administration.

Mr. Holt said the CEO should be especially helpful in administration of the Gravel Ordinance. He said in that case, the buck stops with the Selectmen. He said part of the CEO's job is to work with the Planning Board and be accountable to the Planning Board.

Cynthia said when the Selectmen conduct performance reviews of the CEO, they often have no idea about how things are going, and input from the Planning Board would be important. She said that should happen annually, and it might be something to add to the Planning Board's tasks. Dr. Donaldson said he would suggest adding to the CEO job description “meeting /assisting the public”. He said the CEO provides an important service to the town, and it's embarrassing to the Planning Board to be considering something where information is missing. He said it would be helpful to applicants to have someone walk through the application with them ahead of the Planning Board meetings.

Perry Fowler said availability is an issue for folks who need Code Enforcement services. Richard said it's difficult to determine sometimes whether the CEO is conversant with the ordinances. Mr. Fowler said it would be helpful to have more communications between the Planning Board and Selectmen. Jo said it can be tricky on personnel matters. She said it would be helpful to have the Planning Board help screen potential applicants. She said confidentiality is an issue. Stu suggested that a search committee could be formed. Jo said that might be the place to start.

Chris Tadema-Wielandt said a possible change to the CEO job description would be to add to item 6 that the CEO should initiate complaints if he sees them. A brief discussion followed. Mr. Holt said the position calls for someone with maturity and good judgment. He said there are some things that are more worthy of investigation than others. He said the Planning Board doesn't necessarily want a legalist but they would like someone who is not bashful about enforcing the ordinances. Mr. Tadema-Wielandt said the present situation gives the impression that one can get away with violations because the town is not going to enforce them. Richard said the town doesn't want a witch hunt, either.

Mr. Fowler noted there is nothing regarding office hours in the job description. Jo said that could be taken care of in the contract. Cynthia said the Selectmen worked with the present CEO who was keeping a log. Mr. Holt suggested advertising a certain number of hours. A brief discussion of the hours required followed, as did a discussion on enforcement authority.

Dr. Donaldson suggested a number of changes to the present job description. A brief discussion followed. Michael Jordan suggested eliminating the Building Inspector aspect of the job depending on whether the town adopts the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code.

Perry Fowler and Don Bamman agreed to sit on the search committee for a new CEO.

Stu asked if the Planning Board planned to have any ordinance ready for a special town meeting. Mr. Holt said they would have something ready for the Gravel Ordinance for November and would have hearings ahead of time. Stu said there is a lot on the ballot already and (tongue in cheek) said no – but said the town staff could accommodate that if needed. A discussion of the format for ordinance presentation followed.

There being no further business, the Selectmen's meeting adjourned at 7:56 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst. to the Selectmen