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Lamoine Board of Selectmen

 
 
Jo Cooper
Cynthia Donaldson
Gary McFarland
Bernie Johnson
Nathan Mason
 
Minutes of June 6, 2013

Chair Jo Cooper called the meeting to order at 7:07 PM.

Present were: Selectmen Cynthia Donaldson, Bernie Johnson, Gary McFarland, S. Josephine Cooper; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, Code Enforcement Officer Michael Jordan, Planning Board & RSU 24 Withdrawal Committee member Gordon Donaldson, Transfer Station Manager William Fennelly, Assessor Jane Fowler, Stephen Roiphe, Jeffrey Lamont, RSU 24 Board Representative Brett Jones. Selectman Nathan Mason had informed the board prior to the meeting that he would be unable to attend as he was helping chaperone the 8 th grade class trip.

Agenda Review There were no changes to the printed agenda and addendum. Stu noted that an additional returnable request had come in.

Minutes May 16, 2013 Jo moved to approve the minutes as written, Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 3-0 (Donaldson abstained)

Minutes May 24, 2013 Jo moved to approve the minutes as written, Cynthia 2nd . Vote in favor was 3-0 (McFarland abstained)

Minutes June 4, 2013 Jo moved to approve the minutes as written, Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0.

Expenditure Warrant 24 Selectmen signed the expenditure warrant in the amount of $19,386.49. Stu noted the largest bill was to the Secretary of State for motor vehicle registrations.

Cash & Budget Report Jo noted that excise tax revenues were slightly over budget. She asked if investment interest income was likely to pick up much. Stu said he did not think so.

Checking Account Reconciliation Selectmen signed the statement expressing satisfaction with the checking account reconciliation that had been e-mailed prior to the meeting.

Bid Request Fire Truck Financing Stu said he had drafted a bid request based on the last time the town advertised for bids. He said he planned to send it to the local banks in Ellsworth and Bar Harbor. Jo moved to approve the request. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0.

Fire Truck Body Specifications Stu reported that a bid advertisement has been drafted and the specifications have been received from the Chief and Chief Engineer. He said the chief had planned to attend, but apparently could not make the meeting tonight. He said the plan was to have a recommendation in hand from the fire department in time for the July 11, 2013 meeting. Jo moved to approve the specs. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0.

Request for Special Town Meeting Jo noted this was tabled from the previous meeting. Jane Fowler said her son Perry, who had presented an ordinance and request for a special town meeting, was working late and unable to attend. Jo said she wished the Selectmen could talk with him. She said the Planning Board planned to proceed with looking at the gravel ordinance that the town meeting passed in March. Gary noted that much of the meeting with the Planning Board took place in executive session. Bernie said his question to Perry would be whether he plans to participate in the Planning Board discussion. Jo said the ordinance proposed by Perry could still be presented to the town meeting, but she would prefer some communication first.

Stu noted the Planning Board plans to meet on June 19 th , a day before the next Selectmen's meeting. Jo said everyone would have a better idea about the Planning Board's approach by the next meeting, and moved to table the matter until June 20 th . Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0.

Planning Board meeting follow up As noted above, the Planning Board will meet on June 19, 2013 at 7PM at the School.

Website Policies Jo noted the discussion came about because of a request to place a link to the proposed gravel ordinance on the town's website, which led to a discussion. Cynthia said the present website policy needs some work on clarification, to be more readable, and to make some sense. She said that work should take place right away. Jo said the policy could be linked on the front page of the town's website.

Cynthia said she thinks it's a very important document. She said when it was done in 2003 it was probably fine, but in 2013, it needs some work, and she volunteered to work on it. Bernie asked whether in the case of the proposed gravel ordinance request a link would appear on the town page. Jo read part of the policy. Bernie said it would appear that such an ordinance would only appear when some sort of action take place to make it relevant.

Draft Minutes Cynthia said she was concerned that draft minutes are posted on the town's website. She said there have never been any terrific mistakes in the draft minutes. Stu said drafts, even with mistakes, are a public document. There was a lengthy discussion on whether the draft minutes should continue to be posted.

Jo noted that compared to many other communities, Lamoine is spoiled with information. She said maybe there needs to be some balance between access and potential confusion. Gordon Donaldson said the Planning Board minutes are posted with a draft notation. Stu said it's the same with the Selectmen minutes. More discussion followed. Jo said the minutes are not a concern to her her concern is about how much information is on the site.

Assessing information Stu said he gets calls daily for assessing information, and people often remark that it's not on the website. He said most municipalities that maintain a website post the assessing data, and it is public information. Jane Fowler said she can look at assessing information for every other town, except Lamoine. Brett Jones said a GIS system might be a better option, and discussion followed about just what might be feasible to post. Stu said it would be relatively easy to post a spreadsheet with the assessing data. Jo said she was fine with that, and Gary agreed. Bernie said he had concerns about how much is released to the public. Jo moved to post the assessing data in spreadsheet form. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 3-1 (Johnson opposed).

RSU 24 Withdrawal Update Gary reported the Withdrawal Committee is suggesting that the Selectmen name an Education Planning Committee which would be charged with more than working on the budget, but also developing plans for curriculum, food service, transportation and the like. He said a draft of the Education Planning Committee formation was in the materials tonight. He asked the board to look it over and come up with names of potential appointees. He said it's a bigger job than just working up budget figures. He said it should be on the next meeting agenda.

Jo asked about the timing of naming such a committee. Gary noted that the tasks for the summer of 2013 would be to gather information. Jo said she would be more comfortable with getting the word out. She asked how many would serve on the committee. Gary said they're suggesting seven. Bernie asked if the withdrawal committee has a list of names. Gordon Donaldson said they do not. Jo said the Selectmen don't have a list either. Mr. Jones said if someone was pulled from the school staff, it might not be possible. He said the school administration has not created a comforting environment for the withdrawal committee.

Jo said the committee would need some diverse representation. Brett Jones said there is some urgency to the matter. He said the RSU has not been particularly helpful in sharing information and he suspect the committee would have to meet more than once a month, and there is no time to waste. Cynthia asked if the Withdrawal Committee had some suggestions. Dr. Donaldson said there were no specific names. Cynthia asked about the categories of folks to serve. Dr. Donaldson said the withdrawal committee has suggested those and Gary said that was in the packet. Dr. Donaldson said maybe 4-or-5 posts would be good. Mr. Jones said the original purpose in the withdrawal process was to look to see what is best for Lamoine, and to look at it honestly. He said the better the work, the better off the town would be. Gary said there is a lot of work to do in a short period of time. Dr. Donaldson said the Withdrawal Committee has collected a lot of information in a short period of time. Gary said that information has often taken the RSU 3-months to get the information to the withdrawal committee.

Jo said she would like to advertise for folks to appoint at the next meeting. Stu asked about the approach to advertise as a general ad is unlikely to draw much interest. It was suggested that approaching individuals might be more effective. Among those identified were former school committee member Bob Pulver, soon to be appointed Local School Advisory Committee member Jon VanAmringe, Withdrawal Committee members Brett Jones or Gordon Donaldson, parent Fred Cahn and to put in the school newsletter that at least two parents are sought, Selectman Nate Mason, and polling the Budget Committee to see if one of the members would be interested in serving.

A brief discussion about the relationship between the RSU and the board member from Lamoine followed.

Gary said the final version of the withdrawal agreement has been signed by three of the four withdrawal committee members and the RSU Board chair and will be sent to Augusta when the final signature comes in. He said if the Education Commissioner accepts the agreement; the work of the Withdrawal Committee is done, though he suspected the committee would stay together until the vote takes place, presumably in November

Brett asked what the charge would be to the Education Planning Committee. Jo said it would not be to debate the merits of withdrawal, but to present a balanced report. Cynthia said the major goal is to determine the costs of running the school system outside of the RSU umbrella. Bernie said it seems like an impossible task because of the many potential scenarios. Dr. Donaldson said there were four options listed on the memo to the Selectmen.

Jo said the next steps would be to contact people who might be interested. She said at the next Selectmen's meeting, the task is to form the committee and to appoint members. She said she would like to have Stu contact Mr. Pulver and Mr. Cahn about possibly serving, and to have a slate for the next meeting. Bernie said there might be people who come forward. Cynthia said it needs to be made clear that this would be an educated guess. Brett noted that he's hearing a pessimistic tone from RSU Board members about individual communities running schools, and noted that the City of Ellsworth ran their own school department before.

Hodgkins Scholarship Subcommittee Cynthia said the subcommittee (she, Bernie and Nathan) met the previous night and completed the work.

Honor Graduates recognized The Selectmen signed certificates of commendation for the following Lamoine students who are graduating from high school this month with honors:

Name

High School

Sarah Anderson

Ellsworth

Anna Curtis

Ellsworth

Blake Haass

Ellsworth

Dominique Hessert

MDI

Benjamin Morren

Ellsworth

Isaac Wallace

MDI

Appointments Jo moved to re-appoint the following people to the positions indicated. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0. 

Position

Last Name

First Name

Town Clerk

Kovacs

Jennifer

Tax Collector

Kovacs

Jennifer

Excise Tax Collector

Kovacs

Jennifer

Deputy Treasurer

Kovacs

Jennifer

Health Officer

Ohmart

Cecilia

Fire Chief

Smith

George

Animal Control Officer

Arsenault

Michael

Transfer Stn. Manager

Fennelly

William

Code Enforcement Officer

Jordan

Michael

Building Inspector

Jordan

Michael

Plumbing Inspector

Jordan

Michael

Road Commissioner

Marckoon

Stuart

Harbor Master

Herrick

David

Deputy Harbor Master

Murphy

Kevin

Parks Commissioner

Herrick

Julie

Appeals Board Member

Fowler

Jay

Conservation Commission Member

Korty

Carol

Fire Warden

Smith

George

Deputy Fire Warden

Marckoon

Stuart

Deputy Tax Collector

Marckoon

Stuart

Deputy Excise Tax Collector

Marckoon

Stuart

While the Selectmen signed the appointment papers, Stu reminded folks that the School Budget Validation Vote will take place on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 from 8am to 8pm at the Town Hall.

Other Appointments

Planning Board - Jo asked about John Holt's desire to continue service on the Planning Board. Stu said Mr. Holt told him that if he were asked, he would serve again. It was noted that Richard McMullen has also offered to serve. Bernie asked about what procedure to follow. Cynthia said the board has not generally removed a sitting member who is willing to serve again. Jo said she would speak with Mr. Holt. No action was taken on the upcoming Planning Board vacancy.

Local School Advisory Committee - Brett Jones noted that Tammy Dickey has not attended any of the Local School Advisory Committee meetings since her reappointment last summer, but had indicated to him that she was tied up with a class but would still be willing to serve. Cynthia suggested that she be contacted as a courtesy before declaring the seat to be opened up, and the action could be deferred until next month. Jo moved to appoint Jon VanAmringe to fill the seat being vacated by R. Dale Macurdy. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0.

Conservation Commission Alternate Stu reported Nancy Pochan was willing to continue serving. Jo moved to appoint. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0.

Budget Committee Stu reported current alternate Marion McDevitt had indicated a desire to fill the full position being vacated by Deborah Verrill-McFarland. He said both Jane Fowler and Connie Bender indicated a desire to serve as alternates, and there are no rules against having more than one alternate. Jo moved to appoint Marion McDevitt to a 3-year term on the Budget Committee, Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0. Jo moved to appoint both Jane Fowler and Connie Bender to 3-year terms as alternates on the Budget Committee. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0.

Board of Appeals Jo moved to appoint Cecilia Ohmart to the Appeals Board to a 3-year term. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0.

Follow up meeting at Lamoine School Jo said there were a lot of great ideas that came out of the meeting with the students at the Lamoine School on May 24, 2013. She said a couple of them stood out, and she was impressed by the list of positives about living in Lamoine, such as it being rural and quiet. She said she liked the bike trail idea and especially liked the idea of having a student representative attend Selectmen meetings. A brief discussion followed about how to accomplish that. The Board felt it would be a good idea to approach the school in September to talk more about having some students act as a liaison on a periodic basis. There was also discussion about including the summary of the meeting in the next Lamoine Quarterly.

Excess Property Stu said he was not prepared with a list of what excess property is stored at the Anderson Garage but there is a growing amount he would like to put that off until the next meeting.

Returnables Jo moved to award the proceeds from returnables in October 2013 to Lamoine Pee Wee Cheering. Cynthia 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0.

Jo moved to award the proceeds from returnables in November 2013 to the Lamoine/Bayside Grange. Cynthia 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0,

Jo moved to award the proceeds from returnables in December 2013 to the Lamoine Conservation Commission. Cynthia 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0.

Code Enforcement Complaint Gary reported he received a letter from Donna Fennelly regarding a complaint on a code enforcement matter. He read the complaint.

Code Enforcement Officer Michael Jordan said two of the alleged violations occurred long before he was on the job. He said the two additions to the property referenced in the complaint show up on the property cards. He said the man who obtained a building permit for a garden shed was initially under the impression that he did not need a permit, but once he found out, he came to the office and got one. He said he charged the applicant a double fee because work had started before the permit was obtained. He said the complaint said the building was too close to the property line. He said the man who obtained the permit assured him that once he finished construction, he would move it to meet the 25-foot setback, but now he isn't sure that he can move the building.

Mr. Jordan said the man either has to build the building and move it, or destroy it, seek a variance from the Board of Appeals, and he understands how the Appeals Board process works. He said he's not sure what action he would take. There was a very brief discussion about the option of obtaining an easement from the abutting landowner.

Gary asked if the other two buildings were constructed when the man in question owned the property. Jane Fowler said that was correct. There was a discussion about whether he had permits for the buildings. Gary said the other part of the complaint was about the lack of a home occupation permit. Mr. Jordan said it was not required. Gary said the final part of the complaint involved moving a survey stake. Bill Fennelly said the stake is where it is supposed to be located.

Gary said it sounds like the matter is being addressed. Jo asked if the complaint had come to the Code Enforcement Officer. Mr. Jordan replied that it had on multiple occasions.

Next Meeting The next regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen takes place on June 20, 2013.

Executive Session Jo moved to enter executive session pursuant to 1-MRSA §405(6)(A) and (C) for the purposes of conducting an employee review and to discuss an economic development project negotiation. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0. In at 8:45 PM Out at 9:17 PM.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:17 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst. to the Selectmen