Town of Lamoine, Maine
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Lamoine Board of Selectmen
|Minutes of November 7, 2013|
Chair Jo Cooper called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM
Present were: Selectmen Bernie Johnson, Gary McFarland, Cynthia Donaldson, Nathan Mason, S. Josephine Cooper; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, Chris Norris, Assessor & Code Enforcement Officer Michael Jordan, John Wuorinen, RSU 24 Representative Brett Jones, Valerie Peacock, Assessor Jane Fowler and Planning Board /Local Education Advisory Committee member Gordon Donaldson.
Agenda Review – The Board opted to move the automobile graveyard hearings closer to the top of the agenda.
Minutes – October 24, 2013 – Stu noted that he did not go into detail from the public hearing held at the School Gym. Cynthia said she appreciated how the minutes were written. A brief discussion followed. Jo moved to approve the minutes as presented, Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.
Automobile Graveyard Permits – Jo opened the public hearing at 7:02 PM. She noted that the Code Enforcement Officer had inspected both licensed facilities and found they both had fewer vehicles. She asked owner Chris Norris if he is careful to dispose of all fluids. Mr. Norris indicated that he was. Gary noted that the place of the hearing on the application was incorrectly listed as the school. Stu said that was his error. There being no further comments, Jo closed the hearing at 7:045 PM.
Jo moved to approve the permits for both yards. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.
Expenditure Warrant 8 – Selectmen signed warrant 8 in the amount of $198,820.55. Stu noted $167,000 was for the RSU. He said that some money from the investments account would have to be moved into the checking account to cover the RSU check.
Cash & Budget Report – Nate noted that the town was a bit ahead on spending this year. Stu said that is because the November school payment is on this warrant.
Foreclosure Notices – Stu reported that automatic pending foreclosure notices will go out in the mail tomorrow. He said he doubted that any of the properties would become town property.
Personal Property Collections – Stu said a memorandum supplied to the Selectmen and this evening to the Assessors present is confidential inasmuch as it discusses a legal issue. He said the board could discuss the process used to assess personal property. Jane Fowler explained some of the issues and difficulties identifying equipment. Stu said he would like to see very specific records organized of what is assessed as of next April 1 st . Selectmen agreed that a few substantial uncollected accounts will remain on the books as due and payable at this time.
Audit Contract – Stu reported that James Wadman CPA has sent a proposal for a new audit contract, and the price is extremely reasonable. Jo moved to accept the contract. Nathan 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0, Jo signed the contract.
Hodgkins Trust – Stu reported the town has received another $8,000 or so from the fund. There was a brief discussion about the fund's purpose – Stu explained that it can be used for parks or town buildings.
RSU 24 Withdrawal Election Results – Stu reported that the withdrawal question passed by quite a wide margin (399-187) and that the minimum threshold of 451 was exceeded by a wide margin.
Jo asked what is next. Stu said it would be to elect a school committee. He reviewed a memorandum prepared that proposed that nomination papers be available next Tuesday, November 12, 2013, due back on November 29, 2013, have absentee ballots available on December 6, 2013 and hold the special election for three school committee members on January 7, 2014.
Cynthia asked about how to increase the board to 5-members. Stu said state law defaults to 3-members for a school committee and town meeting would have to vote to increase it to 5. A lengthy discussion followed on how to increase the number of board members to 5.
Nathan said he would like to see a planning committee established to get the ball rolling for the school committee. Brett Jones said the Town of Hancock is forming one. Stu asked what the committee would do. Brett said he envisioned that a committee would contact various contractors and discuss a budget for the annual town meeting. Stu said he would question whether there is any authority to do that. Jo asked who could make up such a committee. Stu said there is a Local School Advisory Committee currently in place.
Gordon Donaldson said a consultant should be employed who knows how to set up the various systems needed for a school department. Jo asked where the money to pay for that would come from. Stu said there is money in the Education Fund that remained after Lamoine joined RSU 24. A discussion on using that fund followed.
Gary asked if the transition committee would be the present Local School Advisory Committee. Jo asked who they would be advising. Brett said there is a lot of work to do just collating material. A lengthy discussion followed on who would do that. Gordon said he thinks the Town of Hancock will ask for money for a consultant. He said the superintendent's position would be more attractive to applicants if some of the groundwork is done.
Val Peacock said the town just voted on withdrawal, and she is concerned that contracting choices and other decisions might be made before a school board is in place. Cynthia said perhaps a consultant could lay out what needs to be done. Nathan suggested maybe expanding the Local School Advisory Committee. A discussion followed on the role of the Advisory Committee
Brett said there are a lot of state requirements and a very truncated period of time to meet those. He said there are multiple parts to this process. Stu said the Local School Advisory Committee meets on Wednesday and perhaps it could come up with suggestions to the Board of Selectmen on how to proceed. Jo said she would like some time to think about it. It was noted that there is a vacancy on the Local School Advisory Committee and Val was asked if she were interested in serving. Gordon said a transition committee could report to the Selectmen. A brief discussion followed.
There was further discussion about appointing Val to the Local School Advisory Committee. Cynthia asked about the appointment process. Stu said the position has been vacant for many months and advertised as such with no takers. Cynthia said she just wanted to make sure that was on the record.
Cynthia asked about school board compensation. Stu said by statute there is no compensation unless the municipality votes otherwise.
Jo asked Val Peacock if she was interested in serving on the Local School Advisory Committee. Val gave a brief biography. Jo moved to appoint her to the committee, Nathan 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0. Selectmen signed the appointment paper later in the meeting.
Special Town Meeting Election – Jo moved to adopt the timeline as outlined earlier by Stu and to sign an order to the town clerk. Gary 2nd . A brief discussion followed on when the terms would end – there was no objection to the terms ending at the first school board meeting following the annual town meeting election – the one year term would end on that date in 2015, the two year term would be in 2016 and the three year term in 2017.
Open Town Meeting Warrant – Stu said there are several issues that need town meeting action and suggested a bifurcated special town meeting, with the open meeting corresponding with the Selectmen's meeting on January 9, 2013. Selectmen had no opposition to that. Among the items on the warrant would be expansion of the school board to five, compensation for the school board, authorizing expenditure from the education fund, and an article to accept and expend the check to benefit veterans from Hancock County. Selectmen will sign the warrant, either on November 21, 2013 or December 12, 2013.
Comprehensive Planning Committee – Stu said the report from the committee was in the packet and summarized it. The committee is recommending an update to the Comprehensive Plan and the it befunded over the next two years. He said the committee members all have signed the document.
On Line Policy – Stu thanked Cynthia for drafting up the proposed policy change. Cynthia said she did not make a new policy but simplified the language in the current document. A brief discussion produced one minor edit. The policy is considered to have its first reading and will be placed for adoption on the agenda for November 21, 2013.
Email Communications – Jo said she had asked that this be placed on the agenda, prompted by an e-mail sent by Nathan. Jane Fowler said she was not concerned by Nathan's e-mail. Jo said she was not concerned that Nathan sent an e-mail in reference to the recent RSU withdrawal vote, but that he signed it as a Selectman, giving it some air of authority instead of coming from a citizen. There was a back and forth discussion on the appropriateness.
Jane Fowler said she was incensed by the number of e-mails sent from another person in the campaign. She said she felt it was inappropriate to use e-mail addresses on file with the town hall, and said that the sender had been amassing addresses. Bernie said other folks have contacted him about the e-mail campaign. Jane said she was furious that the e-mails were telling her how to vote. There was a lengthy discussion about the use of e-mail addresses.
Lamoine State Park/Lamoine Beach – Stu reported that he, Harbor Master David Herrick and Deputy Harbor Master Kevin Murphy met with the state park manager, a pair of regional parks officials and the state boat launch chief about the ramp at Lamoine State Park. He said it was a very positive meeting and he expects that a project will be submitted next spring for construction in the fall to extend the ramp, at state expense, to allow for launch at low tide. Brett asked if that included some floats beside the ramp. Stu said that is likely. He said parking would be expanded to accommodate more trailers but nothing like the scale proposed many years ago.
Stu said he also asked about the ramp at Lamoine Beach which is in a poor state of repair. He said the state folks would remove it if requested by the town to do so. Selectmen asked Stu to draft up a letter for the next meeting.
Gravel Ordinance – Stu reported that the proposed ordinance from Ed Bearor has been received and has been sent to the Selectmen and Planning Board. He said it's highly unlikely to be endorsed by the Planning Board. Bernie asked if the Selectmen have the authority to draft up an ordinance to present to town meeting. Stu said the board does, but he would not recommend doing an end around the Planning Board. Bernie asked how to negotiate on this. Jo said the Planning Board should have a chance to meet
Cynthia asked about what action has taken place in regard to the pit permits that expired on November 1 st . Code Enforcement Officer Mike Jordan said he has not written up notices of violation yet. Cynthia asked if he intended to do so. A brief discussion followed about notices of violation and there was general agreement that the CEO must send them out. A discussion followed on whether the Planning Board or the Selectmen could grant an extension.
Appointments – Stu reported that he had good success finding folks to serve on the Parks Commission. He said Matt Montgomery has offered to serve as a full member and his wife Jessica as an alternate, and Paula Gardner offered to serve as a full member. He suggested that Mr. Montgomery be appointed until 2016 and Mrs. Gardner until the vacant term expires in 2014, and that Mrs. Montgomery's term run until 2016. Jo so moved. Bernie 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.
Municipal Review Committee Director – Jo moved to cast the town's vote for Chip Reeves of Bar Harbor. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.
Anderson Garage – Stu reported there is a lot of debris that has been placed around the garage over the years that really needs to be picked up. He requested permission to hire Russell Boynton Jr. to do that. Gary moved to authorize that. Nathan 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0. There was a brief discussion about filling in the abandoned well casing. Stu said he would check into that.
Budget Workshop – The Selectmen reviewed the Administration Budget in preparation for the Budget Committee meeting on November 18, 2013. The solid waste, revenue and capital needs budgets were briefly touched upon.
Next Meetings – The next scheduled meeting is November 21, 2013. There will be one meeting in December on the 12 th .
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM
Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst. to the Selectmen