2010 Meeting Minutes and Agendas
- Approved Minutes Dec 16, 2010
- Approved Minutes Dec 15, 2010
- Approved Minutes Dec 8, 2010
- Board of Assessors Minutes Dec 2, 2010
- Approved Minutes Dec 1, 2010
- Approved Minutes Nov 3, 2010
- Unsealed Nonpublic Minutes Nov 1, 2010
- Unsealed Nonpublic Minutes Oct 26, 2010
- Approved Minutes Oct 26, 2010
- Approved Minutes Oct 21, 2010
- Unsealed Nonpublic Minutes Oct 19, 2010
- Approved Minutes Oct 19, 2010
- Approved Minutes Oct 14, 2010
- Approved Minutes Oct 12, 2010
- Approved Minutes Oct 7, 2010
- Approved Minutes Oct 6, 2010
- Approved Minutes Oct 5, 2010
- Approved Minutes Sep 30, 2010
- Approved Minutes Sep 28, 2010
- Approved Minutes Sep 22, 2010
- Approved Minutes Sep 15, 2010
- Approved Minutes Sep 1, 2010
- Approved Minutes Aug 26, 2010
- Approved Minutes Aug 18, 2010
- Approved Minutes Aug 4, 2010
- Approved Minutes Jul 21, 2010
- Approved Minutes Jul 7, 2010
- Approved Minutes Jul 6, 2010
- Approved Board of Assessors Minutes Jun 28, 2010
- Approved Non-Public Session Minutes Jun 28, 2010
- Approved Board of Assessors Minutes Jun 21, 2010
- Approved Minutes Jun 16, 2010
- Special Town Warrant Jun 14, 2010
- Public & Bond Hearing Minutes Jun 2, 2010
- Approved Minutes Jun 2, 2010
- Approved Minutes May 19, 2010
- Approved Minutes May 5, 2010
- Approved Minutes Apr 27, 2010
- Approved Minutes Special BOS Meeting Apr 23, 2010
- Approved Minutes Apr 21, 2010
- Approved Minutes Special BOS Meeting Apr 13, 2010
- Approved Minutes Apr 7, 2010
- Approved Minutes Special BOS Meeting Mar 31, 2010
- Revised Draft Minutes of Special Meeting Mar 24, 2010
- Goals & Priority Order Updated on March 24 - 2010 Mar 24, 2010
- Approved Minutes Mar 17, 2010
- Approved Non-Public Minutes Not Sealed Mar 15, 2010
- Approved Minutes Organization Meeting Mar 15, 2010
- Approved Board of Assessors Minutes Mar 4, 2010
- Approved Minutes Mar 3, 2010
- Approved of Assessors Feb 24, 2010
- Approved Minutes Feb 23, 2010
- Approved Non-Public Session Feb 23, 2010
- Approved Minutes Feb 17, 2010
- Approved Work Session Minutes Feb 12, 2010
- Approved Minutes Feb 3, 2010
- Approved Minutes Jan 26, 2010
- Approved Minutes Jan 22, 2010
- Approved Minutes Jan 20, 2010
- Approved Budget Hearing Minutes Jan 18, 2010
- Approved Bond Hearing Minutes Jan 18, 2010
- Approved Minutes Jan 8, 2010
- Approved Minutes Jan 6, 2010
- Approved Minutes Jan 5, 2010
Board of Selectmen
Approved Work Session Minutes Feb 12, 2010
TOWN OF LITTLETON
BOARD OF SELECTMEN'S WORK SESSION
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2010
TOWN OFFICE CONFERENCE ROOM
Chairman Moore called the meeting to order at 1:10 PM at the Town Office
Present: Chairman Eddy Moore, Vice Chairman Ed Boynton, Selectman Ron Bolt, Town Manager Chuck Connell, Finance Director Karen Noyes, Executive Secretary Ceil Stubbings
Others Present: Mary Edick, Robert Blechl, Bernard Chase, and Art McGrath
Ron Bolt said this work session was his suggestion so he asked to take the meeting over from here. Bolt said he sent a draft of a proposed letter of recognition for Mr. Tyrie. Eddy Moore said he had read it and he has no problem with what he did, but he does not want to go recognizing everyone in the town for accomplishments, we have the Chamber of Commerce for that. Bolt said he thought this was extraordinary at the state level and he has done a lot of work for the town. Ed Boynton said he thinks that should be handled by the Chamber and not by the board. Boynton said it sets a precedent and that he may be a little biased because of an incident at the new police station. Boynton said that Mr. Tiyre gave us a hard time over something during the construction. Boynton said it is a great accomplishment and he is a very competent man but he feels that if we do it for one we have to do it for all. There are a great number of people who never get any recognition. Boynton said he brought forward how Paul Smith recognizes the VIPs and no other committee gets noticed. Boynton said he is not belittling the VIPs he just feels some of these recognitions should be done at the police department. Boynton said he does not feel this is a function that should be handled at the selectmen's meeting. Boynton said he is not sure how to address that, we have over 120 volunteers and unfortunately the VIPs are the only ones we recognize. Boynton asked just where does this stop. There are numerous committees and there are many people that give their time and just where does it stop. Boynton said we appreciate all of their contributions. Connell said Bolt is talking about the recognition of a citizen. Bolt said the New Hampshire Society of Engineers has honored Mr. Tirey. Connell said those two different things. Mary Edick said that in years past there used to be a gathering for all of the volunteers and it does not have to cost anything. Boynton said we do send out Christmas cards. Mary said yes but that does cost money.
Bernard Chase said he is sitting here wondering why you are looking to the select board to recognize a citizen. Bernard said he has already been recognized and awarded by his peers. It is not the select board's place to step in because as Ed Boynton said you would be looked at to do this kind of thing forever. He's been recognized. Moore said people who work for profit should be recognized by the Chamber. Moore said he has nothing against it but if we do it for him then you have to do it for everybody. Moore said they would have to do it for others such as Dan Hebert, Lawton or Horizon and asked where does it stop. Bolt said that is not the point. Bolt said the man has been recognized by his peers across the state. Bolt said that if you think it is going to set a bad precedent let's not spend any more time on it.
Ron Bolt said he thought it might be useful if we sat down and did a self study as to how we put the budget together and the presentation to the budget committee with an eye for making improvements. Bolt said that just before the deliberative session Gerald Winn came in and said we should be seeking unity and clarity. Bolt said he thinks we had some successes and some shortfalls. This year we eliminated the town managers budget, it was always the board of selectmen's budget. We started with getting some words from our economic advisor which was bleak. When we met with department heads the message that it was not going to be a year for growth. They had specifically requested guidance. It was pretty much usual with the departments presenting their arguments to us. Connell said he has to remind Bolt that he has a statutory requirement to provide the board with a budget. Connell said he presented to that budget to the board after he had worked with the department heads to form the budget. Connell said we did not bypass the town managers budget if we did he would be going to jail. Connell said the guidance that he had been given was that it was going to be a lean year and a zero budget. Connell said he had identified a $500,000 shortfall before we had even begun the budget process. Connell said that when we brought the BOS and the departments to the budget committee it was to adopt the budget and to hear and respond to the guidance that the BOS gave us.
Eddy Moore said he had been on the budget committee years ago and the process was they would meet with the department heads and then the department heads went through the budget with the Town Manager, the department heads and the BOS. Then the budget would go to the budget committee. Moore said the meeting with Gerald Winn was a good thing as he is the chair of the Deliberative Session and Town Meeting. Moore said that he has never known a meeting to run smooth.
Ed Boynton said he had a question for Karen Noyes and Chuck Connell. Boynton asked it was possible to be able to look at the budget half way through the calendar to know what we would require for the upcoming year. Connell said he does not think that we can begin the process that early. Connell said that the timing is part of it. We won't know what budget we will have until March 10th. Connell said the earliest we can meet to discuss the 2010 budget would likely be the end of April. Connell said that Karen has to get the approved budget into the system and collect the data and it is incomplete in standing. Connell said the budget committee was to study the budget to determine the quarterly expenses and eliminating the onetime expenses. Connell said that some members of the budget committee were amazed that we don't close our books on January 5th. We are obligated to operate under government standards. Connell does not think we could be ready any before the month of May. Connell said that we do start building the budget as early as July 1st. Connell said the more specific the guidance that he is given then he can advise the department heads and then we can approximate what the expectations are. Connell said that when we met in August he heard the expectation was to hold the tax rate as close to what it was or to lower it. Connell said that given $500,000, which is .60 cents per thousand.
Moore said that is the way the process works. Moore said it seemed when we got to the end of the process this rational of cutting the $400,000 was difficult. Connell said that on January 1st we have 100% of what is available to us and by June 1st we have 50%. Moore said are we trying to accomplish more then just the budget process. Moore said if you are trying to accomplish something else then he does not see a great deal of value unless you're doing something else. Ron Bolt said his reason is to develop a relationship with the budget committee rather than the rushed five weeks of meetings. Bolt said he does not think it would hurt for the budget committee to understand the workings of these departments. Connell said that members of the budget committee are assigned with departments and are supposed to be familiar with the process. Connell said the first year he was here we drew on that knowledge base. Moore said that maybe right after town meeting they should meet with the budget committee. Bolt agreed and said would not be to talk about the budget but what needs to happen. Connell told the board that if you bring the budget committee together they will have questions about the 2009 and 2010 budgets.
Karen Noyes said she wanted to go back what she felt because she is so involved in the budget process too. Karen said she started working on the budget in 2006 for the 2007. She liked that the department heads met with the town manager and with the selectmen before we went to the budget committee. To her that was a great strength because questions were already asked and there were no surprises. Karen said it felt like we had a lot of support from the selectmen and it made things so much easier for her. Karen said she had been to department head meetings and some felt it was better and some were surprised that they were not called back in. Ron Bolt agreed and said that it helps that we have the knowledge. Karen said she had one more suggestion. Karen said that items that are brought to the budget committee that come from other sources she feels they should be dated and who they are coming from. Karen said this is because some people might think they are coming from the town and they need to identify where they got the numbers from. Connell said that Karen's point is well taken because at the last budget committee meeting there was a lot of confusion. Connell said there was some information distributed and it was assumed it came from the town. Connell when the audit occurs they provide Karen with a list of what they want then the team extracts the information, and then the team chief does a meeting with Karen and the Town Manager. Moore asked how critical is their work in our process. Connell said it is critical.
Ron Bolt said they need to meet to talk about issues and not about numbers. Bernard Chase said the town needs to do a complete time study process of all departments and he has been involved in both sides of that fence. You don't always achieve what you want or hope to but the process is important. That kind of study would at least address a lot of the issues. Bernard said he feels very strongly that it needs to be done. Bolt said we said that we would look at our staffing and the town. He is getting the feeling that it is being watered down. We should do it on a department basis. He is hearing suggestions that it be done in a piece meal fashion. Moore said we don't have any money in any category to accomplish this. Moore then asked what would something like this cost if you went through the whole town. Bernard said he does not know and the organization that needs to do this needs to be interviewed by you people to get a good feeling because we do not want a company that is going to be a yes man per say. Bernard said they also don't want a dictator. Bernard said that hopefully you would give them a blanket process and not make an agenda for this. Moore asked Bernard if there are there any organizations that would help. Connell said the LGC could do it. Bernard said that he is talking about is a professional that does this for a living. Connell said they don't have the experts that he is talking about. Bernard said it would be a very expensive process but it would be a savings down the road. Connell said that Chief Smith has come to the board of selectmen suggesting a study and his estimate was between forty and fifty thousand dollars. Connell said that before we do that we have another piece that is missing and that is what is an acceptable level of service. Connell said he does not think we can agree on what level is desired at this point. Bernard asked if are all of the departments managers are aware that the budget is based on a need to have not a nice to have. Bernard said in the times we are in right now there is no need for nice to have or great to have.
Ron Bolt said we had pretty good unity up to the point that we went to the budget committee. We did not achieve unity between us and the budget committee and that is something we should work on next year. Bolt said he felt that we did not have enough information on some of the petitioned warrant articles. Bolt said it was different this year because they were petitioned and we had two or three new ones. Bolt said he did not have anyway to judge if we should support them or not. Bolt said this year we need to ask them to send more information when we send them the letter. Connell asked if it would be productive if people could submit warrant articles up to one week before the budget hearing. Some information would be nice but it would be nicer to have them present at the meeting to answer any questions.
Bernard Chase said he had a question on the sidewalks. Bernard asked when once a sidewalk is put in front of my house who is responsible for it. Connell said the town is responsible. Sometimes in other places once a sidewalk becomes the liabilities of the property owner. Connell told Bolt that what he is talking about is an annual letter to ask them to support their petitioned warrant article requests with more information. Bolt said that with as little information that we had the budget committee had even less.
Ron Bolt said there were problems with the audio at the deliberative session. Bolt then asked how did the visual stuff look to the audience. Connell said the visual was not big enough. Bernard Chase asked why isn't our town building being utilized. Bernard said he understands that the performing part is usable and asked why could that not become the site for the Deliberative Session. Connell said that right now we do not have chairs. Connell said at the two previous events held there the chairs were rented.
Ron Bolt said that at one point we had one case where one of the supervisors of the checklist had challenged what was on one of the warrant articles. Bolt said he also noticed that the school had council present but wondered why the town did not. Moore said that in the past if we knew there would be a problem we would have one present. Bernard Chase said that a lot of time is spent justifying on why you do not have it and that is where the hole comes in because no one comes back with the answer. Connell told Bolt that if he would like to have town council at the deliberative session he would let her know right now. Connell said that most of the time the question is the one you are not prepared for. Bolt said he does not know. Ed Boynton told Bolt he was looking at an expense of over $1,000. Connell told Bolt that it would not have helped to have town council there on the questions he was thinking about.
Bolt said the budget presentation was a kind of minimal and we did not go over line by line. Moore said we had forty articles and were done by 11:00. Connell said we have to do a better job of presentation. Karen Noyes said maybe doing a small presentation on Channel 2 would help if it were aired before the meeting. Moore said the percentage of people that can see it is limited. Connell said we have done that with the ballot in the past. Bernard Chase said the budget committee did an excellent job. He knows that watching that as much as he did. Bernard said he does not like some of the budget areas but it was done with an excellent job. Bolt said that two or three warrant articles were sort of challenged at the Deliberative Session. Moore said one was the Opera House furnishing warrant. Connell said that his position has not changed and Don Craigie's has not changed. Connell said the DRA would allow or disallow whatever may be. Connell said he could provide them with the documentation that it is normal. Moore said the other one dealt with the Opera House lease. Connell said the chairman committed the Town Manager to bring those answers back to the next selectmen's meeting. Bernard said he would like to request that a caution light be put in where the food coop is on Cottage Street. Connell said the DOT denied our request. Ed Boynton made the motion to adjourn. Rob Bolt seconded. Motion passed 3-0. The meeting adjourned 2:30 PM.
Littleton has functioned as a Board of Selectmen/Town Manager form of government since 1976.
The Littleton Board of Selectmen meets the 2nd Monday and the 4th Monday of each month at 5:00 PM at the Littleton Community House - Heald Room.
If you would like to be put on the agenda for an upcoming Selectmen's meeting, please contact Ceil Stubbings. Please be prepared with all information needed for the Selectmen to make a decision no later than the Friday before the Selectmen's meeting
G. Michael Gilman, Chairman
Milton T. Bratz, Vice Chairman
Marghie M. Seymour, Selectman
Selectmen's Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Secretary for the Board of Selectmen
125 Main Street
Littleton, NH 03561
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