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 Minutes Dec 15, 2010
TOWN OF LITTLETON
BOARD OF SELECTMEN’S MEETING
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2010
COMMUNITY CENTER HEALD ROOM
Present: Town Manager Chuck Connell, Chairman Ron Bolt, Vice Chairman Ed Boynton, Selectman Marghie Seymour, Executive Secretary Ceil Stubbings
Others Present: Robert Blechl (The Caledonian), Mary Edick, Jerry Lesage, Casey Hadlock, Joan Noyes, Bruce Hadlock, Eddy Moore, Rusty Bulis, Barry Lunderville (WLTN), Linda Massimilla, Scotty Farquharson, Kayti Burt (The Courier), Herb Lahout, Bob O’Conner (Channel 2)
Bolt called the meeting to order at 4:00 PM and announced there were last minute changes to the agenda. Karen Noyes and Michelle Schafer had cancelled their appointments. There was one addition to the agenda under the Town Manager’s Report. The Town manager would provide a change of status on the Old County Road.
Pledge of Allegiance
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes:
December 1, 2010 Regular Board of Selectmen’s Meeting
This item was passed over because the board had not had the time to review the minutes prior to the meeting.
Feedback from Last Meeting:
Bolt stated the board had talked about the assistance by the town manager to help the with the W&L Bond effort. The board also met as the board of assessors on December 2nd. They had met on three occasions with the budget committee. They had the final meeting with the budget committee last night. The board held a Special Meeting on the 8th of December to discuss an amendment to the Town Manager’s contract that was signed by all parties. They developed a list of goals and objectives to which they would discuss at a meeting scheduled for December 16, 2010 at the Town Office Conference Room. The board agreed to Channel 2 video taping the Zoning and Planning Board hearings for a trial period of six months. The board talked about the situation with the Old County Road that the town manager would provide an update on later in the meeting. They also voted on the warrant articles that they would support. The last day for petitioned warrant articles to be submitted to the town office is January 11th. There will be a bond and budget hearing on January 13th at the Town Building Opera House at 6:00 PM.
Appointments: Maximum time per appointment is 15 minutes
State Representatives – Rusty Bulis & Stephanie Eaton – Re: Preview of the Upcoming Legislature
Rusty Bulis said congress will be holding their meetings Wednesday’s. Neither the state nor the county has a budget. They have provided an opinion and some goals they have in mind. At this point there is nothing in writing. On the revenue side they have stopped declining and are holding steady. Spending will be impacted and adjustments must be made. Bulis said that on the town side there are no changes in the formulas for the various aid programs. Hopefully there will be no more downshifting. There is expected to be some variance in the meals and rooms tax. Interest and dividends have stabilized. Bulis said the school district would have a different impact. Currently New Hampshire is spending $100 million per year for free and reduced meals. This money has been targeted to be reduced substantially. The adjustment for Littleton is projected to be $1.6 million in reduction. Bulis said he has advised the school board of this development. Other than that their formulas will remain the same. Bulis stated that Grafton County Government would result in an assessment increase for the town. If there are no changes in their budget we are looking at a 20% increase. The main drivers for the increase are the nursing home and the new jail. The bond payments start in the next budget cycle along with training and hiring for the new jail. Bulis suggested that the board plan for that and as we go along through the budget cycle perhaps adjustments can be made. Rusty urged the board to stay in touch with the municipal association. For the state and county it is no longer business as usual. The money is just not there. Bolt asked about revenue sharing. Rusty said there is no change. It is a goal of the leadership to restore revenue sharing. But first we have to deal with the deficit. Bolt then asked about cutting expenditures at the state level. Rusty said the governor ordered his commissioners and directors to come up with a 5% cut over the next two years. Bolt asked if there was going to be consideration given to a gasoline tax. Bulis said he does not see any new taxes or fees coming this year. There is a mood to reduce the taxes. Connell asked if the goal of leadership is to restore revenue sharing. Bulis said it is a maybe right now. Connell asked about the downshifting of the states share for the retirement. Bulis said he did not have an answer regarding the retirement.
Joan Noyes – Patenville’s Mulliken Pond (1846 – 1957).
Joan Noyes would like to know if the Town would let her put an addition to her list of historical signs. Joan said she contacted a Ken Alton of TransCanada because she did not know where she could put this sign if the board were to accept it. Bolt asked Joan to refresh the board as to who pays for the signs and puts them up. Joan said she goes through George Chartier to purchase the signs. Joan provided the board with the letter from TransCanada regarding the sign for Patenville’s Mulliken Pond (1846 – 1957). Seymour asked how much would the cost be. Joan said the cost is $50 for the sign. Connell said it would be about $25 for the post. Bolt asked for a motion to accept the proposal. Seymour asked where is the money for that. Connell said there is money in the highway budget for signs. Seymour asked if there were signs to be replaced this year. Connell said he did not know if there would be any for 2010. Connell said $2,000 was left in the budget. Seymour moved to approve up to $100 out of this years budget with the understanding that TransCanada would put the sign up and maintain it. Boynton seconded the motion. Hadlock said he would not be surprised that TransCanada would have to pay this. He believes they have to do it. Seymour asked Joan if she asked TransCanada if they would be willing to pay for this. Joan said no. Bolt told Joan that Seymour had said for her to go to TransCanada and ask if they would pay for it. Seymour is not saying they won’t approve the request but when we are making all kinds of cuts it is the thing to do. Seymour then withdrew her motion. The decision was tabled until TransCanada had been contacted to see if they would cover the expense.
Herb Lahout asked if he could find out how much the town spent for legal fees on his case. Lahout said his second question was when the attorney writes a brief or opinion, is that confidential? Connell said it is a confidential document. Seymour said there is a way to get it but the Zoning Board has to give it up. Bolt asked Moore if that were his understanding. Moore said it would have to be voted on by the board. Connell said this question comes up all the time but it is counsel that said it should not be released.
Bruce Hadlock asked the town manager if he had the town warrants checked out by counsel. Bolt said yes. Connell said the NH Department of Revenue and town counsel check out the warrants. Hadlock then passed out a document to the board members. Hadlock advised the packet contained the town warrant from last year. He obtained it by paying for it from Judy White the town clerk. Hadlock said that Article 9 had to do with the town wide reval and was voted down. Bruce said it was voted down and resulted in a recount, which passed the article. Bruce asked Bolt to read the article. Bolt declined reading the article. Linda Massimilla read the article as follows: “Article 9. To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $125,000 for the purpose of conducting by contract a revaluation of the Town in 2010. The results of this town-wide revaluation will be effective as of April 1, 2011. This appropriation will be funded by removing $35,000 from the Town-wide Assessment Expendable Trust Fund created at the 2009 Town Meeting (Article 13) and $90,000 from current year taxation. Tax Impact, 2010: $0.114. Recommended by Selectmen 3 – 0”. Hadlock said the article states it should take affect on April 1st 2011. Littleton did not do that. There has been a terrible error made by somebody. Hadlock said he wanted to know who is responsible. Bolt asked Hadlock what is the question. Bolt said the town manager wrote the article and it was reviewed by the DRA and town counsel. Connell asked the chairman to table this until he can get the documentation. Hadlock said this is one of the gravest things the town has fallen into. Littleton is being mismanaged. This was tabled until the town manager can provide the documentation requested.
Spotlight on Departments:
Status Report on 2011 Budget Process
Bolt said the board finished with the committee last night. His personal feelings is the process was elevated and not just a clash of numbers. They talked about the level of service. The budget committee voted on a split vote to support the proposed operating budget of approximately $5.6 million for the operating expenses which is less then a 1% increase from last year. They also approved three warrant articles. Bolt said the three that are critical are the Town Office computer system, the backup generator for the fire station and the mandated conversion for emergency radios. Those are the three they will support. While the budget committee accepted the budget as we presented it they wanted us to be sensitive to warrant articles. During the process it was noted that it was not the budget that was killing us it was the warrant articles that included bonds. The budget committee encouraged the BOS to not expend money that would make up for warrant articles that did not pass. They agreed they would try to do a better job of informing the voters of the cumulative affect of the warrant articles. There was no criticism of town government or the employees. Most felt the services were good. The tax rate for the town was $8.04 last year. For 2011 they are projecting $8.07. Bolt then reviewed what they approved for bonds. The agreed to support the W&L Bond and decided to not support High Street in 2011. Bolt said the one they need to discuss is the town roads. There is a concern on South Street, which is about a $130,000 project. There was some hope that we would have some money left over this year that we could encumber. Connell said there is $60,000 left this year so we would be just short of $70,000. Bolt said if they accept the $70,000 that would take care of South Street. Seymour asked if that is the cheapest fix they could do. Connell said yes. Seymour moved to support a warrant article for $70,000 for South Street. Boynton seconded the motion. Passed 3-0. Bolt said there was a warrant for a dump truck for $138,000. The budget committee said they would not approve this warrant. Bolt said no trucks were approved or even brought forward last year. Bolt said he checked with George Chartier who said the $138,500 dump truck was the most important. Seymour said she would not support any other warrant articles. Boynton agreed with Seymour and moved to do away with rest of the proposed articles. Boynton made the motion to take out the truck, traffic control and the pumper truck. Seymour seconded the motion. Passed 3-0. Bolt asked Connell if it would be prudent to add funds for repairs and maintenance. Connell said he was not prepared to add to the budget. Bolt asked the board if they wanted to discuss the petitioned warrant articles. Seymour made the motion to not support any of the social service articles. Boynton seconded the motion. Passed 3-0. Bolt said they are not saying these are not worthy causes but the pressure is on.
Town Manager’s Report:
Connell advised the town has not accepted the Old County Road. No one is plowing the new road and he was seeking the Board of Selectmen’s approval to plow the road and to approach Mr. Patel that he would be billed for the snow removal. Connell said he had taken action today and asked the Highway Department to plow the road and salt and sand as necessary. Boynton asked if the town has to maintain the old part of the road. Bruce Hadlock said the state plows the old portion of Old County Road. Seymour asked if Connell had contacted the Patel’s. Connell said he sent a letter and an email regarding the plowing of the road. Bruce Hadlock asked how they could get out when they have no right of way. Casey Hadlock asked if there was any way to change Old County Road back into a two-way road. Casey said he had spoke to Leon Giles about this. Casey said the road has still not been accepted so why are you telling us to still use it. Casey said the Town of Littleton has shut my access off to my clients, tenants and family. Boynton said there are plans for more traffic lights in the area. Casey said the situation has been going on for over nine months. Casey said MacDonald’s has hired the sheriff’s department to help traffic in or out. Someone is going got get killed there. Bruce Hadlock said they have had complaints from our employees. Casey Hadlock said he wants an answer in writing from Leon Giles, the Town Manager and from George Chartier. Seymour stated she has not been involved in this but she had also heard various complaints. Connell said the town has $50,000 held in escrow in the town’s favor until such time as the town accepts the road. Connell said the board has been talking about an alternative which is a two year performance bond that provides the money if the road needs to be torn up and redone. Connell said at that point the selectmen would be able to accept the road. Bruce said he would be surprised if they could produce a bond. Bruce then said a bond is not going to solve the problem. Connell then went back to the issue to obtain approval of the BOS to have permission to plow, salt and sand the road. Seymour asked Connell to tell her about the RSA that allows the town to do that. Connell said no public monies can be expended on a private road but we can charge for reimbursement. Seymour said she was is in favor of the highway department plowing now, but lets have some communication with Patel and let him know that there will be a lien on his property. Boynton agreed with Seymour. Boynton made the motion to accept the Town Manager’s recommendation. Seymour seconded the motion. Passed 3-0.
Efficiencies & Savings Report
Connell read a report he had prepared regarding the Town’s efforts to improve efficiency. The report highlighted the following: Pursuit of Energy Audits and Grant Opportunities, Recycling, Shared Purchasing, Volunteers, The use of the Department of Corrections for projects and Outsourcing. The creation of the Captain’s position in the Police Department was an efficiency and effectiveness initiative that Connell predicted would also provide savings. There was a successful reduction of overtime in the Fire, Police and Highway Departments as a result of the concerted efforts on the part of the Department Heads and the Town Manager. Bruce Hadlock said the town has to suffer when it comes to the management of the transfer station. Hadlock said he does not feel the Town Manager is spending enough time in the departments.
Littleton Water & Light Bond Support
Connell advised the BOS have authorized him to do the work up to town meeting day. Bruce Hadlock asked if they knew what it was going to cost the water users. Bolt told Hadlock he should ask that question to Mr. Moore.
Connell said he had two other items. On October 15th he provided a proposal to the BOS to seek their approval for a parking space for a spot closest to the court. Connell said safety is a major concern. Prisoner transport is Monday through Friday. His recommendation to the BOS is with the agreement of the Police Chief and the Sherriff’s office. The County Sheriff would instruct his people to use that space for prisoner transport. They would post a sign stating the space was reserved for deputy sheriffs and police officers Monday through Friday. Connell said they have been denied parking behind or beside the courthouse. Bolt asked for a motion to reserve a parking spot for the transport of prisoners. Seymour moved to accept the Town Manager’s recommendation to reserve the parking space for the sheriff with the condition that we continue to look for other alternatives. Boynton seconded the motion. Passed 3-0.
Connell reported that at his request there was a screening done at the Highway Department for carbon monoxide. The screening revealed high levels in the office. Because this is life threatening over a period of time he authorized the installation of equipment that will eliminate the carbon monoxide. The installation was $12,820 including the equipment and a fee of $1,680 to service it four times a year. In that time we will look to see if it is cost affective for the town to repair it themselves. Connell said that by acting on his authority he signed the contract and had it installed today. Connell asked the BOS to ratify his decision. Boynton made the motion to ratify the town manager’s decision. Seymour seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. Seymour asked if this happened because of the trucks running inside. Connell said there is a vent in the building but is not efficient to clear the carbon monoxide. Seymour said she would not ask people to work in those conditions but she is shocked at the cost. In the future if something comes up before we spend $12,000 she would like to hear from somebody if there are other options.
LATV Coverage of the Planning and Zoning Board Hearings
The board agreed to do this for six months
Amendments to the Town Manager’s Contract.
Seymour advised they signed a couple of amendments to the employment agreement on December 8th. We did this because we had several people inquire about the requirement for the Town Manager to live in town. She had questioned if he was in breach of contract. Seymour said the contract was written in a way that there was nothing we could do about that. We had several closed sessions and talked about what we could do. They came up with the amendment to the contract that releases him from living here in town. In exchange for the residency exclusion they included a couple of other amendments that provided considerably more accountably and expanded the performance evaluation schedule. There was also the extension from six years to seven where the employer would pay the severance pay for any reason outside of the new agreement. Connell said he would like to point out that it is not that he had not tried to move here. The real estate market was is in flux. Connell said he made offers on three homes in town and without naming individuals they were rejected. Connell said he takes offense in the terms of accountability. The difference is there are a lot of reasons I can be let go without getting a severance.
Take Away Actions:
Wait to hear back from Joan Noyes after she has talked with Trans Canada. They will collectively provide an answer to Casey Hadlock’s questions by letter. And they will review the package from Bruce Hadlock on Article 9. Boynton made the motion to adjourn. Seymour seconded the motion. Passed 3-0. The meeting adjourned at 6:31 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: email@example.com
Executive Secretary for the Board of Selectmen
125 Main Street
Littleton, NH 03561
View Minutes by Year
The Town of Littleton prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, marital or family status. The Town of Littleton is an equal opportunity employer.