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 16, 2010
TOWN OF LITTLETON
BOARD OF SELECTMEN’S SPECIAL MEETING
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2010
TOWN OFFICE CONFERENCE ROOM
Present: Town Manager Chuck Connell, Chairman Ron Bolt, Vice Chairman Ed Boynton, Selectman Marghie Seymour, Executive Secretary Ceil Stubbings
Others Present: Kayti Burt (The Courier)
Bolt called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM. The purpose of the meeting is to finalize the goals and objectives and to provide some performance feedback to the Town Manager. Bolt asked if there was anything else to come before the Board before they begin. Connell stated he had a couple of things to bring to the Board’s attention. Connell said this should be done in a nonpublic session at the end of the meeting. Bolt said they had talked about the Opera House Town Building while they were waiting for copies. Bolt had provided the board with a document, which detailed the roles of the Town, the Town Building Committee, the Opera House Commission and the Chamber of Commerce. The BOS reviewed the document and had a brief discussion on the roles of each entity. Seymour advised that the Town Building Renovation Committee was ready to provide a presentation to the board on the Town Building at the January 5th BOS meeting. This presentation will be put on under the Spotlight on Departments portion of the agenda. Connell thanked Bolt for the work he had done on clarifying the roles of the entities involved with the Town Building Opera House.
The BOS then moved onto the 2011 Goals and Priorities. Bolt said there was a question on number five of the list Review or Create Policies. The question was which policies need to be reviewed or created. Bolt said the only one that he knew of that needs to be created was the policy on records disclosure. Bolt mentioned that Connell had indicated that it is not as simple as it sounds because you would have to go by department to department. Bolt said that what he had in mind initially were the BOS Record as to whom, how and when we make those available. Connell said there could be a generic policy that stated the selectmen’s position that RSA 91:A is to be taken seriously. It’s the responsibility of each department to know what their responsibilities are and what their limitations are. Connell provided some of the restrictions that various departments have to abide by. Bolt asked Connell what would be a reasonable time frame to expect him to have the first layer of the policy done. Connell said he would like to suggest mid January. Bond and Seymour suggested they push it to the end of January.
Bolt then moved onto the Road Maintenance Policy. Connell said he knew the town has to have an inclement weather policy. Connell asked the BOS if they all had a copy. Seymour did not think she had a copy. Connell said he would make she would be provided with one. Connell said the policy is absolutely required because it is part of the town’s protection for liability. Connell said once the town is notified of a problem the town has seventy-two hours to respond. Connell expanded on that and said it does not mean to fix it because some things are not an easy fix. He gave South Street as an example. Bolt said that Chief Mercieri brought up a situation about class six roads and private roads. Bolt said the chief would like to have the ability to have access to those but we are not required to maintain those roads. Seymour said that after listening to the situation with the Old County Road at yesterday’s meeting regarding the not plowing and other issues asked if that falls under the road category or under land use regulations. Seymour said the chief’s concern is when people build houses on roads that the highway department and the fire department can’t get through. Seymour asked what is the policy when someone does that particularly when we know the fire department is going to try and get to the fire. What happens if there is an accident? Connell said the policy is if your going to build on a class six road they have to sign a document that says this road is not maintained. Seymour asked when do they sign the document. Connell said it is signed before they can build on the road. Connell said he was in favor of land use controls that protect life and limb. That’s where the enforcement of a building code becomes part of it. There is a building permit issued because there is a new footprint. That is as far as the zoning ordinance goes in this instance. Connell said before they get the building permit, Joanna Ray gives them the form to sign and the opportunity to review but they have to sign it before the permit will be issued. Boynton said the Planning Board requires a maintenance agreement before they approve a building on a class six road. Connell said this is not policy it is in the 674 RSA. Bolt asked if there is a need for a policy on this. Connell said it probably needs a review of the Highway Department’s procedures in terms of maintenance to make sure they are reasonable and practical. Connell said each department should come before the board to go through their SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures).
Connell said that because of the ordinances and policies that are under review because of the revenue enhancement efforts, both chiefs are very aware there is a deadline. That will touch on a review of the ordinances and policies. Connell recommends the BOS review every ordinance and policy the town has. We have been able to put together a complete set of the ordinances in word and in pdf thanks to Paul Smith and some help from Ceil. Connell said it is going to be a lengthy process and it would take too much time for the BOS to do it at their regular meetings. Connell said there were twenty-one ordinances. Everyone agrees the sewer ordinance needs to be updated. Some of them are straightforward and should not take much time to review. Seymour said it would average out to about two ordinances a month. Seymour suggested they be provided with a copy of the ordinances with comments from the department head noting what needs to be changed on them to allow them to review them before they meet to discuss changes. Connell said before they could start they need to get the ones done that involve fines and get them to town council for review. Seymour said they could start work on some of the other ones right away. Connell asked the board if they would consider adding an hour before a meeting or an hour after the meeting. Seymour said she would consider that. The BOS agreed to add one hour after a meeting for one meeting a month. Connell said they would try it in February after the deliberative session.
Bolt then moved onto other infrastructure projects. Bolt said he had a list of seven. The question was, were they in the right order. Bolt felt that the Safe Routes to School and the Littleton Water and Light Bond had to be the first and second priorities. The next item was the Curran Foot Bridge. Connell said the bridge was safe and usable. Bolt put this onto the bottom of the list. Bolt went to the retaining walls, which they did not put any money towards. Bolt asked if they had enough money with the $25,000 to fix anything. Connell said yes. Connell said he would be meeting with the DOT this afternoon to discuss the second retaining wall on West Main Street. The problem is with the retaining wall at the Meadow Cemetery. The other problem is the fence that is missing. The DOT acknowledges responsibility for the retaining wall and knows we have to put the fence in there. Connell said it saves the town around $80,000. Connell said they should contact stonemasons and get some quotes for the work. Seymour asked if it were possible to get volunteers to help with the work. Connell said he could explore it but he has serious liability and workers compensation considerations. Boynton said that some of the walls could be taken out completely and the land tapered down to the road. Bolt said they would leave this on the list. Bolt said there was no money for the sidewalks, sewers, and cemeteries. There is no money for the five-year road plan. Bolt would like to know the consequences of totally cutting back by deferring road maintenance. Connell said the George Chartier is not an engineer and Bolt was asking for an engineer’s opinion. Seymour said it did not matter it would not change anything. If next year the budget committee and others say we can’t afford to do it then we just have to put it off again. Bolt said he would like to know the accumulated effect of this. Connell said they could schedule a meeting regarding this in March. Boynton said they would be receiving petitioned warrant articles from people who get fed up when their roads get bad enough. Main Street was not going to be done. Connell asked to go back to the Meadow Street Cemetery. Seymour asked if they had to wait for the DOT to do the wall before they could put up the fence. Connell said yes. Seymour asked if they could get them to move faster. Connell reminded her that he was meeting with them that afternoon at 1:30 PM. Boynton said he had received a call over the weekend and he was asked to be a member of the cemetery association. Connell said he had talked to Dave Driscoll and one of his concerns was to improve the communication between the cemetery and the BOS. Connell said many times in the past the position on the board has been held by a former selectmen.
Bolt said there is a situation with the Dells Dam. Bolt said they would need a construct/reconstruct the application by June. Seymour asked what is the landfill issue. Bolt said that a few months ago they had received a note about methane gas levels. Connell said from a landfill standpoint they have no problem but from a fire safety issue when they are setting off fireworks next to the vent for the methane it could be an issue. Connell said that one of the issues the chamber has yet to resolve is where the fireworks would be next year. The other issue is Stiles Fuel has put in two propane tanks there. There is a circle of exposure that has to be dealt with and where the fireworks are being set off is in the middle. Bolt said they would continue to work with the North Country Council on the Hazard Mitigation Plan. Bolt said Chief Mercieri was working on the Emergency plan but he was not sure if he had set a completion date. Connell said he would check on that. Bolt said there was no money for training and exercise. Connell said he disagreed with the statement. To exercise the plan you do not have to have money.
Bolt then went to the Land Use Management line and stated the budget committee was not pleased with the suggestion that we pay someone to come in for the zoning. Bolt said he was not sure what they could do about it, but it is an issue that has come up. Seymour said that when enough legal expenses have to be paid because of decisions that have been made that are determined by the court to be wrong somebody might say maybe we should be looking at that from the front instead of the far end. Bolt said the fire fighting and water supply has to stay where it is. Connell said the cistern idea is pretty dead. Connell thinks the tanker truck would be the more viable option. Bolt said they had talked about relationships with the cemetery, the school and others. Bolt said he did not know how often the Town Manager and the School Superintendent meet, but he feels it has been a one-way street. Connell said there were limited opportunities. One individual who works for the school board had been accusatory by stating the town was not cooperating with the school. Connell said he would like to set up a meeting to address the issue. Bolt said there was an issue with the parking lot at the school where it was mentioned that the BOS had to approve it. Connell said the BOS does not approve the school parking lot. Connell asked Bolt where they go from here with the relationships of all other boards. Bolt said the relationship with the budget committee was fragile and thought there was a trust issue that went back several years. Connell said he feels the relationship is getting better. Connell said the BOS has laid a good foundation but it is going to take years to develop a level of trust. Connell has suggested a group of his peers get together occasionally to talk shop but it has fallen on deaf ears. Connell thought that Bolt had a different idea when it came to town and it had to do with a dialogue with other BOS. Bolt said that everyone had discouraged him from doing so. Bolt said they would have to wait and stand by to hear from the Economic Development Task Force. Connell said the goal would be to sustain and build on the relationships that have been established. Seymour asked to add the Littleton Area Chamber of Commerce to the list. Connell suggested adding the LDIC and Main Street Inc. Seymour said it would be important to have a relationship with the LDIC to promote businesses coming into town.
Bolt then moved onto the Town Manager’s performance review. Kayti Burt asked how the petitioned warrant articles worked because they are not petitioned like the social service warrant articles. Bolt said they are brought forward to the Town Manager. Bolt explained if they are not supported by the BOS they would not be put on the warrant. The performance evaluation form is used for every employee. After some discussion it was agreed the board would expand on the form to be more specific to the town manager. Connell said they had talked about the goals and objectives being the meat on how he is evaluated. Connell said once those had been cleaned up they could be incorporated into page three of the form. Page four could highlight areas of improvement. Bolt said the expanded list that he did was not meant to add to the form. Connell agreed it was an excellent checklist but he would encourage him to not go beyond the checklist stage. The reason is because of the morale factor and his being treated like any other employee. The board then reviewed the last evaluation from March that had been revisited in June. Seymour wanted to go back to the efficiencies again. She knows that it is hard to respond to something when there is nothing concrete to respond to. She has received a couple of calls about perceived extreme wastefulness at the Highway Department. Seymour asked Connell what was his process with the use of manpower and hours expended on particular jobs. How did he determine if they were making sufficient use of the resources available there. Connell said by personal observations and discussions with the department head. Bolt asked Seymour if she could expand on the nature of the complaints. Seymour said she couldn’t yet but if she could get someone to give her some concrete examples of where there are inefficiencies. Connell asked if the callers want to remain anonymous. Seymour said not necessarily. Bolt said he has heard vague things too and that Connell has advised them several times to get it in writing. Bolt said they had set a goal of more department oversight. Boynton said if they go too far with this it turns into micromanagement. They need to allow Connell to do his job. Bolt said he was just trying to make the point that they had set the goal for the town manager to have more effective department oversight. Seymour said it is both an efficiency and an oversight issue is what she is hearing about. Bolt said this was something that Connell was made aware of but they are still getting the complaints it has nothing to do with trying to micromanage. Seymour said there could be people out there that have suggestions on how things could be done and she wants to make sure those people talk to Connell about it. Bolt asked if there was an alternative to the winter trash pickup other than contracting it out. Connell said there is an alternative but there are limitations. Connell said he did not think the alternative would be cost affective. Seymour said that presumably Connell was to talk to Paul Harvey about picking up the trash. Connell said last night was the first night he had heard about that. No one on the board had heard about the offer either. Bolt then referred to the expanding of revenues. Getting them onto the warrant article and getting it passed was another goal. Bolt felt they addressed the level of service by the series of videos on Channel 2.
Bolt said they agreed to review the staffing levels of the town office at the end of February. Bolt said the residency issue had been resolved with the amendments to the contract. Bolt said he thinks that Connell’s public demeanor has significantly improved. Seymour said that Connell still makes a face when someone brings up something he is impatient with. Seymour said he still does the eye-rolling thing. She has become used to it but she still gets comments from people. Boynton said they have all done the eye-rolling thing. Connell said he would continue to work on public demeanor. Bolt asked if anyone had any thoughts on the Attention to detail. Seymour said she had nothing specific but asked Connell when the BOS would get a report on what Bruce Hadlock had dropped on the board yesterday. Connell said he would provide it as soon as he had it in writing. Connell said the DRA directed the town regardless of what the warrant article said. Connell said he had to go back to Steve Hamilton and get him to reaffirm. Seymour asked if the warrant article should have said April 2010 instead of April 2011. Connell said yes. Connell said the intention was to input the reval in 2011 but the DRA said no. Seymour asked why the warrant article was not changed. Connell said that after the deliberative session the warrant article could not be changed. Seymour asked if the warrant article was written with the intention of implementing the reval in April 2011and then the DRA said we had to do it in 2010. Connell said that by doing that we did not meet the constitutional mandate to revalue every five years. Therefore they had to input in 2010. Connell said he briefed the board on that at the time. Boynton said he had received numerous calls on this issue and the comments were “no means no.” Connell said the DRA could override the vote. Connell said he was going to get affirmation from Steve Hamilton. Seymour said it has always been her understanding that tax bills in any given year are based on the values in the town as of April of that year. Seymour said if the valuation was finished in November and we voted to approve it and we applied it to the next tax bill then presumably that was not April. The values were not as of April that year. Connell said yes they are, the values that Vision presented were from April 2010. Seymour said it never should have said 2011 in the warrant article. Seymour said she realized anyone can make a mistake but this could prove to be a big one. Bolt said that when he reviewed the article back in January he did not notice the date. He also assumed it would take place in 2010. Seymour said the thing that is most interesting about this is that if we are forced to not apply the new rates until 2011 then our tax rate would have to be adjusted very high in order to cover the bills that we are already obligated to pay. Boynton said the argument is going to be that the DRA does not care when we implement it when we could have implemented it in June. Connell said it has to be as of April 1, 2010.
Bolt asked Connell if he had been keeping the BOS informed with the biweekly reports. Connell said he sent one out the previous week. The BOS said they had not received the reports. Connell said he would print them out and put them in their baskets. He will not send them out by email at all. Connell then recommended the BOS go into a nonpublic session per RSA 91-A3, II (c) because of the potential affect on someone’s reputation. Boynton moved to go into nonpublic session. Seymour seconded the motion. The board went into nonpublic session by a unanimous roll call vote at 11:06 AM.
Boynton made the motion to come out of nonpublic session. Seymour seconded the motion. Passed by a unanimous roll call vote. The board sealed the minutes indefinitely to protect an individual’s reputation. The board came out of nonpublic at 11:17 AM.
Boynton made the motion to go into nonpublic session per RSA 91-A;3, II (a) to discuss the nomination of a town employee for an award. Seymour seconded the motion. Passed with a unanimous roll call vote. The board entered the nonpublic session at 11:18 AM.
Seymour made the motion they seal the minutes until after the award has been given. Boynton seconded. Passed by unanimous roll call vote. Seymour moved to come out of nonpublic session. Boynton seconded the motion. Passed by unanimous roll call vote. The board came out of nonpublic session at 11:22 AM.
Bolt said he had two small things to discuss. Bolt said that when they did the warrant articles last night and specifically on the parade, had we put the $1,540 back into the budget. Connell said yes. The board then held a brief discussion regarding the Employee of the Year nominations. Bolt said the other thing is the minutes of the nonpublic sessions regarding Connell’s contract should now be unsealed. Connell said Ceil was working on the other nonpublic minutes that should be unsealed. Seymour moved to unseal the sealed minutes regarding Connell’s contract. Boynton seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. Seymour moved to adjourn. Boynton seconded the motion. Passed 3-0. The meeting adjourned at 11:38 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
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