2008 Meeting Minutes and Agendas
- Aproved Minutes Dec 29, 2008
- Approved Minutes Dec 22, 2008
- Approved Minutes Dec 17, 2008
- Approved Minutes Dec 10, 2008
- Approved Minutes Dec 8, 2008
- Approved Minutes Dec 3, 2008
- Approved Minutes Nov 19, 2008
- Approved Minutes Nov 5, 2008
- Approved Minutes Oct 29, 2008
- Approved Minutes Oct 15, 2008
- Approved Minutes Oct 1, 2008
- Approved Minutes Sep 17, 2008
- Approved Minutes Sep 3, 2008
- Approved Minutes Cistern Meeting Aug 21, 2008
- Approved Notes from Joint SAU84 & School Board Meeting Aug 18, 2008
- Approved Minutes Aug 14, 2008
- Approved Minutes Aug 6, 2008
- Approved Minutes Aug 1, 2008
- Approved Minutes Jul 2, 2008
- Approved Minutes Jun 30, 2008
- Approved Minutes Jun 4, 2008
- Approved Minutes BOS Work Session Jun 3, 2008
- Approved Minutes May 21, 2008
- Approved Minutes May 7, 2008
- Approved Minutes Apr 23, 2008
- Approved Minutes Apr 16, 2008
- Approved Minutes Apr 10, 2008
- Approved Minutes Apr 2, 2008
- Approved Minutes BOS Work Session Mar 28, 2008
- Approved BOS Minutes Mar 19, 2008
- Approved Work Session Minutes Feb 20, 2008
- Approved BOS Meeting Minutes Feb 20, 2008
- Aproved Work Session Minutes Feb 8, 2008
- Approved Work Session Minutes Feb 4, 2008
- Approved Work Session Minutes Jan 25, 2008
- Approved Work Session Minutes Jan 22, 2008
- Approved BOS Minutes Jan 16, 2008
- Budget Hearing Minutes Jan 15, 2008
- Bond Hearing Minutes Jan 10, 2008
- Approved Work Session Minutes Jan 10, 2008
- Approved Work Session Minutes Jan 9, 2008
- Approved BOS Meeting Minutes Jan 2, 2008
Board of Selectmen
Budget Hearing Minutes Jan 15, 2008
TOWN OF LITTLETON
TUESDAY, JANUARY 15, 2008
LITTLETON HIGH SCHOOL
Present: Vice Chairman Eddy Moore, Selectman Brien Ward, Town Manager Chuck Connell, Finance & HR Director Karen Noyes, Executive Secretary Ceil Stubbings.
Absent: Chairman Burton Ingerson
Vice Chairman Eddy Moore called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM
The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance. Town Manager Chuck Connell began by thanking everyone present for attending. Town Manager Chuck Connell announced that at 6:30 AM this morning, Chairman Burt Ingerson fell in the shower. Burt was transferred to the hospital and it was determined he had a mild stroke. He will be in the hospital for a few days until his prognosis is good. Chuck asked everyone to keep Burt in his or her thoughts and wish him well. Jackie, Burt's wife asked that Chuck express her thanks for everyone's support.
Town Manager Chuck Connell then explained the budget handouts available to the public. Don Craigie stated that he appreciates Chucks attempt to keep things simple. He asked Chuck how are we able to ask questions when we only see totals. He further stated that the public had always had the full budget information in the past. Don asked for copies of the full budget but was advised by Chuck that none were available on site to distribute. Don Craigie requested someone go back to the Town Offices and bring copies back to the meeting. Town Manager Chuck Connell asked if anyone else in the audience wanted a copy. Six other citizens raised their hands in response. At this point in the meeting, Karen Noyes left the meeting to satisfy the public's request of the full copies of the budget. Bruce Hadlock stated that he believes there was an article passed that said the public had to be provided with the complete budget at a Hearing. Bruce stated that this took place some years ago and there was no way Chuck would have known about this article. Town Manager Chuck Connell asked if a thirty-minute break would be advisable while waiting for the requested information. Selectman Brien Ward moved to continue with the meeting. Mary Edick asked why is the default budget larger than the proposed budget. Town Manager Chuck Connell responded by stating the proposed budget is about $24,000 less than the default budget.
Chuck then advised everyone to please note the Tax Rate has been calculated using the 2007 Tax Rate. We do not know what the 2008 Tax Rate will be at this time. Chuck then asked if there were further questions or comments while they awaited the full budget information. Don Craigie asked for the $500,000 for the sidewalks be taken out of the budget. Don said that granted that the sidewalks do need work; the work does not need to be done all at once. He strongly urges the Select Board to reconsider how they do it. Selectman Brien Ward responded to Don's comments by stating that George Chartier and Chad Stearns did a complete review of the sidewalks. Chad and George reviewed all eighteen miles of sidewalks. Four miles are in very poor shape. They then looked at the ones in poor shape with no near projects. Selectman Brien Ward advised Don the Town is trying to repair the worst ones first. If we only do a little at a time, our grandchildren will never see a good road and sidewalk. This led into a discussion regarding roads and sidewalks.
Bruce Hadlock asked if we were to adopt the default budget does that mean the items under the 2008 tax rate will not be included. Selectman Brien Ward responded by stating the Warrant Articles are not part of the budget. Selectman Brien Ward advised Bruce that if the Town votes no on the Warrant Articles there will be no expenditure.
Don Craigie returned to the topic of the sidewalks. He stated that he hopes the Board takes another hard look at $500,000 for sidewalks. Don feels it is not a priority. Don Craigie further said that the Board of Selectmen should do everything they can do to ease the burden. In his opinion he feels Selectman Brien Ward's priorities are upside down. Don further stated that the Town is putting the Police Department and the Fire Department at breaking point at the expense for a nice sidewalk. Bruce Hadlock said he read in the paper that St. Johnsbury received a grant for sidewalks. He can't understand why the Town can't take the information that his son left with the Town and that no one has made a call to find out how St. Johnsbury did it. Town Manager Chuck Connell stated that he does have the package that Bruce is referring to. Chuck advised the application is a very long process. Bruce Hadlock asked if the Warrant Article could be changed so that it would clearly state the $500,000 is subject to receiving grants and that the Grant Application would be applied for through the school. Bruce feels it would be good to write it in that way. Town Manager Chuck Connell advised that it could be a possibility. Chuck further stated that if the Town were to receive a grant it would avoid debt or pay off a debt early. Selectman Brien Ward stated that the information was provided to the Board in July. Selectman Brien Ward stated that it is his understanding the grants in New Hampshire provide the grant money but the need has to be identified by the school.
Ed Boynton, who is a member of the Maintenance Committee, stated that the committee looked into things that were in bad need of repair. The sidewalks are on an eight-year program. If we keep putting this off, $50,000 is not going to get even one street done. We have to start addressing these issues. We have to bite the bullet or say the heck with all of it.
Don Craigie, said that Ed touched on what he is trying to say here. We need to adopt a sidewalk program. We should have an eight-year project for the sidewalks. Are they putting this in here so I am forced to vote for this article? He thinks a sidewalk program should have been put in place thirty years ago it was just not done.
Bruce Hadlock then asked Town Manager Chuck Connell how much of the budget is related to wages and benefits. Chuck believes it is 52%. Selectman Brien Ward said that Ed Haines was here today and asked what we were spending in wages and benefits. The original budget was at 57%. Selectman Brien Ward provided the numbers related to wages and benefits. Bruce Hadlock then asked if there were any increase or decrease in staffing. Selectman Brien Ward stated that there are no new employees. Bruce Hadlock then asked if there were new employees in the Police or Fire Department. Bruce then asked why is the overtime so high. Selectman Brien Ward responded by stating the increase is due to higher wages. Town Manager Chuck
Connell said the overtime was grossly under-budgeted last year. Selectman Brien Ward agreed with Chuck and advised Bruce that part of the increase is to correct the under budgeting for the overtime in the Fire Department.
Dan Cullen asked what the increase for the next year would be under the current contract. Selectman Brien Ward said the increase is about $176,000. Selectman Ward does not know what the ripple affect would be. Karen Noyes advised that the increases are a combination of the COLA (Cost of Living Allowance) at a minimum of 3% and 2.5% step increase. In the Police contract it is a minimum 3% COLA and a step increase from 1.5 to 3%. Dan Cullen then asked when would the Town be renegotiating the current contracts. Selectman Brien Ward advised they would be renegotiated in 2009 for implementation in 2010. Bruce Hadlock said he had heard a lot from other people of what got us into this trouble. That is the union contracts. We were bamboozled. Bruce said he is not blaming the unions but there is someone that should be blamed. Bruce is looking at it in a way that we can do things. Bruce said he thinks there is a something we can do as taxpayers.
Bruce Hadlock went on to say that we have a problem in our community as a result of the overtime. If you don't have something to come back on a volunteer basis then we should consider privatization. Bruce said the Town could do away with the Town Offices and privatize all services. Bruce believes that it would be nice if people came back in and did some volunteer action. He was told that some of the Holidays worked are one of the issues the Town is dealing with. Bruce stated that he was told of one person who worked on Christmas Day, took home over $800 for working the one day. There is something radically wrong when we are in the position to have to do it. Selectman Brien Ward advised Bruce that when the Town discovered that we had town employees dealing with union contracts, an attorney was contacted. The attorney, who specializes in union contracts, reviewed the contracts and advised the Town of the areas of concern.
Bruce Hadlock stated that he hopes the Fire and Police would come back on a volunteer basis to straighten the contracts out. Selectman Brien Ward said the last contracts were negotiated by the previous Town Manager. Selectman Ward said Bruce was right mistakes were made and we need to deal with it in the future.
Sharon Craigie asked if it was true that someone was paid $800 for one day. Karen Noyes said she was not sure. Karen explained about the double time for working a Holiday and yes someone could be paid in the vicinity of $600 to $800 for a day. Sharon Craigie asked how much was the increase in the salary of the department heads. Town Manager Chuck Connell asked Sharon if she was asking for a particular department. Sharon said she was asking about any department. Chuck said the pay increase was based on the 3.25% COLA and a 2.5% step increase. Chuck said the total is 5.75%.
Don Craigie had some questions for the Warrant Articles. Don agrees with Selectman Ward that the proper way to deal with the union contracts is to consult with professionals. Don said the pay increases are standard in the industry. The issue is the overtime. Ed Boynton brought up the thing that Don mentioned regarding the pay they were talking about for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. These are the only three days that this comes up. Ed Boynton said they are also paid for the holiday. They are being paid triple time for that day. Sharon Craigie asked if there is anyway to change that. Ed advised Sharon that there was no way to change it at this time. Sharon Craigie then asked which department has this. Ed advised Sharon it is the Fire Department. Karen Noyes advised the public that the Highway Department also has this if they work on those days too.
Don Craigie asked about the PD Management Study, he remembers two of the Selectmen being dead set against it. Don asked if the Selectmen have changed their minds. Don said he was hoping that they would go along with it. Don said he believes the overtime problem could be solved with management. In business it is ok to have overtime to fill in the gaps but at this level it is bad for business and shows a lack of staffing. Sharon Craigie asked if anyone has read the Fire Department Review Committee Report where the committee, recommends two full time employees. Someone asked how she obtained a copy. Sharon advised that a copy could be obtained from the Town Offices.
A citizen stated that they are talking about adding more employees to keep the overtime down. This citizen asked Town Manager Chuck Connell if the Town would actually saving be money or are we just creating new jobs. Selectman Brien Ward stated that the report is incomplete. One of the things that never happened with the study it has not been costed out. It was Don Craigie who came to us when he discovered how the overtime error occurred. The report is just a recommendation, however those numbers for the cost have not yet been run. There are other implications over the years. There is a lot of vacation time accrued for the Fire Department. Bruce Hadlock asked if they now get 6 weeks vacation. Selectman Brien Ward stated they get 6 and 3/4 weeks vacation. Bruce wanted to know how many people on the Fire Department has worked for two years and are getting the 6 and
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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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.