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2006 - Minutes of June 5, 21, 26 Meetings
Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
June 5, 2006

5:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Michael Kirchner (MK), Curt Wilton (CW), Tina Skorput Cooper (TSC). Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

BOS reviews and approves previous meeting minutes
BOS reviews and signs weekly warrants

BOS reviews response letter from Clark and Green re: Senior Center Design. Clark and Green agree to modify their bid package documents to reflect work done by the Town at no additional cost to the original $38,500 Senior Center design contract.

Board reviews letter from Cultural Council re: participation in the Zucchini Festival.

Board reviews and approves a sign permit for Tokoma Gallery, Center St.

Board discusses article structure for June 26 Special Town Meeting. Board decides to use certified free cash to offset line item account deficits as the most straightforward method.

6:00 PM:        MK opens discussion on the employment status of Chief of Police Cooper. MK points out that the status of the Chief's current contract is in question per previous opinion of Town Counsel. Town Counsel's opinion is that the Chief's current contract is unenforceable but that it may take a court to make a final determination if an understanding can't be reached between the Board and the Chief. MK notes that the current contract is an issue because it runs three years longer than the Chief's current appointment to office which runs through June 30, 2006.

TSC points out that the Chief is afforded a hearing in the event that the Board declines to re-appoint him.

CW recounts the events leading up to and through the signing of the Chief's current contract in May of 2004.

MK states that all future employment contracts will be reviewed by Town Counsel before signing. Both MK and CW express frustration over the current uncertainty of the Chief's contract because the Board requested that the Chief enter into negotiations and discussions back in October 2005. No substantial discussions have taken place yet.

6:20 PM:        Chief Cooper attends the meeting at the Board's request.

MK recounts why the Chief was called in to the meeting. MK meant to ask the Chief at last week's meeting what his plans were if the Egremont job did not work out. MK asks the Chief what his intentions are if he doesn't take the Police Officer position in Egremont.

Chief Cooper responds that it is his desire to remain as Chief in West Stockbridge if he is not hired in Egremont.

Chief states that his attorney has been trying to get in touch with the Town's attorney to discuss the Chief's current and past contracts. The two attorney's have not spoken to date. MK notes that he spoke with Town Counsel today and that he said that he would be in touch with the Chief's attorney. Chief suggests that the two attorneys work it out.

MK states that he will have difficulty re-appointing the Chief if he is unsure which contract is in place and valid.

TSC asks why the Chief can't be told what Town Counsel has told the Board is wrong with the Chief's current contract. MK responds that Town Counsel's opinion is executive session material and is privledged until the matter is disposed of.

6:30 PM Resident Louis Merlini asks Chief Cooper if he is leaving or not. Chief explains that he is in negotiations with Egremont. Chief states that the time has come to make a change. Louise asks what will happen next? She likes the Chief, stating that he is honest and does a good job.

Chief states that he will not have an answer from Egremont until June 16 and that he will let the Board know as soon as he knows.

6:35 PM:        Board has a general discussion about the Special Town Meeting scheduled for June 26. The Board decides that their preference for the construction of any article(s) to correct current year deficits should use funds from available free cash. There are several funding/article options available but free cash would be the cleanest and most easily understandable.

CW relates a conversation with Cross Rd. resident Mike Buffoni who inquired about lowering the speed limit on Cross Rd. Mike is concerned with speeding traffic. MK responds that if a secondary road is not posted then, by MGL, the default speed limit is 40 mph. The State Highway Dept. could be requested to do a traffic/speed limit study on the road. The study is quite involved. CW asks if a petition from the Cross Rd. residents would be a good place to start. Board agrees that it would.

CW relates a phone conversation with Matt Merritt regarding his request to put up a road sign saying "Merritt Way" on the private way also known as Harris St. Extension. Board instructs AA to research the status of the private way with the Assessors and the Planning Board.

7:00 PM:        CW reads the legal notice for the Highway Truck bid opening per notice in Berkshire Eagle.

CW makes a motion to close the bids. TSC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

MK opens and reads the bids aloud (shown below).

7:15 PM:        CW reads the legal notice for the Highway Truck Snow Removal Equipment Package bid per notice in Berkshire Eagle.

        CW makes a motion to close the bids. TSC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor

        MK opens and reads the bids aloud (shown below).

Highway Truck Bid Opening Results

Vendor Name                          Bid Amount                 Notes
Albany Truck Sales      $77,906.06      
Freightliner of Hartford        $99,466 This bid includes the cab/chassis and the snow removal package as one. Separated, the bid is $64,816 for the cab/chassis and $34,500 for the equipment package.
Nutmeg International Trucks     $83,689 
L&B Freightliner        $68,832 

Snow Removal Equipment Package Bid Opening Results

Vendor Name                         Bid Amount                  Notes
Tenco New England       $50,142 
Zwack   $44,975 
Howard Fairfield        $47,467 

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
June 21, 2006

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Michael Kirchner (MK), Curt Wilton (CW), Tina Skorput Cooper (TSC). Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

                Board reviews and approves prior meeting minutes.
Board reviews and approves weekly warrants following a discussion and agreement on correcting an overpayment in Highway Salaries. CW notes that anyone working alone at the Sewer Treatment Plant must be licensed and certified.

6:50 PM:        Board approves a request from the Multiple Sclerosis Society for use of the green space next to the Post Office.

        Board reviews the one bid received for a used Highway Dept. truck body that is no longer being used. The bid is for $500 from Bill Ketchen. Following discussion, TSC makes a motion to approve the bid. CW seconds the motion. Vote to accept the bid approved, 3-0.

7:00 PM:        Board reviews emergency generator bids to replace the old generator at the Fire Station. Following a review of the 3 bids received, MK makes a motion to accept the low bid from Polson Electric, Pittsfield, MA. The bid price is $16,800 which is less than the set aside appropriation and grant approved totaling $18,000. MK notes that end of July delivery date needs to be amended to 12 weeks from approval because of an anticipated delay in delivery. TSC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

7:15 PM:        Following a review of Highway truck equipment package bids received on June 19, CW recommends going with the low bidder - Zwack Equipment of Stephentown, NY. CW notes that the cost of the total package of truck and snow plow equipment is less than the May annual town meeting appropriation. TSC makes a motion to award the bid to Zwack. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

        CW gives the Board an update on the reconstruction of the Shaker Mill Bridge. There is still no start date. Today's site meeting discussed re-location of a utility pole that will be in the way of construction. The contractor and State are also reviewing location of temporary traffic signals. CW asks that a letter be written to MassHighway requesting 3 additional optical emitters (to trigger traffic lights) for use by public safety personnel and that a sign be placed on the MassPike informing trucks of construction in the center of Town and to encourage them to stay on Rte. 90.

        Board discusses correspondence from the FinCom requesting joint meetings. Quarterly meetings to discuss budget spending and meetings to discuss capital planning. The Board sees the request as a good idea and agrees to meet. Capital planning could take place at the next FinCom meeting on July18 and the first quarterly meeting could take place shortly after the first quarter closes on September 30.

        AA informs the Board that the Accountant/Treasurer software conversion will take place next week.

        Board receives notification from ABCC that the All-alcoholic beverage Club license has been approved.

        Board reviews warrant articles for next week's Special Town Meeting.

        There will be a ZBA meeting the same evening. 2 meeting rooms will need to be set up.

        EDM will meet with the Library Commissioners on June 22 to finalize some minor changes in Library equipment and layout.

8:00 PM:        Board reviews and acts on the list of annual officer appointments as follows:
Appointed Town Officers
Office                                  Name                            Term / Expires  Y  N    
Administrative Assistant                Mark Webber                     3 yr.   2009    Y  
Town Council                            Kopelman & Paige                1 yr.   2007    Y  
Town Treasurer                  Bruce Turner                    1 yr.   2007    Y  
Conservation Commission         G. Edward Desaulniers   3 yr.   2009    Y  
Deputy Collector                        Arthur Jones                    1 yr.   2007    Y  
Official Weighers                       Peter Naventi                   1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Karl G. Cooper                  1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Faith Libardi                   1 yr.   2007    Y  
Memorial Day Committee          American Legion Post 254        1 yr.   2007    Y  
Veteran's Grave Officer         Michael Skorput         1 yr.   2007    Y  
Veteran's Agent                 Al Adams                        1 yr.   2007    Y  
Parking Clerk/Hearings Officer  Tina Skorput Cooper             1 yr.   2007    Y  
Animal Control Officer                  John Springstube                1 yr.   2007    Y  
ZBA Alternates                  Lori Robbins                    1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Elizabeth DiGrigoli             1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Peter Negrini                   1 yr.   2007    Y
Building Inspector                      James Vosburgh          1 yr.   2007    Y  
Zoning Enforcement Officer              Walter Potash                   1 yr.   2007    Y  
Board of Registrars                     Martha Almgren          3 yr.   2009    Y  
Emergency Mgt. Director         Louis Oggiani                   1 yr.   2007    Y  
Assistant Emergency Mgt. Dir.   R. Michael Kirchner             1 yr.   2007    Y  
Consultant to Veterans Agent            Michael Skorput         1 yr.   2007    Y  
Right to Know Officer                   Peter Skorput                   1 yr.   2007    Y  
Chief of Police                         Karl G. Cooper                  3 yr.   2006         N
Patrolman                               Matthew Kelly                   1 yr.   2006         N
Special Police                          Steven Cabral                   1 yr.   2006 (deferred)
                                        Robert Perrin                   1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Charles Simonelli               1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Carmen Guarda           1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Rosario Messina         1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Robert Wood                     1 yr.   2007    Y  
ADA Coordinator                 James Vosburgh          1 yr.   2007    Y  
Field Driver                            Board of Selectmen              1 yr.   2006 (deferred)
Fence Viewer                            Board of Selectmen              1 yr.   2006 (deferred)
Parks and Recreation                    John Parker                     1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Robert Powell                   1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Tina Skorput Cooper             1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Tami Cardillo                   1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Joel Hotchkiss                  1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Katherine Meyer         1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Lynn Ryan                       1 yr.   2007    Y  
Animal Inspector                        John Springstube                1 yr.   2007    Y  
Cable TV Commission                     Carol Kuller                    1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Mati Kiin                       1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Ogden Gigli                     1 yr.   2007    Y  
Oil Burner Inspector                    Larry Morse                     1 yr.   2007    Y  
Gas Inspector                           Robert Gennari          1 yr.   2007    Y
Asst. Gas Inspector                     Peter Negrini                   1 yr.   2007    Y  
Capital Planning Committee              Finance Committee               1 yr.   2007    Y  
Investment Committee                    Finance Committee/Treas.        1 yr.   2007    Y  
Town Historian                  Robert Salerno          1 yr.   2007    Y  
Historical Commission                   Robert Salerno          1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Patricia Soldati                        1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Christian Goodwille             1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Scott Sawyer                    1 yr.   2007    Y  
Chief Procurement Officer               Mark Webber                     1 yr.   2007    Y  
Plumbing Inspector                      Peter Negrini                   1 yr.   2007    Y  
Asst. Plumbing Inspector                William Korte                   1 yr.   2007    Y  
Sewer and Water Commission      Mark Webber                     1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Antonio Pieropan                1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Marion Loring                   1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Elizabeth DiGrigoli             1 yr.   2007    Y  
                                        Brad Richer                     1 yr.   2007    Y  
Council on Aging                        Irene B. Norton                 5 yr.   2011    Y  
                                        Doris Skorput                   5 yr.   2011    Y  
Berkshire Reg. Planning Comm.   Stephen McMahon         1 yr.   2007    Y  
Wiring Inspector                        Karl G. Cooper                  1 yr.   2007    Y  
Assistant Wiring Inspector              Doug Wilber                     1 yr.   2007    Y  
Assessor's Clerk                        Amy Butterworth         1 yr.   2007    Y  
Board of Health Secretary               Earl Moffatt                    1 yr.   2006(deferred)
Smoke / Fire Alarm Inspector            Ronald Race                     1 yr.   2007    Y  
Health Agent                            John Olander                    1 yr.   2007    Y  
BRPC Alternate                  Michael Kirchner                1 yr.   2007    Y
Agriculture Commission                                          (deferred)

The following discussions took place regarding annual appointments:
Administrative Assistant - contract language will be discussed over the next several months.
Town Treasurer - reduced the 3-year appointment to 1 year. Board will contact the Treasurer to review concerns and expectations for the job.
ZBA Alternates - Peter Negrini's name has been added as an Alternate.
Chief of Police - Board reviews opinion from Town Counsel citing MGL which states that a Chief of Police must be granted 1-year written notice if he or she is not to be re-appointed. CW is reluctant to approve re-appointment. CW notes that the Chief has publicly stated that he'd like a change of scenery and that he is burnt out. MK states that he is struggling with this appointment not knowing whether the Chief has a valid employment contract. MK suggests that a non re-appointment would move the delayed contract discussions off the mark. MK makes a motion to not re-appoint Chief of Police Karl Cooper. A follow-up letter stating his non-reappointment will serve as the Chief's one-year written notice. Following a discussion in which it is agreed that the ball in now in the Chief's court and that he now has a full year to demonstrate that he is up to the task of Chief, CK seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

8:10 PM:        Full-time Police Officer - CW makes a motion to enter executive session as allowed under MGL Ch. 39:23B(5) for the purpose of discussing the filing of criminal complaints and to return to open session upon completion. TSC seconds the motion. Roll call vote taken: MK, aye; CW, aye; TSC, aye.


8:25 PM:        Board returns to open session. Board discusses a series of complaints received from residents on the unprofessional and aggressive behavior exhibited by Officer Matthew Kelly over the past several months. The Board was hopeful that Officer Kelly would turn it around and become a good officer and a good fit for the Town but that does not seem to be the case. MK makes a motion not to re-appoint Matthew Kelly to the position of Full-time police officer subject to review by Town Counsel on the provisions of due process. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Special Police Officers - Steve Cabral re-appointment is deferred until a later date when the Board can determine whether Mr. Cabral wishes to be appointed. The remaining 5 Special Police Officers are re-appointed on a provisional basis subject to their successful completion or proof of mandated training as required by MGL. That training includes CPR, First Responder and Firearms. Special Officers will be notified about the need to fulfill obligations of mandatory training.
Building Inspector - Board will define specific needs of the Department and what is expected of the Building Inspector. Concerns have been expressed about deficiencies in the Building Department.
Field Driver and Fence Viewer appointment is deferred until the Board can research the duties and obligations of the positions.
Board of Health Secretary - deferred until the Board can research exactly what the position is for.
Agriculture Commission - deferred until the Board has an opportunity to discuss with the suggested Commission members their wishes for the length of their staggered terms and to verify member names.

9:10 PM:        CW relays a request from Brian Butterworth asking if the Town Highway Dept. could be hired by the Congregational Church to re-pave the Congregational Church driveway. Following a discussion on the separation of church and state, Board agrees that the request must be denied.

Following a review, Board signs an Agricultural Preservation Restriction application for Rich Barrett.

MK supplies asbestos study and related information for the Village School obtained from the school district which will be passed along to the project architects.

MK also furnishes Village School roof data and guarantee to be passed along to the project architects.

9:30 PM:        There being no further business to discuss, CW makes a motion to adjourn. TSC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting Minutes approved by:

_____________________   ____________________    _____________________
Michael Kirchner, Chair Curt Wilton                     Tina Skorput Cooper

Date: _____________

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
June 26, 2006

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Michael Kirchner (MK), Curt Wilton (CW), Tina Skorput Cooper (TSC). Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

                Board reviews and approves previous meeting minutes.
Board reviews and approves weekly warrants following a discussion on a vendor bill for Cemetery mowing. The Town Accountant included a note with the bill advising the Board that a single vendor billing in excess of $5,000 for services requires that the Cemetery Commission solicit 3 or more written or verbal quotes for the service. The Board will so inform the Commission.

Board receives notice that Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen Massimiano has approved the old Town Hall for a community service painting project. Painting will start in mid-July. Resident Gene Dellea has pledged $100 towards the cost of paint.

CW informs the Board that the low bidder for the new Highway truck just informed him that he cannot meet the truck delivery date specified in the bid proposal. CW recommends going to the next lowest bidder who can meet the delivery date and still provide the vehicle as per the bid proposal. The cost of going to the 2nd lowest bidder is still several thousand dollars less than the Town Meeting approved appropriation. MK makes a motion to adopt CW's recommendation. TSC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor of the motion.

CW informs the Board that MassHighway will likely petition the Board for a utility pole hearing for the purpose of moving a pole to facilitate the Shaker Mill Bridge reconstruction project. CW also requests that a letter be sent to MassHighway Supt. Ross Dindio requesting several items for his consideration related to the project including: delay warning signage on Rte. 90; additions optical emitter devises and; provisions for future utilities to be strapped underneath the bridge. Board agrees to send request letter and another letter stating that the Town would have no objection to holding a utility pole hearing to move the one pole in question.

7:00 PM:        There being no additional business, CW makes a motion to adjourn the regular meeting. A Special Town Meeting is scheduled to begin as soon as a quorum is present. TSC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

_______________________ ______________________  _______________________
Michael Kirchner, Chair Curt Wilton                     Tina Skorput Cooper

Date: ________________

Town of West Stockbridge 21 State Line Road, West Stockbridge, MA 01266
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