Skip Navigation
This table is used for column layout.
Photo of West Stockbridge
On Our Site
On Our Site
Site  This Folder
Advanced Search
Get Adobe Acrobat

2006 - Minutes of September 11, 18, 25 Meetings

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
September 11, 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.

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

Residents Steve and Judy Moore express their strong displeasure over the broadcast of a documentary on local access Channel 2 over the weekend and today. The premise of the documentary was that the U.S. govt. was directly responsible for the events of 9-11. The Moores felt that it was terribly inappropriate to air this documentary on the anniversary of 9-11. Judy contacted two members (Mati Kiin and Carol Kuller) of the West Stockbridge Cable TV Commission to voice her displeasure. The Selectmen had no knowledge of the airing and agreed with the Moores that the showing was insensitive. Board will review policies on what should and shouldn't appear on the local access channel and will discuss the matter with the Cable TV Commissioners at a future date. The Moores thank the Board for listening.

6:40 PM:        Resident Cory Smith addresses the Board and delivers a letter requesting that he be appointed to the vacancy on the Cemetery Commission. He said that he often wonders why the Town cemeteries aren't better taken care of. The Board discusses the process for filling a vacancy to an elected position. In this case, a joint meeting of the Selectmen and Cemetery Commission would be required. A majority of the five votes would be needed to appoint. Board will take Mr. Smiths request under advisement and contact the Cemetery Commission.

6:50 PM:        Chief of Police Karl Cooper speaks to the Board about the Hill property on State Line Rd. At the Treasurer and Land Court's request, Chief Cooper has attempted to contact any Hill relatives over the past several weeks. The only apparent surviving relative discovered is Dolores Hill of Delaware. This information has been passed along to Town Counsel Jerry Scully who indicated that the Land Court should now be satisfied that every attempt has been made to contact relatives.

7:00 PM:        Board reviews a letter received from Olga May Milligan, which expresses her unhappiness with the apparent unresponsiveness of the Cemetery Commission with her request to have shrubbery removed from next to a family grave at West Center Cemetery. Board will refer the matter to the Cemetery Commission. TSC notes that new member Holly Fadding has been doing a lot of work in the Cemeteries lately and that the matter might already have been taken care of.

7:05 PM:        Resident Susan Silverman along with Lenox resident Rick Greg address the Board about their campaign to stamp out idling cars and trucks. Ms. Silverman and Mr. Greg relate several of confronting people in idling cars and asking them to turn their cars off while waiting. They are looking for support from the Selectmen and the Police Dept. to help reduce the number of idling vehicles to improve air quality. Mr. Greg informs the Board that in addition to being the former CEO of Kripalu, he was named as a "Climate Champion" by an environmental group.

        Chief Cooper joins a discussion on Mass. General Law that limits idling to 5 minutes. A discussion follows on making a brochure that can be passed out to offenders. A similar campaign has had some success in Lenox.

        Board supports efforts to reduce idling and will contact Lenox to investigate their program and work on coming up with an informational brochure. Board thanks both for attending.

Other Items:    Board receives a letter from Ed Desaulniers announcing his retirement - after 40-plus years - from the West Stockbridge Conservation Commission. With regret, Board accepts Ed's letter of resignation.

        Board has posted a meeting for 9/18/06 at 5:00 PM to review the Village School project.

        Board discusses Certificates of Occupancy. Board is waiting for an updated list of homes missing Certificates of Occupancy.

        Board, following review by Town Counsel, signs an agreement with SEA Consultant for the purpose conducting preliminary studies for downtown rehabilitation of streets and sidewalks.

        Board, following review by Town Counsel, signs an agreement with EcoWaste for solid waste transportation and disposal.

        Board reviews a copy of a letter from Lycott Industries to Natural Heritage Endangered Species (DEP/NHES) detailing the required completed studies of Mill and Card Ponds in anticipation of aquatic weed control. Lycott is making sure that DEP doesn't have any additional issues with the weed removal proposal.

        Board discusses a mailing from Berkshire Regional Planning re: a suggested Town Meeting article to vote on the adoption of mutual aid agreements to facilitate Homeland Security measures. Vote, if necessary, would take place at the Annual Town Meeting.

        Board sets a meeting with Tom Webb of Berkshire Housing for 10-2-06 to discuss his retirement from Berkshire Housing and how the Town's Senior Center grant might be impacted.

        Board takes under advisement a request from an organization called "Small Towns Acting Responsibly" (STAR) to join their organization.

        TSC asks about previously discussed limited parking time signs in the area of the Public Market. CW responds that a sign just was installed.

        TSC asks whether all of the Town Hall safety deficiencies noted in a report from the Town's insurance carrier have been addressed. CW responds that all items have been corrected except for repairs to the basement hatchway.

        TSC asks if the fire alarm system will be repaired at the Village School. MK responds that a new system will be part of the construction project and that it didn't seem practical to repair the old system to operate for a few months.

        Board discusses possible meeting places for their meetings when the Village School becomes unavailable do to the construction project. Boards now using the school will need to find a new meeting place for the next year or so beginning about October 1. St. Patrick's Rectory, Fire Station Meeting Room, Sportsmen's Club, Masonic Hall, and the Old Town Hall are named as possibilities.

        TSC reports that water meter reader Paul Faggioni was bitten and had his pants torn by the Beebe dog that last time their meter was read.

        TSC notes that the County Communication facility can provide "reverse 911" service to the Town at no cost. Police and Fire Chiefs will attend a meeting to investigate further.

        CW reports that resident Gordon Soule is concerned with an apparent increase in truck traffic on Swamp Road. Board discusses having a traffic count conducted by Berkshire Regional Planning.

        CW passes along a conversation held with Louise Faggioni about the status of Spencer Place, Merritt Way, Harris St. and Moscow Road and how the potential closing of the private way known as Merritt Way might effect access to her families' properties on Spencer Place. Board will discuss the matter with the Planning Board.

        CW informs the Board that Bill Munch will be picking up the old Shaker Mill Dam generator. He paid the Town $500 for the discarded unit. The Historic Commission has surveyed the old generator and determined that it had no historic or practical value.

        Chief Cooper reports to the Board that he is attempting to follow up on a letter sent to the Selectmen from Nicholas McCormick complaining about his treatment by the West Stockbridge Police Dept. The Chief has been attempting to arrange an interview with Mr. McCormick.

8:35 PM:        There being no additional business to discuss, CW makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. 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
September 18, 2006

5:00 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.

Board conducts a Village School construction project review. Attending are: Myron from EcoGenesis, Tim Eagles from EDM, Jim Byrne and Bob (Clerk of the Works) from CMS (Project Manager).

Following a discussion, TSC makes a motion to approve a contract proposal from EcoGenesis to prepare bid documents and manage the bidding process for asbestos removal. The cost of these services is $3,140. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor. The contract amount may need to be renegotiated if additional asbestos is found providing that the contract does not exceed $5,000.

A review of the contract documents is conducted. Several individual items were discussed and corrections were made. The bidding process and timeline is discussed and individual responsibilities are decided upon. Jim Byre will be the contact person for bidder questions. EDM will be responsible for bi-weekly job meeting minute taking and distribution. AA and EDM will share public notice requirements.

Group adjourns to the gymnasium to review sprinkler system options and the impact of potential asbestos paper above the ceiling tiles. EcoGenesis will conduct further studies and report back by the end of the week. Considerable cost would be added to the project if tests come back positive for asbestos in ceiling.

Group returns to meeting room and continues the project and contract document discussion. Bid dates for General Contractors will be November 3, 2006. Board will review and likely award the bid at their November 6, 2006 regular meeting.

7:45 PM:        Other business:

AA will meet with a representative from Center for Ecological Technologies next Monday to discuss: mandated Transfer Station inspection; Stop Idling Campaign and: landfill capping options.

AA will attend 51st annual meeting of the Massachusetts Municipal Personnel Association this Friday in N. Andover.

Finance Committee meets tomorrow evening. Board reviews items that have been provided to the FinCom for their review and action, including a Village School bond update, FY 2006  and FY 2007 Reserve Fund requests and FY 2006 audit update.

A request has been sent to Town Counsel seeking opinion on appropriate public meeting places. Town Boards, including the Selectmen, will need to find another meeting place for the next 10 months or so due to the Village School construction.

8:30 PM:        There being no further business to discuss, CW makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. TAC 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
September 25, 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.

6:40 PM:        Chief Cooper speaks to the Board about part-time Police Officer Carmen Guarda. Chief states that he can't have someone working for him who isn't truthful. Carmen handed in a letter requesting an extended leave of absence from the Department citing differences with Chief Cooper. Following further discussion, CW makes a motion to accept Officer Guarda's request. MK seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-1 in favor.

        MK begins a discussion about the non-appointment of Gt. Barrington Police officer Tim Hassett this past spring. MK wishes to set the record straight saying that the Board did not act on Officer Hassett's appointment because his name was not submitted not because they refused to appoint him. AA states that in the absence of a list provided by the Chief, the previous year's appointment list was used by the Board during their annual appointments. An additional Officer was added to the list the following week at the request of the Chief, but not Officer Hassett's. CW notes that he was unhappy with whole process of appointing Officers this past year due to the uncertain status of the Chief's employment with the Town.

        CW asks about current staffing levels. Chief confirms that he will be able to staff the Department with 110 hours per week as previously agreed to. The Chief has a few interested part-time Officer candidates that he will be interviewing.

        MK congratulates the Chief on his work leading up to and through the Josh Billings Race. Everything went very smoothly with no problems with traffic or participants. Chief says that he will use the same program next year because the bridge will still be just one lane.

        Chief states that he hasn't heard back yet from N. McCormick. The Chief has requested that Mr. McCormick come in for an interview to discuss his complaints about the Department and certain Officers.

        MK reminds the Chief that all part-time Officers are required to have documented completion of mandated training by next week. Part-time Officers were appointed with the stipulation that all required training be completed in 90 days. Chief says that he will provide the documentation.

6:55 PM:        Tina Bardwell discusses the scheduling of Trick or Treat and the Halloween Parade and party. This year, Halloween falls on a Tuesday and many parents can't get home in time from work to get the kids ready for a 4 PM-6 PM Trick or Treat. CW says that he checked past year's decisions on scheduling and that there was no consistency with the dates of the parade and Trick or Treat. TSC notes that the Parks and Recreation Committee discussed having the parade and party the Saturday before Halloween (10/28). It is difficult to ask volunteers to put a parade and party together on a weekday evening. Tina Bardwell would prefer to have both the party/parade and Trick or Treat on the same night. MK notes that most Towns don't have a scheduling dilemma because they don't host parades and parties. This Town does something special. Following further discussion, Board decides to hold Trick or Treat on Saturday, October 28th from 4-6 PM. Ms. Bardwell thanks the Board.

7:05 PM:        Board discusses the Village School conversion project focusing on the impact of asbestos removal in the gymnasium. Alternatives, including installing a firewall between the gym and the rest of the building are discussed. It is decided to push the bid date timeline back one week in order to gather additional information from the State Building Inspector and EcoGenesis, the firm hired to facilitate the asbestos testing and abatement. MK notes that each time changes are made to the plans of date, the architect will charge an additional fee for those changes. A meeting between the State Building Inspector and EDM will be set up for this week at the site.

Other Items:    Board reviews an opinion from Town Counsel stating that it would be fine to hold Selectmen's meetings at the St. Patrick's Rectory. This location and others are under consideration to hold Town Board meetings for the next 8 months or so because the Village School will be off limits during the construction project.

        TSC notes that there will be an O.S.H.A. training seminar for Public Works employees this week at the Stockbridge Sportsmen's Club. CW notes that 2 of the Highway employees will already be attending classroom training this week on NIMS 200 and that the Department will be short-staffed.

        TSC informs the Board that the Conservation Commission is seeking a new member to replace Ed Desaulniers who recently retired. Board agrees that it would be appropriate for the ConsCom to advertise for a new member.

        Board discusses the Town Collector's desire to find an Assistant Collector by the 1st of the year. Eunice does not plan to run for re-election next spring and would like to get an Assistant on Board who could be trained. It is understood that this person may or may not choose to run for election next spring. Eunice would appreciate the Selectmen helping to coordinate the process. Board will assist. It is noted that the Collector's salary will probably have to be increased in order to come in line with like sized and budget communities in the region. Eunice has only taken marginal raises over the past many years and the position is comparatively underpaid.

        TSC asks if Building Inspector Jim Vosburgh has compiled a completed list of homes currently occupied without a certificate of compliance issued by his office. AA responds that Jim has not yet turned one in. Board instructs AA to issue another letter to Jim.

        AA notes that CET conducted an inspection of the Transfer Station today. A new State requirement mandates that qualified independent 3rd parties inspect all municipal transfer stations annually and furnish the report to DEP. This inspection will cost $300. Also, AA has had posters printed up for the "Stop Idling" campaign being promoted by Susan Silverman. CET will provide contacts names for engineering firms that may be able to assist the Town in discussing options for what might be done with the old Town landfill.

Board decides to meet on October 12th instead of Monday the 9th because of the Columbus Day holiday.

8:05 PM:        There being no further business to discuss, CW makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. 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
Virtual Towns & Schools Website