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2008 - Minutes of September 15, 22 Meetings

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
September 15, 2008

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Tina Skorput Cooper (TSC), Chair; Curt Wilton (CW). Not present: Michael Kirchner (MK). Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

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

6:45 PM:        TSC states that she wishes to reconsider her vote to appoint Gary Mitchell as a part-time police officer at last week’s Selectmen’s meeting. A request for opinion has been sent to Town Counsel regarding Mr. Mitchell’s retirement status from the Springfield Police Dept. Town Counsel has not issued the opinion yet and TSC would like to wait until the Board can review that opinion. It is noted that a full Board would be present for the 9-22-08 meeting and that there was no harm in waiting a week to discuss the matter again. CW agrees to take up the matter again at next week’s meeting following a bid opening scheduled for 7:00 PM.

7:00 PM:        TSC reopens the Public Hearing for the West Stockbridge Sportsmen’s Club to hear and act on a Change of Manager Request. Current Club president Vincent Stannard presents the Board with an application naming Dion Hall as Manager. Hearing no comments on the application from those present, TSC recommends approval of the application and to close the Public Hearing. CW agrees. Board signs their approval and application will be mailed to Boston for ABCC review and action.

Other Items:    Fire Chief Peter Skorput discusses the planned painting of the Fire Station. Peter says that Department personnel could paint the lower front side of the building but that the remaining three sides would require scaffolding and others to do the painting. Peter asks if the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Department could be asked to do the painting through their Community Service Program. Board agrees to send in a request. Two persons present in the audience, Dion Hall and Jake ______ also volunteer to do the steep side painting.

Paula Farrell speaks to the Board about allowing the Inter-Library Loan truck to use the service lane on the west side of the Village School/Town Offices to deliver and pick up books. Paula explains that it is inconvenient to transport the books to the Library from the front of the building, especially during bad weather. CW and Peter Skorput express concerns about the ability of the narrow paved lane to accommodate the truck. CW doesn’t think the fire lane will support a large truck and asks Paula to find out the gross vehicle weight of the truck. Paula will check. Board will discuss the matter further at a later meeting.

AA shows the Board a written quote for the installation of a security camera and monitor to be installed at the Transfer Station. At the request of Transfer Station attendant Bill Pixley, Bill Loeb solicited a quote priced at $1,300. Mr. Pixley is concerned that people are co-mingling other items with paper in the paper bin. The paper bin cannot be seen from inside the attendant’s shack. AA adds that there is a leak in the roof over the paper bin that should be repaired because wet paper costs more to transport to the recycling facility. CW suggests that the Town’s custodian, Peter Skorput be asked to repair the roof. CW adds that ‘it’s a sad day in West Stockbridge when we are asked to spend $1,300 on a camera to monitor the paper bin. Board agrees to ask Bill Pixley into a Selectmen’s meeting for a general discussion on Transfer Station operations.

AA will be attending a Public Procurement seminar in Boston, sponsored by the Inspector General’s Office during the first week of October.

TSC asks to have Building Inspector Don Fitzgerald attend the next Board meeting to finalize discussions on his proposal to adjust building permit fees.

TSC asks Highway Supt. Curt Wilton to have his crew remove and dispose the old/unused wrestling mats in the gymnasium.

AA will work with Tree Warden Jim Hallock to construct a Tree Warden Job Description.

COA van will be returned from the dealer this week and will be fully operational and ready to ride.

7:35 PM:        There being no further business to discuss, CW makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. TSC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor.


Meeting minutes approved by:


__________________________      ____________________________
Tina Skorput Cooper, Chair              Curt Wilton

Date:___________



Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
September 22, 2008

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

Board reviews and approves previous meeting minutes.
Board reviews and approves weekly warrants (payroll and vendor).

Board discusses a request from the Council on Aging. COA is looking for more volunteer van drivers. There are only two people who do the majority of the driving and more are needed. Board will place an ad in the Shopper’s Guide and a notice in the next Local Yokel.

Board discusses the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Old Town Hall. Following a final review, Board instructs AA to publish the legal notice in both the Berkshire Eagle and Goods and Services. RFP will also be available on line to interested proposers. The Board is seeking proposals for the future use and or re-use of the Old Town Hall from qualified proposers.

In the meantime, Board will discuss winterizing the Old Town Hall with Peter Skorput and the Building Inspector.

AA will contact the Town’s insurance carrier to request a review of the under-construction skate park located at the Village School. The Town already has insurance coverage for the skateboard facility, which is being updated.

6:50 PM:        Maple Street resident Dan Howard seeks permission to remove a dying tree adjacent to his property. The tree lies on Orchard Street which is a ‘paper road’ that runs parallel to Maple Street behind the Howard property. Orchard Street has not been used in recent memory. Mr. Howard feels the tree will come down and damage his shed. Tree Warden Jim Hallock states that both he and Building Inspector Don Fitzgerald have viewed the property and have determined that the tree in question is in Orchard Street and that the Howard shed is either also on Orchard Street or within its right of way. Tree Warden Hallock has no objection to the removal of the tree as long as Mr. Howard signs a release stating that Mr. Howard is responsible for taking the tree down and that he must employ a certified arborist to do so. Mr. Howard agrees and signs the release.

7:00 PM:        Bid opening for three Town road paving and reclamation projects. MK makes a motion to close all bids. TSC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor. CW reads the three legal notices as they appeared in the Berkshire Eagle and proceeds to open bids. The bid results are as follows:
Bid Tabulation Sheet
September 22, 2008

Bid # 2008-01, “Full depth Reclamation, High Street”

Bidder Name                     Bid Price                       NOTES
Lane Construction
$2.55 sq. yd.
Rafferty Reclaiming
$2.68 sq. yd.
All States Asphalt
$2.48 sq. yd
Apparent low bidder


Bid # 2008-02, “Bituminous Paving, High Street”

Bidder Name                     Bid Price                       NOTES

Palmer Paving
$85.50 ton/in place
Apparent low bidder
LB Corporation
$88.48 ton/in place
DelSignore
$93.28 ton/in place
Tri-Town Paving
$94.50 ton/in place
Lane Construction
$98.65 ton/in place


Bid # 2008-03, “Bituminous Paving, Swamp Road”

Bidder Name                     Bid Price                       NOTES

Palmer Paving
$88.15 ton/in place
Apparent low bidder
LB Corporation
$88.25 ton/in place
DelSignore
$93.28 ton/in place
Tri-Town Paving
$93.90 ton/in place
Lane Construction
$98.65 ton/in place

Board will take the bids under advisement. CW will review the bids for accuracy and eligibility and make a recommendation of award to the Board at their next meeting.

7:10 PM:        Other Items:

Board approves a revised Building Permit Fee Schedule as proposed by Building Inspector Don Fitzgerald. The new fee schedule will take effect immediately and will bring our fees closer in line with neighboring towns. West Stockbridge fees have been ‘under market’ for a number of years.

TSC asks that the Board review the appointment of Police Officer Gary Mitchell, which was done by vote of the Board two weeks earlier. TSC notes that the Board had requested an updated opinion on the legality of hiring Mr. Mitchell and the opinion has not yet been issued. For that reason, TSC would like to stay the appointment until the Board receives and reviews the legal opinion.

MK says that he is very uncomfortable discussing any personnel matters in open meeting, especially those involving health issues. He states that proper executive session notification procedures need to be followed.

Gary Mitchell is in attendance and waives his executive session privilege; he states that he is comfortable speaking openly about himself.  Mr. Mitchell goes on to say that his disability retirement, via heart clause, from the Springfield Police Department was common knowledge when he worked for the Town of West Stockbridge several years ago.

Chief of Police Stanton says that he brought names forward with his recommendation for appointment. Now, it seems as though his recommendations are open to political scrutiny.

Mr. Mitchell states that he was released from duty some five years ago because of a witch-hunt.

Richard Klein, selectmen member at the time of Mitchell’s dismissal, says that he was let go as a result of an opinion from Town Counsel. There was no with hunt.

MK is not interested in dragging the matter out any longer and makes a motion to re-affirm the previous Board vote to appoint Gary Mitchell as part-time Police Officer. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-1 in favor. MK and CW vote in favor. TSC votes against appointment and maintains that the Board should wait for an updated opinion from Town Counsel.


7:35 PM:        MK makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. CW seconds. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:



__________________________      _______________________ __________________
Tina Skorput Cooper, Chair              Curt Wilton                             Michael Kirchner

Date: ___________


 
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