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2017 - Minutes of July 10, 24, 31 Meetings
Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
July 10, 2017

6:00 PM:        Open Meeting.
Quorum present: Peter Skorput (PS), Chair; Curt Wilton (CW); Bernie Fallon (BF). Also present: Admin Asst Mark Webber (AA). Press present: Local Yokel.

6:05 PM:        CW makes a motion to enter executive session per MGL Chapter 30A, Section 21(a)(2) to discuss collective bargaining with non-union personnel and to return to open session upon its completion. BF seconds the motion. Voice vote taken: PS, aye; BF, aye; CW, aye.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

7:00 PM:        Board re-convenes open meeting session upon conclusion of executive session.

Other Business/Action/Discussion Items:
  • Chief of Police Marc Portieri introduces part-time police officer candidate Christopher Jackson to the Board for hiring consideration. Mr. Jackson resides in Connecticut and has a full-time job there but works as a part time police officer in Tolland, MA and is fully credentialed. He’d give up his Tolland position if hired in West Stockbridge. He is a licensed EMT as well. He’d be available for a limited number of shifts per month. Following a brief discussion, CW makes a motion, based on the Chief’s recommendation, to appoint Mr. Jackson as a part-time police officer. PS seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.
  • Board and residents have a general discussion on pedestrian safety on Lenox Road. Resident Peter Rothstein expresses concerns for he and his wife, along with many others, who walk up and down the street. Speeding cars and trucks combined with a narrow roadway and limited shoulder make it dangerous for walkers. BF recommends that the Town increase efforts to slow down speeders on Lenox and other Town roads. BF suggests installing electronic speed warning signs and increasing police presence. CW says that the Highway Department will review and update signage on Lenox Road as necessary. Chief Portieri states that he will increase police patrols in the area and that his Department, along with Highway, are already researching electronic sign options. CW adds that Lenox Road has a bona fide large truck ban in place, which took considerable effort to get approval and it needs to be enforced by police.
  • In response to several resident inquiries regarding the final fiber optic buildout status of Charter/Spectrum, CW recommends calling in Charter/Spectrum government relations contact Anna Lucey to an upcoming meeting to discuss current and future status of that build out. AA will contact and set up a meeting.
  • Friends of Williams River supporters, including John Masiero, Peter Thorne and Tom Norton, address the Board regarding their interest in reviving discussions on establishing a multi-use recreational trail on National Grid land running from the center of Town to the Housatonic line along an abandoned rail bed. They note that the same discussion was held several years ago but lost steam when several abutters objected. Following discussion, Board instructs AA to contact Town Counsel to see if they have prior experience and contacts with National Grid for similar situations. CW makes a motion to support the project. BF seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor. PS states that he will abstain from this vote and future discussions because he is an employee of a direct abutter to the National Grid property.
  • Board reschedules the upcoming Rent Control Board hearing continuation to either July 31 or August 7th depending on availability of the owners, town counsel and tenants’ association.
  • Board concludes discussion on Town public restroom weekend and cleaner discussion. A lump sum for daily cleaning is agreed to and the employee will be treated as a sub-contractor and not a Town employee.
  • Cable Commissioners address the Board and review a draft PEG Access Coordinator job description and duties. Commissioners have held a few meetings and are anxious to get the local access channels up and running. Commissioners state that they are largely in agreement with the draft Access Coordinator document.
  • BF congratulates CW, as Highway Superintendent, on his response to pothole repairs on Route 41. CW notes that he negotiated additional work with MassHighway, which included a full pavement job on Rte. 41 in the vicinity of Exit 1, which was not in the original scope of work.
  • For future meeting discussions, BF would like to discuss updates and improvements to the Town website and the setting of long term goals for the Town.
  • CW responds to concern expressed about a sidewalk from the Town sidewalk on Center Street connecting the newly place visitor’s information building, adjacent to Merritt Way. CW states that he told the owner, Mr. Merritt, that although a special permit was approved for the building relocation, there was no discussion with Town officials about connecting access to the Town sidewalk and running that connection across Town property. CW adds that the Town paid a considerable premium for the new sidewalks to ensure handicap compliance and the connection sidewalk does not come close to meet those standards and that if ignored, the Town would face liability.
8:30 PM:        There being no additional business to come before the Board, PS makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

__________________________      __________________________      ________________________
Peter Skorput, Chair                          Curt Wilton                                       Bernie Fallon

Date: __________

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
July 24, 2017

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Peter Skorput (PS), Chair; Bernie Fallon (BF). Curt Wilton (CW), away on vacation. Also present: AdminAsst Mark Webber (AA). Press present: Local Yokel.

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

Other Business/discussion/action items:
  • As negotiated in executive session, BF makes a motion to execute a 3-year employment agreement with Chief of Police Marc Portieri. PS seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor.
  • Residents David and Maria Carls express their opposition to allowing any recreational marijuana business in West Stockbridge. They feel such business is out of place in W.S. and would cause undue negative impact both economically and socially. A discussion ensues on the details of the yet to be signed legalization legislation. AA notes that the Town will be guided by Town Counsel in whatever direction it chooses to go as far as regulation. AA has contacted Berkshire Regional Planning Commission as well. BRPC has drafted moratorium bylaws for other area communities. Resident Gunnar Gundmondson also states his opposition, as do residents Tracy Rohm, Richard Squailia and Skip Johnson. BF questions whether a retail recreational marijuana operation would fit the character of the Town. BF adds that there will be ample resident participation prior to any decision being made whether to allow or not.
  • W.S. Cable Commissioners Richard Squailia states that the Commissioner have held a few meetings following their organization and that an access coordinator has been chosen among the commissioners. Group is actively researching and developing programming options and reviewing equipment. Richard also offers revisions to the Board’s access coordinator description along with Commission duties. Board will review.
  • AA notes that he has been in touch with Charter/Spectrum chief of government relations Anna Lucey and she has agreed to attend a future Board meeting to discuss issues, specifically status of final 10% fiber buildout. Date has not yet been set.
  • Board receives a letter from Josh Billings race coordinators seeking the use of Town roads for the race. This year’s race will be September 17th.
  • Board signs State House note renewal for capital purchases previously approved at town meeting.
  • AA notes that he will be meeting with representative from General Code on the Town bylaw codification/coordination project previously approved at town meeting.
  • PS asks that ruts in the vicinity of the Library side door be filled in and seeded.
8:05 PM:        There being no additional business to come before the Board. PS makes a motion to adjourn. BF seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

__________________________      __________________________
Peter Skorput, Chair                          Bernie Fallon

Date: __________

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
July 31, 2017

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting.
Quorum present: Peter Skorput (PS), Chair; Curt Wilton (CW); Bernie Fallon (BF). Also present: Admin Asst Mark Webber (AA). Press present: Local Yokel.

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

Other Business/Discussion/Action Items:
  • Board has a general discussion on the newly signed marijuana laws and whether and what steps the Town might take. PS suggests that a moratorium on both medical and retails sales be considered to provide the Board and residents to discuss the matter further in public hearing forums. CW agrees that a moratorium and public input is advisable. BF agrees that more time is needed because markets and rules will evolve between now and when the laws come in to full effect. CW makes a motion to proceed with the process to adopt a zoning bylaw moratorium on retail and medical sales of marijuana. BF seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.
  • Chief of Police Marc Portieri gives his monthly report to the Board (attached). Board approves Chief request to allow one of the Town’s police cruisers to attend an EMS/Firefighters/Police appreciation event on August 5, 2017 at Lebanon Valley Speedway. Chief adds that radar patrols have been in place on Lenox Road and the majority of speeding warnings have been given to W.S. residents. Chief has instituted weekend downtown police officer walking patrols in the downtown area. Chief expresses concern over an apparent up-tick in drug use in Town as his officers have found used drug paraphernalia on Baker Street, West Center Road and by the public restrooms downtown. CW acknowledges that Cam Forest is near the top on his class at the full-time police academy and should be congratulated. CW asks that the Chief be prepared for the start of school, specifically traffic safety with school buses. Board thanks the Chief for his report.
  • BF speaks about the town bathrooms and notes that the 2 people who were supposed to clean the bathrooms on weekends aren’t able to do the work and that he is doing the weekend cleaning. BF asks if he can receive the adopted pay for the cleaning which he would give to a charity cause. Board has no problem with him doing so although CW recommends that BF check with the Ethics Commission to make sure doing so is all right.
  • CW asks that follow up be made with Charter/Spectrum government relations contact Anna Lucey to have her attend a Board meeting as soon as possible. The end of 2018 deadline to provide high speed cable to all W.S. residents as previously promised is fast approaching.
  • BF talks about the granite curbing downtown at the corner of Main and Lenox Roads. BF acknowledges the shaving of the sharp edge by the Highway Department but notes that cars are still blowing tires and that more ideas are needed to address the situation. CW recounts all efforts made by him over the past 2 years which have had little effect in preventing cars from hitting the curb. CW is opposed to leveling off the curbing because doing so would defeat their intent of separating vehicles from pedestrians. It is decided that a more visual warning of the curbing might be helpful and a number of options are discussed including placing a bench in the area.
  • CW discusses a request from Historical Society to remove trees growing on the top of the stone retaining wall adjacent to the old town hall at the rear of the Card Lake Inn parking lot. The trees are on private property owned by the Masonic Lodge. The Lodge has granted permission to remove the trees. The trees are pushing the wall out and will eventually cause it to fail. Board approves the removal of the trees.
  • CW states that he has ordered to solar powered speed warning signs at approximately $3,000 each. He intends to place them in appropriate spots on Lenox Road and Main Street to help slow traffic down in those areas. If successful, additional signs could be placed in other problem speeding areas.
  • Resident Skip Johnson notes that he had recent success dealing with Charter/Spectrum in resolving a medical device/internet connection issue.
  • Resident Judy Eddy discusses her interest in applying for a joint grant with abutting communities to assist homeowners in reducing home energy costs. She also discusses the formation of a Town energy committee. She will meet with AA later this week to discuss particulars.
8:00 PM:        There being no additional business to come before the Board, PS makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

__________________________      __________________________      ________________________
Peter Skorput, Chair                          Curt Wilton                                       Bernie Fallon

Date: __________



 
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