PRESENT: Chairman Hathaway, Councilor Michaels, Councilor Friedman and Councilor Kelly, Councilor Cheney arrived at 7:02
L. Powers, M. Azevedo, and P. Metcalf from the Fire Department, Interim Chief M. Leonard, Town Manager B. Reed, CEO A. Thomas, Deputy Clerk J. Reed, Richard May of Prudential. P. Robertson and T. Jellison from the Public.
ITEM 1. The September 24, 2001 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 7:00 PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of minutes: Motion: Councilor Michaels to accept September 10, 2001 minutes as written. Councilor Friedman asked that the minutes be amended--Item 11 motion to adjourn--5-0 should have read vote 4-0 in favor. Seconded: Councilor Friedman, Vote 4-0-1
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda: There were not any additions made to the agenda. Councilor Friedman asked for a moment of silence for the victims of the September 11, 2001 tragedy and for the passing of Shawn Walsh.
ITEM 4a. Public Comments: P. Robertson asked if she could ask a question to the newest councilors Councilor Cheney and Councilor Michaels. She asked them how they felt about term limits. Councilor Cheney stated that she was against term limits for the Town because the Town is run very efficient with the dedication of the council. Councilor Michaels stated that he was against term limits in general.
P. Robertson asked how a citizen would go about addressing term limits on the ballot for the citizens of Veazie to decide. Chairman Hathaway stated the process was in the Town Charter.
Chairman Hathaway addressed P. Robinson in reference to her question. He stated that he took her question as a personal attack--to consider term limits because it is so hard to find people to participate on the boards.
Councilor Friedman stated that if the people are not happy then people running for office should work harder and knock on a few more doors.
P. Robertson apologized to Chairman Hathaway and stated that she did not mean it as a personal attack.
ITEM 5a. AED Grant Presentation: Richard May of Prudential explained what the Helping Hearts Program is and what the program does. He formally presented $1,000 to the Veazie Fire Department to use towards the purchase of a defibrillator. Prudential has awarded 4.5 million to volunteer fire departments nation wide for defibrillators.
Councilor Cheney stated that as a nurse she is very happy to see the Town having possession of a defibrillator but she would like to see CPR classes offered because without CPR to keep the blood circulating until the defibrillator arrives the chances of survival are decreased.
Lt. Powers outlined that the Town had scheduled classes but the people who signed up backed out.
Chairman Hathaway asked where this placed the Town in relation to area towns with fire departments. M. Azevedo stated that the Town was way ahead of area towns and that all fire and police personnel will be trained to use them. The Council agreed that the Town should be proactive in recruiting people to take a CPR class.
Councilor Cheney asked how many licensed EMS personnel the Fire Department has. Lt. Powers stated that there are 10 certified EMT personnel and 1 first responder.
ITEM 6A. Police Department: Manager Reed introduced Mark Leonard as the interim Chief of Police. M. Leonard gave a brief career history. Chairman Hathaway stated that he had spent some time with Chief Leonard and expressed that the department is on track with community policing. The department has evolved over the past few years and encouraged the other Councilors to spend sometime with him.
Councilor Friedman stated that he very proud to support him as the interim Police Chief and is confident having had known M. Leonard through his career. He stated the Town is very fortunate.
ITEM 6B. Comprehensive Plan Review: A. Thomas explained the status of the plan review. He explained that there has no been much feed back on the plan.
October 1st is the next Public Hearing. Manager Reed stated that the goal is to hold a workshop for the Council in the middle of October.
Additionally, Manager Reed stated that PVCOG has not sent any comments to date but he will continue to follow-up on the comment file for Veazie. In general, the Planning Board is looking for a list of concerns so that they can be addressed. Protection of the agricultural aspect of the Town is the number 1 focus. The Conservation Commission will come up with a list of what people believe has value.
Chairman Hathaway asked if after the hearing stage if the town can rally to get neighborhoods involved in the process because every time a development issue arises there seems to be controversy. He stated that citizens should be notified to get people involved.
Councilor Michaels stated that the Town should use the Television station. He asked if there were films available that would explain the purpose of the plan. Councilor Michaels stated that the TV station would be a great way to communicate with the community. With such complex issues as comprehensive planning the Town needs to find a way to convey to the citizens in a format that they will understand with illustration examples.
Councilor Friedman agreed that notices should be sent but also thought that personal visits would get people involved. When the developers start to develop the taxpayers are going to get upset and blame the Council for making the decisions.
Chairman Hathaway asked what could the Council do to reach out to the community to get citizens involved in the vision for the community. A. Thomas stated that by circulating the planner s pictures, citizens could see an actual plan. Manager Reed stated that pictures could cause a problem because of the issues that arose around the changes that were made to Eagleview Drive.
It was pointed out that the standards have been improved throughout the years. The drainage issue was discussed and it was agreed that the standards have gotten better over the years.
There was discussion of the value of land in town.
Manager Reed stated that he would talk with J. Parker if some of the planning maps his company produced could be used to illustrate a what if scenarios.
Chairman Hathaway asked what the next step would be and when to schedule a meeting to discuss the issues at hand.
The estimated timeline is mid October to receive comments or approval from the state. Then the document is presented to the Planning Board for revision and approval at the beginning of November. Finally, it will be presented to the Council for adoption. Manger Reed will come up with a better time line after the Planning Board s Public Hearing on October 1, 2001.
ITEM 7. Manager s Report:
a. Community Development Progress letter was discussed.
b. Manager Reed reported on the amount of property taxes collected thus far.
c. Discussed the Duke tax payment
d. Manager Reed told the council that Guyla Downing had resigned as Deputy Tax Collector and Deputy Treasurer. He stated that Julie Reed would be appointed to the position in October. He stated that it is appropriate because she has a four-year degree and is familiar with the office.
He also stated that there would be a new account structure that will reflect GASB.
ITEM 8. Requests for Information/Council Comments: Councilor Friedman asked about the status of the Senior Housing Program. Manager Reed explained that the wording of the credit enhancement agreement was still being worked on to insure that a payment is received and that it is equitable to taxpayers. He had hoped that this issue would be resolved and Penquis CAP would be present at this meeting but should be at the next meeting.
A. Thomas stated that the asbestos has been taken care of and the engineers have been working and the design has been progressing.
Councilor Michaels stated that the Town should look into taking advantage of the low prime rate if possible for Town projects.
Manager Reed explained how the bond would work if the Town were to take on this project. It would not affect the long-term.
ITEM 9. Warrants: Town Warrant 7, Town Payroll Warrant 7, School Warrant 6, School Payroll Warrant 6, and School Lunch Warrant 6, were circulated and signed.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Cheney--to adjourn September 24, 2001, Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Kelly, there was no further discussion. Voted 5-0 Meeting adjourned at 8:45.
Julie D. S. Reed
Deputy Town Clerk