PRESENT: Chairman Friedman, Councilor Hogan, Councilor Perkins, Councilor Cheney, and Councilor Champaco; Town Manager B. Reed, Assistant Clerk J. Raye, Office Manager J. Reed, Police Chief M. Leonard, Assistant Fire Chief C. Tenney, and Firefighter N. Sirois
ITEM 1. The May 2, 2005 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 7:00PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of minutes: Motion By: Councilor Hogan —to accept the April 25, 2005 minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Cheney. There was no more discussion. Voted 4-0-1 in favor.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda: There were no additions to the agenda.
ITEM 4a. Website Report
Manager Reed reviewed charts and graphs about how Augusta’s website receives about the same number of hits as Veazie’s website. He also noted that a representative from Virtual Town Hall has said that Veazie has one of the highest use rates for a municipality of its size. The Manager also noted that most of the hits are for the Recreation and School Calendars.
ITEM 4b. Interment Fees Proposal
Manager Reed stated that Public Works Superintendent Free enclosed a memo requesting an increase of Interment Fees. Towns surrounding Veazie have higher fees and Superintendent Free would like to be competitive.
Chairman Friedman noted that some of the planned improvements should be made to the Town cemetery before the cost of burial increases. There were suggestions that perhaps the fee could be raised, but not as drastically as proposed. It was agreed that there should be a comparison done with Towns of similar population. Manager Reed and the Chairman suggested that this topic be tabled until a future date.
ITEM 5. Old Business
a. Audit Report
Manager Reed noted that this year’s audit is about twice as long as last year’s audit due to the new Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) requirements and standards. The new rules delineate the Total Assets and Total Liabilities of the Town. He also pointed out that there are thirteen (13) new schedules that give great detail about the Town’s accounting funds. GASB was accepted by the Town several years ago following the accounting gimmicks at large corporations such as Enron and County governments on the west coast. The cost of annual audit has thus increased two-fold, however. It was noted that there are many checks and balances and the Town is very accountable, which is important.
Chairman Friedman suggested that the Auditor, Charemon Willey, come to a meeting to explain the beginning of the audit report in greater detail at a future meeting.
b. Collective Bargaining Agreement
Manager Reed noted the Councilors should have a copy of the Bargaining Agreement in their packets. The Manager reported that the contract process went very well and many of the standards requested by the Council were met. The Town’s attorney and Manager Reed suggested that the Council make a motion to approve and ratify the contract. The Council then reviewed a memo submitted by the Town attorney.
Councilor Cheney made a motion to resolve TO RATIFY THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE TOWN OF VEAZIE AND THE ORONO FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION FOR THE PERIOD OF JULY 1, 2005 THROUGH JUNE 30, 2008.
WHEREAS the Town of Veazie and the Orono Firefighters Association, International Association of Firefighters, Local 3106, AFL-CIO-CLC have been negotiating an initial collective bargaining agreement for the period of July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2008;
WHEREAS said negotiations have recently been completed, resulting in a comprehensive collective bargaining agreement;
WHEREAS negotiators for both parties have recommended that this collective bargaining agreement be ratified by their respective constituencies;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Veazie Town Council hereby ratifies this collective bargaining agreement and authorizes the Town Manager and the Town Attorney, as its chief negotiator, to execute the agreement on behalf of the Town of Veazie and that this resolution, together with a copy of the ratified agreement, be entered into the minutes of the Town Council. May 2, 2005
Seconded: Councilor Perkins. There was no further discussion. Voted 5-0.
c. Executive Session (Manager’s Review)
At 7:35p.m. Chairman Friedman made a motion to move into executive session under 1 MRSA section 405 – 6 – A for annual personnel evaluation. Seconded: Councilor Hogan. Voted 5-0.
At 8:50p.m. Councilor Hogan made a motion to move out of Executive Session. Seconded: Councilor Champaco. Voted 5-0.
Councilor Cheney made a recommendation to the Council to award Manager Reed a 2% raise and an extension of his wage contract, now set to expire in 2008. Seconded: Councilor Hogan. Voted 4-1.
ITEM 6. Public Comments:
There were no comments from the public.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report:
Manager Reed notified the Council of the Senior Dinner to be held Wednesday, June 1 at 6:00p.m. If the weather is nice, it will be a Bar-B-Q type dinner and if the weather is bad, it will be a spaghetti dinner. Manager Reed noted that Police Chief Mark Leonard will be the chef for the event and would appreciate any other volunteers.
Manager Reed noted that the current Newsletter was on the tables in front of the Councilors. He commented that the informational insert is the first of two to be put in the upcoming newsletters.
a. Manager Reed briefed the enclosure about Chase Road. The MDOT review detailed that there will not be a need for an on- or off-ramp built on Chase Road for several more years.
b. Manager Reed noted that because of the new tax overhaul proposals (enclosed) he has been down in Augusta. He also mentioned that of the current LDs on the status list, most of the bills are dying because of the attached fiscal notes that would effect appropriations.
c. Manager Reed noted the enclosed memo about his invitation to speak at the Universities Council of Water Resources Conference this summer in Portland.
d. Manager Reed informed the Council of the memo that Police Chief Mark Leonard provided noting that the Chief has been nominated to be Sergeant at Arms. Chief Leonard noted that being nominated as the Sergeant at Arms means that he would be the President of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association if elected.
Councilor Perkins requested information from Manager Reed about a newspaper ad that mentioned Greystone Trailer Park is for sale.
Councilor Champaco requested information about this year’s Spring Clean-Up. Manager Reed informed the Council that Public Works is in the process of doing leaves and brush clean-up, but the process was delayed because of the wet weather. Other than that, however, Veazie will not take anything else for Clean-Up—items must be taken to specific disposal sites. The Town is, however, offering use of the dumpster behind the Municipal Building for people with hardships or disabilities.
ITEM 8. Requests for Information/Council Comments
ITEM 9. Warrants: Town Warrant 22, Town Payroll Warrant 22, School Warrant 22,
School Lunch Warrant 22, and School Payroll Warrant 22 were circulated and signed.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Cheney —to adjourn the April 25, 2005 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Hogan —there was no further discussion. Voted 5-0. Meeting adjourned at 9:15p.m.