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Council Minutes May 15, 2006
PRESENT:        Chairman Friedman, Councilor Hathaway, Councilor Cheney, Councilor Champaco and Councilor Perkins; Manager W. Reed; Deputy Clerk K. Humphrey; Assessor A. Thomas, Office Administrator J. Reed, Police Chief M. Leonard, Fire Chief G. Martin, Assistant Fire Chief C. Tenney, Parks & Recreation Director L. Janicki, Public Works Superintendent B. Free, Budget Committee Members J. Perkins, J. Manter, B. Hogan, S. Hart, School Committee Members K. Dagher, J. Hathaway, G. Batchelder, S. Therbarge, D. Hayman, Superintendent K. Clenchy, Principal S. Nichols; Members of the Public Frank St. Louis, Ryan Collins, John Simpson and  Thomas Mooney.

ITEM 1. The May 15, 2006 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 7:01PM.
        
ITEM 2. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By:  Councilor Cheney—to accept the May 1, 2006 minutes as written.  Seconded: Councilor Hathaway, Voted 5-0 in favor.

Chairman Friedman stated that John Simpson, a Republican primary candidate for legislature, was present to speak briefly to the Council and the public.  

John Simpson outlined that he was there to find out what issues Veazie has.  He also gave a brief overview of his background.  He outlined that he has spent the last 18 years creating jobs and would like to continue doing so.  placeStateMaine is also a state of small business and that is another reason he decided to run for office.  The Town Council thanked him for attending the Council meeting.  

A plaque was presented to Budget Committee Member Bill Hogan by Councilor Cheney for the Council’s appreciation of his service to the Town as a Councilor.  Chairman Friedman stated that Budget Committee member Bill Hogan had previously served on the Council and wanted to continue his service to the Town so he rejoined the Budget Committee.  

Chairman Friedman noted that the next Council meeting falls on Memorial Day and proposed moving it to Tuesday, June 13th at 7:00 p.m. before the Town Meeting.  It was the consensus of the Council to do so.    

ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda
No additions were made to the agenda.

ITEM 4a.        Public Hearing – Budget Committee’s Recommended FY 2006-2007 Budget
Motion By:  Councilor Cheney—to move into a public hearing session in order to receive public comments on the proposed Fiscal Year 2006-2007 municipal, school and capital budgets.  Seconded By:  Councilor Hathaway, Voted 5-0 in favor.

Member of the Public, Frank St. Louis, stated that he had a few questions regarding the Town Charter and the enforcement of the Town Charter.  He felt that there was a conflict of interest with a Councilor voting on the school budget when their spouse was employed at the school.  He also noted that a Councilor ran for office and was elected, however, that Councilor should have waited one to five years before running for office again due to another conflict.

Chairman Friedman noted that the public hearing was to receive comments on the budget not to address these kinds of issues and he referred Mr. St. Louis to the Town Manager.

Budget Committee Member Suzanne Hart gave an outline of the budget process.  The committee met more frequently than in the past few years.  In doing so, the committee met quarterly to meet with department heads to discuss how the year was going, including unexpected expenditures, problems and if they were keeping to their budget.  It helped a great deal because it allowed the committee to be updated throughout the year instead of just at the end of the year.  The way the budgets were presented was also helpful because they were presented in narrative form.  Budget Committee Member Suzanne Hart stated that the committee did come to a recommendation to endorse the budget as presented.  She outlined that the budget looks very much like last years, there is a small increase and the reasons for the increase are understandable.  There will be an increase in taxes by about 3% which the committee felt was a fair reflection of the increased costs to run the Town.

Councilor Cheney stated that she appreciated the efforts of the committee to bring about a budget that the Town will hopefully be satisfied with.  It also reflects the determination that department heads and the school have to keep increases down.

Councilor Hathaway inquired whether the committee had any thoughts on the process and what made it better this year.

Budget Committee Member Joan Perkins outlined that it was a combination of things including continued conversation, starting the process earlier and the fact that increases were smaller this year.  

Chairman Friedman stated that people had outlined to him that they were glad that the Budget Committee played a bigger role in the budget process this year.

Motion By:  Councilor Hathaway—to close the public hearing and return to regular session.  Seconded:  Councilor Cheney, Voted 5-0 in favor.

Motion By:  Councilor Perkins—to accept the budget as recommended by the Budget Committee.  Seconded:  Councilor Champaco, Voted 5-0 in favor.

ITEM 4b.        Town Meeting Warrant
Councilor Champaco inquired on the interest rate in Article 10 of the Town Warrant.  Manager Reed outlined that the State sends the Town a little post card with the recommended interest rate.  To ensure good revenue, the Town should go with the recommended rate from the State.  Councilor Champaco stated that she felt it was too high.  She outlined that the Town has a good collection rate with little outstanding debt and that the high interest rate would cause more of a hardship for those who do not pay their taxes in a timely manner.  

Councilor Hathaway stated that he thought it was unfair to the people that pay their taxes on time to keep the rate low.  He outlined that it wasn’t like the Town was turning its back on them, however the Town needs to discourage people from using the Town as a bank.  

Councilor Champaco stated that in Article 12, the interest rate was a large increase.  Manager Reed outlined that if you  use the State recommended rate you cannot go below the recommended number.    
  
Motion By:  Councilor Cheney—to approve the Town Warrant with the exception of Article 10.  Seconded:  Councilor Perkins, Voted 5-0 in favor.  

The Town Council then discussed the proposed Article 10.

Motion By:  Councilor Cheney—to accept Article 10 of the Town Warrant.  Seconded:  Councilor Perkins, Voted 4-1 in favor.  Councilor Champaco voted opposed.

Chairman Friedman allowed Thomas Mooney to speak briefly.  He is the Republican primary candidate running for State Representative.

Mr. Mooney outlined that he spent part of his childhood and part of his adulthood in Veazie.  He has worked in social services, in the executive branch of government with three different governors, public safety and conservation.  He is also proud of establishing a state network for emergency foster care. Currently he is a realtor.    
          
ITEM 4c.        Planning Board Appointments
Code Enforcement Officer Allan Thomas stated that due to the large subdivision he wanted to make sure that all re-appointments were in order.

Motion By:  Councilor Cheney—to appoint Christopher Cronan and Suzanne Malis-Andersen to the Planning Board for a term of three years expiring June 30, 2009.  Seconded:  Councilor Hathaway, Voted 5-0 in favor.

Motion By:  Councilor Perkins—to appoint Tirrell Studley and Harold Pinkham to the Planning Board for a term of two years expiring June 30, 2008.  Seconded:  Councilor Cheney, Voted 5-0 in favor.

Motion By:  Councilor Hathaway—to appoint David Wardrop and Kent Tableman as Associate Planning Board Members for a term of one year expiring June 30, 2007.  Seconded: Councilor Champaco, Voted 5-0 in favor.

ITEM 6.         Comments from the Public (taken out of order)
There were no comments from the Public
 
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report (taken out of order)
a.      Manager Reed outlined that the Police Chief had been bitten by a dog and the Police Cruiser had been taken out of service because of an incident with a deer.
b.      The Council reviewed a copy of an update on the TABOR issue.  It now looks as if it will be on the ballot this November.
c.      The Council reviewed a copy of a memo from MMA pertaining to changes in property tax.  The bill to eliminate future business equipment personal property tax passed in the past month, but it is projected to have limited impact on Veazie.
d.      The Council reviewed a copy of an update on the LS Power/ Duke Energy sale.
e.      The Council reviewed a copy of the Fire Department’s monthly report.
f.      The Council reviewed a copy of a thank you note sent to Julie Reed.

ITEM 8. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments (taken out of order)
There were no requests for information or Council comments.

ITEM 9. Town Warrant 23 & 23A, Town Payroll 23, School Warrant 23, School Lunch Warrant 23 and School Payroll 23 were circulated and signed.

ITEM 5a.        Manager’s Review
Motion By:  Councilor Cheney—to go into executive session under 1 M.R.S.A. Section 405—6-A for annual personnel evaluation.  Seconded:  Councilor Perkins, Voted 5-0 in favor.

Motion By:  Councilor Perkins—to return to regular session:  Seconded:  Councilor Cheney, Voted 5-0 in favor.

Motion By:  Councilor Champaco—to extend the Town Manager’s contract by one additional year changing its current expiration to 2009, three years.  Seconded:  Councilor Cheney, Voted 5-0 in favor.

Motion By:  Councilor Champaco—to increase the Town Manager’s salary by 2% based on his positive evaluation.  Seconded:  Councilor Perkins, Voted 5-0 in favor.

Councilor Hathaway asked if they would have to fund any liabilities for the contract.  Manager Reed outlined that currently the Town has established a sick time/paid leave account for all Town employees’ liabilities.  It was noted that both the School Superintendent and Principal have multi-year contracts.

ITEM 10.        Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Cheney —to adjourn the May 15, 2006 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Perkins —there was no further discussion. Voted 5-0.  Meeting adjourned at 9:04 p.m.


A true record, Attest:


Karen Humphrey
Deputy Clerk
Town of CityplaceVeazie


 

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