PRESENT: Chairman Champaco, Councilor Friedman, Councilor Hathaway, Councilor King and Councilor Perkins; Manager W. Reed; Deputy Clerk K. Humphrey; Office Administrator J. Reed, CEO A. Thomas and Police Chief M. Leonard.
ITEM 1. The January 22, 2007 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 07:00PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By: Councilor Friedman—to accept the January 8, 2007 meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 4-0-1 in favor. Councilor King abstained due to his absence.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda
Councilor Hathaway asked to add an item to discuss the Hammond Street Senior Center. This was added as item 5b.
ITEM 4a. Anti-Smoking Ordinance Discussion
Manager Reed outlined that Councilor Hathaway had emailed him and asked that this be put on the agenda to see if there was any interest in promoting the ordinance here in Veazie. A copy of Bangor’s ordinance was included in the Councilors’ packets.
Manager Reed stated that the ordinance prohibits smoking in the vehicle while there are children under the age of 18 in the car. He outlined that the Bangor Police Department enforces it and the Bangor attorney prosecutes it because the District Attorney does not prosecute municipal laws.
Police Chief Leonard outlined that his initial concern is the attorneys fees, however he does think it is a great idea for children’s health.
Councilor Friedman outlined that Bangor has an attorney on their staff, where as the Town of Veazie doesn’t. He does agree that it is the right thing to do, however will the Town recover the real cost of the attorney’s fees.
Police Chief Leonard stated that he thought that there would be lawyers that would be all over this ordinance to try it for case law.
Councilor Friedman stated that he would like to wait and see how things go in Bangor first, so the Council has something to compare it to.
Councilor Hathaway inquired whether the Town could make it just a warning with no fine. Manager Reed stated that he would have to ask the Town Attorney.
Councilor Perkins stated that this was a State issue and that this is something they should be addressing. He also gave an analogy that parents feed their children fast food and they are obese, diabetic and dead by the time they are forty.
Councilor King agreed with Councilor Friedman that he would like to see how things go in Bangor first. He also outlined that it didn’t make sense to have an ordinance if there was no fine.
Chairman Champaco outlined that she thought it was great that people are discussing the issue, however she didn’t really know if the ordinance would really help children due to it being more punitive than educational. She thought it would be great if the fines could be used for cessation programs rather than just prosecuting it.
The Council agreed to table the issue and see what happens in Bangor and at the State level.
ITEM 5a. Budget Discussion
Manager Reed stated that the Town is in good financial standing at this point in time. He outlined that there are no major concerns from any of the departmental budgets, however the Public Works Department has outlined that they ordered an additional 120 tons of salt which will drive that line item over budget. The department outlined that ice events have been salt intensive this year and it is projected that there will be more than usual ice events due to the projected winter patterns.
The Council also reviewed a copy of the Town’s investment portfolios. The Town’s investments are doing quite well and are ahead of projections. He outlined that the Town has been very fortunate that Bar Harbor Bank and Trust has been very flexible on the Town’s rate of return on the cash holdings. Because of this the Town has delayed major purchases of callable paper until it knows which way the Federal Reserve will be moving later this year.
ITEM 5b. Hammond Street Senior Center
Councilor Hathaway stated that he was approached by some of the Veazie seniors who participate at the regional senior center in Bangor and was wondering if the Town could make a token donation. He outlined that it is well attended, well run and offers educational classes, fitness classes and is a community gathering place for seniors. There was a question of how many Veazie residents participate.
Manager Reed stated that he knew it was well attended by Veazie seniors. He outlined that he has talked with Sandra Patterson and she outlined that the Veazie Seniors Club gets some complaints that there are a lot of Bangor residents there and vice versa with the Bangor group and Veazie residents. Manager Reed stated that a year or two ago the Bangor Senior Center had sent a letter with the number of Veazie residents that participate, however he could not remember the number.
Councilor Friedman stated that he would be willing to support a donation to the center.
Councilor Perkins inquired on how the center was supported now. Councilor Hathaway stated that the center gets funds from several places as well as personal donations. He outlined that it is overseen by the Couri Foundation.
Councilor Perkins inquired on how the Town supports its seniors. Manager Reed stated that the Town gives a donation each year to keep the facility going.
Manager Reed stated that he will look into getting the statistics on how many Veazie residents participate at the Hammond Street Senior Center.
ITEM 6. Comments from the Public
There were no comments from the public.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report
a. The Council reviewed a copy of a letter from Risk Manager Services at Maine Municipal Association regarding a safety grant that the Fire Department was awarded. Manager Reed added that the Fire Department was also awarded a $24,000 grant from FEMA for safety equipment.
b. The Council reviewed a copy of a memo from Superintendent Clenchy regarding the School Committee’s goals and long range planning.
c. The Council reviewed copies of letters of appreciation regarding the exemplary service that Detective Ralph Bridges provided on two occasions.
d. The Council reviewed a copy of a letter from Code Enforcement Officer Allan Thomas to a resident regarding a variance application.
e. The Council reviewed a copy of a thank you card from a resident to Chief Leonard.
ITEM 8. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
Councilor Hathaway noted that Manager Reed did not enclose a note from the Maine State Housing Authority about the award on the new Senior Housing unit. Manager Reed outlined that Penquis C.A.P. is looking to break ground this summer. He added that he will have Stephen Mooers come to a future meeting to give an update.
ITEM 9. Town Warrant 15, Town Payroll 14A & 15, School Warrant 15 and School Lunch Warrant 15 were circulated and signed.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Friedman—to adjourn the January 22, 2007 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Hathaway—there was no further discussion. Voted 5-0. Meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.
A true record, Attest:
Town of Veazie