PRESENT: Chairman Friedman, Councilor Olson, Councilor Perkins, Councilor King, Councilor Parker, Office Administrator J. Reed, Acting Town Clerk K. Morin, Police Chief M. Leonard, Public Works Superintendent B. Stoyell, Members of the Public.
ITEM 1. The September 19, 2011 Veazie Town Council meeting was called to order at 5:30PM.
Chairman Friedman stated that he would like to add an Item 1a – Update on Assessor. He would also like to add an Item 3a to take care of some additional appointments and an Item 3b to discuss advertising of the RSU board opening.
ITEM 1a. Update with Ben Birch
Chairman Friedman stated that he had met with former Manager Reed and Assessor Ben Birch last Thursday to discuss a few things. He outlined that Mr. Birch would like to come to around the second week of October to talk with the Council about possibly dividing the town into neighborhoods, notifying the neighborhoods that assessing staff will be working to bring tax cards up to date. Chairman Friedman outlined that the Town has around 887 tax cards and they all have to be brought up to date before a revaluation can be done.
ITEM 2. Appointment of Fair Hearing Authority for General Assistance
Town Attorney Thomas Russell outlined that a general assistance application had been received and denied and now there is an appeal. He outlined that the Council can designate one of themselves or someone else to be the Fair Hearing Authority.
Motion By: Chairman Friedman—to appoint Chief Mark Leonard to temporarily fill the position of Fair Hearing Authority. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 3. Town Manager Position - Discussion
Chairman Friedman stated at the Town Attorney had suggested looking at another town manager, a retired one perhaps to help fill in working 2-3 days a week until a permanent town manager is found. Some names that came to mind were Terry St. Peter, Sue Lessard and Larry Varisco. Chairman Friedman stated he called Larry Varisco and he was interested.
Councilor Perkins stated that he liked the idea of having someone in the office for continuity and for citizens and employees to look to for answers. Councilor Parker stated that he would like to sit down and talk with perspective people before just hiring them. He also added that the Council hasn’t even talked about pay for the person. Chairman Friedman stated that he would think they would be compensated at an hourly wage on former Manager Reed’s rate.
Motion By: Councilor Perkins—that the Council ask Chairman Friedman to enter into negotiations with Larry Varisco to be appointed on a part-time basis as the Town’s interim town manager as needed at the Town Council’s discretion. Seconded: Councilor King, Voted 4-1 in favor.
There was discussion on the length of time it may take to have a new manager in place. Chairman Friedman felt it would be around 6-8 weeks. There was also discussion on possible firms that could help with the process including Municipal Resources Inc. and Eaton Peabody. Chairman Friedman stated that he felt the Council could do the interviewing and go through the process. He also suggested having department heads come in and give their input as well.
ITEM 3a. Appointments
Motion By: Councilor Perkins—to appoint Chief Mark Leonard as temporary acting safety officer. Seconded: Councilor Olson, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Motion By: Councilor King—to appoint Chief Mark Leonard as temporary acting NIMS officer. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Motion By: Councilor King—to appoint Julie Reed as temporary acting CDBG administrator. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Motion By: Councilor King—to appoint Brian Stoyell as temporary acting road commissioner. Seconded: Councilor Olson, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Town Attorney Russell outlined that he had the final details on the manager’s separation from employment and they should discuss it in executive session.
There was discussion on changing the next Council meeting to Tuesday or Wednesday but no decision was made.
ITEM 3b. RSU Board of Directors Opening
There was a consensus to have acting Town Clerk Karen Morin advertise the opening on the website and government channel.
ITEM 3c. Executive Session – Manager’s Separation from Employment
Motion By: Councilor Friedman—to discuss the ensuing contract with the former manager. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Motion By: Councilor King—to close the executive session and resume regular session. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 4. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor King—to adjourn the September 19, 2011 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Perkins—there was no further discussion. Voted 5-0. Meeting adjourned 6:05 pm.
A true record, Attest:
Acting Town Clerk
Town of Veazie