PRESENT: Chairman Friedman, Councilor Perkins, Councilor Olson, Councilor Parker and Councilor King, Town Manager J. Hayes, Deputy Clerk K. Morin, Office Administrator J. Reed, Police Chief M. Leonard, Members of the Public.
ITEM 1. The February 15, 2012 Veazie Town Council meeting was called to order at 4:47PM.
ITEM 2. Roll Call
Councilor Olson, Councilor King, Chairman Friedman, Councilor Perkins and Councilor Parker were all present.
ITEM 3. Pledge of Allegiance
This item was passed over.
ITEM 4. Set Timeline for RSU Withdrawal Election
Manager Hayes outlined that a public hearing needs to be held before the proposed March 27th election. His recommended date is March 12th.
Deputy Clerk Morin explained to the Council that before they can sign a warrant they need to make a recommendation on the appropriation of money in the warrant article. Both their recommendation as well as the Budget Committee’s recommendation is required to be printed on the warrant article as well as the ballot.
Councilor Perkins wanted to clarify that if they choose not to recommend, the vote still goes forward. Manager Hayes stated that was correct.
Councilor Olson clarified that because of this petition the election has to be held. The Council is just debating whether or not to recommend the funds for it. Theoretically if the Council does not recommend it, the election goes forward and if it passes the Town is still responsible for the $50,000. Manager Hayes stated that she was correct.
There was discussion on being the last one left in the RSU. It was outlined that the Town is ‘treading in uncharted waters.’
Member of the public Patrick Joyce inquired whether anyone has appealed to the legislature on this. Councilor Parker outlined that there was no way out of an RSU until the last legislative session. Councilor Parker stated that he and RSU Director Travis Noyes met with Representative McFarland who sits on the education committee and she too voiced her frustration with the process.
Councilor Parker recommended that the Council appropriate the $50,000 as stated in the petition. His reason is that if it doesn’t pass on the 27th the money goes back to the undesignated fund, if it does pass, the Council has set the tone and stood behind its citizens who are requesting it and showed them some support. Chairman Friedman wondered about the other seven hundred households that didn’t sign the petition.
Councilor Olson outlined that since the Budget Committee didn’t make a recommendation that if the Council did not as well they might not unfairly influence the public as it might if it says ‘yeah we’ve got the money so go ahead and vote yes’. She outlined that she was not for ‘not recommending’ it either as it would unfairly influence was well.
Chairman Friedman stated that in looking at the balance of the undesignated fund in his opinion they do not have the money.
Councilor Perkins stated that he was in agreement with Councilor Olson. The Town is going to have to come up with the funds anyway if the citizens do vote to move forward, he did not wish to biased the voters either.
Motion By: Councilor Parker—to recommend the Town Council approve the appropriation of $50,000 from the undesignated fund balance for the citizen’s withdrawal petition from RSU 26. There was no second. Motion fails.
Motion By: Councilor Olson—that the Council makes no recommendation on the $50,000 appropriation. Seconded: Councilor Perkins. Councilor Perkins outlined that he personally wants to remain neutral and not bias the public one way or another. Councilor Olson stated that she is fully in favor of having the election at the earliest date possible which is March 27th and leaving this in the hands of the citizens. It was a citizens initiative and she is happy to let the citizens make their unbiased decision. Voted 4-1 in favor. Councilor Parker voted against.
ITEM 5. Signing of Town Warrant for RSU Withdrawal Election
The Town Council signed the Town Warrant.
ITEM 6. Adjournment: Motion: Perkins—to adjourn the February 15, 2012 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Parker There was no further discussion. Voted 5-0. Meeting adjourned 5:11pm.
A true record, Attest:
Town of Veazie