PRESENT: Chairman Friedman, Councilor King, Councilor Perkins, Councilor Olson, Councilor Parker, Town Manager J. Hayes, Assistant Clerk A. Blethen, Police Chief M. Leonard, Public Works Director B. Stoyell, Members of the Public.
ITEM 1. The March 12, 2012 Veazie Town Council meeting was called to order at 7:00PM.
ITEM 2. Roll Call
Councilor Olson, Councilor King, Chairman Friedman, Councilor Perkins and Councilor Parker were all present.
ITEM 3. Pledge of Allegiance
ITEM 4. Consideration of the Agenda
Chairman Friedman requested to add an item 8a, Veazie Emergency Operations Plan to the Agenda.
ITEM 5. Approval of the February 27, 2012 Council Meeting Minutes
Motion by: Councilor Parker –to approve the February 27, 2012 meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Olson, Councilor King abstained, voted 4-0 in favor.
ITEM 6. Awards, Petitions and Public Comments
The Town acknowledged Mary Carmack who achieved Top Scores in AP Math and Science in the State and received the Siemens Foundation Award for Best and Brightest Student for 2012 and presented her with a certificate.
The Town acknowledged James Parker service of 34 years on the Orono-Veazie Water District as Trustee.
Helen Cheney, member of community and served Town Council for 7 years, addressed that she felt the Council had an agenda getting rid of Bill, but welcomes the new Town Manager. She stated that she is wondering what kind of money we are saving by having plowing down by Silvers and not Public Works. She submitted pictures of road damage in Veazie and stated, “Davis Drive is deplorable, and it’s ridiculous, awful.” “Butch Free would be ashamed.” She pointed out that “the cemetery is flooded on the corner near the road. The cemetery is lacking for care. Who does that if we don’t have Public Works?” Mrs. Cheney also expressed concern in paying $50,000 to get out of a consolidation that we worked so hard to get in and made the comment, “I also understand we are on a
payment plan for Bill Reed’s departure.”
Chairman Friedman addressed the concern about the roads by explaining the goals and plan for fixing the roads over the next 10 years including fixing the drainage problems and a survey done of the area by CES. He assured that there is a plan to work on all the roads. Chairman Friedman stated, “As far as the RSU I can’t talk about that.” He also explained that the cemetery had been talked about and is being looked into and that as for plowing we have saved money and are looking to save money and as far as the payment plan we are not addressing that and we are not on a payment plan.
Councilor Olson addressed that there was a Citizen’s Initiative where they petitioned to have a special election to determine whether or not we will for a committee and spend the $50,000. She clarified that voters would be able to vote on March 27th on whether or not they want to spend up to $50,000 to evaluate the logistics of pulling out of the RSU and it’s not a done deal.
Rob Young extended invitation to celebrate the presentation of Boston Post Cane to Margaret Van Aken as the oldest citizen of Veazie Tuesday night at 6:30 at the Senior Center.
ITEM 7. Public Hearing on RSU 26 Withdrawal Petition Request
Motion by: Councilor Perkins – to open a public hearing to discuss the petition to withdraw from RSU 26. Seconded: Councilor King, voted 5-0 in favor.
Member of the public Jim Parker informed that there is legislation going through this session that once you go through the first phase and enter into a vote to actually withdraw will require only a majority vote not a 2/3 vote, but that will have to equal ½ of the voters who voted in the last election.
Member of the public Helen Cheney stated that close contact with our school and committee is gone and certain people in the school system are disappointed in lack of control and strangers are running our school now. She stated for the record, “I am against consolidation and it never should have happened and I just think it’s ridiculous the amount of money and time that’s got to go into what we worked so hard to do which never should have took place in the first place.”
A member of the public stated that the community needs more information in newsletter about how much it would cost to stay in RSU as he doesn’t believe the community has enough information.
Member of the public Dave Wardrop stated that he feels that it’s in our best interest to move forward and gain more knowledge so we can receive actual numbers so we can make an educated decision on whether to withdraw or not.
Motion by: Councilor Perkins – to close public hearing. Seconded: Councilor Parker, voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 8. New Business
Motion by: Councilor Parker - to transfer 125000 from the Undesignated Fund to the Municipal Credit Reserve Account as Approved at the Annual Town Meeting to reduce property taxes. Seconded: Councilor King, vote 5-0 in favor.
Councilor Olson stated that she I curious as to why we have the policy that we can’t use fund from the Undesignated Fund account for property taxes when we are just transferring to the Credit Reserve account and work around it.
ITEM 8a. Emergency Operations Plan and Update
Chief Leonard reported that he has updated the Emergency Operations Plan as we have had staff and councilor changes since 2009. He has fixed a few grammatical errors, but there were no real changes, however as stated in the Plan it needs to be approved by the Council. Motion by: Councilor Perkins – to accept the addendums and changes to the Emergency Operations Plan. Second: Councilor Parker, voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 9. RSU 26 Financial Information
Manager Hayes discussed Financial Reports and breakdown between towns before and after consolidation and the amount of debt taken on since. Member of the public Dave Wardrop requested public access to any information regarding the RSU.
ITEM 10. Department Reports
1.) Animal Control Officers Report, injured cat and dog at large.
2.) Public Works Report, variety of activities over 3 weeks, by both employees.
ITEM 11. Manager’s Report
ITEM 12. Comments from the Public
Member of the public David Wardrop recognized Chief Leonard for his involvement with the burglary in the Buck Hill area and for doing an outstanding job with putting all at ease. Councilor Parker seconded that.
ITEM 13. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
Councilor Olson thanked Mr. Parker for his service with the Water District but expressed she would now like to see the Superintendent attend some meetings for insight and input.
Councilor Perkins requested to continue to acknowledge citizens. Rob Young invited anyone to contact Manager Hayes or himself with information on individuals to be recognized.
ITEM 14. Review and sign off Town Warrant and Payroll 19
ITEM 15. Executive Session pursuant to 1 MRSA 405 (6) D – Discussion of Labor Contracts – Fire Department
Motion by: Councilor Parker – to go into executive session pursuant to 1 MRSA 405 (6) D – Discussion of Labor Contracts for the Fire Department. Second: Councilor King, voted 5-0 in favor.
Motion by: Councilor Parker – to come out of executive session. Seconded: Councilor King, voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 16. Act to Authorize the Town Manager to sign an Agreement Concerning Labor Negotiations Ground Rules with the Fire Department’s Union
Motion by: Councilor Parker to authorize the town manager to sign an agreement concerning labor negotiations ground rules with the Fire Department’s Union. Seconded: Councilor Olson, vote 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 17. Adjournment
Motion by: Councilor Olson—to adjourn the March 12, 2012 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Perkins. There was no further discussion. Voted 5-0 in favor. Meeting adjourned 7:46pm.
A true record, Attest:
Town of Veazie