July 25, 2017
In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi and Ed St. John IV
Carol motioned to accept the minutes of July 18, 2017 as submitted; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
COA, Anna Farnam and Peter Traub:
- Ms. Farnam updated the BOS on the status of Elsie Zaleski, who recently resigned from the COA. She has personally spoken to Ms. Zaleski regarding the handling of the resignation and assures the BOS that she is assisting in the lunch programs when available. Carol stated she had been in the hospital and was unable to do things. It was especially discouraging as it was the Council on Aging and it was not handled appropriately.
- Requested an update on the status of their complaint regarding a town employee. She felt there was retaliation after the Annual Town Meeting by the individual. Due to confidentiality, and the M.G.L. regarding Executive Sessions, until the situation is resolved it cannot be discussed publicly. In fact, due to it being a personnel concern it may not become public knowledge.
Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Received a thank you card from a resident of Wells Road regarding the recent blacktopping.
- Pot holes continue to be patched depending on the weather.
- Cleaned garage due to inclement weather.
- Roadside mowing.
- Mowed Town properties.
- Road grading.
- Street Scan has been completed on all roads in Cheshire.
- Crack and sealing will take place under Chapter 90.
- Submitted Petition: “We, the undersigned registered voters of the Town of Cheshire, petition the Town of Cheshire to place the following question on the election ballot Shall the Town adopt the provisions of MGL Chapter 40, Section 6C, which allows the Town to remove snow and ice from private roads with its limits and open to the public use? The Petition had 220 signatures. Ed motioned to approve; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Conversed with Dr. Putnam today and was told a draft lease proposal to the BOS will be presented next Tuesday.
- MIIA, issued a new round of loss control grant funding. Application deadline is November 2. Mark asked our agent for recommendations for facility maintenance programs and assessments. The Cheshire School appears to be the ideal candidate for a grant.
- Unfortunately, grant awards for the CDBG grant were announced and Cheshire was not awarded. More scoring information will be available next week. Identifying our application's shortcomings will assist in trying again next year.
- Compiling a spreadsheet of employee/town contribution rates on health insurance. A recent survey included about 64 communities.
- Plumbing problem with the Annex toilet. Calling Pat Klammer as the valve needs replacement.
- Reminded the BOS that a discussion needs to take place regarding the Kitchen Brook dam removal project. Mark would like the meeting to include the Water Commissioners and suggested meeting next week.
Cheshire Police Chief, Timothy Garner: Report submitted.
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: Reported a sizeable hole in the roof by the Library. Francis Waterman will be asked for a recommendation to resolve the issue.
Resident, Eileen Quinn:
- Reported on her involvement in the Appalachian Trail Community initiative; a group working towards community education and awareness of the Trail through Cheshire. It is a year process and the other towns involved are Great Barrington, Dalton, North Adams, and Cheshire, MA. The towns have to apply; there is no cost; and it will be good town recognition and a help to businesses and hikers. There will be an event planned for 2019.
- Questioned if there had been any changes regarding the status of the falling down house by the light intersection in town? Unfortunately, the property is privately owned and should the town take over ownership, the costs for demolition are extremely expensive. Also questioned what is happening with the Welcome to Cheshire sign. Noted was the building of posts but no sign.
The Town’s Lions Club is in charge of the project and it should be completed shortly.
Mail and Correspondence:
- Certificate of Liability Insurance for the Cheshire Cheese Festival for July 29, 2017.
- Letter from Karyn E. Polito, Lieutenant Governor, to Ed. St. John a congratulation letter on his election to the post of Cheshire Selectmen.
- Letter of Interest from Gene Gebarowski, Jr. for a position on the Cheshire Council on Aging.
One day liquor license granted to Jeremy McLain/Kelly’s Liquor for the Cheshire Cheese Festival. No charge.
Carol motioned to appoint Gene Gebarowski, Jr. to the Cheshire Council on Aging; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
Carol stated that after the Executive Session, the BOS would not return to the 6:30pm Open Meeting.
Cheshire Planning Board, Donna Defino, Chairman:
- Reported that Dean Smith will be submitting an Application for a Special Permit to go before the Cheshire Planning Board at their next meeting on Monday, August 28, 2017 – 7pm at the Cheshire
Community Center. To date, the application has not been received.
- Donna updated the BOS on the changes occurring daily from the State regarding marijuana. A Moratorium cannot be place on the State fall ballot. Research will be needed to see how to handle it placed on local ballots.
8:00PM Carol motioned to go into Executive Session: 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
"To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the government's bargaining or litigating position. Also, to conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with non-union personnel; to actually conduct collective bargaining and contract negotiations with non-union personnel.
Roll Call: Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; and Ed St. John, IV; Yes.
Carol motioned to have an Executive Session for Tuesday, August 1, 2017 "To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the governent's bargaining or litigating position. Also, to conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with non-union personnel; to actually conduct collective bargaining and contract negotiations with non-union personnel. Additionally, “To consider the purchase, exchange, taking, lease, or value of real property if such discussion may have a detrimental effect on the negotiating position of the governmental body.”
Carol motioned to close the Open Meeting; and not to return to the 6:30pm Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken at 8:00PM
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
Robert S. Ciskowski, Chairman
Carol A. Francesconi, Clerk
Ed St. John IV, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds