October 3, 2017
In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi and Ed St. John IV
Robert motioned to accept the minutes of September 26, 2017 as corrected; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.
Superintendent, Robert Putnam offered an update on the enrollment numbers in the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District. As of October preliminary enrollment numbers are 98 lower students or 1,318 to 1,220. Forty six students moved out of the area. Thirty-five selected school choice after the closing of the Cheshire elementary school. Thirty of these students were from Cheshire. His presentation showed that Grade six decreased 10 with a small increase number for Eighth grade. Ninth grade had 41 students enrolling at the McCann Technical Vocational High School. Thirteen students enrolled at the BART School (Berkshire Arts & Technology Public Charter School in Adams.)
- Dr. Putnam's future goal for the district is to become a stellar school with the offering of a "Coding Program" which would allow the district's students to be on the forefront of new technology along side of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math programming. Thus, attracting new enrollments in the district and a Level 1 standing with the State.
- Carol questioned the policy for sports and information regarding concussions.
- Discussion closed at 6:50PM.
Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Crack sealing continues.
- Roadside mowing.
- Elementary school maintenance; mowing and weed removal.
- Road grading on Richmond Hill and Stafford Hill.
- Mowing Stafford Hill and the boat launch.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Developing a survey of County towns and their offerings of health insurance to elected officials.
- Spoke with MIIA agent on the question of occasional part time employees - such as the fill-ins at the Transfer Station. He noted that they do not qualify as vendors and need to be placed on the payroll system and treated as employees.
- Questioned the BOS decision on marijuana moratoria. Per M.G.L. Ch 4-A Section 5, either the Planning Board or the Selectmen can initiate the process. The Selectmen, by regular meeting vote, may refer zoning bylaw amendment language to the Planning Board and that starts the clock for the Planning Board to hold public hearings.
- Inquired if the BOS wanted to drain the pipes at the school building of the old section.
- Connected with Nadine Kennedy, representation from AFSCM. A meeting has been scheduled for:
October 17, 2017 at 9AM to enter into good faith negotiations on a union agreement for the Cheshire Highway Department employees.
- Cheshire Planning Board Chairman, Donna DeFino, discussed the issue of marijuana and accepted the ruling of the BOS in going forward. Carol wanted to vote on having the Cheshire Planning Board proceed with a Moratorium for the town now. However, Ed voiced that since it was not on the BOS Agenda a vote could not take place this evening. Carol withdrew her motion
Residents Barbara and Paul Baran of Outlook Avenue:
- The family received a verbal notice of complaint from the Cheshire Zoning Enforcement Officer regarding logs on their property. Mr. Baran stated that the logs are for heating his home and shop, and for making maple syrup. He noted that he is not running a logging business but is fortunate in having a friend in the wood business that drops off logs on his property. He has been doing this for 10 to 12 years and feels he knows which neighbor made the complaint. Due to the location it is possible that the property is in a Agriculture zone. However, if in a residential zone, the Cheshire Bylaws clearly define the ruling of what can and cannot take place. Mr. Baran will first seek a map from the assessors and will abide on whatever the determination is by the Zoning Enforcement Officer, not the BOS. The BOS, is this instance, did not give an opinion, but advised working with the Enforcement Officer to resolve the issue. Ed said it may then go to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
- Advised Ed to follow up on roof repairs for the Cheshire Town Hall.
Resident, Peter Traub:
- Peter talked about the Implementation list of goals to meet for each department. Robert mentioned that the BOS has been influenced by the list and is going forward in making different changes.
Board of Health, Rick Salvi, Jeff Warner, and Mike Biagini:
- Carol reported that she, Rick and Jeff covered the Transfer Station attendance on Saturday, 29, 2017. On the recommendation of the Board of Health, Carol motioned to appoint Gene Pierce and Peter LeFebve as fill-ins at the Cheshire Transfer Station; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
- It was reported that the Highway Superintendent prefers having portable bathrooms rather than anyone besides the highway department employees using the buildings facility. This will be discussed further.
7:00PM Selectmen’s Workshop:
- Reviewing town employee health survey prepared by Mark.
- Discussed if Pine Valley Mobile Home Park has been in contact with town counsel.
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:
- Discussed the need for having a monthly calendar of events.
Police Chief, Timothy Garner: Submitted weekly report.
Mail and Correspondence:
- Invitation for Inaugural Presentation in honor of the 225th Anniversary of the Town of Cheshire to present the Cheshire Senior Cane to Juliette Campbell. Monday, October 9th, 2017 at 46 Mallard Cove at 11am.
- Approval for Chapter 90 Project Request using funds available from Contract No. 50762. (John Deere 624 Loader.)
- The author of Jefferson’s Cheshire Cheese, Kristen H. Scholz-Demeo, approached the BOS questioning the Cheshire website’s promotion of another author’s book on the cheese press and not hers. The BOS will speak to the IT person to resolve the concern. The BOS advised Ms. Demeo that the site is not a venue for promotion for personal gain.
Note: Mark recommended to the BOS that Carole H. be allowed to sign one day liquor licenses for the Wandering Star Brewing Co., LLC operating at the Whitney’s Farm Stand on various weekends until October 31, 2017. A unanimous vote was taken to approve.
With all business finalized, Carol motioned to close the Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken at 8:40PM.
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