November 13, 2018
6:00PM Open Meeting
In Attendance: Carol A. Francesconi, Robert S. Ciskowski
Press: iBerkshires, Berkshire Eagle
Board conducts the business session of the meeting by reviewing and approving weekly payroll and vendor warrants.
Carol opens the regular portion of the meeting.
Carol makes a motion to accept the Board’s November 6, 2018 meeting minutes. Robert seconds the motion. A unanimous vote was taken. An Addendum will be included regarding the discussion taken at 6pm about Town Administrator candidates at the November 6, 2018 meeting.
The selection of a Town Administrator candidate discussion continued. Robert read a letter of resignation stating that he was willing to vote for resident and candidate, Ed St. John IV, but would not be remaining on the Board of Selectmen. He felt there was "too much of a generational difference" and a philosophical difference on his part to be able to work cohesively. Additionally, he felt pressure to hire Ed St. John thus partly the reason for his letter. When Robert questioned Carol if she would vote for the candidate Robert preferred, she voiced, "No" and stated her reasons. Robert did not submit his letter of resignation to Town Clerk, at this time, and both agreed to further discuss options for the position. Carol suggested an Interim Town Administrator or possibly have Mark continue on until a new hiring procedure could take place. Fortunately, Mark is flexible and timelines were discussed for advertising and the May election when new two new Selectmen will be elected.
The discussion will continue on Tuesday, November 23rd.
Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Weekly Activity Log submitted for: 11/7/18-11/13/18.
- Pothole patching of Fisher Hill Road, Stafford Hill Road, West Mountain Road, Stewart White Road, and Jenks Road.
- Fountain wrapping to be completed this week.
- Town docks will be taken out on 11/14/18.
- West Mountain Road to close on 11/15/18 at 8am.
- Snow expected 11/15/18.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber
- Received a description of desired uses of the Cheshire School from individuals interested in leasing sections of the school.
- Registered the antique fire truck.
- Blair handled an apparent vehicle damage claim caused by a pothole by informing the person that the Town follows Mass General Law which states that the Town is not responsible for personal property; we'd be responsible for limited personal injury only.
- Scheduled Blair to oversee the boiler inspection on 11/15/18 at the Cheshire School.
- Regarding Medicare eligibility to two (2) town employees (one current/one retired) hired prior to 1986. Findings will be reported to the BOS next week.
- Spoke to Kathy Stevens at DOT District 1 regarding the reimbursement process for the money we paid to the BRPC for the Complete Streets application. A grant was received for the planning phase and this expense is fully covered under that program. However, it is administered under the State's Chapter 90 program so the reimbursement is essentially the same. Blair will need to complete the package and submit it to the District 1 office in Lenox for processing and reimbursement.
- A response was received from Attorney Christopher Jee of the Attorney General's office regarding Pine Valley's new lease calling for surcharging for occupancy beyond two (2) per unit. Although the Attorney General's office wrote and published the "Guide to Manufactured Housing Community Law," they stated "your question goes outside the bounds of manufactured housing community laws". Attorney Jee recommended contacting our Town Counsel.
Cheshire Police Chief, Tim Garner
- Thanked Blair for personally moving the election equipment and to the road crew who picked up the political signs.
- The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place on Sunday, December 2, 2018.
- Met with Berkshire Body on 11/12/18 to observe the cafeteria area size. The resident would like to utilize the area for an exercise business starting in January 2019 and if acceptable would be willing to pay 25% of the earnings. The BOS will check with Gerry Garner before signing a Lease. The decision is On Hold.
Talks regarding the hiring of a Town Administrator continued with Carol voicing the possibility of having an Interim person until there is a full BOS in May. Perhaps working with their own choice would be ideal. The advertising could take place in the beginning of March with interviews happening in April noting that the May election would take place on May 6, 2019.
- Robert felt the new Selectmen may be overwhelmed or may come in with their own Agenda.
- Mark suggested starting fresh. He recommended re-advertising and possibly holding a Special Election. Carol and Robert will be taking this week to think over the best manner in which to proceed. This discussion will continue on Tuesday, November 20, 2018.
Mail and Correspondence:
With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:45pm; seconded by Robert.
A unanimous vote was taken.
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
Carol A. Francesconi, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk