November 20, 2018
6:00PM Open Meeting
In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi
Press: iBerkshires and The Berkshire Eagle
Board conducts the business session of the meeting by reviewing and approving weekly payroll and vendor warrants.
6:30PM Carol opens the regular portion of the meeting. Carol read the minutes and made a motion to accept the Board’s November 13, 2018 meeting minutes. The date for a continuous conversation regarding the hiring of a Town Administrator should have read Tuesday, November 20th. Robert seconds the motion. A unanimous vote was taken.
Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane: (Arrived about 7PM-road patrol)
- 22.5 hours of overtime.
- Snow plowing and salting – 8:30am to midnight- subcontractor called in.
- Snow plowing and salting (4am – 3:30pm.)
- Snow plowing and salting (4am start) no subcontractor.
- Changed rear tires on BRTA van to winter set.
- Fountain wrapping scheduled next week – Vinnie Bruso.
- Winter sand available to residents at town garage.
- Safety Inspection Report received and submitted to the BOS.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber
- By taking advantage of the County Bid Consortium, we paid $2.53/gallon for heating oil. Today’s average among seven (7) county oil dealers is $2.90/gallon.
- DEP oil spill notification at O’Connell’s on November 17, 2018.
- Responded to a public records request from the Berkshire Eagle seeking all documents over the past three (3) years related to any Town settlements.
- FYI. The Town of Cheshire is responsible for tires for the van.
Note: A letter will be written to Water Department member, Mr. Donald Rueger, regarding attendance.
Cheshire Community Center, Peter Traub:
- Submitted a copy of programs and events for the Council on Aging at the Community Center.
- Spoke with EDM regarding a Cheshire Elementary School Code Review. Due to the inspection previously completed, it may be possible that the cost may be $2K for a code review. EDM will report back to Carol with a firm cost analysis.
Resident, Charmaine Paquette:
- Ms. Paquette Voiced her opinions regarding recent statements made by Selectmen Robert Ciskowski regarding the interviewing process and in particular to the age discrimination comments towards candidate, Ed St. John III. She said, “It is disgusting – it is age discriminatory- it is against the law and St. John III should sue the Town. You should resign” The heated discussion continued with Selectmen Ciskowski saying he felt he (St. John) did not have the experience necessary and questioned Ms. Paquette if she wanted anything else from him. In an effort to end the disparaging comments, Carol Francesconi thanked Ms. Paquette and ended the confrontation.
- Reported water on the gym floor at the Cheshire School.
Cheshire Police Chief, Tim Garner
- Weekly report submitted.
- No issues or concerns.
Mail and Correspondence:
- Appreciation Letter received from Leslie (Holmes) LaPlante for his daughter, Jodi Drury’s use of Cheshire Elementary School for children from the NA Armory.
- MassDOT. Bridge Inspection Reports for: Sand Mill Road/Dry Brook (C-10-002 (03G) Sand Mill Road/Dry Brook C-10-003 (03H) and Notch Road/South Brook C-10-016 (03L)
- DEP RTN 1-20720 Gasoline Release/O’Connell Oil Associates, Inc.
- Opened the Town Administration opening by: “I would motion to appoint Dan Delorey as Interim Administrator . If we hold a Special Election in February, people will have to run again in May. By appointing Dan an advertisement for a Town Administrator could take place at the end of March. Then, the new BOS could make the hiring decision.
- Understands that he is a longtime Selectmen, but felt, “The Selectmen are part of the problem.”
“Let’s look outside of town – the town could use a new perspective. We would be better off.”
- “It is for five (5) months and the Selectmen have not done a horrific job. By appointing Dan Delorey the Town Administrator position could wait until the next election. He knows the employee characters, he knows the budget, and learning would be at a minimum.”
Town Administrator’s Discussion:
- “Not sure.” He said,” There is a steep learning curve and wanted to narrow it down to one (1) person.”
- Suggested Dan.
- Typically, an interim is for a short time and “Holds down” what’s happening. Mark was willing to stay on for a few months. Carol said, “No, an agreement was made for him to retire and that should be respected.”
- “A candidate pulled out. Robert said Carol’s “Wait and See” attitude was taken.”
- My understanding was that we both agreed on a “Wait and See” attitude.
- You said, “Motion to have Dan Delorey as the Interim Town Administrator for five (5) month. “I do not second that motion.”
- “What is your recommendation?”
- “To make a motion to offer Tom Spiro the job.”
- Carol gave reasons why she would not vote yes.
- Robert said, “Then offer the job to the other candidate, Ms. Carr.
- Carol offered her reasons why her vote was a “No.”
- “We are going nowhere.”
- “I offered two (2) motions.”
- “So, you are saying I am obstructing the procedure?”
-`Well, you were the one with the “Wait and see what happens” attitude.
- “We both agreed on the “Wait and see what happens” you did not motion a Special Election.”
- Things aren’t going to change. In the minutes there aren’t many motions and votes.
- Do you want a Special Election?
- “Too late for it now. In the past we got along without a Town Administrator.” He wanted another person besides Dan Delorey.
Town Clerk, Christine B. Emerson:
- Offered a compromise. “Dan Delorey was a good Selectmen – he is an excellent figure man – he can get us through to May – he is a perfect fit – everyone knows him – and he could hit the ground running. This compromise could work.”
- “Have nothing else to say.”
- “Are you saying to go without a Town Administrator until the election in may?”
- Not comfortable with the one (1) person Carol motioned for. “What other options are there?” “He would be comfortable with Town Accountant, Lynn Lemanski.” He felt she had the skills, personality, and knows all employees and is well respected.
- Due to the ethics, she may not be able to do both. Mark will have to check.
- Happened to be standing in the doorway and when asked if interested, she responded that she had not had time to consider the position. She said, “ She could continue to work.” Mark noted he would not be in Cheshire.
-Questioned Blair regarding Lakeshore Drive grading. Blair was unable to get there with the grader due to rain. What was done is better and acceptable to area residents. Robert suggested purchasing a new grader but realized the costs and recommended researching used equipment. Robert said, “We have many other pressing issues, but wanted to make Blair aware of his thoughts.”
- Carol said, “Thought all along we needed a grader.”
- “It may cost six (6) figures and you may still have to put a lot of money into it. He needs to find research and report back to the BOS.
With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:25pm; seconded by Robert.
A unanimous vote was taken.
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
Carol A. Francesconi, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk