December 4, 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 read the minutes and made a motion to accept the Board’s November 27, 2018 meeting minutes. Robert seconds the motion. A unanimous vote was taken.
Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Snow plowing and salting. Continue to work on repairs, potholes, patching, drainage, shoulders, and ditching.
- Transmission software issue with International Truck #4. Possible sensor issue. Truck is at Delureys.
- Will be enclosing water main at school this week to keep from freezing.
- Winter sand available to residents at town garage.
- Reported vendor delivery truck hit high tension wires on Monday, December 3, 2018. No injuries and minor damage to the truck. Robert said, “It affected a lot of people and it could have been fatal." Blair wrote down the facts of the incident and spoke to the owner. Robert questioned if signage might deter from this happening again. Blair stated that the driver is an experienced driver and has had this delivery stop for ten (10) years with no issue(s). Robert requested Blair to be proactive in thinking this through with plans for no recurrences.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Spoke with Mark Cappadona at Colonial Power, the Town's residential electric aggregator. A recent mailing was out to new National Grid customers in Cheshire. It is a marketing move to entice residents to take advantage of Colonial's fixed kW cost of 10.4 cents versus National Grid's current rate of 13.7 cents.
- Responded to a public records request seeking Town costs associated with processing union dues. Becky dedicates about ten (10) minutes a month towards processing union dues.
- Blair will be at the annual boiler inspection at Cheshire School tomorrow 12/5/18.
- Inquiry from the Youth Center asking if we had commissioned an architectural study and if the Town is interested in leasing a space to them. Carol read a letter/estimate from edm and the Code Evaluation costs. The BOS signed an agreement to move forward.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber: continued
- The Financial Commission will meet with the BOS on December 11.
- A draft agreement will be forthcoming from the Town's solar pilot negotiator regarding the Whitney solar project.
- Mark contacted the three (3) candidate's regarding their level of interest in the Town Administrator position. All three (3) remain interested.
- FYI: As of the end of November 2018, there have been 22 license application submittals to the Cannabis Control Commission from Berkshire County; more than any other county other than Worcester County. Of those 22 submittals, 8 have received provisional licenses; 7 from Pittsfield and 1 from Great Barrington. The remaining 14 have submitted their application packages but have not yet received either final or provisional licenses. Of those remaining 14, 5 are from Pittsfield; 1 from Williamstown; 1 from Lee; 1 from Adams; 1 from Lanesborough and 5 from Sheffield.
- Receive notification from the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority (BRTA) regarding a limited fixed route service provided during the transit strike. Additional information will be posted on BRTA website.
- Reported that a cover will be installed on the Cheshire Elementary School roof heating section which will assist in supplying heat to the office section.
- edm Architecture, Engineering, and Management will conduct the Code Evaluation for the Cheshire Elementary School at a cost of $2,400 with one (1) to two (2) weeks for completion once the agreement is signed and received. Both BOS members agreed that it was important to move forward and the agreement was signed.
Cheshire Police Chief, Tim Garner
- Weekly report submitted.
- No issues or concerns.
Mail and Correspondence:
- Charter Communications check for $2,726.90 remittance covering the period from July 1, 2018 to September 30, 2018.
- Department of Housing & Community Development. Professional Services Contract for Program Delivery & General Administration: Approved.
The hiring of a Town Administrator continued discussion:
- Robert asked Carol who she preferred for the opening of Town Administrator. Carol stated: "They are coming in at a hard time as far as the budget and I think we need someone that has some idea of the town and our needs. Someone who is familiar with the people in the organization. That is why I still support Ed."
- Robert stated: "I still like the experience of Tom Spiro but I think I am going to defer to your thinking on this."
- Carol motioned to hire Ed St. John, IV as the Town of Cheshire Town Administrator; 2nd by Robert S. Ciskowski. A unanimous vote was taken. There will be a four (4) month probation period. After that time, a one (1) year agreement can be signed and then a three (3) year agreement. After the four month probation period, the new board will have the authority over the position.
- An Executive Session was scheduled for Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 7:30PM to: "To Conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with non-union personnel or to conduct collective bargaining sessions or contract negotiations with non-union personnel."
- There will be a review two (2) or three (3) weeks before the end of the four (4) months. (January 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019.) New BOS members would be responsible for the one (1) year agreement and thereafter.
- Mark will contact St. John to make arrangements to start on December 11th. For transitioning, Mark will stay until January 1, 2019.
Cheshire Board of Health:
- Chairman, Richard Salvi, recommended to the BOS Amber LaFogg Maxwell for the position of BoH secretary. Carol motioned to appoint Amber LaFogg Maxwell as the BoH secretary; 2nd by Robert. A unanimous vote was taken.
A letter was reviewed and edited by the BOS to John Barrett III, State Representative, stating:
"The Cheshire Board of Selectmen have presented to you a Home-Rule Petition that will increase the Board from 3 to 5 members. Two new members would be elected, in staggered terms, at a Special Town election occurring after passage of the Home-Rule Petition." Carol motioned to accept the letter as written; 2nd by Robert S. Ciskowski. A unanimous vote was taken.
With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:40pm; seconded by Robert.
A unanimous vote was taken.
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
Carol A. Francesconi, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk