May 7, 2019
6:00PM Open Meeting
Present: Robert S. Ciskowski, Chairman; Mark Biagini, Clerk; and Jason Levesque as the Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds.
Board conducts the business session of the meeting by reviewing and approving weekly payroll and vendor warrants.
Robert opens the regular portion of the meeting.
Robert motioned to approve the minutes of April 30, 2019; seconded by Mark with a unanimous vote taken.
Robert opened the meeting by welcoming Jason Levesque and Mark Biagini as Cheshire Selectmen which were voted in on Monday, May 6, 2019. Selectmen Biagini will serve for three (3) years and Selectmen Levesque will serve for one (1) year.
Mark motioned to have Robert as the Cheshire Board of Selectmen, Chairman; 2nd by Jason.
Robert motioned to have Mark as the BOS Clerk; 2nd by Jason.
Robert motioned to have Jason as the Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds; 2nd by Mark.
A unanimous vote was taken.
Town Administrator, Ed St. John IV, requested to put the Executive Session meeting minutes of Tuesday, April 30, 2019 on hold until Town Counsel has time to review them.
A presentation was given by Superintendent Vosburgh and Erika Snyder regarding a decrease in assessment for Cheshire from the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District. The Foundation assessment is made up of two (2) parts: Minimum Local Contribution and Over Minimum Contribution.
“A Minimum local contribution number is calculated by the Department of Education
- Minimum Local – The amount each town is required to contribute towards education for the schools to which it belongs – based on each town’s ability to pay
- Ability to Pay – based on the town’s municipal wealth –aggregate property values and aggregate personal income
- The percent share of minimum local to the towns has historically been 65% for Adams and 35% for Cheshire”
Adams was under assessed by $107K and Cheshire was over assessed by $107K.
“Towns accept the additional appropriation – adjustments are made to correct the assessment figures – Cheshire receives a reduction to their 4th quarter assessment in the amount of $124,892 and Adams engages in a payment plan for the $53,517 owed.”
- Robert questioned if a decision had to be made this evening.
- Ed saw the benefit of moving forward and was ok with OPTION 1.
- Mark felt comfortable if there were to be no cuts at the school.
- Jason noted that Adams would not be having a negative impact as they would be using free cash.
Robert motioned to accept the proposal as submitted utilizing OPTION 1; 2nd by Jason with a unanimous vote taken.
Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane: Weekly report submitted for 5/1/19-5/7/19.
- Safety Chainsaw Training completed.
- Researching out of date lights for the cafeteria.
- Attended the Mass Highway Association meeting last week.
- Chapter 90 has not been signed as of last Thursday.
- Noted that the Asian Longhorn Beetle eradication was discussed at the meeting. Mass Department of Agriculture recommends reporting insects that you find that are unfamiliar.
- Discussed the deterioration of the ball field at the school and the lack of no one managing it.
- Met with Mike Kruszyna and Mark Warner regarding the status of “old” West Mountain Road and the placement of a fence with gates across the old roads right of way. Additional time is needed to research facts before issuing his report to the board.
- Issued driveway permit for Sand Mill Road.
Town Administrator, Ed St. John IV: Weekly report submitted for May 7, 2019.
- Ed congratulated the new Selectmen and noted the new location of the meeting. (Cheshire Community Center.) Typically BOS meetings are held in the Town Clerk’s room. Space has become an issue and future meetings will be held at the Cheshire Community Center on School Street.
- On-going discussions with the Adams Cheshire Regional School District regarding their revised budget. Ed has made revisions to the FY 2020 budget and will provide copies to the BOS.
- Time spent on preparing for the 2019 Cheshire Annual Town Meeting.
- Holding informal meetings on May 23, 2019 to review the budget and May 30th to review warrant items. Time: 7PM. Location: Cheshire Community Center.
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: At Town Hall
Mail and Correspondence:
- Robert read letters from Linda and John Bianchi offering to be on the Council on Aging as Alternate Members. The BOS will discuss further on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. Robert thanked Linda Bianchi for the offer and they will be advised as soon as possible.
- Wanted to discuss the possibility of changing the Memorial Day Parade route to downtown.
- Had mixed feelings and felt a consensus of residents was needed before making a change.
- Has received suggestions from residents, thus the new concept.
- Before making a change, more time is needed to review the options.
Cheshire Police Chief, Tim Garner: Submitted the Weekly Police Report.
Robert wanted to continue by making appointments. However, Mark felt it should wait for the two (2) new Selectmen to be elected. Robert explained that that was not a good idea and waiting would not be acceptable according to Mass General Law.
Robert motioned to go through the list and recommended that appointments be made; 2nd by Jason with Mark abstaining.
Robert motioned to accept the appointments as listed with the exception of the Fence Viewer and the Representative Arts Lottery Council/North Berkshire Arts Council as they have openings: 2nd by Jason.
A unanimous vote was taken.
Cheshire Council on Aging Barbara Proper 2022
Anna Farnam 2022
Margaret Gwozdz 2022
Chief of Police Timothy Garner
Sergeant Michael Alibozek
Officers David Tarjick
Special Detail Officers Alison Warner
Town Administrator/Chief Procurement Officer/
BRTA Representative Edmund R. St. John, IV
Selectmen’s Secretary Administrative Assistant to the
Town Administrator/Planning Board and Zoning Board
Of Appeals Secretary Carole A. Hilderbrand
Superintendent of Streets/Tree Warden/Measurer of
Wood and Bark/Inspector of Ditches Blair Crane
Emergency Management Committee
Treasurer Rebecca Herzog
Accountant Lynne Lemanski
Building Commissioner/ADA Coordinator/
Zoning Enforcement Officer Gerald Garner
Local Building Inspector Mark Kruzel
Inspector of Wiring George Sweet
Assistant Wiring Inspector Leslie Rhinemiller
Inspector of Gas/Plumbing Bruce LaPerle
Assistant Inspector of Gas/Plumbing John Burzimati
Emergency Management Coordinator Corey Swistak
Harbormaster Blair Crane
Emergency Management Coordinator Corey Swistak
Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator Fred Balawender
Animal Control Officer/Animal Inspector Myron Proper
Keeper of the Pound Everett Martin
Director of Veteran’s Services/Veteran Burial Agent Stephen Roy
Right to Know coordinator Richard Francesconi
Farm Commission Eric Whitney 2022
Joseph Wrenn 2022
Greylock Advisory Board Gary Trudeau
Recreation Committee Robin Poirot
Delegate to the Northern Berkshire Solid Waste
Management Program Richard Salvi
Rent Control Board Robert S. Ciskowski
Memorial Day Parade Robert S. Ciskowski
Conservation Commission Robert S. Ciskowski
Emergency Management Committee Robert S. Ciskowski
Edmund R. St. John, IV
Historical Commission Diane Hitter 2022
Robert Hitter 2022
Board of Registrar of Voters Gary Herzog 2022
Election Official Alison Warner
Assistant Election Official Ronald Lancia
Fire Chief Thomas Francesconi
Zoning Board of Appeals Thomas Zappula
Alternate Zoning Member Robert Balawender
Master Plan Implementation Committee Peter Traub
Complete Street Committee Edmund R. St. John, IV
School Use Committee Mary Ellen Baker
- Offered the opportunity of time for each Selectman to address issues or concerns.
- Questioned the process for a Citizen’s Petition such as the one submitted by Justin Kruszyna andreturned for submission to the Town Clerk first. Ed will schedule the petition to be on next week’s Agenda. The petition is in regarding to outdoor marijuana cultivation.
- Requested a copy of the school budget.
A discussion took place regarding the time frame for holding a special election for increasing the three (3) Selectmen to five (5) Selectmen. Ed will speak with Town Clerk to agree upon a date. Robert put the topic under advisement until May 14, 2019.
Comments from the audience on the Cheshire Community Center’s space were positive. Robert also announced that plans were in the works for televising the proceedings.
With all business finalized, Robert motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:00PM; 2nd by Mark with a unanimous vote taken.
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
Robert S. Ciskowski, Chairman
Jason Levesque, Clerk
Mark Biagini, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds