Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
February 27, 2014
Members Present: Rob Browne, Lauchlin Titus, and Phil Haines
Others Present: Mary Sabins, seven Erskine Academy Students, and Investment Advisor Matt Weaver.
1. Call to order – Before the meeting officially was called to order and while awaiting the arrival of the Chairman, Selectman Haines addressed the student attendees and provided a condensed lesson of Vassalboro Town Government and how it functions. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Titus at 7:02 p.m.
2. Minutes – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the minutes of the 1/30/14 meeting as written.
3. Investment policy – Investment Advisor Matt Weaver of First Advisors distributed handouts and provided an update on the town’s portfolio performance. At calendar year end 12/31/13, the return on investment was 4.83%. He described how some investments had underperformed, while others had exceeded expectations, resulting in a positive return that his firm was very pleased with overall. The annual investment policy was reviewed and after discussion for Matt’s clarification, and on a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to renew the policy as written.
4. Audit bid award – Sabins explained that six responses had been received to her request for proposals for auditing services. The low bidder was Smith & Associates of Yarmouth, ME at a price of $6,500 for each of the next three fiscal year audits. Sabins stated that she and the town’s bookkeeper Jean Poulin, had conducted a telephone interview with the firm’s auditors and was pleased with the discussion. Sabins had also made a reference call to the Town Manager and Finance Director in Raymond who has also used this firm recently and for a long term with very satisfactory results. Based on Sabins’ recommendation, and on a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to award the audit bid to Smith & Associates.
5. Court-ordered judgment payments – Chairman Titus gave the students a brief summary of the history on this agenda item by explain that the Town had won a court case against Jon Blumberg for having too much junk on his property. In addition to a fine of $800, he was required to reimburse the town over $8,900 for legal fees. Mr. Blumberg has paid all that is owed except the interest that accrued on the past due balance, which he refuses to pay. The Selectmen deliberated whether to hire to town attorney to pursue it, or to forgive the debt. After considerable deliberation, and on a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to direct the Town Manager to write a letter to Mr. Blumberg to indicate the Board’s reluctance to forgive the remaining debt, to indicate to him that the debt will continue to accrue interest, and that the Board expects him to take care of it.
6. Budget discussion – This item was moved by the Chairman to be the last item on the agenda because of the length of time needed to discuss the item. Chairman Titus wanted the students to witness the remaining agenda items before they needed to leave the meeting, but the students were welcomed to stay for the budget discussion as their time schedule permitted.
7. Reports – An explanation was given to the students that the following activity reports are provided by the respective town officials to keep the Selectmen apprised. a. Road Report - On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. b. Police Report - On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. c. Financial Report - On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented.
8. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #43 and #44.
9. Other – 1. It was noted that a letter had been received from the Governor and each Selectman had a copy at their place setting. 2. Sabins gave a brief update on the progress being made with the TIF attorney on preparing the TIF agreement that will be presented at town meeting. Chairman Titus gave an explanation to the students about Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) agreements and how they can benefit the town.
10. Budget discussion – The Board reviewed the proposed 2014-15 budget again that was presented during the work session held on Feb. 24th, and made revisions. Sabins will incorporate the revisions into a new version of the budget spreadsheet that will be distributed to the Budget Committee Members for discussion next week.
11. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.
These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 3/13/14 with the following amendments: None.