Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
March 4, 2010
Members Present: Rob Browne, Lauchlin Titus, and Phil Haines
Others Present: Mary Sabins, Paul Mitnik, Kevin Levasseur, Mary Grow, Dick Phippen, Mike Vashon, Cathy St. Pierre, Jean Poulin, Lori Fowle & Family, Bernie & Jody Welch, Bruce Flaherty, Jonathan Blumberg, Howard Morang, Doug Phillips (7:25), Amy Nutting, Dianne Graham, Sarah Sugden, Ryan Stinneford (7:30), and several other members of the public.
- Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Browne at 7:00 p.m.
- Spirit of America Award – Chairman Browne presented the Spirit of America Award to former School Committee Member Lori Fowle in recognition of her many years of volunteerism and service on the School Committee. A meeting recess was taken so that the members of the public who had gathered could greet Lori and enjoy some refreshments.
The regular meeting of the Selectmen reconvened at 7:15 p.m.
- Minutes – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the 2/4/10 meeting as written.
- New Business –
a) Jonathan Blumberg property – Code Officer Paul Mitnik distributed photos and informed the Selectmen that he had received complaints several months ago about junk being stored on the Blumberg property. CEO Mitnik investigated the complaints and issued a notice of violation to Mr. Blumberg for having a junkyard without a permit. In conjunction with the junkyard permit, Mr. Blumberg would be required to screen the junk from view of his neighbors and the public. Mr. Blumberg failed to meet the deadlines CEO Mitnik had set to require Mr. Blumberg to apply for the junkyard permit and CEO Mitnik is now seeking permission from the Selectmen to pursue legal action in the court system against Mr. Blumberg. Mr. Blumberg voiced his opposition to the process and defended his right to possess the items in his yard, stating they were part of his agricultural business work. He stated he couldn’t comply with the CEO’s requirements to clean up the yard because the items were frozen into the ground. He proposed a three month hiatus so that he could get his work done. He stated that by the time he gets his work done which includes using many of the items on his property, the items will no longer be an issue. After lengthy discussion and on a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to give Jonathan Blumberg until June 1, 2010 to clean up his property and if the property is not cleaned up by then to the Code Officer’s satisfaction, the Code Officer has the Selectmen’s permission to proceed to take court action. Mr. Blumberg asked if covering the items with a tarp was acceptable to which Mr. Mitnik stated that a tarp doesn’t meet the requirements of the law.
b) Shoreland Zoning Ordinance amendments – CEO Mitnik requested the Board’s signatures to certify the list of residents that he had mailed a notice to concerning the proposed Shoreland Zone Ordinance Amendments.
c) Planning Board member Doug Phillips informed the Board of a decision that the Planning Board had made at a meeting earlier in the week to give a developer an extension on his subdivision permit to create substantial development on the subdivision road. Our Subdivision Ordinance states that subdivision permits will become void if substantial progress on development is not obtained within five years of issuance. Both Doug and CEO Mitnik voiced their concerns whether the Planning Board had the authority to offer an extension, since the ordinance is silent on this matter. Doug stated that the Planning Board did request a performance guarantee of the developer and required him to come back for the April meeting for final approval on the extension. The developer offered an escrow account. Selectman Haines questioned if substantial progress may have been achieved if the developer produces an escrow account. Paul Mitnik has contacted the town attorney for his written opinion on the whole matter.
d) Assessing proposals – Sabins explained that she had consulted with the legal staff at MMA regarding the Request for Proposal Specifications used to solicit proposals for assessing services. She explained that because the specifications did not specify upon what criteria the proposals would be evaluated, the MMA attorney recommended that the Selectmen reject all bids. Sabins recommended that same action to the Board and requested permission to attempt once again to negotiate a price for continuance of services from the current contractor. On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to reject all bids and to authorize the Manager to attempt to negotiate a price with the current contractor.
e) Energy grant – Selectman Titus explained the energy grant that he recently applied for and won on behalf of the town. He explained that because the grant was awarded later than expected, we are already behind in the schedule of events named in the grant application. The Board needs to establish an energy committee who will look at town properties and develop a plan. Lauchlin named several residents that he had spoken with about serving on the committee. After discussion and on a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the energy grant and to move forward with implementation.
f) Mowing bid specifications – The specifications were briefly discussed. A suggestion was made to add a sentence that would preserve the Selectmen’s right to negotiate with the successful bidder for early mowing of the ball fields in case of an early spring.
g) Recreation director – Chairman Browne stated that he has talked with a few people about the vacant recreation director position. He recommends Nicole Wasilewski for the appointment. On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to appoint Nicole Wasilewski as the Recreation Director until 6/30/10 upon which time her appointment will be renewed for another year.
h) Public Safety letter – A letter has been received from Cliff Wells, Director of the Consolidated Emergency Communications Bureau. He stated that four vacancies on the Communications Policy Board exist and he is seeking volunteers to serve on the Board. The town police chief and fire chief have been asked but neither has time to serve. Resident Bob Williams was suggested as a possible candidate, but where he is an employee of that office, questions were raised if he would be eligible to serve.
- Reports - a) Status report – Sabins reviewed the two items on the status report and provided updated information on the Leo Barnett case. Leo has failed in his attempt to petition the Court to reopen the second case the town just won against him so he can submit new evidence. b) Road report – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Road Report as presented. c) Police report – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L .Titus, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Police Report as presented. d) Financial report – Sabins reviewed the financial reports with the Board.
- Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #54 and #55.
- Other – 1. Sabins reported that she had been approached by a representative from a cell phone tower company. They were seeking to lease town land at the school to erect a tower. The Selectmen agreed they would be willing to listen to the representative’s presentation at a future meeting. 2. Sabins distributed a list of tax accounts that were not paid by the tax lien foreclosure deadline. One taxpayer paid on the day of foreclosure (March 4th). Because the wording of the foreclosure notice was not clear that the taxpayer needed to pay prior to the foreclosure date, the Board voted unanimously on a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, to accept the payment a day late and to issue a quitclaim deed at the next meeting. 3. A March 23rd meeting announcement from KVCOG to receive input for proposed changes to the Rt. #201 corridor was read. 4. Sabins offered to make copies of a local Economic Report for the Board. P. Haines expressed interest in reading the document, so the original was handed to him.
- Executive session – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously at 8:55 p.m. to enter into an executive session with Howard Morang to discuss a personnel matter pursuant to 1 MRSA, Section 405, Subsection 6(A). The Board returned to open session at 9:15 p.m. and took no further action.
- Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 3/18/10 with the following amendments: None.