Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
May 27, 2010
Members Present: Rob Browne, Lauchlin Titus, and Phil Haines
Others Present: Town Manager Mary Sabins, George Gould, David Jenney, a female Erskine student and her mother; a male Erskine student, Mary Grow, Richard Thompson, Lee Cummings, Lori Fowle and two Erskine Students, and Jonathan Blumberg (7:10).
- Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Browne at 6:59 p.m.
- Minutes – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the 5/13/10 meeting as amended. The amendments were as follows: Page 1: The Others Present section should include the name of Sue Linscott and change four unknown women to three unknown women. Page 2: Section B – Public Comment should say that the petition presented to Selectmen contained both resident and non-resident signatures.
Due to the fact that Jonathan Blumberg was not yet in attendance at the meeting, the agenda items were taken out of order.
- Town Meeting Moderator Richard Thompson came to the meeting to review Vassalboro town meeting protocols and for a brief discussion about the warrant articles. The Selectmen stated that there are no known controversial articles on the warrant this year. Chairman Browne stated that there will likely be several candidates running for state offices in attendance at the meeting and his uncle, Rep. William Browne, would like to introduce them to the public gathered at the meeting. No further action was taken.
- Tax acquired property (revisited) – Sabins explained that after decisions were made about a tax sale at the May 13th meeting, it was discovered that tax payments on the tax acquired property account were posted to three different tax years, which was not the usual protocol and it looked as though an error may have occurred. After investigation, it was discovered that the three partial payments were posted correctly and that the payments were payments on the taxes for the mobile home that was located on the property. Maine Law requires the taxes on mobile homes be paid in full before a certificate to move the trailer can be issued. The mobile home has since been removed from the property. Tonight’s discussion revolved around concerns that the minimum bid may have been set too low at the last meeting. Chairman Browne stated that he felt $10,000 was a more appropriate starting bid number. The Selectmen agreed by consensus that the well and septic system on the property would be valued at $10,000 if they function properly. L. Titus stated that if the Town put some effort into cleaning up the site, bid prices might come in higher. He suggested using free prisoner labor to clean up the items on the property and then find someone to bush hog the site. After discussion, and on a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to seek prisoner labor to help clean up the site; to change the minimum bid price to $10,000; and to set the new bid deadline and bid opening dates two weeks later than originally set. The new bid deadline is Wednesday, June 23rd at 5:00 pm.; the bid opening will be on Thursday, June 24th at 7:00 p.m. at the Selectmen’s meeting.
- Jonathan Blumberg requested that the Board extend his June 1st deadline to clean up his property by an additional 30 days. The June 1st deadline was set by a vote of the Selectmen at their March 4th meeting with the understanding that 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. Jon stated personal matters had delayed the cleanup, but he did not provide details other than it took two weeks and three trips out of state. Jon stated that he had a trade meeting planned on his property in July and he will have his property cleaned up by that time. Jon stated that since Code Officer Paul Mitnik was not present at the meeting to offer objections to a 30-day extension, Paul’s right to object was waived and he (Jon) should be granted his request. No action was taken by the Board.
- Summer meeting schedule – After discussion, the Board set Thursday, July 22nd and Thursday, August 19th as the summer meeting dates. The Board has a past practice of only meeting once in the months of July and August.
- Reports – 1. Status Report – Sabins read the items on the report. No action was taken by the Board. 2. Road Report – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to approve the report as written.
- Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #72, #73, and #74.
At this time in the meeting the Selectmen spoke to the Erskine Academy Students and explained how Vassalboro town government works, the meeting protocols, and answered questions from the students.
- Other – Sabins asked if the Board wanted her to pay dues for the Town to belong to the Vassalboro Business Association. The Board decided membership was not necessary.
- Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.
These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 6/10/10 with the following amendments: None.