Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
October 4, 2018

Members Present: John Melrose, Lauchlin Titus (6:40), and Rob Browne (6:55)

Others Present: Town Manager Mary Sabins, Town Line Reporter Mary Grow, Fire Chief Eric Rowe, Mike Vashon, Police Chief Mark Brown, Superintendent Al Pfeiffer, EMS Chief Dan Mayotte, KJ Reporter Meg Robbins, Town Clerk Cathy Coyne, and office staff members Jean Poulin & Debbie Johnston-Nixon (both left the meeting around 7:10 p.m.)

1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Titus at 6:40 p.m. Chairman Titus stated that before starting the meeting agenda, he’d like to make a public announcement. He proceeded to tell the public in attendance that Town Manager Mary Sabins was sworn in yesterday as the President of the Maine Municipal Association at a luncheon banquet that he and J. Melrose had attended. He further stated that the Board of Selectmen were proud to support Sabins’ participation in that Association not only for what she contributes to the organization, but for what she brings back to Vassalboro through her service. The office staff then presented Sabins with a large potted house plant containing a congratulatory balloon and a bow. Sabins expressed her surprise and appreciation for the thoughtful recognition.

2. Minutes – On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to accept the minutes of the 9/19/18 meeting as written.

3. General Assistance Public Hearing – Chairman Titus called the public hearing to order at 6:42 p.m. There being no public comment, the hearing was immediately closed. On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to adopt the General Assistance Appendices A-D as presented.

4. Tax Sale – One bid was received for the sale of tax-acquired property on Harmony Lane, located at Tax Map 004, Lot 027E-2. Chairman Titus opened and read the bid received from Elaine and Gerard Grenier for $10,010. With little discussion and on a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Grenier bid for $10,010 for the Harmony Lane property. The Greniers have 14 days to pay the balance to complete the sale, and the Board will sign the Quitclaim deed at the next meeting.

5. Dispatch service – The town had received a letter from Cliff Wells, the Director of the Consolidated Emergency Communications Bureau (also known as the RCC), announcing that some changes to the dispatching equipment and software in their office may affect their ability to provide dispatch services to Vassalboro public safety departments. Vassalboro Fire Department members at the meeting stated that the Vassalboro Fire Department will not be affected by the planned change, and they are very satisfied with the dispatch services of the RCC. Vassalboro First Responder Chief Dan Mayotte stated that they were not as satisfied with the RCC services as multiple dispatch errors have occurred over time that have affected his department’s ability to respond efficiently to EMS calls in Town, but Dan said he had no immediate plans to make changes in the dispatch vendor. He would need to do some research to learn what his department’s options were. Police dispatching may experience a change – not certain at this time. After discussion, it was decided that the emergency response teams would gather contact names and give the information to Sabins for additional research.

Selectman Browne arrived about this time in the meeting. (approx. 6:55 p.m.)

6. Public safety/law enforcement expectations for the Town – Selectman Melrose explained that the Police Chief’s job description is all inclusive with many expectations. He would like to see a review done of the job description to pare it down after a discussion is given to identify the town’s priorities for the job. He suggested forming a task committee comprised of talent in town with law enforcement experience to help with the discussion and planning of where to apply the 15 hours per week of law enforcement labor we budget for now. Selectman Browne stated that the Police Chief’s responses and appearances at the school, and community outreach are important to him. He further stated that with only 15 hours of work per week, Chief Brown may not have time for speed enforcement; he may need to report speeding offenses to other police departments. Chief Brown indicated he planned to attend the upcoming staff safety meeting as well as fire prevention week activities at the school. J. Melrose offered that if the Board doesn’t want an exterior group meeting and wants to rework the job description on its own first, he would be okay with that. Mike Vashon stated that Chief Brown is more involved with the fire department than former Chief Phippen used to be in the past, and he felt much of Chief Phippen’s time was spent on speeders. After discussion, the Board and Sabins agreed by consensus to work on revising the Police Chief’s job description at the next meeting.

7. Chamber ballot for Board of Directors – On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to take no action on the ballot.

8. Credit Union Payroll Tax Account – On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to authorize the bookkeeper Jean Poulin to post the old $17.70 balance of the Credit Union Payroll Tax Account to the over/under account to bring the balance of the payroll tax account to zero. This erroneous balance has been carried on the books for a number of years, and the auditor recommended the Selectmen take a vote to clear the account.

9. Monthly report of school activity – Chairman Titus stated that he had asked for this item to be placed on the agenda. He would like to see a monthly school report of activity with such information as population count and building needs, which will help with the annual budget preparation process. Superintendent Pfeiffer stated this request is no problem, and he has compiled such a report in other towns he has work in. This topic lead to general discussion among those present at the meeting. Mr. Pfeiffer thanked the Selectmen for recognizing how important Police Chief Mark Brown is in his job. He noted that Mark has been terrific, and has good rapport. Chairman Titus noted that school employees must be recognized as town employees, now that the school is no longer part of a school district. Mike Vashon informed Superintendent Pfeiffer that the fire department has had trouble accessing the back of the school building in the winter in the past, due to a lack of a cleared driveway. Sabins provided an update on her attempt to obtain a grant for a generator at the school. Not enough local funding is in place to apply for the grant. Vashon and Pfeiffer suggest that Sabins call the County EMA Director to ask about a Homeland Security Grant with no local contribution required. Sabins will research. On another topic, Chairman Titus mentioned to Mr. Pfeiffer that the school newsletter doesn’t include the day and time of the school committee meetings. J. Melrose indicated that he had attended a training class at the MMA Convention this week about how to read your audit. At this class, it was suggested that the same auditor be used for both the school and the town. No further discussion on that topic. Vashon informed the Board that he is seeking a FEMA grant to replace an old truck in the fire department fleet. He asked permission to utilize the annual warrant article for matching FD grant funds toward this effort, and to earmark $25K on the grant application as the Town’s contribution toward the truck. He plans to seek other outside donations toward the truck as well. The Board members indicated they would like some time to think about it and will revisit it at the next meeting.

10. Reportsa. Road Report - On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. b. First Responders’ Report - On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. b. Police Report - On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. c. Financial Report - On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented.

11. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #20 and #21. At this time, Chairman Titus updated R. Browne on the action taken on the agenda items prior to his arrival at the meeting.

12. Other – 1. On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to approve the expenditure of $100 and to accept the invitation of the Town of China to participate in their paper shredding event scheduled for October 27th from 8 to noon. 2. After discussion, and on a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to pay time and mileage for the town clerk and her deputy D. Johnston to attend up to four county clerk meetings per fiscal year. These meetings are generally held in the evenings. 3. On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to authorize the payment for the new roll-off container as presented by Bookkeeper Jean Poulin. Payment will be from the following accounts: Capital Improvements, $6,000; sale of town property, $800; and transfer station building maintenance, $56.26. 4. Sabins explained the assessment the town has received for unemployment compensation for the former transfer station attendant who left the job in February. 5. J. Melrose explained that he had learned at the MMA Convention today that a joint meeting with several towns interested in LED streetlights will take place at the Randolph Town Office on Wednesday, October 10th. A town representative could attend the meeting if we are interested. 6. Melrose said he also spoke with a Fiberight representative at the Convention who told him that the opening of the facility has been delayed until April of 2019. The Board suggested that ECO Maine be contacted to see if they could take our recyclable product now until Fiberight opens. 7. Solar project and vendors was also briefly discussed, as J. Melrose had spoken with a few of those vendors as well at the Convention.

13. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:27 p.m.

/mss

These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 10/18/18 with the following amendments:

5. Dispatch service – The town had received a letter from Cliff Wells, the Director of the Consolidated Emergency Communications Bureau (also known as the RCC), announcing that some changes to the dispatching equipment and software in their office may affect their ability to provide dispatch services to Vassalboro public safety departments. Vassalboro Fire Department members at the meeting stated that the Vassalboro Fire Department will not be affected by the planned change, and they are very satisfied with the dispatch services of the RCC. Vassalboro First Responder Chief Dan Mayotte stated that they were not as satisfied with the RCC services as multiple dispatch errors have occurred over time that have affected his department’s ability to respond efficiently to EMS calls in Town, but Dan said he had no immediate plans to make changes in the dispatch vendor. He would need to do some research to learn what his department’s options were. Police dispatching may experience a change – not certain at this time. After discussion, it was decided that the emergency response teams would gather contact names and give the information to Sabins for additional research. A representative of the Town will attend a meeting hosted by the Sheriff’s office on the dispatch change issue when the meeting date in October is announced.

6. Public safety/law enforcement expectations for the Town – Selectman Melrose explained that the Police Chief’s job description is all inclusive with many expectations. He would like to see a review done of the job description to pare it down after a discussion is given to identify the town’s priorities for the job. He suggested forming a task committee brain-storming session session comprised of talent in town with law enforcement experience to help with the discussion and planning of where to apply the 15 hours per week of law enforcement labor we budget for now. Selectman Browne stated that the Police Chief’s responses and appearances at the school, and community outreach are important to him. He further stated that with only 15 hours of work per week, Chief Brown may not have time for speed enforcement; he may need to report speeding offenses to other police departments. Chief Brown indicated he planned to attend the upcoming staff safety meeting as well as fire prevention week activities at the school. J. Melrose offered that if the Board doesn’t want an exterior group meeting and wants to rework the job description on its own first, he would be okay with that. Mike Vashon stated that Chief Brown is more involved with the fire department than former Chief Phippen used to be in the past, and he felt much of Chief Phippen’s time was spent on speeders. After discussion, the Board and Sabins agreed by consensus to work on revising the Police Chief’s job description at the next meeting.

(Underlined text are additions; strike-through text are deletions.).