Chebeague Island Transition Committee
Wednesday, November 8, 2006
Attendance: John Martin (Chair), Mark Dyer, Carol White, Steve Todd, Jim Phipps, David Hill, Leon Hamilton. (Note: Leon first attended a Coastal Waters meeting at the C.I.H.C.C. before arriving at this meeting at 8:53 PM.) Absent: Donna Damon, Doug Ross. Visitors: 7
Next meeting will be November 15th, 7:15 PM at the Parish House.
1. A motion was made (Jim), seconded (Steve), and voted (6-0) to approve the minutes of the November 1, 2006 meeting with a minor change to page 3.
2. Questions and comments from the public: none.
3. Old Business
Carol verified that she is to reserve the C.I.H.C.C. for a public meeting on December 3.
Mark reported regarding his offer to talk to Edmund and Julie Doughty about use of a bulletin board outside their store for posting Transition Committee minutes and notices. Ed and Julie said we could have the use of the left hand bulletin board and Mark made a sign to go on the bulletin board. Cheryl Buxbaum suggested some kind of a cover (Plexiglas?). Other suggestions were that the sign say that the area is reserved for the Transition Committee and that we be careful to remove outdated notices. Jim suggested a thank you note in the Calendar to Ed and Julie for this use of their space.
John Martin reported that he had used the new electronic library. His advice to other committee members, ³Donıt be intimidated; itıs really pretty slick.² Dave said if any one on the committee has any trouble using it, please ask Dave for help. Sam Ballard asked about the electronic library. Dave explained that it is a hyperlink labeled ³committee documents² at the top of the Transition Committee page of the Chebeague.org website. This is a place where committee members can post subcommittee minutes, work papers, meeting schedules, etc. to make them viewable to other committee members and the public.
John reported that as promised, Carol had developed a template for subcommittee reports. The format is neat, one page, simple to navigate and can filled out electronically. John thanked Carol for putting this together. Mark asked if the idea is to document each subcommittee recommendation as we go along. Carol said it is just for the big decisions, the major points. There is a check box to show if the recommendation will impact the budget.
Regarding the media, Al Traina asked if any thought had been given to preparing news releases. The committee responded that it has not discussed formal news releases although members are pleased to speak with reporters who contact the committee.
Carol reported that the education committee met with school district and state officials regarding education issues.
Jim reported that the transportation committee met with Town of Cumberland officials, representatives to the Joint Standing Committee and visited with Nancy Blanchardıs lawyer.
Steve reported that the public works committee met with Bill Shane for about 1 ½ hours. Bill was able to break down the public works budget. The meeting was very beneficial for the public works committee.
John said that Carol would not be at next weekıs meeting and asked if another subcommittee would be willing to trade presentation dates. The presentation schedule was rearranged so that Steve will report for Public Works on November 15th and Carol will report on education on November 29th.
John suggested that if any committee has a burning issue, they could ask for an immediate meeting or ask to have the item put on the next weekly agenda.
5. Report from Dave regarding the Finance/Budget Committee.
Dave summarized the charge to the finance committee as including development of recommendations regarding payroll, bookkeeping, insurance, auditor, etc. and coordination of the budget for the first town meeting. He reported that the finance committee had a very good meeting with Bill Shane regarding the Town of Cumberlandıs budget files and the components of those files as they relate to Chebeague. The finance committee wants to set up communications with other committees to perhaps have one member of the finance committee sit on each of the other committees. Dave said the first ³drop dead² deadline for rough committee budget estimates is January 7th.
Dave led a discussion regarding which budget items fall into which subcommittees.
Chebeague Recreation Center
One sum; not part of town budget
Benefits-Insurance for all but education based on how many employees required. Town of Cumberland already has that broken down. Rule of thumb: to whatever salary number is, add 48% for benefits such as insurance, vacation, sick time, workers compensation, unemployment tax.
Technology computers etc. $20,000 for software. Cheryl said we need Trio for checks and balances. John Birkett doing research
Abatements would be loss of revenue for the town. Cheryl said usually a person comes in and says his/her property is not worth as much as town says, and that he/she canıt pay the taxes. There are other programs such as the Circuit Breaker program administered by the state, out of the state money; the Homestead program and the Veterans program. There can also be a local Circuit Breaker as well as the current state program.
General assistance is part of the Town Clerkıs responsibilities. Cheryl said we can get 50% back from state. Have to document. Not an entitlement. Some people can pay back. Need to keep up training
Treasurer - Tax collector
Mainland Access doesnıt have anything, but Jim will develop a budget.
Harbor Master – could under public safety. (Shellfish warden could also be included.)
Engineering (includes dredging)
Wharfs and floats) budget items but not files
Dave will reissue this list for further changes and ask for confirmation at the next Transition Committee meeting.
Next came discussion about the questions, ³How are we going to deal with people that currently work for the Town of Cumberland?² ³Will we carry forward tenure, longevity, retirement, or not?² Cheryl said these could be negotiating points for discussions with potential employees of the Town of Chebeague. Mark said the committee needs guidance. Steve said that as part of fact finding, the committee could talk with current town employees. Cumberland public works and police are unionized. Public input can be obtained at the public meeting on December 3rd. Mark said we are not trying to get the general public to make decisions, but to know what theyıre going to get for their buck. Part of the discussion was whether or not to go to the public meeting with one set of proposed budget numbers or whether to have options indicating budget differences for hiring contract services versus having town employees.
Jim asked about capital budgeting, saying that the information we received from the Town of Cumberland relates to operating budget. John Wilson suggested a line item for each committee for capital improvements fund. There needs to be some discussion regarding schedules for contributions to build up funds, such as road paving on a 10 year cycle. Sam Ballard said there are models available for standards. Some of these issues will have to wait for the future town to decide.
Leon asked where dredging is in the budget. Also, the marine issues committee is proposing that the Stone Wharf ordinance remain as it is and that it be discussed in a meeting with fishermen. Mark suggested that the Stone Wharf ordinance remain as it is written, but change how it is enforced. Leon also asked about Bennettıs Cove. Jim said these issues are covered by the mainland access subcommittee. Jim and Leon will talk.
Mark said we need to be careful about overstepping our charge by looking at ordinances. The only good reason is to make sure the existing ordinances are going to work and not hinder new town. The ordinances recommended to the first town meeting should track with how things are done now.
Steve said dredging is in the public works budget under engineering. Leon said it should be part of a separate capital improvements line so it canıt be touched. He also said that a large part of the cost of dredging is the cost of disposing of the dredged materials. It was suggested that dredging be removed from public works and put in the marine budget. Cheryl said the marine budget should include separate lines for the harbor master and for dredging. .
6. New Business: none.
The meeting adjourned at approximately 9:20 PM.