Minutes of the Chebeague Transition Committee January 14, 2007 at 9:00 at the Rec Center. (Accepted 1/17/07)
Members present: Donna Damon, Mark Dyer, Leon Hamilton, David Hill, John Martin (Chair), Jim Phipps, Doug Ross, Stephen Todd, and Carol White
At 9:00 David Hill moved, seconded by Donna Damon to move into Executive Session to consider personnel matters. Approved unanimously.
At 9:45 Donna Damon moved, seconded by David Hill to come out of Executive Session. Carol White moved, seconded by David Hill to adopt the following Hiring Policy:
Donna Damon moved the question. The vote on the motion was unanimous. The vote on the hiring policy motion itself was unanimous.
January 21 Meeting
Leon Hamilton moved, seconded by Mark Dyer that the day of the public meeting be changed to January 28 because of conflicts with the Superbowl and the family excursion to the Wizard of Oz. It would be from 1:00 to 3:00 in the Hall. Jim Phipps said he would not vote to have it put off beyond January 28. The TC needs to report to the public. Passed unanimously. Carol White said she would send out a postcard to all postal patrons telling of the change. It will also be posted at the boat, the store and the Library.
Susan Campbell said that she thought that the TC╣s notices should be on some uniform, brightly colored paper to be more noticeable. Carol White suggested neon green.
Donna Damon said she would like to have more specific recommendations for hiring – where the ads should appear, specific position descriptions and salary ranges, and how long the hiring process was likely to take. John Martin agreed with Donna. Jim Phipps said that the meeting should not be put off again to provide this detail. Carol White said that the Education Subcommittee has been working on its budget and hiring together. They will not recommend positions before they have the budget. They expect to have a budget by the end of January. It would be very useful to have a flow chart of the budget process – she passed out an example from New Gloucester. Also a similar chart for the hiring process. Mark Dyer agreed about doing budget and position decisions together. Jim Phipps said that Mark had proposed the end of February for the initial budget. If the subcommittees gave budget numbers to the Finance Subcommittee by February 15 could Finance generate a budget by February 28? David Hill said they could.
Leon Hamilton suggested that any budget document should provide a comparison between the proposed budget lines and the items in the budget that was given to the Legislature during secession. As warrant items are proposed they can be put in a chart showing this. David Hill said he thought this was a good idea and that the recommendations were coming in close to the secession budget. Carol White asked if this is really true. David Hill and Donna Damon said that the subcommittees have been using it as a guide. Carol White asked about the interest rate for borrowing which would have a significant impact on the budget. David said that he will report on that at the next meeting. Glenn Kersteen used 4.5 percent. Jim Phipps said that since Chebeague won╣t borrow until the end of 2007 the relevant interest rate will be then. There was a discussion of the elements of the debt and how they had been arrived at. Debt service will be about 20 percent of the Town╣s budget. The Finance Subcommittee will have clear budget numbers for the debt by January 28. Carol White suggested having subcommittees submit budget numbers to Finance by February 15 and then a public presentation of the budget on March 1.
Donna Damon said that in a parallel process jobs will be advertised during February. She asked whether the Finance Subcommittee will develop benefit packages and whether they would be the same for Town and School employees. Jim Phipps indicated that union contracts might make this impossible. Also he said that people being hired for different jobs come from different job markets. Those markets may require different benefit levels. Some others agreed with Donna and others with Jim.
David Hill said he had a motion for the agenda on January 28: (1) budget including review of the budget that went to the Legislature and the process for developing the Town budget. (2) the policy and timetable for the hiring process and (3) what the town would look like on July 1 – Town office, furniture, software. He wants to get an idea of what people want to be delivered on July 2 and whether they are willing to borrow money to get to that. Carol White suggested discussing the Town organization chart between (1) and (2). Jim Phipps said he thought the discussion of furniture and software was too detailed. David said that what he wants is to get an idea of whether people see July 1 as a starting point with some elements being phased in later or whether the Town should be fully functional. Donna Damon said she thought the TC should report on January 28 what it has been decided by that time. Leon Hamilton suggested that when there are detailed questions about some area, someone from that subcommittee should answer them. Carol White asked whether she should talk about the school consolidation issue? Everyone thought this was relevant. Jim Phipps suggested that the Education Subcommittee schedule a separate meeting on that and announce it at the January 28 meeting. Carol said she would report on the education legislation on Wednesday. Jim Phipps asked David Hill to give his notes on the meeting agenda to Beth Howe who will circulate them for review before Wednesday. Then a mailing about the January 28 meeting can be sent out on Thursday or Friday. Donna Damon moved, seconded by Carol White that this be done. The issue can be revisited at Wednesday╣s meeting if needed. The motion passed unanimously
Carol White said she had talked with Steve Moriarty about having him moderate the January 28 meeting. Donna Damon said she had some ideas on how the Wednesday meeting process could be made more effective. She passed out a memo (attached). David Hill said he thought this was going in the right direction. The TC meetings should be run more like regular public meetings with separate times for discussion of proposals by the TC and by the public. Carol White agreed and moved to have more discussion of Donna╣s memo on Wednesday. Seconded by Jim Phipps. Passed unanimously.
Carol White moved, seconded by Leon Hamilton, to request Donna Damon to ask Steve Moriarty to come to come to the meetings on January 17, 24 and 28 to help the TC plan a process that would be more efficient. Donna Damon proposed as an amendment to the motion that Moriarty be asked to come to chair all three meetings. Jim Phipps said that he had no problem with the way the meetings were run. Mark Dyer said that the meetings are too long and the TC should get down to making decisions about the budget. He would like to have Moriarty facilitate the January 28 meeting. There was a discussion about whether Moriarty would be asked to run all those meetings or just to be present. The question was called on Donna╣s amendment. It passed 5 to 4 (Todd, Hamilton, Dyer and Hill in minority). Then the question was called on the main motion which passed unanimously.
Leon Hamilton said he thought that it would be useful if the TC met regularly on Sunday mornings as well as Wednesday evenings. That issue will be put on the agenda for next Wednesday╣s meeting.