Minutes of the Chebeague Transition Committee January 3, 2007 at 7:15 at the Parish House. (Accepted 1/7/07)
Members present: Donna Damon, Mark Dyer, Leon Hamilton, David Hill, John Martin (Chair), Stephen Todd, and Carol White
Absent: Jim Phipps, and Doug Ross
1.David Hill moved to approve the minutes of December 20. Seconded by Carol White. Mark Dyer corrected a typo. The minutes were approved unanimously
2.Questions and comments: Cheryl Buxbaum congratulated Stephen Todd on the piece on public works in the Calendar.
3. Old business: Beth Howe gave a status report on the application to the Maine Community Foundation for a grant to support the Transition process. She is having problems with it and suggested either restructuring the original idea or applying in the May round for money to build on the transition work next fall by having a ³visioning² process to look at where Chebeague should be headed. She suggested sending out a fund-raising letter for money for the present process. The group agreed to defer the application until May. There was also strong feeling that the TC should not have to do public fund-raising to get the town started. There are other sources of money.
Leon Hamilton asked about the discussion last time about estimating the start-up costs of the Town office. He suggested rent-to-buy office equipment. David Hill said the largest item may be computer software. Donna Damon said there was money for start-up in the budget submitted to the Legislature.
Carol White asked David Hill about where they stand with arranging for Chebeague¹s bonds. David said that either TD BankNorth or Gorhan Savings might issue the bonds. Carol asked about the Municipal Bond Bank. David said that might be used, perhaps in conjunction with a bank. It does not take long to issue bonds. It can be done somewhat before the first Town Meeting when a detailed budget will be complete.
Donna Damon said to contact Dianne Brewer, not Martha Hamilton about renting the Hall.
This led to a discussion of the January 21 public meeting. Donna Damon also said that we need to make clear to the public how the voting at the first Town Meeting will work – that it will be ³yes or no² only. If someone wants to propose an alternative to the warrant item they must vote against the recommended item and then bring their alternative to the next Town Meeting. Stephen Todd said he would like to have someone facilitate the meeting who is knowledgeable about Town Meeting. Carol White suggested someone from MMA. Cheryl Buxbaum suggested having a moderator such as Steve Moriarty or Mark Greene from Long Island. Donna Damon said she did not expect the January 21 meeting to focus on Town Meeting. Carol asked what the scope would be. She wants to present the TC¹s work timeline with significant milestones such as the various stages of the budget – preliminary budget, then hearings, then revised budget – so that people can participate. Donna suggested sending out an agenda for the meeting well beforehand.
Mark Dyer said that Peter Maher and Bill Shane have been very helpful in developing a detailed report on the future of Chebeague¹s solid waste transfer system including a detailed budget. The report will be available in the library and on the virtual library. He handed out a brief report on the Committee¹s next steps (attached). He passed out a letter the Subcommittee was proposing to use to get quotes for the cost of the various services listed in the report: disposal of trash, of demolition debris and of recyclables, for barging, trucking and wood-grinding at the brush dump.
Donna Damon asked if he was considering having a more specific RFP for each bid. We need to know what we want. Carol White said it was important to compare apples to apples and specify how the bids should be structured. Often when bids are solicited all potential bidders are invited to a meeting where they all get the same information and can ask questions. Mark Dyer said that he expects to discuss the details of the bids with the bidders. He has detailed information about what services have been provided in the past. Carol White and Leon Hamilton suggested that Mark¹s letter be a call for expressions of interest in making a bid rather than a call for bids. Carol also suggested adding some introductory material about Chebeague and its independence in July. Mark Dyer said he would revise the letter, and the group agreed that it was going in the right direction.
Carol White asked bout the idea of collaborating with Long Island. Mark Dyer said he has talked to Dickey Clarke who runs the transfer station on Long Island about coordinating work with them. Mabel Doughty will also be talking with Mark Greene. Donna suggested talking with the Long Island selectmen who would have to recommend joint operations to their Town Meeting.
Mark Dyer passed out a recommendation (attached) to hire an attendant for the Transfer Station as a part-time Town employee. This would be similar to the present arrangement though there might be more flexibility in arranging the hours. Donna Damon moved, seconded by Carol White, to approve the recommendation. Passed unanimously.
John Ash asked whether the Subcommittee was considering changing the policy that island non-profits can take construction debris to the Transfer Station without being charged. Several other people including Donna Damon and Cheryl Buxbaum, said they did not think that this was actually the policy.
Mark Dyer also made a recommendation (attached) to maintain the existing hours at the Transfer Station. Donna said she gets lots of complaints from summer people that the Transfer Station is not open on the Monday of long weekends – Memorial, Labor and Columbus Days and July 4 if it is on a Monday. They have to leave and need to be able to take stuff to the Transfer Station. Sometimes trash is just dumped in the woods. Don Buxbaum agreed with Donna. Beth Howe said that the extra days would require more work from the non-profits that staff the Chedemption shed. Donna Damon suggested that they not be open those days. Mark Dyer accepted as a friendly amendment the wording ³with possible holiday adjustments². He moved approval of the recommendation, seconded by Carol White. 5 voted for and 2 against so the motion passed.
Leon Hamilton reported that his subcommittee meets on Tuesdays at 5:30, and listed the members. They have been focusing on creating a coastal waters ordinance. They looked at ordinances from other places and decided to use Long Island¹s as a model because of its simplicity. They have been taking out parts that are irrelevant to Chebeague and have added the wharves and docks section of the Cumberland Shoreland Zoning Ordinance, the Shellfish Ordinance and the Stone Wharf Regulations. They will give the ordinance to the TC next week and hope to have it discussed and voted on the following week. Then they will prepare their budget and personnel descriptions. They will meet with the Public Safety Subcommittee to talk about combined job responsibilities.
Leon Hamilton and Cecil Amos Doughty met with Bill Shane and Don Card, state clam biologist, to work out an agreement on the shellfish licenses (attached). They will be issued by Cumberland for 2007, with the license fees divided equally between Chebeague and the mainland. Any fines for violations on Chebeague collected between January and July will be reimbursed to Chebeague. Chebeague and Cumberland will each develop a shellfish ordinance that will make residents of either town able to purchase a resident license in either or both towns. This gives reciprocity for access to clam flats but Chebeague will control the resource in its jurisdiction. Leon reported that he and Bill Shane had made a similar arrangement on the mooring fees. David Hill asked if the mooring fees might be changed to allow a free mooring for riparian owners. Leon Hamilton said the fees would remain as they are now.
David Hill and John Ash pointed out that now that subcommittees are developing ordinance language the TC should develop a system of numbering for the ordinances.
6. New Business
Carol White gave an update of the Education Subcommittee¹s activities. They have sent out a survey to parents of children in school on the mainland about transportation issues. They will have an important meeting next Saturday about administrative issues and should have recommendations after that. They will send a letter to the SAD51 Superintendent about talking with existing school personnel.
John Martin said that Pommy Hatfield and Mary Cushman are taking over chairmanship of the Community Services Subcommittee. Donna Damon had a long conversation with Mary Cushman about this. The charge for the subcommittee is broader than Mary realized.
John Martin asked whether the TC should have an organization chart of the Town of Chebeague. Donna Damon said that her committee is working on one, using examples from other small towns. It will include obscure Town institutions like the Board of Assessment Review that most people are probably unaware of. It should be ready in a couple of weeks.
Carol White said that the Committee should spend some time on the organization of the January 21 public meeting. The agenda also still lists an Executive Committee meeting for this meeting. Given the lateness of the hour it was agreed to have the Executive Committee meeting and the discussion of the January 21 meeting on Sunday January 7 from 9:00 to noon at the Rec Center.
The meeting adjourned at 9:45.