Minutes of the Chebeague Transition Committee May 9, 2007 at 7:00pm at the Parish House (Accepted 5/16/07)
The meeting was called to order at 7:10 pm.
Members present: Donna Damon, Mark Dyer, Leon Hamilton, David Hill, John Martin (Chair), Jim Phipps, Doug Ross, Stephen Todd and Carol White.
Beth Howe served as secretary. Ron Grenier attended as Town Administrator-designate and Alton Hadley attended as School Superintendent-designate.
1. Minutes: Donna Damon and Stephen Todd made corrections to the minutes of April 25 and May 1 and 2. Donna moved to adopt the minutes as corrected. Seconded by Carol White. Approved unanimously.
2. Chairpersonıs report
John Martin reminded people that Long Island will have Town Meeting at 8:00 May 12. Sue Campbell said they will send a boat to pick up people. Herb Maine and Sue can be contacted if people want to go.
The TC met with attorney Peter Lowe last Thursday. Brann and Isaacson has been working with the TC for a while and will continue to do so. Ron Grenier will be the point person for contacting Peter Lowe. He will prioritize the issues going to Peter.
The TC met on Sunday May 6 to review its vision of the Chebeague governmental structure for Peter Lowe. The discussion was based on the organization chart produced by the Governmental Structure Subcommittee for the public meeting on January 28.
There will be budget workshops next week. Peter Lowe can come to the one on Thursday evening so there was a discussion of how he could be most useful. The group agreed to have a workshop on the municipal budget on Tuesday May 15 which might carry over until Thursday May 17 when Peter would be there to discuss governmental structure and how the budget relates to warrant articles. The education budget workshop would be held on May 22. Bump Hadley, the School Superintendent will be familiar with the budget by then. The budget meetings will not discuss all budget lines, just those on which someone wants to make a change.
The Cumberland Town Council will come to have its last Chebeague meeting on Monday May 21.
3. Updates from the Town Administrator-designate:
A. Ron Grenier met with Bill Shane and Nadeen Daniels to plan the June election. Ron said they were very helpful and willing to run the election on June 24 at 1:00. They will prepare and post the necessary notices, certify the voting lists and prepare the post-election reports which will all be extremely helpful. They need 8 Chebeague volunteers to be ballot clerks. Martha Hamilton said her island voting crew could do this. They are 4 Republicans and 4 Democrats, all registered to vote. Martha will email Ron about this. Leon Hamilton moved, seconded by Donna Damon to accept the offer by Cumberland to administer the election of Selectmen and School Board Members on June 24 at 1:00.
Beth Wiles asked if there would be absentee ballots for the election. Ron Grenier said there would not. The way the meeting will work is:
Bill Shane will open the public meeting and call for nominations for a moderator.
The moderator will be elected.
The moderator will take nominations for the 5 Selectmen.
Each candidate will have a chance to speak.
The moderator will call for nominations for the five School Board members.
Each candidate will have a chance to speak.
Then the vote will be held and the votes counted.
Donna asked whether there would be a vote beforehand on the question of how many Selectmen and School Board members there will be. Ron said yes.
John called for a vote on Leonıs motion. It passed unanimously.
B. Public works repairs before 7/1/07
Bill Shane will provide Ron with a list of the repairs of storm damage that will be done before 7/1. The money comes from FEMA. Also Bill will provide Ron with the material on applying for mitigation funds – to prevent damage in another storm.
Bill Shane also hopes that the various memoranda of understanding between the Town of Cumberland and the Town of Chebeague Island can be ready for signing at the Council meeting on May 21.
C. Ron also met with Peter Lowe. They went over the election process. Ron gave him the organizational chart that laid out the TCıs vision of the new Townıs governmental structure. Ron also provided Peter with 15 points covering a fairly wide range of generality to put the organizational structure in context. For example: what is required to be put in place on July 1; the items that the TC wants adopted that are not the state law default options; the need for a second, special Town Meeting within 180 days to establish Town boards and committees. At the other end of the specturn: separating the Human Resources tasks from those of the personnel director; the need for a cemetery services agreement, the issue of whether the three marine committees can be combined. Ron reviewed Peter Loweıs budget for legal services. He is assured that what has been put in the Town budget will be sufficient. Ron also passed on to Peter the land use ordinances for review and the Governmental Structure Subcommitteeıs materials on governmental structure. Ron will be going go MMA training for treasurers tomorrow and for Welfare Directors on May 21 and 22.
4. Public Comments:
Bette Tellinghuisen commented that she hopes nobody on Chebeague will ever be humiliated as Donna Damon was last week.
5. Old Business
A. Health Services and Welfare Budgets:
John Martin passed out a page of budget revisions related to health and welfare. He said that after some miscommunication, the Community Services Subcommittee had met on Monday evening to work these out. Pommy Hatfield and Mary Cushman did the staff work. This is a one-year recommendation and some elements might be reevaluated after 6 months.
The budget for the Health Officer was reduced because last year Cumberland only spent $3,000 on this, including Chebeague and the mainland.
The General Assistance Direct Services budget was set at $5,000, down form the original $7,000 but more than the $1,000 presented at the budget workshop. Any money that the Town spends on Direct General Assistance is reimbursed by the State at 50 percent.
General Assistance administration by PROP. The Subcommittee still recommends that PROP handle the GA administration, though there had been some thought of having the Town Administrator do this. Jim Phipps asked whether PROP had agreed to the lower amount. Mary Cushman said they had. This reflects the hourly expenses they expect to incur.
The $500 contribution to PROP was reinstated.
David Hill pointed out that since there are separate budget numbers related to health and welfare, the PROP contribution had gotten overlooked because it was in the health account rather than the welfare account. Leon congratulated the Subcommittee for saving money.
Donna Damon asked whether the Subcommittee thought that people who had to apply for general assistance should have to go to PROP. Could they go to Ron Grenier at the Town office? Mary Cushman said that one reason for choosing PROP is so that applicants do not have to go to someone on the island. Donna asked whether Ron should take the Welfare Directorıs course. Both Mary and Ron said it would be useful since Ron will be the contract officer for GA. Cheryl Buxbaum said that she thought no one would go to the mainland to go to PROP. She has worked with PROP and they have not been very helpful. She thinks that Ron would be more than capable of handling the Townıs welfare cases. Pommy and Mary said that PROP will be coming out to Chebeague regularly. Mark Dyer said he agreed somewhat with Cheryl and liked the idea of the six-month reevaluation. He was at the Monday meeting and was impressed by Pommy and Maryıs thorough research. People who need help should get it and he hopes going to PROP will not discourage them. Jim Phipps moved to approve the health and welfare budget proposed the Community Services Subcommittee in its revised form. Seconded by Stephen Todd. Passed unanimously.
B. Memorandum of Understanding for Ron Grenier as Town Administrator:
David Hill said he was proud and pleased to move that the TC vote in favor of the two Memoranda of Understanding with Ron Grenier. Seconded by Donna Damon. One MOU is for before July 1. For the 80 or more hours Ron will put in before July 1 he will contribute 1 hour for each paid hour. The MOU for after July 1 spells out the duties, compensation, hours and other conditions of employment. The contract is for one year, renewable for another two years. Passed unanimously. David said it was then proper to disclose that the salary will be $60,000 per year. Several people said the Forecaster had contacted them about this item.
Carol White was delighted to report that the Town has a School Superintendent-elect: Alton (Bump) Hadley. She asked him to introduce himself and say a bit about his background. Mr. Hadley said that he was honored to be the first, part-time Superintendent for Chebeague. He has been in education for 44 years, teaching at the elementary, middle school, high school and college levels. He has been an administrator and a member of a School Board. He is presently the part-time Superintendent in Arundel which has 300 elementary school children, 140 middle school students who are tuitioned out and high school students who have a choice about what school to go to. He will continue to work there as well as on Chebeague. He was also School Superintendent (2 years) and later Town Administrator (3 years) on North Haven so he has experience on an island with about the same population as Chebeague. Between his two stints on North Haven he was the first Superintendent in Gilmanton NH which was breaking away from Laconia. Altogether he has lots of experience that is relevant and he is excited about the job. You have to understand living on an island and the nature of a small community.
Carol said that she has sent the information relative to the Superintendentıs job to Peter Lowe to draw up a Memorandum of Understanding which will be circulated to TC members. She moved, seconded by David Hill, that the TC vote in favor of the hiring of Alton Hadley as School Superintendent, and that the MOU for this position be sent to the TC for ratification and then be voted on by the Town Meeting.
Carol said that one of the first tasks Bump and the Education Subcommittee will have will be to go over the school budget. She moved, seconded by Mark Dyer that the new Superintendent be provided the professional latitude and courtesy of reviewing the proposed school budget and recommending changes in accounts or line items for the Transition Committeeıs consideration. David Hill said he hoped Bump would work with the Finance Subcommittee as well. The motion was approved unanimously.
David asked whether there would be an interim arrangement before July 1 with Bump. Carol said yes. John Martin moved, seconded by Carol White, that the direct contacts with Peter Lowe would be Ron Grenier on the Town side and Bump Hadley on the School side. Approved unanimously.
Cumberland submitted four Memoranda of Understanding (attached) covering arrangements between Cumberland and the Town of Chebeague. These could be signed at the May 21 Cumberland Council meeting on Chebeague. Donna Damon asked if Peter Lowe had reviewed the MOUs. Ron said that he had discussed some of the content with Peter and would see that they had appropriate review by next week.
Shellfish, mooring and Stone Wharf permits: Leon Hamilton said that Bill Shane had left out one part and that he will be sending it: it is that all fines collected by the shellfish warden on Chebeague from January 1 to July 1 2007 will come to the Town of Chebeague Island.
Cumberland sending out Chebeague tax bills in September 2007 and March 2008. This is a one-time offer that will provide training for setting the valuation, the tax rate and sending out the bills. Cumberland will charge $10,000 for this service. David Hill said this was less than TDBankNorth would charge for the same service. Several people said it would mean that Chebeague would not have to have hired an assessor on July 1. Mabel Doughty said that when the assessor is hired he can work with Bill Healey on this.
Cumberland would provide help to the Town Clerk half a day per week, if needed. The cost would be $125 plus boat and parking per day.
Agreement that the Town of Chebeague Island will honor all building, plumbing, electrical and other permits issued by Cumberland until December 31, 2007.
David Hill moved, seconded by Mark Dyer that the four service agreements be adopted subject to legal review, with the shellfish license one approved pending additional language. Adopted unanimously.
E. Engine for Harbormasterıs boat:
Leon Hamilton said that nothing has been settled yet . The existing engine is beyond repair and he has found a used Johnson outboard that could be bought for $3,200. The total cost, with installation would be about $5,000 which has already been budgeted. But he has not yet heard from the mechanic who is evaluating the replacement. So there is no action to be taken.
F. Island Institute Fellow:
Donna Damon said that the grant for an Island Institute Fellow that she and Beth Howe had written, whose submission had been approved by the TC earlier in the year, had been approved. The Island Institute has a candidate, Christopher Chaney, from Eastern Kentucky University. They are proposing to bring him to Chebeague for an interview on May 21. Donna said that $5,000 had been included in the budget for this. The Island Institute contributes about $30,000 in addition. He will work in the Town Office on the comprehensive plan, GIS and other tasks. Beth Howe will be his advisor, and he will be supervised by Ron Grenier. Donna asked for a reaffirmation of this budget item in order for the process to go forward. David Hill said that in work he is doing with the Island Institute, people there spoke highly of Chaney. Leon Hamilton said he wants the Fellow to be generally helpful in the Town Office. Jim Phipps asked if he could work on Education as well? Donna and Ron Grenier said that it was important that the Fellow have only one boss and have a clearly defined project. Bump Hadley said that North Haven had such a Fellow who worked on their comprehensive plan and GIS. He understood Ronıs point and that if the Fellow had some additional time he might do something on education. Donna Damon moved, seconded by Jim Phipps, that the TC endorse the inclusion of $5,000 in the Townıs budget for purposes of entering into a cooperative agreement between the Town and the Island Institute to have an Island Fellow who would work on the comprehensive plan, GIS and other tasks recommended by the Town Administrator and approved by the Board of Selectmen. Passed unanimously. Donna asked who would like to be on the interview committee besides herself, Beth Howe, Ron Grenier. Mabel Doughty, Jane Frizzell and Cheryl Buxbaum said they were interested. David Hill said he would be also if it could be done on a Sunday.
G. Grant application to State Planning Office for funding for Chebeague Comprehensive Plan:
Beth reported that on April 20 she had submitted the grant to ask the state for $10,650 to develop a new Comprehensive Plan for the Town of Chebeague Island. Matching funds of $5,000 have been included in the Town budget and the Island Institute Fellow would also work on this project. No action needs to be taken since the TC already approved submission of the application.
6. New Business
Carol White said that she had been told that the final public budget meeting, scheduled for June 3, would conflict with a memorial service. She suggested moving the meeting to June 2 at 9:00. Leon so moved, seconded by Mark Dyer. Approved unanimously.
David Hill said that the Town has an address. It is P.O. Box 22, Chebeague Island 04017.
Donna asked how important was it to the TC or the visitors that the Town keep the telephone numbers that it already has for things like the firehouse and the transfer station. Changing them would be less expensive than keeping the existing numbers. Leon said he thought people could get used to new numbers. David said to try to make sure the exchange is 846.
She also asked about what would happen to victuallersı licenses. They are usually approved by the Town Council near the beginning of the summer. They should not get caught in transition accidentally. Cheryl Buxbaum said she had wondered the same thing about the Hallıs amusement permit. But she had been told that that is a local ordinance, so if the Town of Chebeague Island has no amusement ordinance, the Hall will not require a permit.
Mark Dyer said he has put construction materials in the Town Office. He wants input from other people about the exact design of the counter. Donna said that Cheryl has pictures.
At 9:50 Jim Phipps moved, seconded by Stephen Todd to go into executive session to discuss personnel issues pursuant to MRSA 405.6.A.1 – Title 1, Chapter 13, Section 405. Approved unanimously.
At 10:10 David Hill moved, seconded by Mark Dyer to come out of executive session.
Jim Phipps moved, seconded by Jim Phipps to adjourn.