Minutes of the Chebeague Transition Committee May 16, 2007 at 7:00pm at the Parish House (Accepted 5/30/07)
The meeting was called to order at 7:10 pm.
Members present: Donna Damon, Leon Hamilton, David Hill, John Martin (Chair), Jim Phipps, Doug Ross, Stephen Todd and Carol White.
Absent: Mark Dyer
Beth Howe served as secretary. Ron Grenier attended as Town Administrator-designate.
1. Minutes: Doug Ross moved, seconded by Carol White, to approve the revised minutes of May 3. Six voted in favor, one opposed (Donna Damon) and one abstention (Jim Phipps). Carol White moved, seconded by Doug Ross to approve the minutes of May 6. Seven voted yes, with one abstention (Jim Phipps). Carol White moved, seconded by Jim Phipps that the minutes of May 9 be approved. Jim said he thought that the motion on the Cumberland MOUs had included legal review. With this correction the minutes were passed unanimously.
2. Chairıs report:
John Martin said that the Cumberland Town Council will have their last meeting on Chebeague on May 21. He is to give a report on the progress of the Transition process. They will sign the MOUs for Cumberland services. Donna Damon said that the Slow Bell Café lounge license and special amusement permit would also be taken up. Beth Howe said she would post notices for the meeting.
John reported that there had been about 14 members of the public at the meeting on May 15 on the budget. They worked through the budget items from the highest to the lowest. June 2 will be the final budget presentation at 9:00 at the Hall. Someone said that Cynnie Sheketoffıs funeral will be at 11:00 that morning. It was suggested that the meeting start at 8:00 instead.
John suggested that the school budget be taken up in the meeting tomorrow night when Peter Lowe will be there. Carol said that the Education Committee is going to North Haven that day. Ron suggested doing it on Wednesday May 23 at the regular meeting. Carol said she will be late but Bump and the Education Committee will be there.
John said that Herb Maine had gone to the Long Island Town Meeting and had written an interesting report and provided their warrant articles. David Hill said he would put this material on the web. Karen Hamilton and Susan Campbell also went. Ken Hamilton asked whether there was any discussion of working with Chebeague. Herb said not really, though they are looking now at hiring a Town Administrator. Dickie Clark is interested in working together. Carol White said her committee had been in touch with their superintendent and teachers about possible cooperation on special education. The structure of the meeting was more formal and business-like than our TC meetings. John Wilson asked if this involved nominating and seconding speeches. Ron said probably not.
It is important to provide good information in the Town Report to the public about the warrant articles in advance so that people donıt bring a lot of questions to the Town Meeting. On Long Island they send the Town Report to every household. Herb said that early information is especially important on big issues like ordinances. Ken Hamilton asked if the TC would be sending a Town Report. Jim Phipps said yes.
3. Report of the Administrator-Designate
On the election, Martha Hamilton has done a great job of organizing her voting crew. Nadeen Daniels and Ron will meet with the Secretary of Stateıs office about the election process, particularly for towns smaller than 4,000 population. They will also review the ADA issues with the voting place. Herb Maine has a draft of his citizensı guide to Town Meeting. Ron will share it with Peter Lowe. It will be sent to residents before July 1.
Donna Damon said she thought the guide should include descriptions of the Selectmenıs and School Committee membersı duties in order to encourage people to run. She will write something for the Calendar about how the election will work. She will also do a draft of a guide on the election for Ron to give to Peter Lowe for review. She said she hoped that the group would agree on the duties of the selectmen at tomorrowıs meeting with Peter Lowe.
Carol White said that Bump Hadley will have a meeting at the school about running for the School Committee. It will be a forum where people can ask questions.
Donna Colbeth asked whether there is any group interested in having a candidatesı night. Ron said he will be checking with Peter Lowe and the Secretary of State about whether there is any problem with this.
Peter Lowe would like to tweak the hold harmless language of the cemetery agreement so that it would not apply to the care of the cemetery and its finances before July 1, 2007. Carol White moved, seconded by Jim Phipps, to support Peter Loweıs recommendation that he respond to the Cemetery Association. Passed unanimously.
Ron will meet with representatives of FEMA in New Gloucester to get information about what they have to provide for dealing with storm damage. Bill Shane will be coming over to look at repairs that need to be done before July 1.
Ron asked the TC to give him the same authority that it had given to Bump Hadley to review the municipal budget and make recommendations on it. David moved, seconded by Jim Phipps to give him this authority. Donna Damon suggested that Ron talk with the subcommittee chairs about their budgets as well as talking with the Finance Committee. Passed unanimously.
4. Public comment:
John Ash asked what the status of school consolidation is. Carol said it is unbelievable. The rural districts are struggling with the larger/urban ones. She thinks it will pass. It is in the budget. Issues will be the size of the districts and whether towns can opt out with a financial penalty. The state has been making a map of the districts which is still secret. Islands have been organized from the beginning and probably will be exempt. It is better if a bill passes now while Hannah Pingree is Senate Majority Leader and can shape the bill.
5. Old Business
David Hill went over the financial implications of the MOUs for services from Cumberland. Town Clerk: $25 per hour; building permits, no cost; shellfish agreement brings in revenue; tax billing costs $10,000 which has been added to the budget. Ron Grenier said he had given the Town MOUs to Peter Lowe to review.
David also said that Bill Healeyıs number for the valuation of the Town of Chebeague Island is now only $114 million compared to $117 in March. John Wilson said that seemed as low as the estimated valuation a year ago; in fact $114 was used as the benchmark during secession negotiations for what the valuation was. Carol White asked whether it would make sense to have a third party review the numbers. Jim Phipps said that though April 1 is the date for setting the valuation, he is surprised that Bill Healey has actually formalized it already. It is usually not done until July or August. Leon said that if the valuation is lower than expected, this means that some fat should be cut out of the budget.
Leon said he still does not have a report from the mechanic about the harbormasterıs boatıs engine.
6. New Business
Carol White said she has paper copies of an interim MOU for Bump Hadley. It has been reviewed by Peter Lowe.
Leon Hamilton asked what the timetable is for pulling together the warrant articles. Ron said that Peter Lowe is supposed to be turning them out soon. He has most of the material he needs to prepare the articles. Herb Maine said that the Town Report contains proposed articles. The final ones have to be posted seven days before the Town Meeting. Donna Damon said that her committee hoped to get the Town Report to the printer by early June. They estimated that printing will take two weeks.
Ken Hamilton asked when Donnaıs term in the Cumberland Council ends. The date is June 30.
7. At 9:05 Carol White moved, seconded by Stephen Todd to go into executive session to discuss personnel, legal issues and contracts pursuant to MRSA 405.6.A.1 – Title 1, Chapter 13, Section 405. Passed unanimously.
At 9:32 Leon Hamilton moved, seconded by Carol White to come out of executive session. Passed unanimously.
Leon and Ron Grenier left
8. At 9:35 Donna Damon moved, seconded by David Hill to go into executive session again to discuss contracts pursuant to MRSA 405.6.A.1 – Title 1, Chapter 13, Section 405. Passed unanimously. Peter Rice, Jane Frizzell and Susan Campbell were invited to sit in on the executive session.
At 10:15 Stephen Todd moved, seconded by John Martin to come out of executive session. Passed unanimously.
David Hill moved to adjourn.