Minutes of the meeting of the Town of Chebeague Transition Committee, September 20, 2006 at 7:15 at the Parish House
Members present: Donna Damon, Mark Dyer, Leon Hamilton, David Hill, John Martin (Chair), Jim Phipps, Doug Ross, Stephen Todd, and Carol White
1. Minutes: There was some initial discussion about the procedure for accepting and distributing the minutes. Donna moved to approve the minutes, as amended and said she thought the wording about executive sessions should be clarified by adding ³for example². Jim said that that no copies should be distributed until the minutes are adopted. John said he could copy things like the minutes at work. Beth suggested that she write a summary of the monthıs minutes for each issue of the Calendar. Carol suggested having an email distribution list. Ruth Slagle said the minutes should be posted in several places where people could copy them. The minutes as amended were approved unanimously.
2. Public questions and comments: John asked if there were any comments or questions from the public. Cheryl Buxbaum said she thought that the Sept 10 meeting had elected a good group which will work well together.
3. Old Business
a. Carol reported that she had gotten the regionalization grant application to Shane and it had been sent in on Monday. These State grants encourage towns to make arrangements related to provision of services with other towns. The grant could cover mailing, publications, facilitators, a financial person to do cost comparisons to see what arrangements would be most effective. Carol included $2000 of the money CICA has offered as the local match but isnıt sure it will be needed. The grants will be awarded in mid to late October. Donna thanked Carol for writing the grant, and others thanked Donna for taking it to the Council.
b. CICA money: John had prepared a letter of thanks to John Wilson. It was read and amended a bit. David moved to accept the letter as amended. Seconded by Donna. Approved unanimously.
John said he wanted this to be a topic at every meeting. Jim suggested having it at a regular place in the agenda. John asked if any one had information or comment on communication issues. Donna said she had reconsidered the issue, settled last time, about having a point person for communications with the media. Since the Committee is a public body and there may be legitimate differences of opinion among members, she thought that it would not be useful to try to centralize all communications. Doug asked whether it would still be possible to refer the media to the Chair or Vice Chair. Donna saw no problem with that. Stephen said that members should be clear when they speak for themselves to the media. Donna moved that with the exception of issues taken up in executive committee, members of the Committee can talk to members of the public and the media or they can refer questions to the Chair or Vice-chair, as they thought appropriate. Seconded by David. Passed unanimously.
Leon asked how we were communicating with people off the island who are interested. David said that this would be done on the web page and the Calendar. The website could include feedback to the Committee. Sylvia Ross asked whether everyone shouldnıt come to these meetings. It was agreed to add to the minutes a note encouraging people to come and to communicate with members of the Committee. Cheryl Buxbaum suggested having periodic surveys of opinion on issues being discussed. Carol said there was money for that in the regionalization grant.
5. Official Records: They will be in a notebook in the Library.
6. CICA budget estimates: John said this would be the first, short review of this issue. David explained how the budget numbers were arrived at for the secession effort by looking at Cumberland expenditures on the island and comparing them with similar expenses on other islands. The budget number for each town function is a place for the subcommittees to start working out what they would recommend to the Committee. John asked whether there was any legal obligation to work within this budget. David said no. John asked whether it would be easy to make overall budget projections based on different mill rates. David said it would be possible though not easy. Donna and Jim both said that their image of the process was that each subcommittee would develop its own budget, though the CICA numbers and the assumptions that underlay them could be useful guidance. Then the full Committee would work out the overall budget. The mill rate would follow from that.
John suggested that since everyone sounded interested in discussing the subcommittee structure, that the Committee move to item 8 on the agenda.
8. Subcommittee structure: David and Jim asked if the heading in the agenda referred to structure for the Town or the Transition Committee. Mark suggested having ³governmental structure² as one of the subcommittees. It would consider things like whether to have a town manager or administrator. Cheryl Buxbaum stated strongly that she wanted to see a Town Meeting form of government with an administrator, not a Council-Manager form Leon moved to set up a governmental structure committee. Seconded by Donna. David and Jim said they thought that all the subcommittees should be created together, not one at a time. Leon thought that the structure should come first. Donna, Doug and Mark all said that there was enough information from State and Cumberland sources to make a list of all the subcommittees without settling the structure of the Townıs government beforehand. Mark suggested:
Health and Human Services
Harbors and shellfish/marine issues
Administration and general government
Transportation to the mainland
Leon withdrew his original motion, with Donnaıs agreement, and said he was in favor of setting up all of these committees. Donna asked where cemeteries would fit? Cheryl Buxbaum said that the clam warden has to go under public safety and Mark replied that that was one of the problems he hoped a marine committee would deal with. David suggested a slightly different list of subcommittees:
Governmental structure including Town Clerk, General Assistance and Assessor
Community services including cemetery, library and recreation.
Harbors/Waterfront and Transportation
There was discussion of whether these subcommittees would have to cover too much ground. Doug said that each subcommittee could and probably should have subcommittees as well. He also said that it would be inevitable that there would be cross-cutting issues that would affect more than one subcommittee. Donna mentioned shellfish and inter-local agreements as examples. Several people suggested that ³transportation² be made a separate committee. Jim said it should be called ³access². Jill Malony said that some subcommittee would have to deal with island parking. Donna said that it was not up to these subcommittees to try to solve all the islandıs problems, only to recommend government structures to do so. Beth read out the revised set of subcommittees:
David moved that the list of subcommittees be accepted. Seconded by Doug. Passed unanimously. Then members of the Committee chose which committee they would write the ³charge² for. The charge should be no longer than half a page and tells the committee their direction and what they are supposed to bring back to the full committee. Carol said that writing the charge for a subcommittee should not mean that the person would have to be the Chair of that committee. Donna asked that everyone circulate their charges to the others by Sunday evening. People signed up as follows:
Governmental Structure – Donna Damon
Finance – David Hill
Education – Carol White
Public Works – Stephen Todd
Public Safety – Doug Ross
Land Use – Beth Howe
Community Services – John Martin
Marine Issues – Leon Hamilton
Access/Transportation – Jim Phipps
Waste Management – Mark Dyer