Selectmen’s Meeting Notes, March 29, 2017 Meeting
Called to Order: 6:03 pm
Selectmen: Abbott, Spinney, and Baston
Citizens: Ed Pentaleri, Mike Trask, Jeff Whittemore
Press: Susan Johns, Wiscasset Newspaper
Mike Trask complained to the selectmen about the system – or lack thereof – for issuing permits under the newly-adopted Fireworks Ordinance. The selectmen said that since the ordinance doesn’t specify how permits are to be issued, it was up to their interpretation. Ed Pentaleri offered to look into an online permitting system to be set up on the town website (allowing for fire danger). In the interim the selectmen each offered to sign the permits when the town office is not open until the online system became in effect. The selectmen also reminded those present that while everyone may not agree with the ordinance, it was petitioned, voted on and overwhelmingly approved by Town Meeting. If the Selectmen encounter any problems in implementation, they will advise the Planning Board and amendments can be developed.
Appointing of Town Officials
The selectmen reappoint Lisa Arsenault as Town Clerk and Tax Collector and appointed Amy Stockford as Treasurer. (This is the first year the Treasurer is appointed, the Town Meeting having voted last year to change the position from elected to appointed.) Clerk Arsenault will find out which Planning Board member(s) need to be reappointed this year.
The only vacancy we are aware of among the other appointed positions, assuming all the incumbents are satisfied with their prestigious and lucrative positions, is one member of the Welfare Hearing Board which, to our knowledge, has never met. If someone is interested in serving, please contact Lisa. Salary is commensurate with experience.
Tax Anticipation Note
Selectman Abbott moved to borrow the tax anticipation note when needed, and it passed unanimously. (The bank requires a record of recorded vote.)
Semiannual Tax Bills
Selectman Baston brought up the possibility of sending out tax bills twice a year instead of once to smooth out the revenue flow to the town. This might avoid the cost of a tax anticipation note. Wiscasset and several other area towns do this. He will be speaking to our auditor, Fred Brewer, to see if this would be a good idea for the town.
The selectmen discussed the advisability of keeping architects Lewis + Malm on as advisors as we look at new options for the town office. All agreed that meeting space was the biggest problem. Selectman Abbott will be getting in touch with Sean Day to fix the cellar beam for the time being, and Selectman Baston will contact Lewis + Malm.
Since the revaluation authorization was passed at Town Meeting, the next step is to find an assessing firm to complete the task. Selectman Abbott will contact O’Donnell – our current assessors – to see when they could start. They have already given us a quote of $85 per property. The town has 679 properties. Selectman Spinney will contact neighboring towns to see who they have used recently then all will sit down and interview and go from there. The advantage of going with the current assessor is that he already knows the town.
Plowing Bid Specs
Selectman Baston is taking the current bid specs for the plowing contract home to work on so that we might get a jump on other towns and get more bidders for the future contract. Selectmen also have to decide what length future contracts will be.
Ed Pentaleri asked the selectmen if they would like town address emails set up through the website at the cost of $5/month. The selectmen voted to continue email the way it is, with people contacting them through their personal email addresses. Selectmen email addresses and telephone numbers will be posted on the website. Ed will also be looking into a way to connect the fireworks permit into the Maine fire danger system so that permits will not be granted on high fire danger days (3 and higher).
Cable Franchise Agreement
The selectmen voted unanimously to sign the cable franchise agreement.
Meeting adjourned 7:35 PM – (which was longer than the Town Meeting)