Friday, November 7, 2008
Board of Selectmen shorts, Oct. 28
• Revenue decline. Chair Doug Stevenson reported at the October 25 Board of Selectmen (BOS) meeting that local receipts for the current year FY09 are not tracking as expected, and Finance Director Larry Barton is warning of a $50,000 shortfall.
The revenue enhancement report issued a few years ago will be re-reviewed at the November 10 BOS meeting.
• Cost of living increases 5%. The Finance Committee (FinCom) and Personnel Board came to discuss salary increases for non-contract employees. Jerry Lerner of the FinCom noted that “We expect a very tough year,” but while police and school employees are covered by contracts, “We can’t leave behind other town employees because they’re not part of a bargaining unit.” The Personnel Board members reported that school employees will receive 5% and the police about 3% cost-of-living raises this year, with the school currently in contract negotiations for next year. Nationally, the cost of living went up 5% from September 2007 to September 2008. Selectman Tim Hult noted the need to stay current with prevailing wages, “For many years we fell too far behind” and he would prefer consolidation of positions over underpayment. The Personnel Board will meet and return with a recommendation at the November 10 BOS meeting.
• Fee waiver questioned. Alan Carpenito reported that the Planning Board had expressed concerns about the BOS having waived the $1,000 fee for the Ferns site plan review. The PB estimated their work at over $1,000 and opposed the waiver. “They let me know that in no uncertain terms,” said Carpenito. Chair Doug Stevenson asked Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie to review past policies regarding fee waiving. Hult noted that the BOS retains the prerogative to waive fees where there is a significant public interest.
• Public civility requested. A report that property assessments will receive an interim adjustment prompted Hult to appeal to the public for courtesy to the people at Town Hall. Alluding to some recent incidents, he emphasized that, “Employees are doing the best job they can to execute the policies of the town. They need to be treated with respect.”
• Cable TV Advisory Committee needs members. Selectman Bill Tice reminded the BOS he is the only member of the Cable Committee and the town’s contract with Comcast is coming up for renewal. Work is needed to make sure Carlisle gets as good a deal from Comcast as is on offer in other towns. A notice will be submitted.
• Christmas event. The BOS approved a request by Larry Bearfield to hold the Town’s Christmas on the Common on December 8 from 6 to 7 p.m. It was noted the event is being enhanced this year, “with more details to come.”
• Election preparations. A suggestion that Town Hall be closed on Election Day was not acted upon. It was felt that townspeople might want to transact business while there to vote. Also, the impact on parking would be negligible as it would be hard to get the word out to contractors requiring permits that they shouldn’t come that day.
• Personnel. Recently-hired Carlisle Building Inspector John Luther has received his state certification. Melissa Stamp, who this year assumed the position of Town Assessor, received a certificate from the Mass. Association of Assessing Officers for completion of courses in assessing procedures and administration.
Reviews of the Town Administrator and town employees are due soon. ∆
© 2008 The