Friday, February 26, 2010
Selectmen shorts, February 9
• Town Meetings. The Warrant for Annual Town Meeting May 10 was briefly reviewed. No override warrant is being considered, but a transfer from free cash to balance the budget will be proposed. Articles include a $1,300,000 debt exclusion for the CCHS feasibility study and schematic design, with an expectation that 40% will be reimbursed by the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA). Other Articles that may or may not be moved include adoption of a stretch building code, investment in energy conservation, and raising fees at the Transfer Station.
A Warrant for capital expenditure for the Carlisle School building project will be considered at a Special Town Meeting on April 5. The bonding must also be approved at a Special Election on April 13.
• Open meeting law changes. Town Administrator Tim Goddard reported a change to the process for prior notification of public meetings when he spoke to the Board of Selectmen on February 9. The statutory 48-hour minimum notice of a public meeting can no longer include Saturday. A Carlisle government board or committee cannot post a meeting on Friday for the following Monday. Also, meeting postings must be visible to the public at all hours. Therefore, Carlisle must identify a way to make the bulletin board in the Town Hall lobby available for inspection by the public during non-business hours.
• Raise approved. A 2% cost-of-living raise for non-contractual employees was approved. It was noted that no recommendation from the Personnel Board was forthcoming because the board has only two members and requires three to vote.
• ConsCom funding request. ConsCom Chair Peter Burn discussed his committee’s need for $9,150 to shore up revolving funds that are drying up. For the 53E ½ account, revenues from fees are down ($2,867 in FY10 versus $16,546 in FY07) while wages are up ($8,763 in FY10 versus $4,158 in FY07). A past decision to reduce the ConsCom budget also affected funds. Because fees are supposed to cover work on matters requiring ConsCom approval, Administrator Sylvia Willard was asked if she could document her hours and expenses to get a better determination of why there was a shortfall. She responded that this would be difficult. Burns agreed to look into the issue in preparation for a meeting with the Finance Committee (see related article on page 5).
• Waiving Benfield fees proposed. The Selectmen reviewed a request by NOAH, the firm planning to develop senior housing on South Street, to waive local permit application fees. The Selectmen were not inclined to set a precedent of waiving fees; however, Housing Authority Chair Alan Lehotsky noted that this was “a friendly 40B.” Carlisle chose NOAH to construct the housing on town land as part of efforts to meet state requirements for affordable housing. The board supported covering $5,400 in fees by applying funds placed under the Selectmen’s discretion to support the Benfield project’s implementation pending verification by Goddard that this could take place. Approval was granted at their February 23 meeting (see article, page 7).
• Cable TV license. Attorney William Solomon will provide legal and consulting services to the town for the renewal of its cable television licensing agreement for an amount not to exceed $11,140, as unanimously approved by the Selectmen. The Cable Advisory Committee recommended Solomon to the board based on his technical expertise in the area, and experience working with local towns including Acton, Maynard and Hudson.
• Scout fertilizer sale. The Selectmen approved use of the Transfer Station on February 27 and March 6 by Boy Scout Troop 135 for an annual fundraiser to sell fertilizer.
• Vehicle transferred. The Selectmen approved transfer of a surplus car, a 1997 Mercury Marquis, from the police to the Fire Department. ∆
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