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At the meeting of the Randolph Board of Selectmen held Monday, January 23, 2006, the following were present: Chairman Paul K. Fernandes, Vice Chairman and Clerk William Alexopoulos, members Daniel M. Lam and Richard W. Wells, Executive Secretary Michael J. Carroll, and Administrative Assistant Linda M. Sproules.
Mr. Lam said the opening prayer and Mr. Alexopoulos led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Hearing – Roger Dazulme – Request for livery permit for Massport purposes only
Application was withdrawn.
Richard Brown – Computer Needs Study Committee
Mr. Brown’s presentation was read into correspondence. The committee has recommended contracting with Vadar Systems. There were four vendors who made presentations. Vadar is a local company. Employees’ needs for hardware will be determined after the software is chosen. Mr. Brown asked the Board to authorize the Executive Secretary to have a contract drawn up with Vadar Systems per the recommendation. Any special software needs will be determined after the system is up and running. i.e. Recreation tracking, Clerk and Animal Control Officer. All costs are bondable with the exception of service costs which require a separate contract. Mr. Fernandes asked, if the Board accepts, what is the timeline? Mr. Brown said it would be set up with the Executive Secretary. They hope to run
parallel for a couple of months before the end of the year. Mr. Carroll reported that within the proposal there is a human resources module. The ADP payroll system has their own human resources module, or we can design our own. Mr. Carroll recommended adopting Mr. Brown’s recommendation. Further, this is a way to look at how the Town operates. The committee has looked at a draft policy for computer security with signatures. This was drafted by Mr. Connors. Mr. Carroll will start implementing document security protocol. Robert Lynch of Thevenin, Lynch (our auditing firm) was present. He has provided government offices with a procedure to check on computer systems. Mr. Lam moved that the Board of Selectmen accept the Computer Needs Study Committee recommendation and to authorize the Executive Secretary to execute a contract for the items mentioned in the recommendation. Voted, 4 in favor, none
Mr. Carroll said that the town just completed the last year of our 3-year contract with Thevenin, Lynch & Bienvenue. He recommended renewing the letter of engagement. Their proposal is for three years including GASB 34 and compliance testing for FY06-$35,000, FY07-$37,000, and FY08-$39,000. With their knowledge of the town, the computer conversion will be easier. Mr. Alexopoulos moved to approve the request of the Executive Secretary for hiring the accounting firm for the totals stated. Voted, 4 in favor, none opposed.
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Hearing – JD’s Pub request to expand (outdoor beverage service) at 7-9 Short Street
Mr. Carroll recommended that this matter be continued to another date. He will contact the applicant to withdraw without prejudice until he is ready. The applicant must appear before the Zoning Board of Appeals first. Mr. Wells moved to continue to February 6th at 8:30 p.m. Voted, 4-0.
Proposal to combine the Executive Secretary and Town Accountant
Mr. Lam provided a draft of the language which was read. Recommended:
1) Immediate appointment of Michael J. Carroll as the acting Town Accountant.
2) Authorize the acting Town Accountant to develop plans for a Town Accountant.
3) After the 2006 Town Meeting, consider consolidating the Accountant, Treasurer, and Collector.
Items 1 and 2 can be implemented immediately. Mr. Carroll spoke with the Assistant Town Accountant and the principal clerk about analyzing the work. He will sit with them at the end of the week. He is looking for efficiency. When he was at the MMA he spoke to a number of people and auditors. Firms are booked solid. Municipal experience is difficult to get right now. The Board might want to consider audit experience or a CPA and don’t dwell on municipal experience. People can learn the system. This would broaden the candidates. The Vadar System has a report writer built in. CPA’s can do this. The DOR financial book is beneficial. We need to change the parameters of the search. Mr. Lam said we need a Town Accountant and we need supervision. We cannot
appoint a permanent right now until we see how Town Meeting votes. Mr. Lam moved to immediately appoint Executive Secretary Michael Carroll to be the Acting Town Accountant, to authorize the Acting Town Accountant to develop a plan for the office, and Town Meeting can decide on combining. Seconded by Mr. Alexopoulos for discussion. Mr. Alexopoulos asked if it would make sense to have a date certain (to serve in the position). Mr. Alexopoulos amended to appoint until June 30, 2006. Seconded by Mr. Lam. Mr. Wells said there may be people available after April 15th (tax deadline). Mr. Lam said that the Board would need time to get up to speed concerning the suggestion by Mr. Carroll to seek a CPA. Mr. Alexopoulos’s amendment was voted, 4 in favor, none opposed. Mr. Lam’s motion was voted, 4 in favor, none opposed.
Report of the Executive Secretary
1) Presented a written recommendation for agenda and meeting preparation to the Board. Agendas would close on Thursdays. Meeting packets would be delivered to the Board on Friday. Agenda would be posted on website and sent to cable. Minutes and executive sessions would be completed and drafts prepared. Mr. Lam said he liked the clearer procedures. Meetings would be held on the first and third Mondays each month. If a holiday falls on a meeting day, it would be held the following Monday. Mr. Lam suggested approved minutes be put on the website also. Meetings could be cancelled if there is nothing on the schedule.
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Report – continued
1) Mr. Lam questioned canceling meetings. If the schedule is 1st and 3rd, should we cancel? He felt the Board should be consistent. Cancelled meetings would be posted on the website and cable. Mr. Wells moved the recommendation. Voted, 4 in favor, none opposed.
2) Has reviewed the FY06 budgets under the responsibility of the Selectmen with Mike Lane and Linda Sproules. Presented drafts of FY07 budgets for the Board’s review. Mr. Fernandes brought up the MIS person, and an Economic Development Coordinator/Planner. Mr. Carroll said the EDC is different from a town planner. An EDC would attract business to the town to build the tax base. PWED grants attract business. A planner needs to have knowledge of community planning, Mass. General Laws, subdivision control law, etc. It should be looked at as an investment. Mr. Alexopoulos said it would be a good fit for the town. Health insurance has a possible 15% increase according to Cook & Company. There are some capital needs projects for the Town Hall
(repairing the skylight, baffling the A/C system in the meeting room). Street lights will remain at $310,000. Might have to turn some off. It was suggested that for next year, reorganize the budget categories and consolidate all Selectmen accounts.
3) On Wednesday, he will attend a no cost seminar presented by MEMA in Foxboro with Chief Foley. After that session, he will get together with various department heads to discuss the possibility of drills. Mr. Lam encouraged him to meet with Safety Officer Robert LeGrice about this.
4) A business is interested in purchasing an existing vacant building. They don’t know the permit procedures. To facilitate the permitting process, Mr. Carroll spoke to an active representative of the Master Plan Implementation Committee. Recommended bringing in the applicant with representatives from various departments before they spend a lot of money because the permit costs can run high. He would like to make the process smoother. Mr. Fernandes suggested a pre-application hearing. This could be done for major companies.
5) A staff member from the Mass. Economic Development office will be here on Thursday. Roger Kahan of the Business & Industrial Commission has been invited.
6) The Financial Management Team will meet every two weeks for ½ hour to update revenue, interest rates, etc. This is the former “cast of characters”.
7) The Building Commissioner provided an updated list of items of concern regarding the Crawford Square Business District. A hearing checklist will follow. Mr. Carroll met with Jim Burgess and the Master Plan
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Report – continued
8) Implementation Committee. There are concerns about the definition of “use”, the requirement of a special permit, and the intent of the bylaw. Instead of disagreeing, they will work together to get the bylaw to work as intended. The Building Commissioner will identify the issues that she sees are a problem. Mr. Wells asked that the checklist be amended by changing “DPW Engineer” to “Town Engineer”.
9) Has been reviewing expenditure patterns and will ask all departments for probable needs for Reserve Fund Transfers, in order to avoid issues and shortfalls.
Mr. Wells praised the newly reorganized Board of Recreation under the direction of Chairman Edward Daly. They have made great progress and everything is going well.
Gerald Kaplan complained about the same noise problems in his apartment keeping him up and that he is unable to go to his medical appointments.
TM member Joseph Burke felt that May 22nd is too late to start Town Meeting. He said the zoning articles could have been done first. Mr. Fernandes said that the Board is following a timeline with public hearings. After the warrant is signed, it will go to the Personnel Board and Planning Board for public hearings.
Status of Town Meeting Warrant
Mr. Carroll updated the Board. Draft warrant was produced. This is not the report to the Town Meeting. The next step is to review and vote to post the warrant. Town Counsel has commented on those articles he can amend. The articles with 10 signatures will go on the warrant as submitted but can be amended on the Town Meeting floor. Appropriate articles should be included in the omnibus budget article and revolving articles should be in one revolver article. The FinCom will probably take that approach. Chief Foley said that he wanted to be able to speak on the merit of each of his articles. The zoning articles have been forwarded to the Planning Board to schedule the public hearings. Mr. Burgess asked if Town Counsel will fix the articles that were submitted with 10 signatures. Mr. Wells advised that the articles will go on the warrant as printed but Town Counsel will amend on the Town Meeting floor. Town Counsel cannot change citizen articles. There was much discussion
regarding this topic. A motion could be developed in advance of Town Meeting. Motions could be a part of the Report from the Finance Committee. Mr. Carroll said that when the report is prepared it will be like a trail – article, intent of the article, recommendation of the FinCom, and the actual motion. The FinCom has asked for the warrant in electronic format to which they will add their recommendations. Mr. Burgess asked about the article to change town
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Warrant - continued
government. Only the article will be printed. The book would have to be provided to Town Meeting members. Proponents could make copies and make them available around town. The actual article is one sentence that refers to a study on file in the Clerk’s office. Jean Duddy of the Animal Welfare Committee asked if they will be notified of changes. It was pointed out that she will have the warrant. Petitioners should be notified as to what will appear and what they will have to get. There was more discussion as to what Town Counsel can and cannot do. Mr. Fernandes said the law prevents us from changing the text, but nothing prohibits Town Counsel from preparing motion. Mr. Wells moved to authorize Town Counsel to look at the articles submitted by citizens (10 signatures) to
assist them with their motions. Seconded by Mr. Alexopoulos for discussion. Mr. Alexopoulos said he felt uncomfortable having Town Counsel write a motion. Mr. Wells said that if a citizen did not agree they would not have to accept the motion. Mr. Fernandes said that he would like to table the motion about Town Counsel until he hears from him. Mr. Fernandes moved to table to the next meeting. Seconded by Mr. Wells. Voted, 4 in favor, none opposed. Mr. Alexopoulos would like to schedule a meeting prior to the next meeting. Mr. Carroll said the FinCom is mainly interested in appropriations. Those articles could be forwarded in a list. The list could be forwarded with the caveat that some are not final. At the Board’s direction, Mr. Carroll will forward to the FinCom the draft warrant plus 8 additional articles. The warrant will not be posted yet. Mr. Lam asked that they have it by January 30th. Any article submitted with 10 signatures will be indicated. Mr. Lam said
that instead of sending the FinCom a draft warrant, the Board should meet as soon as possible. Meeting will be posted for January 26th at 4:30 p.m. Following that meeting, a final warrant will be sent to the FinCom. Mr. Fernandes withdrew his motion. Mr. Wells withdrew his motion.
Fire Department ambulance rates
Chief Foley submitted a chart showing current and proposed rates for BLS, ALS I and ALS II. Mr. Alexopoulos moved to approve the new fees. Chief Foley said this is done annually in line with Medicare. Seconded by Mr. Lam. Voted, 4 in favor, none opposed.
Fire Department – accept gift
Chief Foley attended the recent anniversary celebration at the Simon Fireman House. He received a check from them in the amount of $500 for the Fire Department. Mr. Alexopoulos moved to accept the gift. Voted, 4 in favor, none opposed.
Mr. Fernandes said he picked up informative booklets at the recent MMA conference regarding revenues and the drop in local aid.
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New Business – continued
Mr. Fernandes said he has been talking with the Finance Committee chairman about putting together a long term plan for finances.
Mr. Fernandes said that there are a number of appointments involving the retired and the new Executive Secretary. The Right to Know officer might be given to Chief Foley. The Board’s representative to the MBTA, MWRA, and MAPC should be held by the Executive Secretary position.
Mr. Fernandes said a Government Roundtable will be established. He will be inviting all of the Chairs of elected Boards and Commissions to a meeting to expand and communicate as a group where Randolph is going. He is not sure how often the group will meet.
Mr. Lam announced that Sunday, January 29th begins the Chinese New Year.
Voted, 4 in favor, none opposed to adjourn.
Meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
CLERK OF THE BOARD