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January 17, 2006 Minutes

TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
BOARD OF SELECTMEN

REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
January 17, 2006


I.      TIME AND PLACE OF MEETING
Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 7:30 p.m. at the East Windsor Town Hall

Mrs. Roberts called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m. on December 20, 2005 at the East Windsor Town Hall, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook.

*The Joint Board of Selectman and Board of Finance meeting will take place when all Board of Finance Members are present – in the meantime the regular Board of Selectmen meeting took place.

II.     ATTENDANCE

Linda Roberts, First Selectman
Kenneth Crouch, Deputy First Selectman
Thomas Sinsigallo, Selectman  
Gil Hayes, Selectman
Edward Filipone, Selectman

III.    ADDED AGENDA ITEMS - None
                       
IV.     PREVIOUS MINUTES
A.      Regular meeting minutes of December 20, 2005

MOTION: To approve the regular meeting minutes of December 20, 2005, as submitted.  Made by Mr. Filipone, seconded by Mr. Hayes
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR.  MOTION CARRIED.

V.      PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

William Loos, Melrose Road
At the annual town meeting he inquired as to when the Town Budget booklet would be ready, he had been advised two weeks. At this point three weeks have gone by and he has not gotten a copy of the booklet.  Mr. Loos was advised that a copy can be viewed in the Town Clerk’s office.

Additionally he inquired about the auditor report and the infrastructure reporting that is to be done and in place in July, 2006. This effects the budget, where does the town stand on this reporting?  Ms. Roberts outlined this will be addressed later in the meeting in the joint session.

Lastly Mr. Loos wanted to address the discrepancy in the sewer collection as noted in the auditor’s report.  Ms. Roberts outlined this will be addressed later in the meeting in the joint session.

MARIE DESOUSA – RICE ROAD
Ms. DeSousa questioned the legal notice regarding the Developer’s Agreement and the reference to the First Selectman signing the document.  Ms. Roberts outlined she would be authorized to sign because she serves as CEO and the Board sets forth that she is authorized to sign the document.

VI.     COMMUNICATIONS – These items were for the Board’s information, with some side notes highlighted.
A.      Connecticut Labor Force October & November, 2005
B.      Voting Machines to be used in 2006 Election (It was noted that as there is no longer a need for the machines, it will effect the Capital Improvement Plan to be discussed later in the meeting.)
C.      Veterans Day 5K Road Race Treasurer’s report (there was a question of the fund balance maintained for this.  It is a trust fund that is interest bearing, similar to the DARE program fund for EWPD.)
D.      Greater Hartford Transit District Board of Director Minutes of January 5, 2006
E.      Scout Hall Lease
F.      State Solid Waste Management Plan

VII.    SELECTMEN’S REPORTS
A.      Linda Roberts, First Selectman – No report
B.      Kenneth Crouch, Deputy First Selectman – No report
C.      Thomas Sinsigallo, Selectman
Mr. Sinsigallo referenced a letter addressed to the Board of Selectmen regarding Emergency Management Vehicle/Ambulance that was not on the agenda.  He stated that anytime a letter is addressed to the Selectmen, a courtesy letter should be sent back advising that the Selectmen received the communication.
D.      Edward Filipone, Selectman
·       Mr. Filipone outlined the PZC agenda items and the moratorium public hearings.
·       He voiced concern regarding lack of quorums on various boards and commission.  Finding people to serve on boards and commissions is a challenge – so often the same people serve on several.  Many of those meetings are held on the same night, so some boards/commissions have a constant problem with reaching a quorum.  It was suggested this go before the Charter Revision Commission for possible incorporation into the Charter.
E.      Gilbert Hayes, Selectman
·       Mr. Hayes outlined a conflict with the boards/commissions he had signed up to oversee due to meeting night conflict.  Mr. Hayes and Mr. Filipone will switch boards/commissions to accommodate their schedules and advise the Board of the changes.
·       Library Ad Hoc Committee – This Committee needs to get another extension for their charge as they are awaiting the Charter Revision piece and whether it is Charter driven or Ordinance Driven.  The January 15, 2006 communication to the Chairman of the Charter Revision Commission was read out loud.  Also the proposed pamphlet for the public was distributed for review.
·       Board of Education  the proposed budget presented is a 9.9% increase at this time.  Also there is a movement by two parents, which was outlined in the newspaper, regarding policy change to get Christmas tree back in the school system.  Mr. Hayes stated his position was that as a U.S. Citizen the country was founded on Christian beliefs and “In God We Trust.” – so what happened?

VIII.   BOARD AND COMMISSION APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATION
A.      VACANCIES – as outlined in the agenda.
B.      Resignation

NATURAL RESOURCE PRESERVATION COMMITTEE

MOTION: To accept, with regret, the resignation of Linda Kehoe from the Natural Resource Preservation Committee
                Made by Mr. Sinsigallo, seconded by Mr. Hayes
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR.  MOTION CARRIED.

BOARD OF FINANCE – ALTERNATE
MOTION: To accept, with regret, the resignation of Holly Roberts as an alternate from the Board of Finance.
                Made by Mr. Crouch, seconded by Mr. Hayes
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR.  MOTION CARRIED.

C.      Reappointments – none
D.      New appointments

NATURAL RESOURCE PRESERVATION COMMITTEE
MOTION: To appoint Janice Warren to the Natural Resource Preservation Committee, to fill a vacancy, term to expire 7/31/06.     
                Made by Mr. Filipone, seconded by Mr. Sinsigallo
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR.  MOTION CARRIED.

BOARD OF FINANCE – ALTERNATE
MOTION: To appoint Jack Mannette to the Board of Finance as an alternate to fill a vacancy, term to expire 11/17/09.    
                Made by Mr. Sinsigallo, seconded by Mr. Hayes.
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR.  MOTION CARRIED.

BUILDING COMMITTEE
MOTION: To appoint Steve Pilch to the Building Committee to fill a vacancy, term to expire 6/1/2010.    
                Made by Mr. Crouch, seconded by Mr. Filipone
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR.  MOTION CARRIED.

WPCA ALTERNATE
MOTION: To appoint Edward Farrell to the WPCA as an alternate to fill a vacancy, term to expire 2/1/2010.       
                Made by Mr. Filipone, seconded by Mr. Crouch
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR.  MOTION CARRIED.

GRANT RESEARCHER AND PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
Ms. Roberts outlined that Mr. Edward Farrell has offered to research grants, not in competition with the current grant writer, Wagner, but on the same basis and at same pay as clerk of the works. The Board of Selectmen will know ahead of time as to cost and the Board concurred that it was a good idea for Mr. Farrell to do grant research.

MOTION:         To appoint Edward Farrell as a Grant Researcher and Public Information Officer, (no term required).
        Made by Mr. Filipone, seconded by Mr. Hayes.
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR.  MOTION CARRIED.

JOINT MEETING WITH BOARD OF FINANCE

Board of Finance members present:  Paul Catino, Chairman, Ms. Farmer, Mr. Dove, Ms. DeSousa, Mr. Symanski, Ms. Sorenson-Duray, Mr. Manette

Ms. Roberts and Mr. Catino called this Joint Session to order at 8:00 p.m.

1.      CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PLAN FYE 2007

Ms. Roberts distributed the current Capital Improvement Plan (hereinafter referred to as “CIP”) and reviewed the CIP policy in detail.  Ms. Roberts outlined the importance of the CIP and its role in the Town’s debt service and the importance of it to maintain bond rating status.   Ms. Roberts went through the plan line by line, fielding various questions the Board of Finance had providing the rational behind the CIP Committee made through presentations during its meetings.  The figure for the Broad Brook Dam is not a given as to the amount, but a guesstimate as realistic as possible made thru DEP estimates.  The Registrar Voter request is no longer necessary as per the latest state correspondence.  Ms. Roberts went through the Grant available for the Senior Vehicles, as well as the land acquisition request of the WHPFD due to adjoining land becoming available.  It was suggested maybe a “right of first refusal” can be obtained from the owner.  

The Board of Finance had questions regarding the computer requests for rescue vehicles – that line should be removed from the plan as the CIP Committee opted not to undertake that project at this time. Currently the Town is laying its foundation for the GIS system and this emergency vehicle computer portion is premature.  Discussion regarding grants for these systems was discussed and is being investigated.   The direct need for the heating system at the high school, a big ticket item, and the potential to break it up over two years was discussed.  The state of the high school boiler and the possibility of inability to retube again was discussed – it appears it can go at any time and repairs would be costly.   The energy savings at the schools for boiler replacement was discussed.  The police cruiser request buys two cruisers.  

The CIP and its mission to provide the Town a long term plan was discussed. Concerns were expressed that a clear picture of the future town needs is not being painted with plan as presented.  Ms. Roberts outlined that there is a facility study committee in place, which will provide a report at the end of their charge.  This report will give a comprehensive vision of exactly what the Town’s needs are as it pertains to town facilities.  

The Broad Brook Fire Department Rescue request was detailed and the current equipment outlined and the Department’s rationale behind the need for a new vehicle.

MOTION BY BOARD OF SELECTMEN, as amended with edit
To accept the Capital Improvement Plan and to recommend the CIP to the Board of Finance (edit: with the “Broad Brook F.D. – computer info system on apparatus” line deleted - as it is not part of the plan presented).
Made by Mr. Hayes, seconded by Mr. Crouch
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR.  MOTION CARRIED.

2.      Auditor’s Recommendation

Ms. Roberts outlined that this was a clean audit and there was nothing reportable, but the auditors make recommendations for future action by the Town.  The Town Treasurer, Ms. Szabo was unable to attend, but had provided her comments and suggestions as to the Town Auditors recommendations.  
·       Fixed asset Reporting – Ms. Szabo stated she is working on this and it will be completed in a timely fashion.
·       Cash Management – The Town has come a long way from the days of using pass books.  Ms. Szabo indicated that this is in a transition period from one bank to another, thus the need to keep some accounts open. Since the audit three accounts have been closed and the Town continues to have cash go through the Treasurer’s office.
·       Board of Education – Student Activity Funds – There is no answer to this recommendation.  The Board of Finance needs to address this issue and provide solutions for a better accounting policy in place, including deposits on a timely basis and possibly two signatures for withdrawal. THIS ITEM HAS TO BE ADDRESSED.
·       Water Pollution Control Authority – There was a paper jam on one of the five days that was chosen to audit.
·       Accounts payable – This is an ongoing problem.  Ms. Szabo continues to work on it and get firm with the purchase order dates.
·       Infrastructure reporting – Ms. Szabo is working on this project with a consulting firm and it will be done for the 2006 audit.
·       Town Retirement -  The Town is in good shape, but this will be a challenge for the pension board. Mr. Catino outlined that this is a problem that a lot of towns are facing.  There is a trend not to fund such items.  
·       Post employment benefits – The Boards discussed the information gathering taking place regarding the restricted policy and employee limited health benefits after retirement. Mass Mutual is to establish liabilities
·       Deposit and Investment Risk Management – The Pension Board will develop guidelines.

The response to the auditor has to be put on hold pending the response from the Board of Education.

JOINT BOARD OF FINANCE/BOARD OF SELECTMAN MOTION:       
That the First Selectman send a letter to the Board of Education regarding the auditor’s recommendation “Board of Education – Student Activity Funds” asking that they respond to the auditor’s recommendation.
Made by Ms. DeSousa, seconded by Mr. Sinsigallo
ALL MEMBERS OF BOTH BOARDS IN FAVOR.  MOTION CARRIED.

JOINT BOARD OF FINANCE/BOARD OF SELECTMAN MOTION:       
To table this item to the next Joint Meeting.
Made by Ms. DeSousa, seconded by Mr. Sinsigallo
ALL MEMBERS OF BOTH BOARDS IN FAVOR.  MOTION CARRIED.

3.      To establish guidelines for the budget FYE 2007

Mr. Catino led the lengthy discussion with both boards regarding concerns with zealous trend in recent years of the voting down of the budget.   The Boards reviewed the past year’s memo, which took a hard line as far as no increases, barring contractual obligations.  Ms. Roberts distributed information regarding types of expenses that are slated to increase - such as utilities - as well as what can be projected from the State in terms of increased revenue to the town.  The Capital projects have been underfunded in recent years, that needs to try to stay in place as presented.  The Boards struggled with the way to approach the Budget Memo, whether strict language was to be incorporated, similar to last year, but it was emphasized that this has to be followed – not just written.  If the memo states no increases, the Boards have to stick with it – the Memo needs to say what the finance board means and mean what they says.  “Don’t say it if you don’t mean it.”    

The budget year last year and referendum struggle was the topic of discussion and lead the concerns with how to present the budget memo this year.  The potential for reduction in services to the Town if the hard line approach is taken was a reality that was discussed as well.  The percentage of the budget that is noncontractual and non-utility is small.   The irony of hard economic times demanding more services on the town was discussed as well.   

Brainstorming took place regarding how to approach this year’s budget.  Is there an item across the genre of the town that can be cut, not seniors versus schools.  Is there a way the department heads can think outside the box to save money through cooperative efforts, i.e., one fire department, regionalized animal control.  Will town services need to be cut?  Are the economic times looking more optimistic with increased state funding, can the hard line be dropped?   

The Boards agreed unanimously that this year the Department Heads need to be made available to speak at the Public Hearing to stand up and talk to defend/justify their budget recommendations to the residents, who usually have direct questions.  The thought was the CEO of the town, the Chairman of the Police Commission, the Chief of Police, a representative of the Board of Education and maybe a representative of the Fire Department. The more information the public has possibly the less frustrations that will be seen.  A panel at the Public Hearing was a solid idea.  

The Boards were polled as to how they felt the budget memo should be drafted.  Mr. Catino and Ms. Roberts will talk and work on the wording of the memo.  The 5% reduction clause will be re-written with an explanation.  And the first paragraph will be reworded to reflect the projected “moderate” increase in state funding.  
  
BOARD OF FINANCE MOTION:        
That Chairman Paul Catino will draft the budget memo based on tonight’s joint discussions and Mr. Catino and Ms. Roberts will review and discuss the memo.
Made by Ms. Sorenson-Duray, seconded by Ms. Nelson
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR.  MOTION CARRIED.

4.      To set a meeting schedule for the budget process.

Mr. Catino distributed the budget meeting schedule FY 2007 and it was discussed in detail.

BOARD OF FINANCE MOTION:  
To accept the East Windsor Board of Finance Schedule for FY 2007 Budget as presented
Made by Ms. Farmer, seconded by Ms. Nelson
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR. MOTION CARRIED.

The Joint meeting of the Board of Finance and the Board of Selectmen concluded at 10:10 p.m.
………..

RETURN TO BOARD OF SELECTMEN

IX.     UNFINISHED BUSINESS                
A.      Ethics Ordinance - To be discussed at the next meeting.
B.      *Proposed Developers Agreement Town of East Windsor/Chapman (Special Town Meeting, January 19, 2006)
C.      *Tax Relief for the Elderly
D.      *Proposed Scenic Road Ordinance

X.      NEW BUSINESS            
A.      Request for alternate Positions on the Natural Resource Preservation Committee.

This Committee’s request for two alternates was discussed.  The original make up of the Committee established on February 15, 2005 was reviewed.

MOTION: To add two (2) alternate positions to the Natural Resource Preservation Committee established February 15, 2005.
                Made by Mr. Crouch, seconded by Mr. Sinsigallo
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR.  MOTION CARRIED.

B.      Winter Wonderland Walk Proclamation
MOTION: To adopt the Winter Wonderland Walk Proclamation as presented
                Made by Mr. Crouch, seconded by Mr. Sinsigallo
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR.  MOTION CARRIED.

C.      East Windsor High School Close-Up Foundation request

The Selectmen discussed this program, which is a great program, but due to current economic trends and outlining the fact that the Town has not donated to such programs in the past and does not wish to set a precedent of making donations, the Selectmen will not authorize a donation.

MOTION: To acknowledge the request of Michael Harrigan, Social Studies Department Chair, but due to current economic conditions, funding such a request is not possible for the Town at this time.  
                Made by Mr. Sinsigallo, seconded by Mr. Crouch.         
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR. MOTION CARRIED.

G.      Tax Refunds     

MOTION:        To approve the tax refunds in the amount of  $1,296.68 as recommended by the Tax Collector.
Made by Mr. Crouch, seconded by Mr. Sinsigallo
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR.  MOTION CARRIED
        

XI.     EXECUTIVE SESSION

A.      In accordance with Connecticut General Statute Section 1-200(6)(a) Personnel Matter

MOTION: To enter into Executive Session at 10:20 p.m. in accordance with Connecticut General Statute Section 1-200(6)(a) Personnel Matter
        Made by Mr. Sinsigallo, seconded by Mr. Hayes
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR.  MOTION CARRIED.

*Executive session was held in Ms. Roberts office as the Town Hall meeting room was split with a partition/divider and occupied by another Board, therefore, privacy could not be attained in the conference room.

**Please note Mr. Sinsigallo did not attend the Executive Session.

MOTION: To come out of Executive Session at 10:50 p.m.
                Made by Mr. Crouch, seconded by Mr. Filipone
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR.  MOTION CARRIED.

No motions were made as a result of the Executive Session.


XII.    ADJOURNMENT
MOTION: To adjourn at 10:55 p.m.
                Made by Mr. Crouch, seconded by Mr. Hayes.
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR.  MOTION CARRIED.



Respectfully submitted,

/cdc/

Cynthia D. Croxford
Recording Secretary

*Starred items will not be discussed, but will remain on agenda pending receipt of additional information.