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March 7, 2006 Minutes

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 at the East Windsor Town Hall

Mrs. Roberts called the meeting to order at 7:30 at the East Windsor Town Hall.


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

A.      Regular Meeting Minutes of February 21, 2006

MOTION: To accept the regular meeting minutes of February 21, 2006, as submitted.
                Made by Mr. Sinsigallo, seconded by Mr. Hayes


VI.     COMMUNICATIONS – The following were discussed briefly:
A.      Final Request for Charter Revision Commission Input
B.      Mixed Population Issue In State Elderly Housing
C.   CCM/Governor’s Proposed Budget Revisions For FY 06-07

A.      Linda Roberts, First Selectman
·       The Town will get money for flood relief from FEMA.
·       The Blue/Gold Cub Scout banquet was on March 4.  Unfortunately the attendance was not what it has been in the past.
·       There was a luncheon at the new office for Network Against Domestic Abuse, the office had been rebuilt due to a fire.  
·       The CIRMA representative met with Ms. Roberts and discussed which agencies are insured and which ones are not.  Ms. Roberts will send a memo to the agencies with the information.
·       There are no changes to the budge presentation worksheet.
B.      Kenneth Crouch, Deputy First Selectman
·       Building Committee – Police Department renovations are going well and are 80% complete.  They are keeping an eye on the money and it is possible they will run out before it is done.  For Volunteer Park the tree trimmer finished the trimming and they are going to pave the stone drive.  There will possibly be power there in the Spring.   Regarding the salt shed at the Town Garage, the architect will begin in the Spring when the weather complies.
C.      Thomas Sinsigallo, Selectman
·       He visited the police department to see the renovations to the new dispatch and records division and they are coming along fine.
D.      Edward Filipone, Selectman
·       Planning and Zoning Commission – there has been no action on anything new and he outlined the applications pending.
·       WPCA – the agenda items and applications approved were outlined
·       EDC – No meeting held
·       Charter Revision Commission – more chapters have been drafted, the last meeting was canceled due to the snow storm
E.      Gilbert Hayes, Selectman
·       No report.  There still remains a conflict with his coverage of the Housing Authority due to meeting night conflict.  Another selectmen needs to cover this agency, or possibly do a trade of coverage.

A.      Vacancies:
American Heritage River Commission:
Four Regular Members, republican, or unaffiliated, one vacancy to be filled, term expiring 11/1/2006. ~Three regular 4-yr. terms available.
Four Alternate vacancies, 4-year terms
Conservation Commission:
One Alternate Member, republican or unaffiliated vacancy to be filled, 4-yr. term expiring 1/1/2008
Economic Development Commission:
One Regular Member, republican or unaffiliated, vacancy, 4-yr. term
Director of The Greater Hartford Transit District: ~Representative needed
Historical Commission:
One Regular Member, republican or democrat, vacancy to be filled, 4-yr. term expiring 11/1/2006
Municipal Facilities Study Committee:
Two Regular Members; one democrat from Board of Selectmen & one republican from Board of Finance
Municipal Building Code Board of Appeals:
Five Regular Members
Planning & Zoning Commission:
One Alternate Member, democrat or unaffiliated, one vacancy to be filled, term expiring 8/1/2006
Property Maintenance Code Bd. Of Appeals:
One Regular Member, republican or unaffiliated vacancy, 4-yr. term and Two Alternate vacancies, R or U, 4-yr. terms
Veterans Commission:
One Regular Member, democrat or unaffiliated, 4-yr.term
Volunteer Incentive Committee:
One Regular Member; one republican from the Board of Finance, 18-month term to expire 4/1/2007

B.      Resignation:  None

Cheryl Littlefield, (D) Elderly Commission, 4-year term to expire 3/1/2010

MOTION: To reappoint Cheryl Littlefield to the Elderly Commission for a four year term to expire 3/1/2010.
                Made by Mr. Crouch, seconded by Mr. Sinsigallo

New Appointments, Applications to be considered:  
John A. Matthews, (U) Planning & Zoning Commission, Vacancy to be filled,  alternate  4-yr. term to expire 8/2/2006

MOTION: To appoint John Mathews as an alternate to the Planning and Zoning Commission to fill a vacancy, term to expire 8/1/2006.
Made by Mr. Sinsigallo, seconded by Mr. Crouch

IX.     UNFINISHED BUSINESS                
A.      Budget FYE 2007

The schedule remains as it has been posted.  The Board of Selectmen will meet on the 28th, and the Board of Finance hears from the Police Department on the 29th.  The police chief will be at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on the 21st to give the police budget presentation – so all parties can stay in line with the current schedule.

B.      Natural Resource Preservation Committee, re: Bonding money for Farmland Preservation

Albert Grant came before the Board.  The August 16, 2005 motions were reviewed specifically as printed in the minutes of that meeting.  Since no action was taken in November, the whole idea needs to be revisited and the process needs to start anew.  Mr. Grant provided the Board back up as requested at the last meeting, but the Board expressed an interest in specifications as to criteria for the surrounding towns which have such a program in place.  It was expressed that the Board of Finance will still have numerous questions – and it is the intent to get this out for the voter opinion, but it is important to present a clear picture to the taxpayers of all the implications of this debt service accumulation and the total cost.  Mr. Grant outlined his thoughts as to the benefits of purchasing the development rights and the effect on agricultural base and revenue produced from this action over a long period of time.  The concept of locking a piece of property from development, the State programs for purchasing development rights and the possibility of buying back development rights in the future was briefly discussed.  The concerns were expressed with the intent of the next generation and what tying up a property indefinitely may have on future actions.  The concept needs to evolve into a firm program, so the Town can move this to the next level and put it before the taxpayers with all the details.   The Selectmen want more information, this is a complex issue which needs thorough review and understanding.  The Selectmen felt the voters need to know what they would be obligating the town to as far as debt service and a draft definitive program needs to be presented to the Selectmen by way of possibly an ordinance which delineates the program parameters.  It was felt that there is no way it is a vague bond issue in the towns that have this program in place – something definitive must be in place to allow this to happen   Mr. Grant suggested Suffield would be a good example and he also outlined his understanding and work to date with this concept through the Land Trust.  The Board of Finance needs to also view this program and receive information so they can pursue the aspects as to finances.  The motion was drafted to allow the Board of Finance and the Board of Selectmen to work at the same time, the Finance Board can review and learn about the financial aspect while the Selectmen learn and discuss how to get the information to the voters and implement the program with definitive parameters.   Mr. Grant needs to outline how to pick the property, who picks the properties, the criteria to evaluate offers and also talk with other towns about their programs in place.  Ms. Roberts will ask CCM if they have a model program as well.

MOTION: To recommend that the proposed Resolution entitled "Resolution Appropriating $5,000,000 For the Acquisition of Land or Interests In Land~~~ for Open Space Preservation, Recreation, Conservation or Agricultural Land Preservation and authorizing the Issuance of ~$5,000,000 Bonds of the Town to Meet said Appropriation and Pending the Issuance Thereof The Making Of Temporary Borrowings For Such Purpose" be considered as a ballot question - contingent on a defined program in place which the Board of Selectmen must approve.  Currently it is asked that the Board of Finance start to consider the financial aspects of this proposal and how it effects future budgets.  
Made by Mr. Sinsigallo, seconded by Mr. Hayes

C.      Special Town Meeting Petitions

The Selectmen discussed the Attorney Penny’s letter dated March 6, 2006 which visited the issue of the Special Town Meeting by Petition.  The last paragraph reads:
“Section 10-8 I of the Charter mandates that the Town Meeting ‘not act upon any appropriation which has not been recommended or referred to the Town Meeting by the Board of Finance.’  Accordingly, it is my opinion that the petition cannot be referred to a Town Meeting by the Board of Selectmen until the Board of Finance has acted thereon.”

MOTION: To refer the Special Town Meeting by Petition to the Board of Finance for their action and consideration.
                Made by Mr. Crouch, seconded by Mr. Filipone

Extensive discussion took place regarding this course of action, specifically in that the Board of Finance will be looking to the Board of Selectmen for a recommendation.  It was discussed how the petition looks to address something that was previously soundly defeated at referendum.  There is no mechanism for the Board of Selectmen to refuse sending this to Town Meeting, other than the Board of Finance refusal.  Mr. Filipone commended that some of the information brought forth before the vote was misleading and maybe it was worth looking at again.  Mr. Sinsigallo refuted that by outlining that there were lots of unanswered questions at the Public Hearing.    The Selectmen continued to debate the issue and the thought was it was not a good idea to resend to Town Meeting as no changes to the concept and/or project had been brought forth and it had been soundly defeated as the proposal stands.  It is something that can be looked at again if the criteria changes.  Mr. Sinsigallo reiterated that as an official of the Town of East Windsor he would not subsidize a developer as long as he was on the Board of Selectmen.  Mr. Crouch expressed the Selectmen need to do what the Charter dictates.  Mr. Hayes moved the question.

VOTE:   In favor:  Roberts, Crouch, Hayes, Filipone
                Opposed:  Sinsigallo

D.      BBFD and WHPFD, re: Billing for MVA/Town Ordinance

Dave Lockwood came before the Selectmen to answer any questions.  Ms. Roberts outlined efforts to contact other towns who have instituted this program. She is awaiting several return calls and will provide the Board with information gathered in the future.  Mr. Lockwood expressed that there was another company who did fire department billing and he would get that information for the Selectmen as well.
        *The Fire Department had not yet provided an opinion regarding the Lion’s Club use of the Fire Department facility, but it was being discussed at a BBFD meeting this night.  The Chief will provide Ms. Roberts with the result in the near future.

E.      Ethics Ordinance

The Selectmen reviewed a packet of material regarding the Ethics Ordinance, including a new bill regarding an “Act concerning municipal and district ethic codes”  Ms. Roberts presented the four items regarding the procedures for enforcing the ethics code.  Also at the public hearing concerns regarding section 3.1 as presented provided some concerns regarding conflicts of interest and how a literal interpretation could cause problems.  For example, the draft as presented if interpreted literally could present a situation where  a Board of Selectmen member could not have a relative working for Parks and Recreation, etc.  As such alternative language was presented which alleviated those concerns – the language was pulled from CCM Draft dated 3/18/05.  The Board liked the suggested language as it allowed a member to disclose the conflict and step down from a decision.   The draft language to replace 3.1 was approved by the selectmen and the following sentence was to be added to the end of Subpart A “[s]uch official shall recuse themselves from the decision making process.”

MOTION: To forward the proposed Town of East Windsor Code of Ethics as amended to Town Meeting, date to be determined by the First Selectman.
        Made by Mr. Filipone, Seconded by Mr. Crouch

F.      *Tax Relief for the Elderly

X.      NEW BUSINESS            
A.      Fair Housing Posters
·       Adopt Fair Housing Resolution

MOTION: To adopt the Fair Housing Resolution as presented
                Made by Mr. Hayes, seconded by Mr. Filipone

·       Adopt Fair Housing Policy Statement

MOTION: To adopt the Fair Housing Policy Statement as presented
                Made by Mr. Hayes, seconded by Mr. Crouch

·       Adopt Title VI Equal Opportunity Statement

MOTION: To adopt the Title VI Equal Opportunity Statement as presented
                Made by Mr. Hayes, seconded by Mr. Filipone

B.      Community Day May 13, 2006
·       Proclamation for Community Day

MOTION: To adopt the Proclamation for Community Week May 8-13, 2006, as presented.
                Made by Mr. Crouch, seconded by Mr. Hayes.

C.      Tax Refunds
MOTION: To approve the tax refunds in the amount of $6,723.19 as recommended by the Tax Collector.
Made by Mr. Sinsigallo, seconded by Mr. Filipone

A.      In accordance with Connecticut General Statute Section 1-200 (6) (a)
Ratification of Contract

MOTION: To enter into Executive Session at 8:55 p.m. in accordance with CGS Section 1-200(6)(a) Ratification of Contract
                Made by Mr. Hayes, seconded by Mr. Filipone

MOTION: To come out of Executive Session at 9:15 p.m.
                Made by Mr. Hayes, seconded by Mr. Sinsigallo

MOTION: To ratify the contract.
                Made by Mr. Crouch, seconded by Mr. Hayes
                Vote:   In favor:  Crouch, Sinsigallo, Hayes
                        Opposed:        Filipone
                        Abstained:      Roberts


MOTION: To adjourn at 9:20 p.m.
                Made by Mr. Sinsigallo, seconded by Mr. Hayes.

Respectfully submitted,

Cynthia D. Croxford
Recording Secretary

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