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September 2, 2008 Meeting Minutes

Ms. Menard called the meeting to order on Tuesday, September, 2, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. at the East Windsor Town Hall

Denise Menard, First Selectman
Gilbert Hayes, Deputy First Selectman
Dale Nelson, Selectman
Mark Simmons, Selectman

Unable to attend:
Edward Farrell, Selectman (scheduled absence)


MOTION:  To add appointment of William Raber as a full member to fill a vacancy for term expiring 11/1/2008.
Made by Mr. Hayes, seconded by Ms. Nelson

             A.  Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes of August 19, 2008
MOTION:  To approve the regular meeting minutes of August 19, 2008 as corrected.
Made by Mr. Hayes, seconded by Mr. Nelson
Page 4  - Five lines from the bottom of the Page should read as follows, “He detailed that there are …..their duties are to inspect the cemetery and report on any issues.



VI.     COMMUNICATIONS – The following was for the Board’s information:
         A.  Thank you Letter/WWII Veterans Ceremony

          A.  Denise Menard, First Selectman
Visited with Ed Farrell yesterday and reported that he is proceeding with an amazing recovery at the hospital.  Ms. Menard provided the Board with an email of Mr. Farrell’s ideas dated August 31, 2008.  

Ms. Menard provided a Senior Services Events and Activities Calendar for the Board’s information.  She will ask that this be distributed electronically in the future.

           B.  Gilbert Hayes, Deputy First Selectman
Independent Transportation Network (ITN) Kick off Picnic for Seniors 60 and over or legally blind. There was a good turn out with Senator representation.
          C.  Edward P. Farrell, Selectman – No report
          D.  Dale Nelson, Selectman – No report
          E.  Mark Simmons, Selectman
Parks and Recreation –the summer programs are over and on to soccer.  BMX Skateboard fundraiser was successful and is exploring other fundraising ideas.  
Met with the Fire Department and Cemetery flags and have a nice agreement and all left on a good note.

          A.   Resignations:     None
          B. Re-Appointments:  None
          C. New Appointments:  
PARKS AND RECREATION (*added agenda item)

MOTION: To appoint William Raber to the Parks and Recreation Commission, to fill a vacancy, term to expire November 1, 2008.
Made by Mr. Hayes, seconded by Ms. Nelson

           D. Board and Commission Current Vacancies (See Attached)

           A.  Petition for Proposed Ordinance/Cemetery

Ms. Menard distributed the Agreement, which is complete, except for Broad Brook Fire Department who needs to sign the Agreement.  The thought was to keep it simple – to hammer out what was presented by Cemetery Association that would work.  The handwritten notes were an effort to complete the document while everyone was present to sign.  Ms. Menard detailed the concepts contained in the Agreement.   Ms. Menard reported it went well and everyone was on Board.  

No further action is needed.  The question remains on what to do with the Town Meeting for the Ordinance that was adjourned.   This item can be taken off the agenda.

           B   Appointment of Capital Improvement Planning Committee

The Board discussed who would make up this Committee.  Someone from the Treasurer’s office will also be in attendance at these meetings.  The CIP contains several building issues and it was felt to have those well versed in Town buildings would be ideal for this Committee.

MOTION:  To appoint the following members to the Capital Improvement Planning Committee:  Denise Menard - First Selectman, Mark Simmons - Selectman, Dale Nelson - Selectman, Marie DeSousa - Board of Finance, Len Norton - Department of Public Works Director, Rand Stanley - Building Official, Blaine Simpkins, Fire Marshal and One Building Committee Member (to be determined in the future) for a term to expire July 1, 2009.
Made by Mr. Hayes, seconded by Ms. Nelson

           C.  Review of Recommended Pay raises and Possible Action

Ms. Burns’ report, as requested at the last meeting, was reviewed.  After discussing her comments it was discussed that the position would be in line for a raise as it has been historically and as appropriate to keep in line with the other positions.   The position has been getting the salary increases for the work done since 2004.  The money was budgeted for this position.

MOTION: To set the 2008-2009 salary of the part-time Senior center Kitchen Help with a 3% raise retroactive to July 1, 2008.
Made by Ms. Nelson, seconded by Mr. Hayes

           D.  *American Heritage River/Proposed Program  
         E.  *Discussion of Board/Commission Volunteer Recognition Program
         F.  *Discussion of Personnel Policies

        A.  Blaine Simpkins/Emergency Management Director/Adopt Mitigation      Plan Resolution
Mr. Simpkins came before the Board and discussed this issue.  In July 2007 after Flood in East Windsor and they had discussions with CRCOG regarding issues.  The Plan was presented and all towns in the plan on there have issues. By adopting the plan East Windsor will be able to apply for grants through FEMA for any issues.  The Board has to make resolution to adopt the plan thereby allowing East Windsor is eligible to apply for grant money.  Three copies in town the First Selectman and the Fire Marshal have a copy.  Ms.

MOTION: To adopt the Capital Region Pre-Disaster Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan dated May, 2008, to authorize the First Selectmen to sign the Resolution regarding same, if necessary.
Made by Mr. Hayes, seconded by Mr. Simmons

        B.  Kevin Leslie/WPCA/Request regarding CIP Funds

Kevin Leslie came before the Board.  In long term planning requested $25,000 over two years for pump stations.  In meantime, as went about business, for cost of study, they could switch out equipment, instead of studies.  Mr. Leslie went over the figures of the trial run to switch out equipment.  

MOTION: To recommend the Board of Finance consider the request as set forth in Mr. Leslie’s memo dated August 26, 2008.  
Made Ms. Nelson, seconded by Mr. Simmons

        C.  Set Town Meeting
                1.  Land Acceptance/Pease Road Widening
                2.  Stepping Stone Drive/Acceptance of Open Space & Easements

MOTION:  To set a town meeting for the following items:   Land Acceptance/Pease Road Widening and  Stepping Stone Drive/Acceptance of Open Space & Easements date to be determined by the First Selectman.
Made by Ms. Nelson, seconded by Mr. Simmons

        D.      Approval of Tax Refunds

MOTION: To approve the tax refunds in the amount of $4,838.82 as recommended by the tax collector.
Made by Mr. Hayes, seconded by Mr. Simmons

  XI.   BUDGET MATTERS – Ms. DeSousa briefly advised the Board these were issues that residents and Board members noted during the Budget sessions. This is an effort to east into the next budget cycle and that the public, as well as the Board is seeking information.

        A.  Recommendations from Board of Finance
                1.  Broad Brook Library
                2.  Cemetery Association
These are independent agencies that get funding, but not true town agencies. There have been discussions as to what those agencies provide to the town.   For the Library Association the Board felt a detailed three year financial accounting, including income and expense, which would be helpful in determining what the Town should contribute to the Broad Brook Library.  They will be invited to a future meeting.  As for the Cemetery Association the Board currently has rules and regulations, as well as financial data as collected recently.  The budget discussions included what does the town get for the $20,000 and what savings over quality of workmanship received.  Complaints are received about cemeteries – this is an area of resident concern.   There is still a mystery as to how they function with their operating expenses and income/investments. Also, what impact did the decrease in funds to the Association have on the Town.   Ms. Menard detailed the Charter charge regarding the Cemetery Association.  Is this a recommended change to the Charter Revision Commission?   The thought was to ask the Association what they felt their Charter Charge to the town was.

                3.  Contracts

Ms. DeSousa clarified this item. This related to the recent issue with the Historical Commission signing into a contract and did they have an authority to authorize the expenditure?   This was a concern that money needs to be in place before a contract can be funded.  Town employees and entities need to know they cannot enter into a contract they do not have money for or know if the contract will have funds.   This might be another arena for the Charter Revision Commission to investigate – to put language in place for this to not occur.

                4.  Personnel Policies
Ms. Menard indicated this is a known concern.  Some policies are simple and some are more complex, i.e. town cell phone, sick time accumulation.  This is being gathered and addressed.  Ms. Menard is not intending to build new policies, but make uniform policies across Town.  Ms. DeSousa provided several examples of problems that arose during the budget session – including, but not limited to, poll day workers are rumored to be fed using town funds.  Where is the policy that allows this to happen, when there are many volunteers working with the town, that provide their own food – how is it some paid by the town for certain functions are funded for food.  Ms. Menard indicated as these policies come in line, gentle reminders to offenders are given as the new policies and expectations are set.

                5.  Paying Mileage
A travel reimbursement form has been done – mileage is 58.5 cents per mile.  Ms. Menard gave examples of town members who submit for reimbursement.   Ms. DeSousa noted an inconsistent procedure as to who gets paid, what constitutes mileage and rumors were present that town offices were to ask for vehicles.  Therefore,  the question arose is it more cost effective to pay mileage rather that provide vehicles – but in order to determine that, the board needs information on mileage policies.  Also town vehicle usage police will be addressed.   Mr. Hayes also indicated that mileage should be submitted timely, not accumulating it and submitting it.  There was some clean up during budget time, but more needs to be done.

6.      Stagger Public Hearings
Ms. DeSousa indicated that the Board discussed that maybe public hearings should be done in advance before the budget process so the public can give input ahead of time, rather than a hearing during the budget process.  Ms. Menard advocated that as well – maybe if the public sees it from the get go, where requests are put in and town officials make initial cuts, it may provide more information.   

                7.  More Public Discussions regarding Budget including making the                    first draft of the budget available to the public.
                     (Items #3-7 from BOF Minutes dated 8/20/08)
This was addressed above and the concept to involve the public in the process earlier.

        B.  Annual Report

Ms. Menard indicated that annual report submissions are to be in no later than September 30, 2008.  Ms. DeSousa acknowledged there were issues last year and it is the hope to avoid those this year.  The letter is out earlier and the information returned will be the Selectmen’s office – a central area of review, which is a new practice from previous practice.   It was felt the annual report should be a report of activity and facts, not a platform to express discontent.  The procedures now in place will be helpful for current and future administrations and volunteers.   Ms. DeSousa will also be looking into state statute what the Board of Finance must put into the annual report.

        C.  Improvements to the Budget Process

Ms. Menard indicated this is ongoing discussion with the Chairman of the Board of Finance and may of the items for improvements were discussed above.  This area is also investigated in the shared services medium.   There is an effort to get consistent information, for example, what surrounding towns are appropriate to compare to; a history of mill rates; population growth information.   The Board of Finance will improve the facts it presents to the public to explain action by the board clearly for the public – an effort to have the public more informed for the budget process.  Ms. Menard encouraged the Board of Selectmen to continue to think of ideas to assist in the budget process.


MOTION: To adjourn at 9:15 p.m.
Made by Mr. Hayes, seconded by Ms. Nelson

Respectfully submitted,

Cynthia D. Croxford
Recording Secretary
*Starred items will not be discussed, but will remain on agenda pending receipt of additional information.