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December 2, 2008 Meeting Minutes


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


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

Unable to attend:

Dale Nelson, Selectman (excused)
Edward Farrell, Selectman (scheduled)


d.      To amend CT Small Cities CBDG Program income resolution ;
e.      Charter Revision;
f.      Discussion of Newspaper article regarding treasurer’s position;
XII.  EXECUTIVE SESSION:  CGS SECTION 1-200 (6)(A) personnel matter
Made by Mr. Hayes, seconded by Mr. Simmons

A.      Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes of November 18, 2008

MOTION: To approve the regular meeting minutes of November 18, 2008 as submitted.
Made By Mr. Hayes, seconded by Mr. Simmons

Jack Mannette – Woolam Road

Mr. Mannette wanted to take an opportunity to comment on the quote from Ms. Menard in the newspaper talking about money for treasurer budgeted in the account.  He took an opportunity to remind Ms. Menard that compensation in current budget is done thru budget review process listed by individual position and what the salary is.  The current salary for the treasurer position is $53,800.  That is what is in the budget. To exceed that – you cannot do that because the charter has a specific statement in that regard.  It says compensation for individuals is approved in the annual process i.e., a budget meeting. If not, take a proposed  increase and call a special town meeting to address the specific issue.  If you want to hire someone at a higher rate of pay than $53,800 then the charter should be a process for which the increased salary is approached.  As a reminder – for the record – the Board of Selectmen knows the process is there.  Mr. Mannette would be disappointed, as would the residents, if the Board of Selectmen finds a reason not to follow charter.

Secondly, he asked for copy of any agreements with consultants. The reason is that he wants to know where and how the town spends over $3,000 a month on consultants.  He is looking for copies of that. (As an aside, ms. Menard stated she would get that to him.)


A.      Connecticut Labor Force Data/September 2008
B.      Connecticut Children’s Place Gazette

          A.  Denise Menard, First Selectman

Ms. Menard has drawn up a draft list of comparable towns.  The list will be taking into consideration the school systems and various aspects of neighboring communities.  At the next meeting she will show the Board of Selectmen the list.  In the future, this will provide for continuity in comparisons for East Windsor.  Also, in the future, when asking CCM for information – East Windsor can ask for specific towns to be compared to.

There was a Shared Services Committee meeting in November.  They discussed facility management, property management and office swapping between Parks and Recreation and the Treasurer’s Office.  Ms. Menard is going to the Board of Education to discuss this move, as well as the Parks and Recreation Commission.

           B.  Gilbert Hayes, Deputy First Selectman – no report
          C.  Edward P. Farrell, Selectman – no report
          D.  Dale Nelson, Selectman – no report
          E.  Mark Simmons, Selectman

VETERANS COMMISSION:   As a reminder there is “Wreaths Across America” event December 13, 2008.  At the next meeting the Commission will do a Race Day critique.  There were 228 runners this year.  The Commission is optimistic about the funds raised and Mr. Simmons will have a report for the Board at next meeting.

The Skate Board Park committee is planning a golf tournament for the Spring.

          A.   Resignations:     None

          B. Re-Appointments:
        Parks and Recreation
William Raber, (D) as a full member to fill a 4-yr. vacancy to
expire 12/1/2012

MOTION: To reappoint William Raber to the Parks and Recreation Commission as a full member term to expire 12/1/2012.
Made by Mr. Hayes, seconded by Mr. Simmons

           C. New Appointments:  None
          D. Board and Commission Current Vacancies (See Attached)

         A. *Charter Revision Update
         B. *Discussion of Board/Commission Volunteer Recognition Program
         C. *Discussion of Site for Future Elections

        A.  Approval of Tax Refunds

MOTION: To approve the tax refunds in the amount of $1,212,69 as recommended by the Tax Collector.
Made by Mr. Simmons, seconded by Mr. Hayes

        B.  Final Report of Regional Solid Waste Management

Ms. Menard was seeking the Boards’ comments, if any.  None were expressed.  Ms. Menard noted that most recommendations from this ongoing study group seemed fine.

        C.  Discussion of Contract Services for Treasurers Office

Ms. Menard distributed materials and made it clear, and the Board concurred, that these materials were not new to the Board and, had in fact, been presented to them previously.  The items distributed were
1.  Linda Savitsky’s contract;
2.  Mary Szabo’s contract;
3.  Linda Savitsky other contract; as well as
4.  Jack Mannette’s email request for information.  

This one page first contract is dated January 12, 2007 an 18 month term for pension work.  The term of this contract has expired and could be extended.  Ms. Menard suggested the Board either renegotiate this or discuss.  The pension fund is challenged and there is a need for professional service.  The money for the contract comes out of the pension line.  

Mr. Hayes expressed the opinion to extend it – as Ms. Savitsky has done pension work He suggested to negotiate you run the risk of an inquiry for more money, so  to discuss it and extend it will keep the fees where it is.  

Ms. Menard brought all of these items to the Board of Selectmen so everyone is aware what is going to the Board of Finance.  

The next contract the Board reviewed was regarding the audit work. It was for the period  8/1 – 11/30 used a schedule of assistance so audit could be done in a timely fashion.

The final contract reviewed was for Linda Savitsky assisting with the retirement of the treasurer thru the hiring of new financial officer.  This contract time period was 120 days from June and currently the timeframe is beyond the contract.  These are not employees – but consulting services.

Ms. Menard stated that it has been said because there is no record in minutes of these discussions that it was done by Ms. Menard on her own.  Ms. Menard asked that it be reaffirmed for minutes that the  Board were all aware and part of the contracts.  The Board indicated yes.   

        d.      To Amend CT Small Cities CDBG program income resolution (accepted November 18, 2008)

ITEM D.  To amend CT Small cities CDBG Program Income Resolution (Adopted November 18, 2008)

MOTION:  Be it resolved:  To amend the resolution entitled “Resolution for the Use of Program Income” adopted at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting held on November 18, 2008.  Resolution to include, in the first paragraph, the words neighborhood survey.  The amended paragraph shall read:

WHEREAS:  The Town of East Windsor has received funds under the Connecticut Small Cities Community Development block grant (CDBG) program for municipal ADA improvements and neighborhood survey, administered by the State of Connecticut, Department of Economic and Community Development, pursuant to Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974; as amended and

Made by Mr. Simmons, seconded by Mr. Hayes

E.      Charter revision

The Commission members have come forward and requested that they be allowed to retain an attorney who specializes in Charter Revision.  The town clerk and Ms. Menard spoke with this attorney and he would be able to give the Commission guidance and some direction.  The hourly rate is $200/hr.  The current town attorney charges $165 – but the $35 an hour difference would be made up quickly as he is very aware of charter revision process and timelines.  The Town attorney would review whatever the commission presents and advise of legalities.   This specialized attorney will do that, as well as provide guidance on how to get where the commission wants to be.  Mr. Simmons was interested in seeing some samples of charters this attorney has done.   

Mr. Hayes wanted to know if there is an hourly rate for travel fee.  Ms. Menard will have a small consulting contract for this.  The attorney may also be of service to the Board of Selectmen when it comes time to discuss the issue as well.    

The board felt it was appropriate to go the next step.  This comes out of the legal budget – as would any legal review.  Ms. Menard will advise the Charter Revision Commission at their Thursday meeting.   

F.  Discussion of Newspaper Article regarding Treasurer’s Position.

Ms. Menard stated she has taken exception of things said recently.   One item specifically is that people were not aware of job description and that the one currently used for new treasurer is less – asking more money for less of a position – which is incorrect.   Ms. Menard passed out documents, which she is positive board has had all of this in the past:
1.      Mary Szabo job description.
2.      Redline document shows job description presented at joint Board of Selectmen, Finance and Education  meeting.   There were no minutes at that meeting,  however the document was presented.  It shows additions in green and yellow deletions.  The job description was to strengthen not lesson job description.
3.      Website posted for applicants – on second page there is an “or” no CPFO preferred, which both things were in redlined document.  That was a clerical error on the website made somewhere along the way.  It was a mistake.  
4.      Last document was what was presented to applicants at interview.  
The new job description refines the responsibilities.  Ms. Menard went through the redline document and specifically delineated the numerous items/statements added and deleted during the joint meeting.  This document was again distributed to all selectmen.   In general there are more expanded responsibilities and it takes out the ability for someone with associates degree to apply for position.  

Included in salary increase is the separate pension piece, which Mary Szabo was paid separately for.  It is certainly  not a lessor responsibility position.  

Ms. Menard sought reaffirmation from the Board that they have seen these documents and were at the meeting.  Both Mr. Hayes and Mr. Simmons remember the colored documents specifically.

Ms. Menard stated specifically that she takes offense when it is inferred that she is trying to sneak something in or not getting approval by Boards when she makes ever effort and initiative to share with the appropriate Boards.   She redistributed this information – even though the board members acknowledged they had seen these items in the past.

        A.  Annual Report Update

No additional information at this time.  Al Floyd will be checking on the status.

C.      Budget Discussion

The items for the website to be added in anticipation of budget time were briefly discussed.

Mr. Hayes questioned the money budgeted for Treasurer position.   Ms. Menard had an analysis she distributed – treasurer full time salary line (remove what Mary Szabo was paid for this fiscal year) as well as office staff salary projected.  The balance in that account is then $44,000.  Ms. Menard then took the annual salary of the new Treasurer $72,000 and divided that out by number of weeks left in the fiscal year and the new treasurer salary is board as calculated out for the remainder of this fiscal year $41,500 is needed.  It was noted that at budget time, the stipend former paid to Mary Szabo as Pension Administrator should be added to treasurer salary line – as now part of treasurer job description $4,000.  

Ms. Menard asked the board if she should get a legal opinion in light of the concerned expressed by Mr. Mannette during public participation.   It was reaffirmed there is money in the budget thru the end of the fiscal year to pay this salary.  

The Board discussed the new treasurer salary, discussing the current economic times and the necessity for a treasurer in the know to answer questions that are even now pressing.  Ms. Menard mentioned that the Town barely attracted applicants in the mid-70’s range.  If anyone is interested, Ms. Menard has a book of comparisons of treasurer salaries and some small distressed communities have the treasurer salary in the 50’s.  

The Board reviewed Charter sections, specifically, section 4-3 and section 4-8.  It was mentioned there is nothing in the charter regarding new hires.  

Ms. Menard has had other positions she has filled for less salary than budgeted and there has been no problem with that - when the salary is not the dollar amount on the list.

Mr. Hayes felt the town needs professionalism and why get lesser qualified person less money.   Ms. Menard reiterated this had been discussed and referenced handwritten notations she has 84-10 budget item it states $20,000 for treasurer position for new hire, but that is not reflected in the minutes.

This will be a contract and when it is signed, the salary is set – regardless of financial situation town in.  

Mr. Hayes felt there was money to pay for this fiscal year and then at budget time, ask for the salary.   Mr. Simmons expressed concern about financial climate and how to pay this next budget time around.   Mr. Simmons further stated that long as there is money in this fiscal year he consents to this.  

MOTION: That the new annual salary for the Treasurer be set at $72,000 for fiscal year 2008\2009.
Made by Mr. Hayes, seconded by Mr. Simmons.
        Discussion:  Ms. Menard wanted to make clarify that all felt this was within the Board of Selectmen’s purview.  The Board members stated yes and that the money is in place


MOTION: To enter into executive session at 8:30 p.m. in accordance with CGS1-200(6)(a) to include the Selectmen only.
Made by Mr. Simmons, seconded by Mr. Hayes

MOTION: To come out of executive session at 8:55 p.m.
Made by Mr. Simmons, seconded by Mr. Hayes

MOTION: To hire Catherine Cabral commencing with a salary of  $72,000 effective December 15, 2008 - contingent upon successful completion of the hiring process.
Made by Mr. Hayes, seconded by Mr. Simmons
Discussion:  The board described her background qualifications.  This was the top applicant.  The board felt Catherine is a great fit and what East Windsor is looking for.  She will help the town during this tumultuous financial time.   


MOTION: To adjourn at 9:00 p.m.
Made by Mr. Simmons, 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.