Minutes Accepted and filed with the Town Clerk on 10/06/2009 by a vote 3-0
7:00 p.m. – September 22, 2009
Sutton Town Hall, Selectmen’s Meeting Room
Members in Attendance:
John Hebert, Chairman; Richard Hersom, Vice-Chair; Kevin Geraghty, Clerk; Members Michael Chizy and Ryan Fattman
Also in Attendance: James Smith, Town Administrator; Debbie Jacques, Administrative Secretary
Chairman Hebert calls the meeting to order at 7:00 followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
No Comments under Public Forum.
Selectman Fattman motions to approve Sept. 1, 2009 minutes as presented, Selectman Hersom seconds, all in favor passes 4-0-1
Selectman Geraghty reads the Public Hearing for Tax Classification as advertised in the Millbury Sutton Chronicle on Sept. 10th, 2009. Selectman Chizy motions to open the Public Hearing, Selectman Fattman seconds passes 5-0. Robert Nunnemacher and Ray Nichols from the Assessor’s Office are present for discussion; Head Assessor Joyce Sardagnola is in the audience. Mr. Nunnemacher begins discussion by stating that the BOS have the decision yearly to have a single tax rate for all classes of property or a split rate for residential/open space and commercial/industrial /personal property. Historically, the BOS have chosen to maintain the same tax rate. Chairman Hebert opens the public Hearing for discussion. Selectman Chizy feels with the economy as it is it would be best to keep one tax rate to welcome new business into
town. Selectman Geraghty agrees with Chizy but would like to see the calculation if there was a split rate. Selectman Fattman feels the single tax rate makes us competitive with surrounding towns; Selectman Hersom echoes sentiments of BOS comments and also states that we need to stay competitive for new businesses and is in full support of one tax rate. Chairman Hebert agrees to single tax rate. Hearing no further comments, Selectman Chizy motions to close the Public Hearing Selectman Hersom seconds passes 5-0. Selectman Chizy motions to retain in FY2010 Tax Classification Factor at 1.0 Selectman Hersom seconds passes 5-0
BOS nomination for Superintendent Screening Committee: TA Smith informs BOS that a request has been received into the office asking for a representative from the BOS to sit on the screening committee. Current Superintendent Dr. DiBella will be retiring at the end of this school year. Jim informs BOS that he has appointed Chief of Police Dennis Towle as his representative. Selectman Chizy feels it would be wise to have a member of the BOS on this committee, he nominates Kevin Geraghty. Selectman Geraghty says he is happy to accept if Town Meeting so chooses. Selectman Chizy motions to nominate Kevin Geraghty to the Sutton School’s Superintendent screening committee and to further forward this to Town Meeting for authorization for a Board of Selectman member to serve on the Sutton School’s Superintendent screening committee,
Selectman Hersom seconds passes 5-0
Evaluation of Town Administrator James Smith: Clerk Geraghty begins by saying that in the Town Bylaw it reads that the Town Administrator must be evaluated yearly. There are 20 questions with a 1-5 score (5 being the best) with a perfect score of 100. Kevin reads through the entire evaluation and ends with the score result of 97.26. The BOS all agree that Jim performs at a very high level and offer their thanks to him for a successful year.
Joint Board Meeting of the BOS and the School Committee: Present are Superintendent Dr. DiBella, Sue Rothermich, Paul Brennen, Liisa Locurto, Tracy Zuliani, Wendy Mead and Kristen Clark. Liisa Locurto calls the meeting to order at 7:35 pm. Also present is Jon Winikur from Strategic Building Solutions to update the Boards on the Middle/High School project. Jon Winikur begins with his update which includes a review of project goals and the feasibility study/schematic design schedule. Jon represents the town as well as the MSBA. This project is moving very rapidly and as long as we are all proceeding together there should be no impact in the final approval date. The 2 critical dates are once the feasibility study is signed we have 365 days to act on it (it was signed in August). The other date is once the MSBA signs off on the schematic
design the town has 120 days to bring before the town for approval. This may require a special town meeting if we should miss the spring town meeting. Wendy Mead comments that if anyone would like to review the past School Building Committee meetings they can be found on a link through the town website. The boards thank Mr. Winikur for his update.
Review of Budget: TA Smith reviews the proposed adjustments to the FY2010 budget he is bringing before the Fall Town Meeting in order to offset the revenue shortfall of $221,807. This is due to a decrease in appropriations. Touched upon slightly is a preliminary review of FY2011 and the budget process. All agree that the budget needs to be more transparent. Boards open this up for discussion:
Selectman Chizy feels creative thinking is needed and we have to work together to accomplish this and cut as little as possible.
Selectman Geraghty agrees with Mike and feels it is not discouraging but alittle disheartening as it is a service issue.
Selectman Hersom says we are in for a tough stretch and we need to keep the communication channels wide open.
Chairman Hebert agrees with all comments and feels FY11 will be a tough budget process.
School Committee Members:
Paul Brennan feels Jim’s presentation was excellent and says the revenue situation is not where we want to be.
Wendy Mead comments that it is bargain negotiation time for teacher contracts and that weighs heavily.
Tracy Zuliani hopes that 2012 will be brighter and states there is just not enough money in the pot.
Kristen Clark says it will be a challenge; we must work with what we have and be creative.
Liisa Locurto says the $110,000.00 proposed to be cut from the school 2010 budget will be a significant impact on the budget.
Dr. Dibella says that it has been a pleasure working with Jim this past year and feels that the quality of education in Sutton is what draws people to our town.
TA Jim Smith says the challenge will be maintaining services with no gap. We must hold steady.
Town Administrator Update:
- Appointment of Chief Dennis Towle to the Superintendent Search Committee
- Quant Fire Truck notice of award to Pierce Manufacturing.
- RJ McDonald currently replacing boiler in the Town Hall.
- Town Hall Golf Tournament to benefit the Food Pantry October 2nd.
- Atlas Box Road Improvements update.
- Waters Farm Days October 3rd & 4th 10-4
- October 23rd 2nd annual Fall Fest. Unban sponsoring $1,000.00
- Greenway Challenge Kick off at Waters Farm September 26th
Boards enter into a Joint Executive Session at this time with the sole purpose of entering back in to regular meeting with the purpose of adjourning.
9:48pm Selectman Chizy motions to adjourn, Selectman Hersom seconds passes 5-0