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Minutes of 1/27/2021

February 1st, 2021

Carroll Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
January 27, 2021

“These minutes of the Town of Carroll Select Board have been recorded by its Secretary. Though believed to be accurate and correct they are subject to additions, deletions and corrections by the Select Board at its next meeting when the Board votes its final approval of the minutes. They are being made available at this time to conform to the requirements of New Hampshire RSA 91-A:2.”

Due to the COVID-19/Coronavirus crisis and in accordance with Governor Sununu’s Emergency Order #12 pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04, this Board is authorized to meet electronically and did so through Zoom.

Minutes recorded by Kelly Trammell, Secretary
Board Members: Robert Gauthier Jr., David A. Scalley, Bonnie Moroney

Members of the Public: Greg Hogan, Lori Hogan, Scott Sonia, Andrew Shaheen, Jeremy Oleson, Tadd Bailey, Lori Hogan, Brad Houston, Ben Jellison, Josh Basnar

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairperson Gauthier.

Pledge of Allegiance.

Chairperson Gauthier stated he called for the meeting to review changes to the Employee Manual as suggested by Town Counsel. He read aloud Section IV which addresses leave from work. He said that time will be separated back into holidays, sick time, personal days and vacation. Part-time employees will be eligible for 64 hours vacation time only. Vacation time will not be carried over from year-to-year. Upon separation vacation time only will be paid out on a prorated basis. Eighty hours of sick time will be placed on the books at the beginning of each year. Full-time employees are also entitled to two personal days. Leave time needs department head approval. They in turn must notify the Select Board Office to be relayed to Board members. Two weeks prior notice must be given for leave. Holidays will be paid on the day the fall unless they fall on a Saturday then they will be observed on Friday. Holidays falling on a Sunday will be observed on Monday.

Chairperson Gauthier said changes are anticipated to take effect by March 1. Employees will be paid out for their PTO balance at that time. This new policy will take place with a prorated amount of time on the books to begin with.

There was discussion about holidays and how observing on a different day may affect emergency services differently. It was also stated that holidays should specify they will be compensated as 8 hours. Not having it specified is what caused problems in the past. The Chair said he would speak with legal about cleaning this part up.

Tadd Bailey said his members have already scheduled out vacation time until September. This new change will result in reduced time available. He asked for this one year if employees could choose to not be paid for the holidays and have the time available to them instead. He said his employees would rather have time off as they usually have to work the holiday. Discussion continued and the Board stated it was cleanest to proceed as proposed.

Brad Houston asked why this is happening. He also said he feels it was done in closed-door sessions and not with employee meetings as the last change had happened. Chairman Gauthier said the Board feels it has been calculated incorrectly and they are separating things back out to clarify it. He said the Board held discussion in non-public session because compensation was being discussed as well as legal opinion and they have the right to do so for those purposes.

Kelly Trammell asked for clarification that she was understanding that sick time could not be used to attend doctor visits. Chairperson Gauthier said that is correct. Kelly said she understood the Board wanted to change the calculation but they then went ahead and made other benefits more restrictive as well. She said the Board had taken pride on benefits package with the last employees hired and showcased what they offered. Now, they’ve further restricted what’s listed as benefits.

Jeremy Oleson asked if the Board has figured where the money will come from for the buyout. Chairperson Gauthier said he anticipates amending the budget at Deliberative Session to fund some of the costs. If the proposed budget is not approved, he thinks there is enough money in the default budget to cover it.

Kelly Trammell asked the Board if this means they are not going to give employees raises as a result of the buyout. Chairperson Gauthier said quite possibly and the Board would be discussing it later. They are not guaranteed. Kelly stated that the Board had said this change was not punitive and it’s not the employees’ fault that this was happening. She said the Board had started working on this over a year ago and now they are rushing to get this done. She said because they Board chose to do things this way should not affect raises.

The Chair said he’d get clarification on paying holidays and putting in the wording about holidays being paid as eight hours.

OTHER:

The Chair reminded all that the Deliberative Session is Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fire Station. There was a brief discussion with Ben Jellison about Covid safety that night. Ben said he expects less numbers and he and the Fire Chief have already discussed a plan.

At 8:06 p.m., Chairperson Gauthier made a motion to go into non-public session per RSA 91-A:3 II (a) compensation. The motion was seconded by Selectman Scalley and polled; Gauthier – yes, Scalley – yes, Moroney – yes.

At 9:32 p.m. Chairperson Gauthier made a motion to return to public session and seal the minutes. Selectperson Scalley seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Chairperson Gauthier made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Selectperson Scalley seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Chairman Gauthier declared the meeting ended at 9:33 p.m.