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Minutes of 7/6/2021

July 13th, 2021

Select Board Meeting Minutes
Meeting Minutes
July 6, 2021
7:00 PM
“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.”
Minutes Recorded by: Judy Ramsdell
Board Members in Attendance: Chair David Scalley, Rob Gauthier, and Ken Mills
Other in Attendance: Tadd Bailey, Imre Szauter, Chris Pappas, Greg Hogan, Barbara & Vernon Amirault, Joanne Lydon, Nancy Richter of AMC, Lois Pesman, Brian Mycko, Vicky Brodeur, Ben Jellison, Jeremy Oleson
The meeting was called to order at 7:16 p.m. by Chairperson Scalley.
Chairperson Scalley confirmed that the manifest was signed.
Selectperson Mills made a motion to approve the minutes of the June 21, 2021 Selectmen’s Meeting. Chairperson Scalley seconded. Selectperson Gauthier abstained as he was not at attendance at the meeting. Motion passes, 2-0.
Selectperson Mills made a motion to approve the minutes of the June 25, 2021 Selectmen’s Meeting. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
Appalachian Mountain Club Liquor License Extension: Selectperson Mills made a motion to approve the Appalachian Mountain Club Liquor License Extension. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes. Nancy Ritcher of the AMC confirmed the board had their liquor license number and thanked the board.
Water Warrant: Pappas, Martinez & Wilmington Savings Fund Society – Selectperson Mills made a motion to approve the water warrant for Pappas, Martinez & Wilmington Savings Fund Society. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
Water Warrant: Wotton, Wright, Yacoby, Yellope - Selectperson Mills had a question if the numbers were correct. He didn’t think the numbers added up correctly. Chairperson Scalley thought that the $41,276.68 was the total amount of all the bills. This item was tabled until the numbers could be verified.
NH DRA – PA-28 Inventory of Taxable Property Form for 2022 – Chairperson Scalley explained that is just a form saying that we will not use the PA-28 form , and it is a form we complete every year. Selectperson Mills made a motion to submit this form acknowledging we will not be using the PA-28 form for 2022. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
Abatement: Carol & Thomas Loring – Chairperson Scalley explained that this is a bill for a camper that was at Along the River Campground that was removed back in August. We are abating the taxes because the camper is no longer there. Chairperson Scalley verified with the owner of Along the River Campground that the camper was removed. Selectperson Mills made a motion that we sign the abatement for Carol & Thomas Loring. Selectperson Gauthier seconded the motion. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
Abatement: Bill & Debbine Fralick – Chairperson Scalley explained that this is another camper that was removed from the Ammonoosuc Campground. Selectperson Mills made a motion that we sign the abatement for Bill & Debbine Fralack. Selectperson Gauthier seconded the motion. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
New Driveway Permit Application/Discussion: Chairperson Scalley said that Greg Hogan, Road Agent, brought this issue up as we are getting our roads paved. We are going to change the permit so contractors are not allowed to drive excavators and heavy equipment across the pavement so we can protect the road. We want to revamp the driveway permit to cover some of those areas. Selectperson Gauthier said it was standard in other towns. Dave said that Lancaster does it. A few of the contracting companies bring mats. At Bretton Woods, you can’t unload without a mat. If you damage the road, you will be responsible. It is a work in progress, and when it is all said and done we will be back with it.
April – Peabody & Smith – Request to Use Town Hall: April of Peabody & Smith was inquiring about using the town hall for various times throughout the year for their company meetings. Wondered how the board felt about it? We do have a town hall community room use application to fill out. Selectperson Mills asked if there was any documentation regarding that? Town residents were able to use the old facility for functions. Dave said we do have a policy put together. Imrie said that there was a fee schedule, and for someone using it had to be a town resident. There was a cleaning fee, deposit for the access card, and an application had to be filed. It was approved last year or late 2019. It was approved for up to 75 people. Not sure how many times they are planning on using it. Dave said he will get better information from them. We did institute the fee, and it was written specifically for this room. It would need to be posted for maximum capacity configurations with or without furniture, which would be approved by Chief Oleson. Chief Oleson said the capacity is not posted yet. Chief Oleson thinks it is 75. Dave will send her an email and get more information for the board. Dave will send the board the policy. Selectperson Mills has some concerns to raise: one is liability, would a for-profit group be able to use a public facility in that capacity, a fee would mitigate that. Insurance would be covered as well? Scheduling conflicts--two weeks in advance for the scheduling? Overall wear and tear costs going forward? Selectperson Gauthier said parking would have to be addressed as well so our emergency services are not impacted.
Carroll Sale of Property Authorization for Bidders
Selectperson Gauthier said sometimes bidders are required to submit authorizations confirming that if selected they will actually purchase the property, and that is something we want to utilize moving forward if there is any type of property we are selling. There may be some tax deeded property we will be selling. It is another layer we want to be aware of. We can discuss this when we talk about the fire station sale.

Conservation Commission Membership
Joan sent out an email today letting the public know they are taking memberships for openings for additional members. We discussed with her at the last meeting possibly putting something on the web site We can put something on the web site that we are looking for anyone interested in joining the conservation commission who would like to learn about natural resources, water resources, educational resources, etc.
Police Cruiser Repair Estimate
The estimate received for the police cruiser repairs was for $2,563.20. Hoping it was going to be lower. We have a $1,000 deductible on the insurance policy. Dave was questioning if putting it through our insurance would raise our rates or affect the operator. Tad said from past experience, it does not affect the operator. Dave said he would suggest going through the insurance for this repair in case when they open it up they find more damage. Our bill would only be for the deductible portion, $1,000. Selectman Mills said he would agree. We are on the default budget, and we have crushed the department budget lines. Dave said we are going to do the best we can with what we have. Tadd said he anticipated if it was $1,000, he would take it from the vehicle maintenance line item. The estimate for the parts is $1,000, and the rest is for labor. $3,591.59 is left in that line item as of last week. Tadd said he needs to take $500 out for tires. Tadd thinks he will be ok with that line item. He might be a hair over. The new cruiser approved at town meeting is waiting for the microchip to come, and we hope to see it in October. Dave said we had the warrant article for the cruiser for $44,000, and it is showing $3,110 expended already and was wondering what that was. Tadd said it is for decals. Tadd said there will actually be three checks cut for the cruiser, the decals, some other things for outfitting the cruiser, and to actually pay for the cruiser itself. The board concurred to authorize Tad to have the cruiser repaired.
Presidential Pest Contract & Invoice
Chairperson Scalley said we discussed at the last meeting that the invoice for the contract was going to be $475. Dave did sign for that, and he spoke with Keith at Presidential Pest Control and he was available to do two days before the holiday or otherwise we would have to wait two more weeks. With the wires being chewed, Dave had him do a price for next door out back at the fire and police. He would honor the same price. Where it was that quick, Dave couldn’t get the authority from the other two select board members so he took it upon himself to approve and to get it treated the same as this. He honored the same price, $475. They already did it two days before July 4 weekend. Selectperson Mills said this had been discussed at the last meeting. Vicky Brodeur asked if that was the only company they got a price from? Dave said he did reach out to another company who never replied to him on it. Presidential was the only company who came out and took the time to give us an estimate. Dave did not remember the name of the other company he contacted, but he will get it for her. Vicky asked if Dave can just approve that without the other two select board members? Dave said he took it upon himself as the Chair to approve it because of what is happening to our wires and the timing of Presidential being able to do it. Vicky asked if the board members not reachable by phone? Dave said we can’t make a decision by phone or email. We can only make a decision by meeting. Vicky said if It takes a board to approve it, why did Dave approve it on his own? Dave said we do have a policy that is in place that the front office secretary can approve anything up to $500 in an emergency. Dave said we don’t have a person in that position at this time, and Dave is part-time with Katelyn who is filling in for us and that is Dave’s understanding that he could do it under the town secretary approval. Selectperson Mills said the board deliberated on the issue, and the Chair is authorized to take action on this under the auspice of the town secretary approval. It wasn’t like he did it on his own. The board was aware of it. It was a safety issue. Mice chewing the wires. It was already in motion. The Board was very aware of it. Ken said that Dave took the action, but the approval was already given by the board.
Riverside Road Discussion
Selectperson Mills said Dr. Karpf asked about the town road going into Foster’s partially. Ken said he did some research with Greg on it. Yes, it is a town road that has been paved and taken care of. As of lately, it has not been plowed or sanded. Dr. Karpf wanted to raise the question whether the Town can donate that? It is high level what the town can and can’t do with that. That is what we are learning with the sale of the fire department. Ken said in doing his due diligence when a citizen raises a question, he wanted to bring it up. After further research, Ken said he doesn’t think the timing is good right now considering Yatin’s dealings with DOT and all of the entities. Maybe in the future we could revisit it. Wanted to raise it as it was a question that came up. Selectperson Mills wanted to get it on record and defer it for now. Chairperson Scalley said he would research it as well, as he believes this came up maybe 4 to 5 years ago. It was with Jay Whitelaw with Mitchell Group, and Dave thought they responded. Brian Mycko said Foster’s tried to purchase that section of the property and the Karpfs were who stopped it. Brian thought it was six years ago. Dave said with everything they are going through with the state for the driveway permits and everything else, the timing is not great right now. Dave said that Yatin did receive his state DOT permit today for the driveway. That is one of many he needs.
Tax Deeded Property – Route 3
Chair Scalley said they spoke with the Town Attorney today, and there is nothing new on this. He is pressuring the state with what do over there with the Wright property. When the attorney gets information, he will us know.
Fire Station Appraisal
Dave Scalley recused himself from this discussion. Selectperson Gauthier said we did get the appraisal letter, and we also needed to get a letter of recommendation or not recommendation from Carroll Conservation Commission as well as the Planning Board. We have done both, and they both recommend. The next thing we are going to do is set up two public hearings before we go out to sealed bid. Have been itemizing legal costs as well and are going to take that into consideration when we decide on the starting bid. The appraisal was for $175,000 so along with whatever costs have been incurred, including advertising costs is what we will be looking at. Rob had discussion with eight papers we were gong to put it in. Ken said he believed it was three north country papers or the full 11 of the Salmon Press newspapers. It was $800 dollars based on how big it is. We can discuss having most of the data go to the web site. You key the bidders and direct them to the website for further details. All the data including deed restrictions would be there. From that point, the bidders can make their bids. Rob said he thought run it for four weeks and have two viewings. Like we discussed earlier, the bidders have to submit an authorization confirming if their bid is accepted they will purchase the property. Rob said he would like to add that to the bid requirements. The Conservation Committee had a question about the property in the back? She was concerned with what could be put there.
Brian Mycko asked why don’t we list it with a real estate agent? Rob said we have talked about that. We discussed paying a realtor to do that and what percentage it would cost and not being from that process. We are still discussing it. Have kind of narrowed it down to sealed bids. Rob said we appreciate the input for sure. As far as a percentage of what we would have to pay a realtor verses what we would get for a bid. Whatever the starting bid is, it will include appraisals and any costs we have incurred. Brian said he thinks we can maximize our profits going with a real estate agent with seeing how the property values are. Rob said there are pros and cons on both sides. Ken said we have discussed that. You have to find the balance in sealed bids and posting with a minimum bid or paying a fee and all the other costs associated with a realtor. Brian said having gone through the sealed bids in the past, we haven’t gotten many bids. Rob since he has been involved we have only advertised for two weeks in one newpaper. With this size property, we are talking about 11 newspapers in addition to the Union Leader and running if for four weeks and having two walk throughs. We will have a set date and time for the showing so it will only encumber on the town employee who will show it those two times. Brian said if you had a real estate agent, we wouldn’t have the hassles. Rob said he understands what he is saying and that is why we are going to have the public hearings. Ken said it has been deliberated.
Ben Jellison asked who did the appraisal? White Mountain Appraisal. How did we select them? They had done it prior. They had all the information. Selectperson Gauthier said he actually reached out to two firms, and they were the first one to get back to him. Ken said that we did an appraisal in 2018 and we considered the difference in real estate market at that time and we thought should we just go with old data or was it more prudent to have a more relevant, current read? Real estate is real estate and putting it back in the private sector, we wanted to work with best data we could put together at the lowest cost. We started talking about advertising, employee costs to show the property, encumbrances of everything else involved with this. We have to look at the cost benefit analysis, and how are we going to do this for the best benefit to the town. There are wo hearings, no decisions being made now, we are getting data from all the different sources we can. We will put together the best plan that we can. Rob said that cost will also be included in the minimum bid. Ben Jellison said maybe some good information to put together for that hearing would be the last five sealed-bids properties the towns has sold. You could break down what they sold for verses what they were evaluated at. That would give us something to kind of compare. Rob said he can think of one. He is wondering if we have that data? Dave said he can only think of two sealed bid properties. Ben said even that will give them an idea. Ken said he can reach out to other communities and see what they learned from that. Dave said he is pretty sure that the last bids that came in were for Little River Road, six bidders on that. Ben Jellison said that there was a property on Twin View before that and he is curious how many bid on that. Dave said that there was one bid that came in on that and the Board decided to put it out again in the paper for two weeks and no one submitted a bid. Ben said that is good information to have. Twin View Drive was one of two properties. There was also one on Woodland Acres. Twin View Drive never sold. It was done incorrectly through the town so the owner got the property back. He has been paying his taxes. WE didn’t have the correct address for that property at the time when it was taken. Ben said he thinks that is information that would behoove the public to have that information at the hearing if we are really going to discuss the issue.
Lois Pesman suggested getting a realtor to give you what they think it is worth. You have the appraisal already and realtors give assessments anyways. If it is so much higher it may make sense to go through them if they will include their commission. At least try that. Plenty of realtors who would love to give an appraisal or assessment of that property. Lois said she was in real estate, and she knows that might be helpful. Ken said his experience with realtors more often than not is you shoot for the moon. That is all well and good, but there has to be a balance for the town. There will be plenty of discussion at the hearings, as there should be, from the town. There is a balance on this. Ken said that the Board is looking for input. Ben brought up some good points that Ken never would have thought of. Responsibility of the town to come forward and engage and to bring their best to the table. It is not a one-way street and we appreciate the input. Lois said realtors have access to people who are waiting for those types of properties. Rob said that these are all good and valid points, and that is why the public hearings will take place. Lois asked when the hearings will be? Rob said that we are still discussing this. Ken said the requirements are to hold two public hearings at least 10 but not more than 14 days apart. It will be noticed. Rob said he was thinking July 13th. We would like to get the public hearings done as soon as possible. Rob said July 13th at 6:00 p.m. and do another one July 20th at 6:00 p.m. It was determined that July 20th would be too soon for the second hearing. The second public hearing will be July 27th at 6:00 p.m. Dave Scalley said he is unrecusing himself. Dave verified that we will have a select board meeting after the public hearing on July 13th. Selectperson Mills said public hearings can get repetitive so we may want to have time limits so everyone can address an issue and move forward. We want everyone to be able to speak. Rob said he just went through this with the school committee. Rob and Ken will get something together so we can post it on the web so the public will be aware of it. Ken said we want people to know what to expect and prepare themselves before they come in.
School Withdrawal
Selectperson Gauthier said we had our final meeting on July 1st. The withdrawal committee voted not to recommend Carroll to withdraw. Rob said we have talked to counsel, and we really can’t litigate our way out of it. We are where we are. There was some talk that we should produce a minority report. It is going to be costly, but we knew that and had money set aside. We were thinking about $70,000. There will be some costs associated to file a minority report and put the school board in a position where they will have to go to the voters, but it would be all 5 towns and would need a majority to then allow us to withdraw. It doesn’t take their power away to change the apportionment. We have submitted what we have asked them to for. He doesn’t see them doing that, but we had a vote that supported us that evening which was surprising. Rob said he doesn’t see the vote coming through with the five towns to raise their taxes for Carroll. The school board member for Carroll was pretty adamant that Carroll can afford it. He made accusations that the town and town entities are crying poverty simply to push this school agenda. Rob said he found it absolutely absurd and brought it up to him after the meeting. Rob said he took offense to it. Rob said he absolutely could not believe that anyone said that. Rob asked him after the meeting and had a discussion with him, and he said he felt left out from the Carroll school committee when they were meeting. He also felt the Carroll select board was dysfunctional. For Rob, he feels, since there is a lot of talk about what happened in 2004 and it didn’t go anywhere and there wasn’t a minority report filed at that time, that we should get a minority report done. He knows it is costly and he knows we are on a default budget. We are not going to be able to change this unless we push forward. Part of it that was discussed with town counsel was it is going to be through our representatives to change the law. We are not the only town in the state experiencing this problem. It is a NH problem. We are the poster child as far as the worst case as far as per student cost goes. There were a couple of sympathetic ears. Rob said he spoke with Troy Merner after, and he understands, but again we are going to be asking the voters in the four other towns. Rob said his stance is to push forward and get the minority report written out.
Select person Gauthier asked Ben if he wanted to clarify any of that. Ben said that in order for the voters to get to see the warrant article that minority report has to go to the Department of Ed, which at this point would be an appeal to the Department of Ed for them to say yes the district should be voting on this minority report. There is an interim step there. Pending the outcome of that, is what the next step will be. Rob said that we are hoping that the Department of Ed will be sympathetic and put it before the voters in the five towns. We do have a case based on how the meetings went and a lot of information put in. We originally voted to not recommend and within a month before we submitted the final report, the Carroll school board member started asking for the top 7 taxpayers in all the towns. There was a lot of information that was added to that final report, and Rob said he is fully transparent but didn’t see the need for that. Rob wanted to show them the pie chart where we are paying them $73,000 compared to everyone else, and that was added to the report. Ben said in reference to our school board rep, Ben did not hear him say that to Rob about not being involved in the town process. The Carroll committee that met all those times repeatedly invited him over and over. We even had people who saw him in public and asked him to come to the meetings. The only way to get him here was for the superintendent to bring him the night she came. Ben said please be aware if that is what he is saying it is not accurate. There are four people here tonight who were on the committee that could attest to that. It was a discussion on multiple nights of how we could get him engaged. Rob said he took it very personal when he said that the budget shortfall was trying to push this agenda, which is totally absurd. Chris Pappas said if you talk to anyone in those five towns we are being selfish, and outside those towns the logic is we are being screwed. Select person Gauthier thanked Ben for his support at the meetings. Rob said that we did get a supportive vote from Jefferson on the last, final vote. We did get approached afterwards people saying we were sympathetic, but we had to vote that way. Ken Mills said it wasn’t until deliberative session that he was even aware of what was going on in the town. Ken said it is important to recognize the people who step up and do that work, and he grateful they did that. Hope people understand there are a lot of people taking time and effort to work on this. Rob said in the back of his mind he wanted to say we are not saying we absolutely want to leave the district. We just want to change the apportionment. We want to make it a fairer thing. We may have to deal with SAU 36 moving forward so we want to keep that relationship going. Everyone understood where we were coming from, and some people brought it up that no one never complained before. That mentality is tough. Rob was just trying to be politically correct as he could be, and we could end up staying with them. We have a bunch of alternatives if they would just be willing to listen to them. If we do end up withdrawing completely, then their taxes could really go up. More troubling in talking with counsel, it is not something we sue our way out of. It is just how it is in the state of New Hampshire dealing with the politician part of it.
Ben Jellison said a question to come from the board, are we looking for someone to write a minority report or are we going to try to attempt to do that amongst the committee? Rob asked if legal counsel was in a position to write that if need be? Ben said he could check with him and see. Rob said it seemed like in talking to him it would be something we would get a volunteer to do, and we have had other legal counsel we have worked with who have said they would take care of that for us. Ben said there are people out there like the superintendent hired to consult with that group. There are people out there that we could purchase their services. Rob said he believes we should file a minority report and whatever the cost associated with that. We had already thought there would be a fee. We are not going to be able to fully litigate our way out of it regardless of what the committee came up with. Ben said we are not going to be anywhere near that $70,000 the board included in the budget. Dave’s question is, is this attorney really pushing everything on the committee and not so much for him to do it? Dave said with our town attorney we are spoiled because he handles everything for us and writes things up for us. He takes care of things to protect us. Do we need to look for another attorney to put this together for us or a consultant? Ben thinks the solution is for the committee to work with a consultant. Could the attorney refer us to a consultant who would do the report for us? Ben said he knows enough people to find someone who could work with us. Rob said he would move that we allow Ben to contact the attorney or his sources to find someone to write up this minority report. Rob said that by taking this next step and sending it to the Board of Education it is in best interest of the town in moving forward. Ken Mills seconded the motion. Ken said as he reads it, this is a statutory requirement. If we don’t do anything, we will end up like we did in 2004. This is an interim step that would have to be done first to proceed further. Ben said when he and Rob talked with the attorney last week, he was very clear this would be game over if we don’t do this. Ken said we need to move this forward, and if Ben can take this on it would be great. Rob said we won’t be able to litigate this to win it, but we do need this to move that forward so there is potential. The attorney spoke about hail marys and other things, but we need to do this to move forward. Ben agreed to do that. The committee will continue to move forward with this guidance form the board. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes to allow Ben to contact the attorney or his sources to find someone to write up this minority report.
Dave said in response to Vicky Brodeur’s earlier question, the other pest control company was JP Pest Control. Third company did not return phone call.
Dave said we got a bid last week from Bretton Woods Phone company with Ms. Bailey taking the new position as Deputy Town Clerk, we moved that phone back from the building inspector office to her desk. It is $360 a year to put another phone in the building inspector office, but Dave personally doesn’t think we need another phone in that office for expense for it. Dave said when he is at that office he uses his cell phone or takes a cordless phone. Kelly is going to be doing some work in there, and Dave hasn’t really talked to her about it yet. Dave said for $360 a year for that phone, he feels we should put that on hold for now. If for some reason Kelly feels she needs the phone, we can bring it back to the board.
Bobbi Amirault asked if the Board would like any of the information about the public meetings for the sale of the fire station posted on the board in front of the fire station? The Board thought that would be a great idea. Bobbi will speak with Rob to see what we want posted. Brian Mycko suggested posting it at the recycling center as well. It will be on the web site as well. We need to check and verify what the posting requirements are for these hearings. If we have to post it in the newspaper, then we will have to reschedule the hearing dates.
Ben Jellison asked about the statement Dave made about a $500 discretionary spending from the office. Ben said we have someone working in there now, can she can spend $500 as needed? Dave said when we had the Selectmen’s administrative assistant, the board gave her the authority to spend up to $500 in case of an emergency if she couldn’t get in touch with the board to have a meeting. Ben said he does not an issue with that at all. His question is the individual the town has hired now, he got an email this week about school stuff, and her title said Administrative Assistant. Is it anybody in there? Is it Kelly? Rob said that we don’t have anyone in this position right now. We don’t have anyone in there now who would be in that situation. It is piece meal right now, Heather is doing payroll and manifests, Kelly is doing similar with the bills, and Katelyn is just there in the interim being the switchboard operator.
Ben’s question is if Katelyn is the Administrative Assistant, which is what the email he received from the selectmen said, that is the job description right? She is not doing the whole job right now. Dave said in fairness to Katelyn in the position and title she had that is for everyone else so we know we have someone to go to. Dave said Katelyn calls him every day, and Dave goes in the office every day and sits with her and goes through things. Ben said it has nothing to do with Katelyn. Ben said his bigger question is when was that position posted? When did we advertise for the position that Katelyn has? Dave said the day that Heather gave her notice. We had a posting in the paper before Heather left. Ben said for a part-time? Dave said it was for a full-time position. Ben said that Dave just said that Katelyn is part-time. Where did we post that position? Dave said we did not post a part-time position. The Board made a decision to put somebody in there to answer the phones and forward the emails because we had no one. Ken said we didn’t have anyone and needed to have a resource to keep things moving forward for the town. Did Ben know someone interested in the position? Ben said he didn’t know what to tell them what the position was. Rob said we are currently looking to fill a full-time position. This person does not want the full-time position, and this person is already leaving on August 26th. We are taking applications for a full-time position. We really want someone to fill the full-time position. Rob said this was a stop-gap position that became available, and this person was willing to do it. Ben said he has talked to the board about this before, here is another prime example of a transparency issue. Dave asked what was not transparent about it? The Board had the right to make a decision in a situation that we had. We had no one there. Ben asked how did you pick the person? It has nothing to do with the person in the position, it has to do with how anyone would know that you were looking for a part-time person. Dave said we were not looking for a part-time person. How did we end up with a part-time person? Brian Mycko said you advertised for one position and hired for another. Ben said he is trying to explain to the board how that is not transparent. You advertised for one position, and all of a sudden you hire for another position that no one knew about but the three members of the Board. Dave said that is incorrect. We discussed that at a public meeting before this person took the position. Ben asked where we advertised for that? Dave said we did not advertise for it. Who applied for it? Dave said we appointed for the position. Ben said that is a transparency issue. What is wrong with appointing? Ben said you never advertised, and you anointed someone to do the job. Ben said you never asked if anyone else was interested in this particular position and you changed the requirements for a temporary contractor to do this job. Ben said if Dave has something to say just say it, and Dave said he would say it in a non-public session. Selectperson Mills said he appreciates everyone coming out tonight and this is the first time since he has been on the board we have had so many people come to a meeting. He applauds that. He also wants to point out this town is one of the most under-resourced communities he has been engaged in. Ken said he has been on the planning board, the ZBA, the budget committee, and served on the select board in 2009-2010. Ken has heard the transparency issue numerous times. It is not about being not transparent, we are just trying to get the darn job done. We get so caught up in every detail without looking at the big picture that we have a town to try to operate effectively and safely and as transparent as we can. When there is something that has to get done, the prudential affairs of the community demands this body takes action to do that. We are getting the job done. Should the position have been posted or not? Ken said he doesn’t know. We don’t have people coming in for the full-time job. Look around the town. Try to hire someone and get them to work. This is all the stuff this body is trying to deal with. Rather than sit and launch grenades and make accusations, step back and take a bigger picture of what you have got people trying to do. Ben steps us and does a lot of work. Ken said he has only been doing this since March, and it is an on-going thread and Ken said he has to push back on this issue. We are just trying to get the town’s work done. Ben: By any means necessary? Ben said that is how he took it from Ken’s speech--We are going to do whatever we need to do however. Ken said no that is not what he said and it is not his intent. Managing the prudential affairs of the community, means just doing that. Ben said post the job that is there and maybe you will get some people to apply. Rob said for a part-time position? Ben said it would be a great job for a retired person. Rob said maybe that is something we could do, it just hasn’t been brought up in that manner. Rob said he appreciates the feedback. Take a look at the whole picture, we got the resignation letter, that person has just transitioned from another position and this is a stop gap, phone answering and taking notes is all we could do to fill the position at the time. Ben said if it is temporary, that is a very valid response. If it was for two to three weeks, Ben said he would be glad they did it. Rob said we have been receiving applications, but we haven’t found anyone who would be the right fit. The person currently in the office is going to be leaving at the end of August so we are going to have to do something. Dave said right now Heather and Kelly are helping us through all this. Without Kelly and Heather, we are dead in the water. We don’t have anyone capable of doing what they are doing. Dave said we need a full-time person in that position who is capable of doing the complete job. Ben said have you considered something else? Are there services we can contract should Kelly or Heather decide they are all done? Are you looking outside the box? Dave said he has spoken with Anna and Tammy to look outside the box, and there is nobody, and they are having difficulty on their end. Dave said he spoke with a headhunter, who is his niece. Ben said are there companies out there we could contract with to pay our bills and do our payroll, i.e. Municipal Resources, Inc.? Dave said that he doesn’t think that Heather and Kelly aren’t going to let us get to that point. We are working on trying to find someone. We just ran the ad again. The applicants we have just don’t fit the bill. Dave said if Ben could recommend another Heather like he did previously. Ben said he has gone to that well too many times. Ken said to point out when we got Katelyn, we thought it would only be for a couple of weeks because we had some interviews lined up. We have to make sure we hire the right person. We can’t have a revolving door. It was a short-term thing that has dragged on.
Brian Mycko: when he was on the board we passed the $500 emergency spending was for folks who were out of housing, it wasn’t just to pay bills. Dave said we did pass another vote, and it was passed by Rob, Dave and Bonnie for the $500 limit for Kelly.
Vicky Brodeur: Do we contract out the mowing for the town cemeteries? Dave said we do. Vicky asked how much we are paying for that? Their budget is $2,025 and to date they have spent $400. Dave said he doesn’t have Ed Martin’s breakdown. Is this something the town crew could take over? Dave said timing and Ed did bring down his budget from 10 mowings to 8 mowings. The cemeteries are a separate entity, and the Cemetery trustees take that on. Ed Martin has taken that on for a long time. Dave said we don’t have enough resources in the town. Vicky asked if they don’t have the time or the mowers to do it? Greg Hogan said we have never been asked to do it. He can’t really answer if they have the time to do it. Yes, we have the equipment to do it. Dave said for time right now, no they don’t have time to do it. Greg said you are not going to beat that price. Greg said part of the reason we do mow what we do is because the price we got for that was unreasonable. Go back to the cemeteries, how are you going to beat that? There is money in the budget for cemetery mowing. Dave said we could always option out for volunteers to mow. Vicky said back in the day the town crew used to mow, and if our budget is that tight maybe we should think about it. Rob said that contracting it out is more effective price wise in this particular case.
Vicky wanted it as part of the minutes when she spoke on the phone with Dave, what was the final cost on the hydroseeding? Dave said the final cost for the hydro seeding was $1,950 and that was product only. Vicky asked it that cost was paid to his company? Dave said yes it was or will be paid. The equipment used, was that town equipment or Dave’s equipment? Dave said for the hydroseeding it was all his equipment. Dave said it was all free, it was all a donation. Was it Dave’s guy working it or the town crew? Dave said it was supposed to be his guys training the town guys but we ran tight so Dave’s guys actually did it. Dave said DS Contractors paid the workers.
Vicky asked about the paving on Little River Road – when will that be done? Dave said he spoke to Ed from Central Paving today, and he is hoping in the next two weeks. Vicky: Was Pike a person who bid on it as well? Dave said no, we discussed it with Pike, and they wanted to do the entire town and we are entertaining having them price out the entire town. Vicky: Was it just Central for Little River Road? Dave said yes, and we talked to Pike about Little River Road. They wanted to do the whole town. Vicky: Were there a couple of bids? Dave said we try to get bids from whomever will give them to us and whoever will show up. What was the total cost from Central? That goes to the Bethlehem town line. Dave thinks it is $259,000, he can’t give the exact amount but it was in the warrant article. Brian Mycko asked why has it taken five weeks to pave it? It is very dusty. Brian said it smells terrible with tar mixed in. Dave said we are doing the best we can with the lack of help. Greg Hogan said they took the pulverizer to the road and stirred it up, so you need to let it settle and let the rain get to it, and get the base back very tight so when you do pave it you have a nice tight surface so it doesn’t crack and break and it will last much longer. Greg said he apologizes and he knows it is inconvenient, but in the end it will be a huge improvement for the town. You are one of the lucky ones who will have a nice smooth road.
Vicky said she knows the PD is really busy, but the cars are flying down that road. She thinks the majority of them are in rental properties and she can only imagine when that road gets paved what it will be like. Should we have left it the way it was all busted up so you couldn’t even drive on it? Dave said we can’t win right now. Dave said there is nothing but negative coming out of it, and we are trying to improve the town. She is not saying she doesn’t want the road paved. She is concerned with the traffic driving so fast on that road. Has she reported this to the police department, and Vicky said she is telling Tadd right now. She lives on that road. She is not sure why they are driving so fast on that road this year.
Tadd Bailey gave the board a copy of a Right-to-Know request he received today requesting data for the past 20 years, which we probably will need to talk to the town attorney about. Tadd said this going on around the state. He will assist where he can, but he does not have access to all that data. They need a reply in 5 days. We are going to have to reply to this. Tadd said with the current events, he receives 5 to 10 requests a month. Be prepared there are going to be a lot coming down the road. Dave will forward this to the town attorney.
Next meeting: July 13th at 6:00 pm, public hearing, unless we hear otherwise.
At 8:47 p.m. Chairperson Scalley closed the public meeting and made a motion to go into non-public session per RSA 91-A:3, Legal and Personnel. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
At 9:31 p.m. Chairperson Scalley made a motion to return to public session and seal the minutes of the non-public session. The motion was seconded by Selectperson Gauther. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
At 9:30 p.m. Chairperson Scalley made a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Selectperson Gauthier. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.