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Mattapoisett Election and Meeting Results

Town of Mattapoisett
Special Town Meeting
October 22, 2007

Town Moderator Jack Eklund called the Mattapoisett Special Town Meeting to order at 7:00PM on Monday, October 22, 2007 in the Old Rochester Regional High School Auditorium after having noted the presence of a quorum.

Under Article 1 the voters were asked to approve $47,350 for administrative salaries and wages of various Town Departments, for the purpose of funding the collective bargaining agreement between the Town of Mattapoisett and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 93, AFL-CIO on behalf of administrative and clerical employees. Mr. Lombard told Town Meeting that a 3-year agreement has been made. He also stated that this money had been put aside at Annual Town Meeting May 14, 2007.

Article 1 passed unanimously

Before a vote was taken, resident Mr. Bill Cantor asked for a total of all money items to be considered. The amount is $666,719 per Mike Botelho, Town Administrator and that amount could be found on the spreadsheet handed out at the door.

Under Article 2 voters were asked approve $49,257 for police salaries and wages, for the purpose of funding the collective bargaining agreement between the Town of Mattapoisett and New England Police Benevolent Association, AFL-CIO, Local 63, and related salaries and wages.

Article 2 passed unanimously

Article 3 asked the voters to approve $17,307 for the purpose of funding the collective bargaining agreement between the Town of Mattapoisett and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 93, AFL-CIO on behalf of public works employees.

Article 3 passed 188 to 2

Article 4 asked the voters to approve an amendment to the Personnel By-Law of the Town of Mattapoisett, Section 12. Classification Plan by designating the Council on Aging Director at Grade 17 (from Grade 15); and by revising section 13, Compensation Schedule, by increasing the amounts shown in the FY 2007 by three percent (3%), such revised schedule to be the Compensation Schedule for FY 2008

Article 4 was amended to add the exemption from Personnel By-Law status the Water and Sewer Superintendent and change that position to a contract position. It was explained that the Water and Sewer Superintendent's position has grown drastically and the position requires review and contract status.

Mr. Brad Hathaway asked if such a change to the article was legal. Town Counsel said that in his opinion it is legal. Lynn Sylvia voiced a concern that the Water and Sewer classification change should have been a separate item and the wording was confusing without seeing it in writing on the warrant.

Article 4 passed 135 to 26

Article 5 asked the voters to approve $66,446 for salaries and wages of contract employees, personnel by-law employees, and other employees. The list of departments and staff affected by this was read.

Mr. Nicolosi of the Board of Health was concerned that the amount of increase read at Special Town Meeting Article 5, for the Health Agent and the Public Health Nurse were not the amounts requested by the Board of Health. Mr. Botelho stated the increase requested was adjusted due to getting comparable rates in the Southcoast area and that is how the increase was determined. Mr. Nicolosi was upset that his department was not informed of any change to their request until he heard the amounts reported under Article 5.

Article 5 passed 137 to 24

Article 6 requested the voters to approve the salaries of the following elected officers of the town for Fiscal Year 2008 as follows: Highway Surveyor $60,865.00 and Town Clerk $44,469

Article 6 passed 160 to 1

Article 7 asked the voters to approve $113,082 for the purpose of funding legal expenses arising from litigation, including legal bills of a prior fiscal year.

Town Moderator stated this motion is a 2-part article. Part 1 was for current legal expenses in the amount of $67,043. Part 2 was prior year legal expenses of $46,039

Mr. Brad Hathaway asked what pending legal issues existed. Mr. Botelho listed: Tinkham Forest; Frawley; Landfill; Easement for Library; Library contractor; Hammondtown School; Center School are some of the 11 pending litigations with the Town. Mr. Hathaway asked how much has been spent in legal fees regarding Tinkham Forest. Mr. Botelho stated $82,257.31. The Town's appeal on the Tinkham Forest decision is anticipated to cost between $8,000 to $10,000. Selectmen Collyer stated in his opinion the Town should not pursue this appeal.

Article 7 Part 1 $67,043 PASSED 148 to 13 current year legal fees

Article 7 Part 2 $46,039 DEFEATED. As this part was requesting payment of prior year legal expenses, the motion had to pass with a 9/10 vote. The Moderator initially announced it passed with 140 votes yes and 29 votes no. A Point of Order was called from the floor and upon recalculating the 9/10 required vote, it was announced that Part 2 did NOT PASS.

Mr. Andrew promptly made a motion to reconsideration of Article 7 part 2. Town Moderator did not accept this motion, as there was no new information to be considered.

Article 8 asked the voters for the sum of ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) for the purpose of continuing cleanup of the Police Station site gasoline spill. Mr. Botelho reported that this is the last of the cleanups. There will be monitoring in the future, but this is the end of the clean up.

Article 8 passed unanimously

Article 9 requested the voters to approve the sum of ninety-eight thousand four hundred dollars ($98,400.00) for the purpose of making paving repairs to Route 6 necessitated by installation of sewer main and lateral lines.

Mr. Nicholson changed the amount of this article to $37,568 as recent bids came in under the anticipated amount. The amount on the warrant was put there to cover any possible bid amounts. This work is required by the State Highway Department to repair Route 6 from 2001 sewer line extension to the Old Rochester Junior and Senior High School. This money is to be transferred from Sewer Enterprise Fund.

Article 9 passed unanimously

Article 10 asked voters to approve the sum of seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500.00) for costs associated with landscaping and utilities relocation for the Veteran's War Memorial Park adjacent to the Mattapoisett Free Public Library.

Article 10 passed unanimously

Next Article 11 requested the voters to approve the sum of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000.00) for the purpose of covering costs associated with engineering and permitting for the repair and maintenance of Town wharves.

Article 11 passed unanimously

Article12 requested the voters approve the sum of seventeen thousand dollars ($17,000.00) for the purpose of covering costs associated with the repair, maintenance, and improvement of the pump out facility.

Harbormaster Steve Mach reported to town meeting that he had applied for and received a grant for the repair of the pump out. This grant is a reimbursement of 75% of expenditure payable upon completion of the project. This is a grant the Harbormaster can apply for each year and stated he intend to do just that.

Article 12 passed unanimously

Article 13 requested the voters approve the sum of $7,000.00 for the purpose of funding repairs to the Shipyard Park flagpole, restrooms at Veterans Park, and electric lighting at Barstow Wharf.

Article 13 passed unanimously

Article 14 requested the voters approve the sum of $156,000.00 for the purpose of replacing aging and obsolete vehicles and equipment in the Highway Department. Funds for this appropriation are to be provided from the Capital Stabilization Fund.

Highway Surveyor Barry Denham explained that this new vehicle would do the job of at least two vehicles, sander in the winter, dump truck as needed. The vehicles it replaces are old and patched together with parts from even older vehicles. Rebecca McCullough, Chair of the Capital Planning Committee recommends approval of this article.

Article 14 passed 154 to 1

Article 15 requested the voters approve the sum of $29,000.00 for the purpose of replacing an aging and obsolete vehicle in the Fire Department. Funds for this appropriation to be provided from the Capital Stabilization Fund.

Fire Chief Ron Scott reports that this vehicle will replace the 1995 Suburban, which will not pass inspection. With the appointment of a full time Deputy Fire Chief this old vehicle is used by the Deputy Fire Chief full-time. The new vehicle is a F150 Ford Pick Up, which is $26,000, and the additional money will be used to add safety equipment to the truck.

Article 15 passed unanimously

Article 16 asked the voters to approve the amount of four thousand dollars ($4,000.00), such amount to be added to the Fiscal Year 2008 appropriation as voted by the annual town meeting of May 14, 2007, for the purpose of restoring the amount appropriated for care of shade trees to the level normally appropriated for this purpose.

Article 16 passed unanimously

Article 17 asked the voters to approve the amount of seven thousand five hundred fifty-four dollars ($7,554.00), for the purpose of paying bills of a prior year.

Article 17 passed unanimously

Article18 asked the voters to approve the amount of seventeen thousand six hundred fifty-five dollars ($17,655.00), such amount to be added to the commissioning article approved by Annual Town Meeting, May 2005, for the purpose of completing repairs and commissioning of Old Hammondtown School HVAC. (This article includes amounts from prior year bills)

Article 18 passed unanimously

Article 19 requested the voters approve the amount of sixty thousand dollars ($60,000.00), such amount to be added to Article 16, approved by Annual Town Meeting, May 2001, for the purpose of paying costs associated with future revaluation expenses. Funds for this appropriation to be provided from release of surplus Overlay Reserve funds from Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005.

Article 19 passed

At this point in the meeting, Mr. George Randall made the motion to take Article 21 out of order. He explained that this Article that he petitioned was originally scheduled to be on the September 2007 Special Town Meeting, which was postponed to this date. At that time the Board of Selectmen asked Mr. Randall if he would agree to hold off on this article until October 22, 2007 Special Town Meeting. Mr. Randall was told that there would be no change in the warrant with the exception of some wording on other articles.

Mr. Randall them explained to town meeting that his article was moved to after Article 20, a motion by the Board of Selectmen to revise the town seal, not prior to it as had been the case on September warrant. Therefore he was asking for his article to be taken out of order. Mr. Ray Andrews voiced concern that there would be not be discussion about the choices of Town seals to accept.

The motion to take Article 21 out of order was approved.

Mr. Randall then explained that there is nothing to be gained in changing the Town Seal from the seal adopted in 1901. History has been made for generations with this seal. The seal as currently used by the Town Clerk is on numerous documents and changing it is needless.

Judy Wallace made a motion to table this topic until a committee could be formed to further research this item. A 2/3 vote was necessary to table the motion. The motion to table Article 21 was defeated.

Article 21 requests of the voters to approve the present Mattapoisett Town Seal and Symbol of 1901 to be Mattapoisett's official, legal, historical and permanent seal for as long as Mattapoisett is incorporated as a town in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, United States of America.

Article 21 passed 124 to 26

With the passing of Article 21, the Board of Selectmen withdrew Article 20

ARTICLE 20: REVISE THE TOWN SEAL: To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to pursue development of a revised Mattapoisett Town Seal that more appropriately reflects the heritage, history, and character of the Town of Mattapoisett, such design to be presented to Town Meeting for final approval and adoption, or take any other action relating thereto.

With all articles completed, a motion was made and approved to adjourn the Special Town Meeting at 10:08PM