February 12, 2002

APPROVED – February 19, 2002






Ms. Deb Casey, Mr. Greg Farris, Mr. William McDevitt, Mr. Jean-Guy Bergeron, Mr. Hal Lynde (arrived shortly after the meeting started)


Also present:



Mr. Pat MacQueen, Interim Town Administrator, members of the press and general public.




Chairperson Casey opened the meeting at approximately 6:30 pm.




February 5, 2002



(McDevitt/Bergeron) To approve the February 5, 2002 minutes as amended.




(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.






Mr. Lynde arrived.




Mr. Don Jutton, MRI, Planning Director search


Mr. Don Jutton, President, MRI discussed the Town’s current situation in the Planning Department.  He said that in the past, MRI had successfully restructured the Tax Assessor’s office.  He said that he was not completely confident of success to find a planner due to the tight market for planners.  He felt that a viable alternative would be to train someone in place, under the guidance of Mr. Clay Mitchell (Interim Planning Director, employed by MRI).  Mr. Jutton said that the transition time would be between eighteen to twenty-four months at which time the candidate would either become a Town employee or remain on MRI’s payroll.  He said to begin the process and estimated price would need to be determined. 


Mr. Farris wanted to know what the skill level of the person would be and how much time would they need to familiarize themselves with the position.  Mr. Jutton believed that the candidate would need at least eighteen to twenty-four months to get up to speed and familiarize themselves with the community.  Mr. Farris wanted to know in what time frame it would take the candidate to run the planning department.  Mr. Jutton said he did not have a person to propose.  He said once parameters were established there would be a clearer pictures.  He believed that the search would be driven by what the Town was willing to pay.  He explained that his expectation was to mark the price up approximately 15% and would fully disclose all costs.  Mr. Jutton said that some people would be more comfortable working for MRI rather than the Town because of stability.  He then discussed the hours the person would be available.  He felt that Mr. Mitchell would remain on for three days per week and the new person could train for four days. 


Mr. Jutton said to start the process, he would need the Selectmen’s’ approval.  He would then meet with members of a committee (persons from each of the Boards that would work with the candidate) to help profile a candidate for the advertisement.  He reiterated that the salary would be a factor in finding a candidate with broader experience. 


Mr. Bergeron felt it would be ideal to have a qualified planning director that had knowledge of things such as the RSAs and land use zoning, the building codes.  He wanted to know if an assistant planner or manager would be able to be trained.  Mr. Jutton said that he was a planner and gained the most of his experience doing the job.  He discussed how different towns had different needs in a planning director.  He said a clear definition of what Pelham wanted would need to be determined. 


Mr. Lynde wanted to know what would happen if part way through the agreement, the Town found someone.  Mr. Jutton said the agreement would be a partnership and would need to disclose the situation to the candidate.  He said if the person was unhappy, MRI would be able to help supplement.  He noted that the person would be able to be groomed to the position. 


Ms. Casey said the Selectmen had three options to consider: 1) utilize MRI to hire a Planning Director; 2) utilize Mr. Mitchell in a training capacity; 3) the Town to seek a candidate on its own. 


Mr. Jutton provided his contact information to Mr. Farris. 


Ms. Casey asked the status of the search for Town Administrator.  Mr. Jutton said that he had approximately twelve to fifteen pliable candidates and would meet back with the Selectmen in mid March. 


Ms. Casey said that the Selectmen would discuss the issue later in the evening and would contact Mr. Jutton with a response.  (see below for further discussion)








Request for information regarding the Town Clerk/Tax Collector position


Ms. Casey said that a request for the salary figure or specific salary range of the Town Clerk/Tax Collector position had been received. 


Mr. MacQueen said that the budgeted amount for the upcoming year was $41,200 (which was the current salary plus the allotted 3% raise).  He believed that the salary of the former clerk was $43,118. 


Ms. Casey said she was asked if the person didn’t take the healthcare if there was an incentive to increase the salary as an offset.  Mr. Farris answered no. 


Ms. Casey said that the candidate would like to know the salary range for the position.


Mr. MacQueen wanted to know the reason the Town didn’t have salaries in a plan or policy.  Ms. Casey said the position was an elected, non-union position. 


There was a discussion regarding how the salary range would be determined for the position, and what the basis was in determining the rate for the former clerk, who was highly experienced.  There was a suggestion to have the salary range be between $41,200 and $44,400 so that there would be flexibility when determining the experience of the candidates.  The Selectmen agreed with the suggested salary range and would set the salary once a person was elected. 


Snow removal at the Senior Center


Mr. McDevitt said during his conversation with Mr. Don Foss, Highway Road Agent, he was reminded that the Town did not own a snow blower.  He said that Mr. Foss had budgeted for a snow blower and wanted to know if it would be alright to obtain three quotes rather than bidding.  The Selectmen did not have a problem with Mr. Foss obtaining three quotes for a snow blower.


Spring Street Dam


Mr. McDevitt had a meeting regarding the Spring Street Dam with Mr. Jeff Blaney, DES Dam Bureau and Mr. Perkins (owner/developer of the site) as well as Mr. Perkin’s engineer and contractor.  He believed that the state standards would be met and it would ultimately would be turned over to the Town. 


Planning Director search continued......


Mr. MacQueen stepped down from the discussion.


Mr. Bergeron felt it would benefit the Town to perform a large search for a qualified, experienced planner that was aware of the land use issues. 


Mr. Farris said that several advertisements had been done which didn’t have the expected turn out.  He felt the key issue Mr. Jutton discussed was the salary amount.  He suggested moving forward with the salary budgeted (plus the 15% for MRI).  Mr. Farris asked if the candidate previously interviewed had been contacted for availability.  He suggested moving forward with Mr. Jutton’s proposal as well as

speaking with Mr. Mitchell regarding the previous candidate’s resume to see if a similar approach could be taken.


Mr. McDevitt said that the Planning Department was currently in trouble (with no reflection upon the current planning director or clerks).  He believed that it would be difficult to find a qualified candidate and was in favor of moving forward with Mr. Jutton’s proposal, reluctantly, due to the risks of a person training and then possibly leaving.    


Mr. Lynde agreed with Mr. Farris to contact the previous candidate for availability.  He was unsure in the way they would be hired, either directly, or through MRI.  Mr. Farris felt that Mr. Mitchell should re-review the candidate’s resume to discuss the shortcomings and trainability.  Mr. Lynde said he would work with Mr. MacQueen to contact the previous candidate. 


It was agreed by the Selectmen to have Ms. Casey negotiate the agreement with Mr. Jutton.  Ms. Casey said she would provide information to the Selectmen at the next meeting. 


Mr. Bergeron discussed how the position had been previously advertised in which resumes had been received, but the candidates did not have the proper experience.  Mr. Lynde stressed the importance of hiring a qualified person.  He was in favor of Mr. Jutton’s proposal.  He discussed the qualifications of the previous candidate, who would be a good office manager. 




Mr. MacQueen met the Town’s Attorneys to discuss some of the tax cases.  He informed that the annual report was being printed and was approximately 25% complete.  He requested a non-public session regarding personnel issues.


Mr. Bergeron said that the transfer station did a nice job placing the temporary/permanent barriers, which protect the back area.


Mr. Farris informed that the 8th grade Memorial Basketball team won the state championship in their division for the first time ever.  He gave his congratulations for winning the division and the state championship.  Mr. Lynde said that the ‘B’ team also won their semi-finals and finals. 


Mr. McDevitt noted that he had not received any changes to the Building Committee’s flyer.  He discussed the tax rate chart and said that the chart to be included would be based strictly upon the bond bank ($.92 per $1000).  Mr. Lynde noted that Citizen’s Bank may be able to provide a better rate.  Mr. McDevitt said that the higher number would be put out and the worse case scenario would be that the number would be lower. 


Ms. Casey informed that Andy Harper won the state tournament for his weight in wrestling.  She noted that his brother Brian had the most pins in the fastest amount of time in the Hollis/Brookline tournament. 





(McDevitt/Lynde) Request for a non-public session per RSA 91-A:3,II,a & e (personnel and legal).




Ms. Casey-Yes; Mr. Farris-Yes; Mr. McDevitt-Yes; Mr. Bergeron-Yes; Mr. Lynde-Yes


Ms. Casey noted that when the Board returned, after the non-public session, the Board would not take any other action publicly, except to seal the minutes of the non-public session and to adjourn the meeting.  The Board entered into a non-public session at approximately 7:45 pm.  Also present was Mr. MacQueen.


The Board returned to public session at approximately 8:06pm.




(McDevitt/Lynde) To seal the minutes of the non-public session indefinitely.




Ms. Casey-Yes; Mr. Farris-Yes; Mr. McDevitt-Yes; Mr. Bergeron-Yes; Mr. Lynde-Yes




MOTION:           (McDevitt/Bergeron) To adjourn the meeting.


VOTE:                 (5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.


The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:10 pm.


                                                                                          Respectfully submitted,


                                                                                          Charity A. L. Willis

                                                                                          Recording Secretary