APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

BOARD OF SELECTMEN MEETING

MINUTES

February 17, 2004

APPROVED – March 3, 2004

 

CALL TO ORDER

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

PRESENT:

Mr. Harold Lynde, Mr. William McDevitt, Mr. Jean-Guy Bergeron, Mr. Richard Derby, Mr. Victor Danevich

 

Also present:

 

ABSENT:

Mr. Tom Gaydos, Town Administrator, members of the press and general public.

 

None.

              

The Chairman, Harold Lynde, opened the meeting at approximately 6:30 pm. 

 

Mr. Lynde informed that word had been received by the State Department of Transportation that they would proceed fairly expeditiously to install a blinking light at the Keyes Hill Road/Mammoth Road/Tallant Road intersections.  The Town has the action to place a ‘stop ahead’ sign on Tallant Road.  Mr. Derby said that the ‘stop ahead’ sign had already been installed.   

 

MINUTES REVIEW

 

January 20, 2004 – deferred to next meeting.

 

February 10, 2004

MOTION:

(Bergeron/McDevitt) To approve the January 6, 2004 meeting minutes as amended.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carried.

 

Amendments to the minutes were as follows: page one, paragraph one – Castle Hill Bridge had been ranked as a ten (10) shall be changed to ‘ranked nine (9)’; the words ‘of the Castle Hill Road Bridge project’ shall be inserted into the sentence reading: ‘Mr. Gaydos provided a brief summary of the Castle Hill Road Bridge Project status…”; page two – in the sentence reading ‘… the Police Chief had contacted the Commissioner…’ shall be amended to read ‘…the Police Chief had contacted the Department of Transportation…’; the paragraph reading ‘…and noted that an Election Law passed a plan…’ shall be amended to read ‘…and noted that the House Election Law Committee had a bill before them that would place Pelham, Hudson and Litchfield together…’ ; page three, third paragraph -  2002 shall be inserted in the following sentence  ‘..bill proposed by the 2002 Legislature listed Pelham…’; page four – the words no parking shall be added to the sentence reading ‘…the placement of no parking signs’; the sentence reading ‘Mr. Lynde said that the state had toured the Town and reviewed the site.’ Shall be amended to read ‘Mr. Lynde said that the State Department of Transportation had toured the site, and other traffic areas with safety concerns with the Police Chief.’

 

OPEN FORUM

 

Mr. Bergeron stepped down as a Selectman so that he could have an open forum discussion.

 

State Representative Jean-Guy Bergeron, Representing District 66 Pelham and Hudson, Hillsborough County asked for the opportunity to discuss with the Board regarding information he did not have at the last meeting.  Specifically House Bill 1292 (amended bill and potentially a floor amendment)  – which would affect redistricting.  Mr. Lynde said that the Selectmen would review the information once the scheduled appointments were completed.

 

Mr. Bergeron returned to the Board.  (See below for Mr. Bergeron’s presentation under Old Business)

 

APPOINTMENT

 

Men’s Softball – Mr. Mike Ducharme

 

Mr. Gaydos said that Mr. Mike Ducharme was unable to attend the meeting.  Related correspondence had previously been circulated to the Selectmen for review.  Mr. Danevich asked that the discussion be deferred until the petitioner was present. 

 

Sherburne Hall Committee

 

Ms. Charlene Takesian, Chairperson of the Building Committee for the renovations at Sherburne Hall met with the Selectmen to provide an update on their progress for the renovations of Sherburne Hall.  She said that the committee had been meeting almost weekly since May, 2003.  They first created a vision statement by communicating with Town departments and arts/entertainment groups by collecting their thoughts/ideas to define the exact direction they wanted to take.  Ms. Takesian discussed the types of organizations/meetings/entertainment/exhibits that could utilize the hall (which was also included in the Town’s Master Plan).  These thoughts/ideas were communicated to an architect, who helped materialized the vision of what the hall could look like, as well as providing cost estimates.  Ms. Takesian said that the committee had a financial goal, with plans in place to meet their goal.  She said they intended to stay within the theme that all money would be raised through private funding and with possible grants; taxpayers would not be asked to fill in any gaps through warrant articles.  If money is raised beyond the expectation, there is a prioritized list of additional improvements; if money is not raised as anticipated, the renovations will be scaled to fit the money raised.  The committee is committed to seeing the project through; if anyone would like additional information the website is: www.sherburnehall.org.  The Sherburne Hall Committee presented their Capital Campaign Plan and requested the Selectmen’s support.  Ms. Takesian ended by introducing the committee members: Joyce Mason, Eleanor Burton, Tom Collins, Charlie Mooskian, Glennie Edwards, Jackie Karl and Laurie Hogan (who was absent) and thanking them for their dedication.  She also thanked Senator Chuck Morse for working with the committee and being the driving force behind the capital campaign. 

 

Senator Chuck Morse met with the Selectmen to discuss Capital Campaign Plan created for Sherburne Hall.  He reviewed the sections of the plan (i.e. purpose, facility needs and projected costs [approximately $285,000], donation and naming opportunities, gifts and matching gifts).  He reviewed the list of donation items that would have naming rights.

 

Mr. Bergeron questioned what a person would get if they donated the money to name the hall.  Mr. McDevitt explained that the committee had many discussions and believed the likely answer was that the hall would possibly be named as: The (insert name) Auditorium at Sherburne Hall; the committee had not taken a formal vote.  Mr. Bergeron asked if the renovations for the building would be handled through a bid process.  Senator Morse said the funds would be handled as Town funds, which would be handled by the Town.  Mr. Bergeron asked if the committee would wait until they had all the money before starting the renovations.  Senator Morse said he was conservative and wouldn’t start anything until money was raised, but went on to say in four, or five months, if the committee had raised $200,000, and they were getting tired, they may consider scaling down the project.  He wanted the opportunity to see how the community responded.

 

Mr. Danevich asked where the entrance to the hall would be located.  Senator Morse explained there was an area between the Police Station and the Town Hall where a brick walkway could be constructed that would lead into a lobby area.  Mr. Danevich asked if the presented plan ‘locked’ the Town into a specific design.  He also wanted to know exactly what ‘unusual gifts’ meant.  Senator Morse said one example of an ‘unusual gift’ could be a trophy case, which was not part of the outlined project.  Mr. Danevich said he would like to have the section that outlines ‘unusual gifts’ include language that specifies Selectmen review.  Mr. Lynde believed that the campaign plan was structured so that the campaign chair would consult with the campaign cabinet (which contained a Selectmen’s representative).  Mr. McDevitt said that the final design would be approved by the Selectmen.  Senator Morse said that language could be added for Selectmen’s review.  Mr. Danevich wanted to know what the prioritization of the meeting space at Sherburne Hall.  Mr. Lynde said prioritization would be run out of the Selectmen’s office.  Mr. Danevich wanted to ensure that the Town Board meetings (which had legal requirements) would have the reserved right to ‘bump’ a community meeting that may have planned to use the hall.  Mr. McDevitt felt such instances would need to be done on a case by case basis.  Ms. Takesian said the committee had discussed such instances and felt their job was simply to renovate Sherburne Hall, and the scheduling would be done through the Selectmen’s office.  Ms. Edwards understood that the Selectmen would create a use policy for use of the hall.  Mr. Collins also understood that everything would revolve around the Selectmen and the local boards would all have the first right to use the hall; any other organization would need to meet with the Selectmen. 

 

Mr. Danevich asked if A/V was part of the capital raising plan.  Senator Morse said $50,000 had been set aside, but not yet defined for several items such as divider curtains, A/V, lighting, shading windows, tables and chairs, but these items had not been decided upon.  Mr. Danevich said there were many requirements for A/V (i.e. robotic cameras, mixing board, projection system) which still needed to be addressed.  He wanted to know if the A/V items would need to be taken care of separate from the campaign being presented.  Mr. Lynde said the Town would hopefully take care of the A/V items before the campaign was completed.  Mr. Danevich confirmed that the budget for the A/V was $70,000.  Mr. Lynde answered yes.  He said that there should be coordination with the committee to ensure that efficiency was maintained. 

 

Mr. Bergeron wanted to know who would oversee the project once it was bid out.  Mr. Lynde said this project was similar to the municipal building project, in which a group worked with the Selectmen.  Senator Morse believed that the project, once bid out and someone was hired, would take approximately six months.  He discussed the actions that would be taken over the next few weeks, such as setting up a leadership team that would seek donations, a group that would handle mailings etc.  At this point, Senator Morse said he would make minor changes to the document and felt that the community should now get involved. 

 

Mr. Bergeron questioned the bid process.  Senator Morse said that the document didn’t contain the level of detail to be able to go out to bid at this time.  He said the committee had only discussed the project with one group, but no decisions had been made.  He said that funds needed to be raised before moving forward.  He ended by saying the committee was seeking approval once the Selectmen have had the opportunity to review its content.  Mr. Lynde requested that the Selectmen submit any questions within the next week. 

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

House Bill 1292 - State Representative Jean-Guy Bergeron   

 

Mr. Bergeron stepped down so he could address the Selectmen as his position of a State Representative. 

 

State Representative Jean-Guy Bergeron provided the Selectmen with information that included census statistics (population), which would enable Pelham to have three representatives, but at the same time would leave 1647 people not represented.  He said during the last Selectmen’s meeting, he asked State Representative Chris Malloy what the vote out of committee was, which was unknown at that time.  Based upon a copy of the House calendar, the vote out of committee was (14-3) to include Litchfield in the current Pelham/Hudson district.  He said there was an additional motion at the last Selectmen’s meeting to request that Mr. Bergeron work hard to support the floor amendment so that Pelham would be by itself with three state representatives. 

 

Representative Bergeron said that House Bill 1292 was proposing expand the eighty-eight districts to one hundred and three districts.  He said the vote that would take place on Thursday was to create a Hudson/Litchfield/Pelham district (#27) that has a total of thirteen representatives.  He discussed the current district which contained eleven representatives and reviewed the committees that each representative was a part of.  He said the proposal (for Thursday) would expand the district, but would also add representatives of the Town.  Representative Bergeron discussed the pros and cons of having Pelham as its own district (with three representatives).  A disadvantage to having three representatives would be that not everyone would be represented; an advantage would be that people in the Town would have the opportunity to see the representatives.  Representative Bergeron was puzzled as to why the Election Law Committee didn’t consider taking Pelham out of the new district to be on its own.  He didn’t know what the committee would say about State Representative Malloy’s floor amendment to take Pelham out of the proposed district (with Hudson and Litchfield).  He said that he may, or may not support the floor amendment, based upon what would be said at the wells on the floor during the hearing on Thursday. 

 

Mr. Lynde reviewed the House calendar and the write-up by the committee that described the intent of the bill (more districts/smaller districts to provide better access to the representatives by citizens), which he felt conflicted with the creation of the three town district.  He said it was conceivable that thirteen representatives could be elected from Hudson.  Mr. Bergeron said it would be a tough vote because the Town had a lot more representation with the current number of representatives.  He said he wanted to present all the information that a representative was faced with.  He said that he was elected by the voters of Pelham and Hudson and didn’t mind (and welcomed) the opinion and consensus of any board, but the decision needed to be made for the constituents. 

 

Mr. McDevitt asked what advantage there were to the Hudson voters to have them be combined with Litchfield.  Representative Bergeron didn’t know if Hudson was favoring the bill.  He said it was important to listen to all the information on Thursday and then make a vote. 

 

Mr. Lynde believed the Selectmen voted at the last meeting to send a letter in support of a three-member district.  Mr. Gaydos said he signed a letter on behalf of the Board and sent it to General Court.   

 

Mr. Bergeron returned to his position as a Selectman.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Pelhamweb.com

 

Mr. Lynde said that an e-mail had been received by a concerned citizen regarding different groups using Pelhamweb.com that had views he believed were not factual.  He understood that Pelhamweb.com grew from a private citizen who had established it and set the rules so that community organizations would have link through a web site.

 

Mr. Danevich said that the whole basis of the conversation centered on RSA 664:17 (placement/removal of political advertising).  He reviewed the history of the site and made it clear that the domain was owned, paid for, and controlled by Mr. Jim Greenwood.  He said that the invoices were sent to Mr. Greenwood and the Town provided a contribution to help offset the costs.  He said the server that hosted Pelhamweb.com was located in Florida. 

 

Mr. Danevich discussed which Town entities were currently using Pelhamweb.com as a link.  He felt if a policy were to be considered, consistency should be maintained for all groups.  He didn’t feel that government should be in the business of monitoring the content of the website.  He felt that it was unclear that the RSA applied in this case.  Mr. Danevich also discussed the Town logo, which had been removed by a previous action of the Selectmen.  He said if the Town seal were to be put back on the site; the information should then be informative only and not reflect an opinion of being for, or against issues.  He said a ‘no advertising’ policy should also be considered.  He said if the website became official, a decision would need to be made regarding who would maintain the site. 

 

Mr. Danevich said the proposal was to have Pelhamweb.org to make a clear demarcation from the official Town site.  All Pelham-based organizations would be welcome on Pelhamweb.org, with a small contribution beginning February, 2005.  He said that no taxpayer funds would be used to support Pelhamweb.org.  He suggested that Mr. Greenwood manage Pelhamweb.org, just as he had done for Pelhamweb.com.  The Selectmen would have no specific control or input for Pelhamweb.org; however content management would be applied as outlined in the standard FCC Rules. 

 

Mr. Danevich reviewed the websites that currently used Pelhamweb.com and provided his suggestions for which sites would remain (official Town sanctioned) and those that he felt should move to Pelhamweb.org.  He said no websites would be removed, they would just be moved.  Mr. Lynde asked if the Town would continue to provide some portion of the cost for Pelhamweb.com.  Mr. Danevich recommended that the Town own, control and pay for Pelhamweb.com.  He said he would also recommend that one of the Town employees (Jim Greenwood) be delegated the administrative control.  Mr. Lynde confirmed that Pelhamweb.org would have no official connection to the Town of Pelham and would not be funded by the Town of Pelham, and would be essentially a community service provided by private organizations.  Mr. Danevich informed that the process of moving the websites would take some time to coordinate, but felt over time the transition could be smooth.

 

Mr. Bergeron said he had a constituent contact him and wanted to know from Mr. Gaydos if the concerns would be covered with what Mr. Danevich had discussed.  Mr. Gaydos felt it addressed the observations of the individual; there had been a question about using a public site to forward individual interest, which he felt was adequately covered. 

 

Mr. Danevich recommended that the school sites remain through the end of the year and then give them the choice of where they would be migrated to.  He asked that the Selectmen entertain a motion to make Pelhamweb.com an official Town website.  He noted that a policy was in the process of being drafted and would be presented to the Selectmen shortly.  Mr. Lynde wanted to ensure that the entities that remained on the Pelhamweb.com site understood that they would have to follow the policy.  Mr. Danevich didn’t feel that there would be an issue with department complying with the policy being drafted. 

 

MOTION:

 

(Danevich/McDevitt) To: a) recognize Pelhamweb.com as the future official home website; b) Town to fund the monthly cost of $50 for the Pelhamweb.com site (intended for internet web and e-mail for Town employees); c) any official web will carry the Town Seal and will have a policy on the front page; d) no advertising permitted on the Pelhamweb.com website; e) no commercial businesses posted on the Pelhamweb.com website; f) Pelhamweb.com will always maintain an informative political position only – no pro or con, consistent with RSA state laws; g) Board of Selectmen are in control and will delegate authority. 

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried.       

 

Mr. Danevich said he would take the action to work with the School Board. 

 

TOWN ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT/SELECTMEN’S REPORTS

 

Mr. Gaydos said that an explanation of the Town Meeting Warrant Articles had been drafted by Mr. Lynde and if the Selectmen agree, the explanation will be reproduced, and sent out using public money.  The Selectmen were asked to review the explanation and forward comments by Thursday.  Mr. Gaydos said he had discussed the Conservation Commission’s mailing in connection with their warrant article; Town Counsel has recommended that public funds not be used if the information is going to be a promotional piece on the bond.  Mr. Lynde said that a discussion had previously taken place during budget review; if the funds were to be used, the explanation could not advocate the position; it had to be strictly factual and reviewed by the Selectmen before being circulated.  Mr. Gaydos informed that Adelphia had donated 5000 plastic bags so that the Town Report could be delivered by the Boy Scouts.        

 

Mr. Danevich informed that forty applications had been received for the Park and Recreation Director position; the deadline for submission was February 20, 2004.    

 

Mr. Bergeron said that the Regional Water Charter Committee had met in Nashua on February 12, 2004 and completed the Charter.  He asked that the Selectmen review the document and provide comments if there was anything they would like to bring to his attention.  He ended by saying that the Labor Safety Committee would be meeting at 10am on Wednesday at the Municipal Building. 

 

Mr. Derby had no report.

 

Mr. McDevitt read a portion of RSA 664 aloud which pertained to the placement of political advertising.  He said he reviewed the language because candidates often brought the issue up.  Mr. Bergeron asked if warrant articles were included and also wanted to know if the Town was allowed to use Town land to post political signs.  Mr. McDevitt said that the wording stated ‘political advertising’.  Mr. Gaydos felt that Town land could not be used for a political sign stating an opinion (which is unlike the informational explanation of the warrant articles).  Mr. Bergeron believed in the past that signs had been placed on municipal property.  Mr. McDevitt said it was a common issue that arose each year. 

 

Mr. Gaydos met with Bob Sherman of the Boy Scouts regarding the distribution of the Town Report; the price fell in line with the range.  He said the front cover had been approved and the layout would be approved tomorrow.

 

Mr. Lynde reminded people that Election Day was March 9, 2004; voting would take place at the Pelham High School between the hours of 7am – 8pm.  He said one outstanding issue was the resolution of the warrant article for $130,000 in connection with engineering fees for subdivisions; most of which had been identified approximately $80,000 remained.  He confirmed with Mr. Gaydos that arrangements were being worked out with the developers and former Town engineer CLD Engineering.  Mr. Gaydos said that there were a number of issues to be resolved; legal documents were being reviewed.  He said the process was moving forward so that the problem would never be replicated. 

 

After a brief discussion the Selectmen decided they would not hold a meeting February 24, 2004; the next meeting would be held Wednesday, March 3, 2004 at 6:30pm. 

 

Mr. Lynde said that the Town held a meeting with Breadloaf last week; additional supplemental heat will be introduced through baseboards; Breadloaf will be responsible for payment.  The lawn was discussed, Breadloaf will be responsible.  Remaining punch list items will be addressed.  

 

REQUEST FOR NON-PUBLIC SESSION

 

MOTION:

(Bergeron/McDevitt) Request for a non-public session per RSA 91-A:3,II,a, b (Personnel; Hiring of any person as an employee) 

 

ROLL CALL:

 

Mr. Lynde-Yes; Mr. McDevitt-Yes; Mr. Derby-Yes; Mr. Bergeron-Yes; Mr. Danevich-Yes

 

Mr. Lynde 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 9:00 pm.  Also present was Mr. Gaydos.

 

The Board returned to public session at approximately 9:50pm.

 

MOTION:

 

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

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Bergeron) To adjourn the meeting.

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:50 pm.

                                                                                          Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                          Charity A. L. Willis

                                                                                          Recording Secretary