Board of Selectmen Minutes 07/12/2016

Town of Otis
Select Board Meeting Minutes
July 12, 2016

Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm in the Town Hall conference room.

Present: Select Board Chair Roberta Sarnacki, Selectman Bill Hiller, Selectman Don Hawley, Chris Morris, Terry and Larry Gould, Michael Ernst, Jim Crandall, Marion Middleton, Sonia Morrison Kobrin, Nancy Sweatland Pigman, and Julie Ruth

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by Roberta Sarnacki who announced the meeting was being recorded.

Bill asked if he could address a point before beginning with the agenda. Roberta gave him the floor and Bill stated that the town had done some investigating into a Facebook account that was not authored by the town nor any member of the Board nor anyone at Town Hall. With advice from a cyber crime person and Town Counsel, a complaint was made to Facebook and the account was brought down. The account has since been discontinued. The Town of Otis itself cannot begin any kind of legal action against this but any individual that has been negatively impacted by this account can initiate legal action. When legal action has been initiated then the account contents can be subpoenaed. Bill stated this definitely appears to be a case of cyber crime and it impacts all of our town, not just the people impacted in the account. Bill has information he can share with the family and the police if the individuals decide to move forward with legal action. The Select Board has also pledged to assist the family in any way it can in this matter. And if the family feels more comfortable with the State Police handling this, Otis will fully comply with that preference.


Approval of Minutes: The June 27, 2016 All Boards minutes were approved as written by Roberta Sarnacki and Bill Hiller with Don Hawley abstaining. The June 28, 2016 Select Board meeting minutes were unanimously approved as written.

Historical Commission Resignations: Two individuals have submitted their resignations leaving the Commission without a quorum. The resignations were acknowledged by the Select Board.

BRPC Alternate Appointment: Michael Ernst has volunteered to be the BRPC Alternate and needs to be appointed by the Select Board. The Select Board voted unanimously to appoint Michael as the alternate representative. Hal Kobrin will serve as the regular representative.

BRTA Representative: Lisa noted to the Select Board members that BRTA does not have any bus routes in Otis and we have not supported them for the past eight years. In light of this, Lisa drafted a letter of non-support again this year, noting that we did not have to sign the letter. The Select Board once again voted to not support the BRTA and Roberta signed the letter.

Town Administrator Contract Renewal: Chris Morris’ contract is once again up for renewal. It is the same contract as before with date changes and updated salary information. A copy has already been sent to Town Counsel for vetting. The new three year contract reflects a 4% salary increase for FY2017. All three Select Board members and Chris Morris signed the contract.

Poll Worker Addition: Lyn requested that Jack Conboy be added to the Poll Worker list for FY2017. The Select Board unanimously voted to include his name as a poll worker.

Appointees not yet Sworn In: Lyn wrote up a list of fourteen appointees who were not yet sworn in for this fiscal year. Of those fourteen, only four still need to be sworn in by the time of tonight’s meeting. The names were listed and several people volunteered to contact some of these people.

Fire Truck Payment: Chris presented paperwork for the Select Board to sign. This paperwork was for the second of five payments at 0.84% interest for the new fire truck to be delivered this summer. Five pages required signatures from all three board members.

Meeting House Bell: The bell was removed from the old East Otis Meeting House that is scheduled for demolition. The town plans to keep the bell and Chris drafted a letter to Ziter Saloomey for aiding and assisting us at no cost with a crane and personnel in order to complete this job. All Select Board members signed the letter of thanks. Research was done on the bell and it appears to have been made before the Civil War and possibly came from the building that previously existed.

Dan Hamill: Sergeant Hamill will be leaving us as a full-time employee and will be staying on part-time, still as our Sergeant. He has accepted a full time job with MCLA and will begin later this month. Chris drafted a letter of thanks for his eight years of service to the town, and congratulations on his new job. Roberta has officers to cover Dan’s shifts.

Social Media Policy: Several residents had requested a formal letter from Town Counsel on his opinion of certain documents and their relevance to the new Social Media Policy. Chris got a written letter from Town Counsel and a vote was taken by the Select Board to waive attorney-client privilege for this letter and release the written opinion. The vote was passed by Don and Bill with Roberta abstaining. Chris read the letter aloud and copies of this letter were distributed to certain individuals in attendance. Chris will also forward a copy to another resident who made the initial request.

In-town Pole Survey: Otis has a proposal for doing the Pole Survey in town to determine our make-ready costs for installing broadband. This is a necessary next step so we can determine final costs of the project. The proposal includes costs for data collection, strand mapping, and the final broadband design for installation. This comes to approximately $135,000 plus $25 per pole for each pole that is in discrepancy. It is prudent for the town to move forward now. The proposal costs are in line with our expected costs for this part of the project and we can continue discussions with MBI for reimbursement while we move forward with this part of the project. This contract will be between two MLPs and the final installation design will help us determine what the “make ready” costs will be for Otis. Those costs are the last thing Otis needs to determine to decide if this project construction cost is feasible for the town. We will need to begin borrowing against the Broadband amount authorized by town vote last year. We plan to take out a short-term note for the initial cost (not for the full amount), including a cushion to cover the pole discrepancy costs. A motion was made to take a vote to move forward and was unanimously passed by the Select Board. Roberta signed the contract agreement.

Old Meeting House Inventory: The Select Board had asked Jim Crandall to inventory and document all items in the East Otis Old Meeting House and Jim presented that list with pictures. Jim checked with an antiques shop and the chandelier does have some value. The town is considering keeping the bell to mark the location once the building is demolished. Pictures that were in the building will be returned to the family that donated them. Chris recommended declaring everything else as surplus property and putting them out for bid, including the six rows of theater chairs used as pews. We will publish the surplus property list and accept sealed bids , but anything that is not purchased by a certain time will be demolished with the building. A deadline date will be determined once the ad for sealed bids is placed. Bill Hiller made the motion, Roberta seconded, and it was a unanimous vote to declare the remaining items as surplus and advertise for sealed bids.


At 7:45 pm the Select Board meeting was unanimously adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted,
Lisa D’Orazio
Selectmen’s Secretary
Town of Otis

List of Documents

A copy of the paperwork for the BRPC Alternate delegate will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the BRTA representative request and a signed copy of the letter to BRTA from Otis will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the signed Page 8 from the Town Administrator Contract will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the email from Lyn requesting Jack Conboy’s appointment will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the memo from Lyn stating who still needed to be sworn in will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the signed paperwork for the Fire Truck payment will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the Thank You letter to Ziter Saloomey will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the Thank You letter to Sergeant Hamill will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the letter from Town Counsel on the Social Media situation will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the Pole Survey Proposal and a copy of the signed page will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the proposed list of the Meeting House inventory will be filed with these meeting minutes. Items that are not declared surplus will be crossed off the list.