Select Board Meeting Minutes 01/23/2018

Town of Otis

Select Board Meeting Minutes

January 23, 2018


Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm in the Town Hall conference room.  It’s being recorded and a quorum is present.


Present:           Select Board Chair Bill Hiller, Selectman Gary Thomas, Selectman Don Hawley, Town Counsel Jeremia Pollard, Town Administrator Becky Stone, Michael Ernst, Larry Gould, Patricia Richard, Derek Poirier, Richard Woodward, Colleen Granahan, Steven Hutchinson, Peter Beauregard, Jerilyn Beauregard, Becky Cushing, Bill O’Brien Jr, Mike O’Brien, Ken Packie, Ilona Packie, Sonia Morrison, Hal Kobrin, Jeff Lynch Esq., Ray Damours, John O’Brien, Patrick O’Brien, Bess Dillnan, Roberta Sarnacki, Cam Pease, Rich Phair


Approval of Minutes:  Approval of the January 9, 2018 Select Board meeting minutes and the December 22, 2017 Select Board Executive Session minutes were unanimously approved as written.


Discontinuing Maintenance of Roads:  Bill announced that no decisions will be made tonight and this public hearing was informational only.  The Select Board did want to hear what the abutters thought.  Jeremia clarified that the town was proposing abandoning maintenance, not discontinuing maintenance.  Tolland Road – it was noted that DCR was interested in taking over maintenance from the last cottage to the town line if the town decided to abandon maintenance of this section.  There were no abutters present to comment on Miller Swamp Road or Witter Road.  Miner Road – MA Audubon requests that we continue to maintain this road as they plan to open the property to the public at Cold Spring Sanctuary.  They also have caretakers living on the property.  Stebbins Road – there were two sections to discuss.  Hal Kobrin and Sonia Morrison Kobrin and Ken and Ilona Packie were all opposed to abandoning maintenance on Stebbins Road from Dimmock to the address of #881.  Jeff Lynch made a presentation for Hal and Sonia in support of keeping the upper section open.  The other section of Stebbins Road had no abutters present to comment on the section to Giles Road.  The Select Board will take these opinions into consideration and will notify abutters again when the Public Hearing will be continued.


Special Town Meeting:  Two dates were suggested and February 20, 2018 at 7:00 pm was the date picked for the Special Town Meeting.  The warrant will contain the vote for the School Stabilization fund and the revisions to the Sign Bylaw in Otis’ Zoning Bylaws as well as other small housekeeping issues.


Deadline for Citizen’s Petitions:  Lyn had requested a deadline be set for receiving petitions for the annual Town Meeting and suggested April 25, 2018 at 8:00 pm, which is the last date to register to vote in that election.  The Select Board unanimously agreed to that date.  Any petitions submitted after that date will not be considered on the warrant for the annual Town Meeting this year.


Representative for MassDOT I-90 Working Group:  None of the Select Board members were able to attend a daytime meeting so they asked Derek if he could attend.  Derek will be the town’s designated representative per a unanimous vote by the Select Board.


Sanitation Intern:  According to MGL, an intern position must be paid minimum wage.  If this can be setup as an internship from the school with the town participating, then this solution may work under an exemption provided under MGL.  The Select Board still wants to know how many hours are needed, and has this been budgeted for, and a decision is on hold until they get more information.


Amazon Account:  A request has been made for the town to set up one of these accounts but no one knows who needs to have it.  Becky Stone will conduct a survey with town employees and this will be placed on the next agenda.  The plan is to have Rebecca be the sole point of contact for this account if it is established.


Old Police Vehicle:  Rescue was asking if we could spend the money to fix up the old police vehicle as a replacement until the Rescue Truck was operational again.  Insurance is estimating 38 weeks to 18 months to repair depending on how repairs will be made.  The Select Board inquired as to whether our insurance provided for a replacement vehicle for Rescue.  Decals and the light bar would need to be removed if we decide to put it out for bid.  This is tabled until we get more information.


Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce:  They would like to feature the Town of Otis and want to have a person available for an interview some Thursday at 9:00 am.  Becky plans on attending but would like a well-informed representative as she is still new here.  Larry was designated as the information person.


Open Meeting Law Complaints from the Police Chief:  Jeremia noted that the Select Board needed to designate Rebecca to respond to the two Open Meeting Law complaints by the Police Chief.  Bill made the motion, Gary seconded, and the motion was passed unanimously.


Executive Session to discuss Strategy with respect to Litigation:

At 7:44 pm, it was announced the Select Board would go into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing strategy with respect to litigation and that the regular Select Board meeting would not be coming out of Executive Session.


The regular Select Board meeting was unanimously adjourned at 7:44 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa D’Orazio

Selectmen’s Secretary

Town of Otis


List of Documents


  1. A copy of the Notice of Public Hearing for the Discontinuance of Maintenance of Roads will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the compiled table Chapter 90 money affected by above will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the packet explaining procedures for Discontinuing Maintenance of Roads and maps of the affected road locations will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the email from Lyn requesting the petition deadline date will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the MassDOT letter requesting a town representative for their Working Group will be filed with these meeting minutes.