Select Board Meeting Minutes 01/28/2020

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Town of Otis

Select Board Meeting Minutes

January 28, 2020

7:00 p.m.


1.      Call to Order:  Meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm in the Town Hall conference room.  A quorum was present.  The meeting was recorded.  
Present:  Gary Thomas, Bill Hiller, Larry Southard, Heather Morgan, Brandi Page, Tom Ragusa, Hal Kobrin, Katherine Couch, Theresa Gould, Janes Crandall, Celeste Watman, Sonia Morrison, Rich Phair, Karen Fink, Eammon Coughlin, Karen Fink, Larry Gould


2.      Approval of Select Board Minutes.  Minutes from January 14, 2020 Select Board meeting need approval.  
·        The Board voted to approve the minutes from January 14, 2020.  
3.      Review and Approval of Warrants:  
4.      Planning Board, Complete Streets Grant Master  
·        Hal Kobrin form the Otis Planning Board and Eammon Coughlin from Complete Streets attended the meeting.  The planning Board voted to adopt Complete Streets and would like the Select Board to sign the Complete Streets Policy.  The Select Board unanimously agreed that all documents must be approved by town consul before they are signed.  Hal mentioned that Complete Streets is a transportation master plan that encompasses anything regarding transportation.  Any money the town receives from Complete Streets is to be used for construction.  The state will not pay for the planning of the project.  Some of the projects the state may fund are; traffic counting, speed signs, and intersection remodeling.  The question on whether or not there will be an impact on chapter 90 money was asked.  There will be no impact on the chapter 90 money.  Concern was express regarding what the reporting the state would require of Otis.  It was explained that it depends on what is in the Complete Streets Policy that the Planning Board put together.  The state is requiring the work to be done by an outside contractor.  Otis would have to go with a DOT engineer.  Concerns that Otis may not be able to come up with 15 projects was expressed.  The Historic Commission supports the Complete Street Program.  The planning Board would like to move ahead soon.  Egremont was successful with the Complete Streets grant.  Brandi mentioned that Lee decided against it.  The idea of contacting Lee to see why they decided against applying for Complete Streets was expressed.  Hal would like to move forward with the planning.


5.   Going to bi – weekly payroll  
·        The Select Board would like to go to a bi–weekly payroll to simplify the accounting process.  Karen Fink said that it will save time and will cut the time she spends on payroll in half.  It will also give employees  more time to get there time slips in.  Larry Southard asked that in the event there is a glitch with payroll will Karen be able to cut a check.  She said that she would be able to.  The bi-weekly pay schedule will start next Fiscal year.  Karen hopes it will free up some of her time to work on other projects.  Larry mentioned that going to bi-weekly payroll at his business has saved him a huge amount of time.  Garry mentioned that bi–weekly payroll seems to be the norm.  It was suggested that the employees are given something in writing to explain the bi-weekly payroll system.


Motion: to go with bi – weekly payroll

Vote:  All agreed


5.      Possible logging of some of the town’s property  
·        The Town needs to start with a state forester to look over the 100 acre park and come up with a plan.  The town will need to look into hiring a tree service.  All agreed to move forward with looking into hiring a tree service.


7.    Signing of voting warrant  
8.    New hire Planning Board appointment of Stacey Schultz


·        Cathy Coach attended the meeting to express her concern over Stacey Schultz’s salary of $25 an hour.  Cathy has work for the town for over 10 years and is being paid $17.73 an hour.  She does not feel Stacey’s salary is justified.  Stacey’s salary goes above the Town’s pay classification.  The Town secretary’s and clerks are currently making less than $25 an hour.  Cathy wanted it to be known that she has nothing against Stacy, it’s about the pay policy.  The Select Board sets the salary and does all the hiring and firing.  The town is currently looking into all employee’s salaries .  The Selectmen voted to reduce Stacey’s salary to $17.73 an hour.  If Stacey accepts the $17.73 then she will need a new hire letter.  Cathy also brought up that she did not get a raise last year.  Karen will be looking into it and Cathy will be getting retroactive pay.


·        The Board voted to appoint Stacey. 

·        The Board Voted to offer Stacey $17.73


9.  Highway laborer applicants.


The Select Board reviewed the applicants for the Highway laborer.  They decided to bring in two  applicants to be interviewed on Monday 3 at 5 pm.


11.  Any topics not reasonably anticipated by the Chair at the time of the original   posting.


The Fire department is looking for a new truck.  It is getting difficult to find parts for the 20 year old fire truck and the frame is rotting.  The build time will take about a year and a half.


The question on how the budget meetings would be scheduled came up.  The budget schedule will be set at the February 11 Select Board meeting.  Salary classification will be included in future meetings.


Tom Ragusa came to the meeting to speak to the Board regarding the Federal government wanting to travel the Knox Trail with cannons.  He is concerned how it will impact the community.


There was a quick discussion regarding the photo for town report.


There was a question about an email and previous board minutes.  Administrator will look it into it.


13.             Adjournment.


The Select Board unanimously adjourned the Select Board meeting at 8:46.



Respectfully submitted,

Heather Morgan

Selectmen’s Secretary, Town of Otis





List of Documents


Complete Streets Policy

Report of the Planning Board

Employee Classification and pay chart

Planning Board Meeting Minutes 12/09/2019

Voting Warrant