Select Board Meeting Minutes 02/13/2018

Town of Otis

Select Board Meeting Minutes

February 13, 2018


Meeting called to order at 7:01 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 Administrator Becky Stone, Michael Ernst, Larry Gould, Terry Gould, Bill O’Brien Jr, Roberta Sarnacki, Patricia Richard, Kathy Carroll, Sonia Morrison, Chris Bouchard, Karen Fink


Approval of Minutes:  Bill and Don approved the January 22, 2018 All Boards meeting minutes with Gary abstaining. The January 23, 2018 Select Board meeting minutes were unanimously approved as written, the January 23, 2018 Select Board Executive Session minutes were approved by Don and Gary with changes and Bill abstaining, and the August 29, 2017 Select Board Executive Session minutes were unanimously approved as written.


Amazon Account:  The results of Becky’s survey indicate that only two departments are interested in using the account.  Becky will be the primary person to approve purchases using the account, and she will name a designee to cover purchases when she isn’t here.  The Select Board members reiterated that all purchases through this account must go through the Selectmen’s office and purchases over $300 would still need Select Board approval.  The Select Board unanimously agreed to open this account and give it a try.


Old Police Vehicle:  The Fire Dept. was able to get another repair estimate on the old Police vehicle that was $800 less than the original estimate to repair.  Insurance will only handle rental coverage for one vehicle and only up to $10,000 within a twelve month period.  Rather than put in a claim for a rental vehicle for the totaled Rescue Truck, due to an accident on icy roads, the Fire Dept. is offering to pick up half the cost of repairing the old police vehicle and use that as the Rescue Truck replacement.  The Fire Dept. also noted that the Rescue Truck offered to us by Hartland, CT also needs work and will not fit our needs even with the work done.  The Fire Dept. members also believe they can get radio equipment and put together a light bar for the old Police vehicle to use as a Fire vehicle.  The Select Board unanimously authorized $1600.00, half of the anticipated repair costs, to be paid to repair the old police vehicle with the Fire Dept. picking up the other half and any additional costs.


Annual Town Report:  Lisa sent out bid requests and only got back one quote from the vendor the town used last year.  This quote came in around the same amount as last year and we are well within our budgeted amount for last year.  The Select Board unanimously approved Select Print Solutions to be our annual town report vendor again this year.  Lisa also had mailing charge quotes from Zip ‘n Sort and they are within budget for this year as well.


Hiring of Employees:  Rec Center has been hiring employees without going through the Select Board.  The Select Board is the only authority that can hire employees and set salaries.  This came about because the Town Treasurer found out that due to new IRS guidelines, if we hired uninsured subcontractors for Recreation events, the town could be held liable.  The Treasurer determined that the costs of paperwork would be less of a burden on taxpayers than getting hit with penalties.  If the subcontractor is in business for themselves and can provide a Certificate of Liability Insurance, then they still qualify as a 1099 vendor and do not have to go on payroll.  Recreation was encouraged to pursue 1099 vendors over subcontractors who had to be added to payroll because adding employees increases insurance, payroll taxes, and other administrative costs.  But anyone who does need to go on payroll MUST be recommended to the Select Board for hiring.  Only the Select Board hires and only the Select Board sets salaries and determines raises.  The Select Board also requested that Recreation provide them with a list of their current employees.  Moving forward, if any potential Recreation employee does not have a Certificate of Liability, they need to be hired by the Select Board.


Other: FaceBook Post:  A member of the Recreation Commission had posted an inappropriate FaceBook post.  Bill pointed out that everyone who represents the town was expected to abide by our Social Media Policy and if this person didn’t actually violate the policy, they certainly came close.  We are all on the same team.  Bill requested the person post an apology on FaceBook and the Board members agreed.


Medical Insurance:  Last year during budget season the Select Board decided to go from a non-deductible health insurance plan to a deductible plan and then agreed to cover the deductible costs for each employee.  This decision was made because it was a cost savings from doing it the way we used to.  However, our current method of reimbursement may be in violation of HIPAA laws.  The Board is now considering paying out the full deductible amount, less any previous payouts, to each employee.  This idea was unanimously approved by the Select Board.



Historical Commission:  Sonia said the estimate for St. Paul’s should be delivered to them soon and she will then present it to the Select Board.  She asked where we were with pursuing quiet title and was told the lawyers are discussing it but it could take some time.


Budget Meetings:  The Finance Board noted that we are into mid-February and we should begin to talk about scheduling budget meetings.  Everyone agreed meeting before the Select Board meetings was good so all three Select Board members and two of the Finance Board members agreed to meet at 5:30 pm for each Tuesday night of the month of March.  Lisa will put together the schedule and post it.


Kibbe Point Road:  Residents of this dead end road put together a petition to the Select Board to reduce the amount of salt that is put on their road during the winter.  They are interested in having a low salt zone so the Reservoir and wells are not impacted by the road salt.  The Select Board will speak with the Highway Department.


Remote Participation:  One member of the Finance Board will not be in town during the scheduled budget meetings and was asking if he could participate remotely.  The Select Board has never made a determination on this so they will take it under advisement for the next agenda.


TAC Representative:  Chris Morris was the town’s last representative and Becky asked if the Select Board would like her to step into that role.  The Select Board unanimously agreed to that appointment.


MassDOT I-90 Meeting:  Derek attended the initial meeting which was a general overview of what MassDOT was trying to do.  Nothing specific was mentioned at this point in time.


East Otis Schoolhouse:  Don had heard rumors that we were beginning work and he hadn’t seen anything.  Larry mentioned that the preliminary scope of work was still being drafted and the presentation will definitely go before the Select Board before any bids go out and any work begins.  Rumors of work having begun are not true, but restoration of the school house has turned into a larger project than expected and everything will be discussed with the Board.


The regular Select Board meeting was unanimously adjourned at 8:35 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa D’Orazio

Selectmen’s Secretary

Town of Otis


List of Documents


  1. A copy of the email proposal for the annual town report costs from Select Print Solutions will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the email confirming mailing costs with Zip ‘n Sort for the annual town report will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the email mentioning the FaceBook post will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the petition from the residents of Kibbe Point Road will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the email from Lyn explaining about Remote Participation in meetings will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the TAC Information Paper will be filed with these meeting minutes.