Select Board Meeting Minutes 12/12/2017

Town of Otis

Select Board Meeting Minutes

December 12, 2017


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, George Mengel, Michael O’Brien, Jim Crandall, Jeff Reynolds, Rick Bertram, Ritchie Phair, Russ Loring, Jeremia Pollard


Approval of Minutes:  Approval of the November 27, 2017 All Boards meeting minutes and the November 28, 2017 Select Board meeting minutes were unanimously approved as written.


Tax Classification Hearing:  Jeff Reynolds presented the proposed tax numbers as they currently stand, but pointed out the only figures that were precertified were the total real estate values.  All other dollar values were still subject to change.  So tonight we are only voting whether to stay with a single tax rate or to adopt two rates for residential and commercial purposes.  On the last page of the classification hearing presentation, Jeff pointed out the motion that had to be voted upon tonight.  Bill Hiller read it aloud “The Otis Board of Selectmen votes in accordance with MGL Ch. 40 Section 56, as amended, the percentage of local tax levy which will be borne by each class of real and personal property, relative to setting the Fiscal Year 2018 tax rates and set the Residential Factor at 1.0, with a corresponding CIP shift of 1.0, pending approval of the town’s annual tax recap by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue”.  The motion was seconded by Gary and unanimously passed by the Select Board to keep the single tax rate, which was the recommendation of the Board of Assessors.


Present Town Administrator Applicants to the Select Board:  Three applications were presented to the Select Board for them to interview.  George explained that we had culled 16 applications down nine for preliminary interviews and the committee is recommending these three.  George also explained that in the event these three were rejected by the Board, he was recommending Larry Gould serve as interim Town Administrator until one was hired.  The Board will consider these applicants and set an interview date.




Rescue Truck Accident:  Rich Phair had the completed paperwork from MIIA filled out for the accident with the Rescue Truck on the way to the Sandisfield Highway Garage fire.  The truck’s driver was also injured in the accident.  The paperwork will be faxed over to MIIA in the morning.


East Otis Sitework:  Mike O’Brien noted that the cement contractor, Century Acquisitions, had not yet received payment for the concrete they delivered to the East Otis Fire House.


Otis Transfer Station:  Jim Crandall asked if the Transfer Station should be closed a half day on Christmas Eve since everyone else had a half day holiday that day.  The Board unanimously stated that yes, the transfer station should only be open a half day and that should be posted.


Fire Liability for Town Buildings:  In light of the fire at the Sandisfield Highway Dept., one resident asked where Otis stood to protect itself from this kind of tragedy.  Jim Crandall noted all furnaces in town buildings are serviced every year.  We do have some monitoring systems, which are also inspected every year, but not everything is being monitored as it should be.  Jim has a proposal for budget season to bring everything up to the proper level.  Electrical inspections should also be done on all buildings.  The Board requested Jim ask our electrical inspector do this for us.


Paperwork:  We need a formal letter for Karen’s files for vacation owed for Chris and the vacation agreement for Larry.  Lisa will draft those tomorrow.  Everyone asked if there was a formal letter of resignation from Chris.  Lisa believed she had seen one, but none of the Select Board members remember seeing one.  Lisa will get that for tomorrow.


East Otis FH Trailer:  Fire Chief Rich Phair asked if the trailer was okay to use for training.  The Board said that had been determined at the last Select Board meeting and had just approved the minutes saying so.  The trailer can be burned.


Assistant Sanitation Inspector:  Jack Conboy asked if his son could shadow Jack for hours towards his licensing.  The Board had many questions so they decided to table this until the next Select Board meeting so they could get more information.



An Executive Session meeting was requested for the purposes of discussing litigation strategy.  Since the regular Select Board meeting will not be reopened after Executive Session, the regular meeting was adjourned at 7:28 pm.



Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa D’Orazio

Selectmen’s Secretary

Town of Otis




List of Documents


  1. A copy of the presented Tax Classification Hearing will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the email from DoR stating Free Cash had been certified with erroneous numbers (Free Cash contains numbers for the Wind project which should not be included) will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the email stating the O’Brien’s had been given their FID cards will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the email sent to Bill from Bob Rosen will be filed with these meeting minutes.