Town of Ware Massachusetts
126 Main Street, Ware, MA 01082
Selectmen Minutes January 15, 2008
Board of Selectmen                                                            Town Manager                                                                          
Nancy Talbot, Chairman                                                   Steven Boudreau
Gerald Matta, Vice Chairman                                          Phone: (413) 967-9648   
Cathy Buelow-Cascio, Clerk                                             Fax: (413) 967-9649
Richard Norton                                                        
John Desmond                                                                                           

Board of Selectmen's Meeting Minutes
Tuesday January 15, 2008
7:00 P.M. Selectmen's Meeting Room

Present: Chairman Talbot, Vice Chairman Matta, Clerk Buelow-Cascio, John Desmond, Richard Norton, Town Manager, Steven Boudreau, Karen Brearley, Administrative Assistant.

Call to order:
Chairman Talbot called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.

Talbot commented to have a moment of silence in regards to the person who lost the life in a fire and the individuals who were displaced on Park Street and to commend Fire personal.  

1. 7:30 P.M. Chairman Talbot opened the Public Hearing for the Pole Petition Hearing Verizon.
Representative Lisa Jasinski from National Grid spoke on the application from National Grid requesting permission to locate two poles starting at a point approximately 3696 feet north of the center line of Greenwich Plain Road, and to install two poles numbered E#57 and E#57 ½ to service house number 97 on Old Poor Farm Rd.
Desmond motioned seconded by Matta to approve the application from National Grid and Verizon New England to locate two poles starting at a point approximately 3696 feet north of the center line of Greenwich Plain Road, and to install two poles numbered E#57 and E#57 ½ to service house number 97 on Old Poor Farm Rd. Voted- 5-0
Norton questioned Ms. Jasinski as to who would be contacted in regards to when new poles are put in near sidewalks to make sure a wheelchair could get around it. Ms.
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Jasinski commented she would look into finding out that information and would get back to the Board on that.

2. 7:35 P.M. Chairman Talbot opened Employee Hearing -Margaret Sorel
Ms. Sorel handed out copies of the Charter in regards to Removal and Suspension Power. Ms Sorel requested the suspension to be dismissed and her pay be re-instated for one day that she lost because the procedure was not correctly followed as outlined below in the Town of Ware Charter, Section 4-2, subsection © - pages 7 and 8.
Labor Counsel Attorney Gordon Quinn was present and outlined procedure. Attorney Quinn commented because Selectman Cascio was involved and suggested for her not to participate in any of the voting.
Desmond read the documents from Ms. Sorel and felt to dismiss suspension and reinstate her one day pay back because he felt the procedures were not followed correctly. Desmond questioned whether the Charter was followed.
Attorney Quinn felt the proceedings should remain going forward.
Ms. Sorel read the Charter pertaining to Removal and Suspension Power and commented before anyone is suspended the names need to be submitted to the Board.
Cascio commented the Board was contacted in reference to Ms. Sorel and none of the Board had requested any hearing.
Talbot commented it was the request from Labor Counsel to continue hearing
Matta commented he felt the suspension was acted on right away and should not have been.
Ms. Sorel commented procedure was not followed and the hearing should not go any further.
Norton commented he received notice of the event on the 30th and Dec 2 and new that T.M. Boudreau took action.
T.M. Boudreau read the group of documents pertaining to the incident.
Ms. Sorel explained her side of the incident.
T.M. felt some of her statements were fairytales.
Ms. Sorel commented how she would not be alone with the T.M. Boudreau because of the last meeting she had with him.
Cascio explained the day she received a phone call from Ms. Sorel requesting her to stop in her office. Ms. Cascio went to Ms. Sorel's office and commented she did not like the way Ms. Sorel's attitude was toward her and left. Cascio then stopped in the Selectmen's office and left a message with T.M's secretary to have T.M. Boudreau call her. T.M. did return her call and Cascio let T.M. Boudreau know she did not like the way she was spoken to by Ms. Sorel and he needed to speak to her about that.
Talbot commented on the statements that were submitted and asked if Ms. Sorel received them
T.M. Boudreau commented Ms. Sorel did receive copies
Ms. Sorel again commented she was not told as to why she was suspended
Norton commented he felt the T. M. Boudreau acted correctly with what he did and commented the purpose of the Charter was so the T.M. could handle these issues.
Lengthy discussion.
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Matta commented the Board should vote to reject the suspension for Ms. Sorel
Cascio agreed with Norton that the suspension should stay in place
Desmond commented he disagreed with the suspension
Matta motioned seconded by Desmind to reject action and suspension of employee Margaret Sorel given by the T.M. Boudreau
Short Discussion
Desmond felt to modify suspension because it was pretty harsh and should have a verbal reprimand
Norton commented he would not second guess T.M. Boudreau
Cascio agreed with not second guessing T.M. Boudreau
Talbot felt this situation was made difficult because there were no bylaws in place
Matta motioned seconded by Desmond to rescind last motion
Matta motioned seconded by Desmond to reject suspension and action taken by T.M. Boudreau and have the 1 day without pay reinstated with a letter of reprimand to be put in Ms. Sorel's personal file. Voted - 2-Aye (Desmond, Matta) 2-Nay (Talbot, Norton)
(Suspension Stood)

3. Meeting with Planning Board Members RE: Joint Appointment of new Planning Board member Frank Urban.
T.M. Boudreau explained Joint appointment.
Talbot explained Mr. Chabot resigned; Mr. Higley resigned but decided to stay on.
Chris DiMarzio motioned seconded by Joseph Knapp to appoint Frederick Urban to the open seat of the Ware Planning Board. Voted: Chris DiMarzio, Aye, Joseph Knapp, Aye, Richard Starodoj Aye, Desmond Aye, Talbot Aye, Matta Aye, Cascio Aye, Norton Aye
Talbot commented there would be three seats up for election in April 2008

4. Approval of Minutes
Norton motioned seconded by Matta to table the Minutes of Executive Session November 27, 2007. Voted 5-0

Norton motioned seconded by Cascio to table Executive Session Minutes of December 4, 2007 Voted 4-0 Yes, 1 abstained (Cascio)

Norton motioned seconded by Cascio to approve December 18, 2007 Regular Session minutes with changing of having only pouring hours discussed. Voted 5-0

Norton motioned seconded by Cascio to table December 18, 2007 Executive Session minutes. Voted 5-0

Norton motioned seconded by Matta to approve the December 21, 2007 Special Session minutes. Voted 4-0 Yes 1-0 Abstained (Cascio)

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Norton motioned seconded by Cascio to approve the minutes of December 4, 2007 regular session and have added wording explaining in detail how it got to that point. Voted 5-0

5. Comments/Concerns
Cascio requested to read her written statement to the Board and the T.M. Boudreau.
Cascio commented in her statement she could not attend the meeting of December 28, 2007 and she felt the Board and T.M. Boudreau underhanded her in regards to the December 28, 2007 special meeting which was only supposed to be voting on extension of pouring hours for New Years Eve. She commented it was not fair that the Board decided to take into consideration to modify the holidays and change what was voted on for the employees who had the MOU.
Talbot commented Cascio was asked at the last meeting if 5:00 P.M. was ok for her and she replied yes. Talbot commented she told her if it wasn't they could meet at 5:30 P.M. Cascio commented no 5:00P.M. was ok.
Norton commented he made the motion on the changing of the holidays.
Desmond commented he was against the MOU from the beginning.

Desmond had some comments on the new Senior Center and questioned the amount of bathrooms in the building which had been stated there was only one bathroom which was for only 120 people but the building would hold 400 people. Desmond had questions on the kitchen as well being part of the original plans. Desmond had some concerns on what was going on and requested for T.M. Boudreau and Town Account Meehan do a review and get a time frame when this would be complete.
Desmond motioned seconded by Matta to have T.M. Boudreau and Town Account Meehan do a review of the new Senior Center to see what's going on and get a time frame when it will be complete.  
Board felt to table the motion
Norton answered some of the questions Desmond had.
Desmond requested to have T.M. Boudreau attend the next Senior Center meeting to get an update of what's going on.

Mr. Joseph Knapp brought up his issue on the retirement plan ING. Mr. Knapp commented he received a letter from the T. M. Boudreau from Attorney Quinn in regards to the issue. Talbot commented to have T.M. Boudreau bring copy of the letter from Attorney Quinn to the next selectmen's meeting.

Mr. Jack Cascio had questions and concerns on the closing of the Town Hall January 14, 2008 and questioned T.M. Boudreau on the closing of the Town Hall. T.M. Boudreau let Mr. Cascio know he received a call from the Emergency Manager in regards to the upcoming storm on Sunday afternoon and with what the report from the Emergency Manager had said he decided to close the Town Hall because of safety reasons. The report said the storm was to be intense and the Schools would be closed as well. Mr. Cascio questioned if the Town Hall employees were paid, T.M. Boudreau commented he made the decision to have them paid. Mr. Cascio questioned safety issue, and T.M.
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Boudreau explained why it was a safety issue. Mr. Cascio commented he did not hear there would be a blizzard.
Cascio commented he wanted to see tax payers money utilized
T.M. Boudreau commented it was his call to make in regards to closing the Town Hall
Selectman Cascio agreed with Mr. Jack Cascio on the situation of the closing of the Town Hall

Desmond reminded everyone to remove the snow from any hydrants near them.

6. Designation of Board Member to AT Will Employee Negotiations Team
10:00 P.M.  Talbot left meeting and Vice Chairman Matta took over.
T.M. Boudreau explained to the Board the eight MOA employees met this morning and appointed DPW Director Gilbert ST George-Sorel and T.M. Boudreau as co-representatives for the MOU Negotiation Team. T.M. was requesting to have one of the Selectmen be appointed for one of the representatives as well.
Norton motioned seconded by Cascio to appoint Desmond as the Selectmen to be a representative on the MOU Negotiations Team. Voted 3 Yes (Matta, Desmond, Norton) 1-No (Cascio)
Cascio had a concern on the conflicting information on restoring the Holidays, and the dismantling of the MOU that was passed
Matta explained there was a motion to give holidays back and T.M. requested to withdraw MOU.
Short discussion
Talbot returned at 10:15 P.M.

7. Appointment of Recreation Committee Call for Applicants
T.M. Boudreau explained the letter requesting between 7 and 9 members from CDD Paul Hills.
Talbot suggested having a time frame and have 9 member committee consisting of 2 Park Committee members, 2 conservation members, and 7 at large citizens.
Norton motioned seconded by Cascio established and appoint 2 Park committee members, 2 Conservation members, and 7 at large citizens to the Open Space and Recreation Plan committee. Voted 5-0
Kathy Cronin from Penny Brook commented she was interested in being on Committee       

8. Appointment of Finance Committee Member
Norton motioned seconded by Matta to appoint Scott Mosso to the Finance Committee for a term to expire June 30, 2010. Voted 5-0
Norton motioned seconded by Cascio to accept with regret the resignation from Tracy Meehan who served on the Ware Finance Committee. Voted 5-0

9. Request for Entertainment License
Norton motioned seconded by Cascio to set a Public Hearing for a Entertainment License for Seraya's Café 388 Palmer Road for February 12, 2008 at 7:45 P.M. Voted 5-0
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Norton Motioned seconded by Cascio to set a Public Hearing for a Liquor License for V.F.W 35 West Street February 12, 2008 at 7:30 P.M. Voted 5-0

10. Annual Town Report Submittal
T.M. Boudreau commented for all departments to have their Annual Report submitted by 12 noon on Monday February 11, 2008 to the Selectmen's Office.

11. Bond Certification Votes
Norton motioned seconded by Matta for the Bond Certifications of a Ladder/Truck (Fire) borrowing amount of $750,000.00, Bucket Truck (DPW) borrowing amount of $105,000.00 and a Wheel Loader (DPW) in the amount of $ 125,000.00. Voted 5-0

12. Request for Ambulance Bill Write Offs
Norton read write-offs
Norton motioned seconded by Cascio to approve Ambulance Write-Offs for Fourth Quarter, October, November, and December 07. Voted 5-0

13. Request for use of Traffic Study Funds by BOH for ABC&D Project
Norton motioned seconded by Cascio to approve the request to allow the Board of Health access to the balance of funds remaining in the account. Voted 5-0

14. Approval of Primary Election Warrant
T. M. Boudreau read request to approve Primary Election Warrant
Norton motioned seconded by Cascio for the approval the 2008 Primary Election Warrant Voted 5-0

15.  Town Manager Evaluation
Talbot explained and read memo for the T.M. Boudreau's Evaluation.
Talbot suggested having all information from the Board by January 28, 2008 by 4:00 P.M.
Norton motioned seconded by Cascio for the Board of Selectmen conduct a formal evaluation February 12, 2008 and for the Selectmen to have all their information submitted by Monday January 28, 2008 by 4:00 P.M. Voted 5-0

16. Town Manager Report
Desmond commented on the old Senior Center on Church Street about the Stained Glass windows. T.M. Boudreau commented on that, and said he will have something from an appraiser by the next meeting. T.M. Boudreau commented any more discussion should be done in executive session.
Norton asked on the report of the Casino if there was any news. Matta commented the last meeting there was not a quorum.

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T.M. Boudreau commented he could not be an alternative for the PVPC. He could attend the meeting but could not vote.

Desmond brought up the new Senior Center again on the issue of only one bathroom and felt needed more. Desmond again questioned the time frame and to have T.M. Boudreau and Town Accountant Tracy Meehan look into it.
Desmond made a motion seconded by Matta to have T.M. Boudreau and Town Account Tracy Meehan look into expenditures and time frame of moving into the new Senior Center building. Voted 3-Yes ( Matta, Desmond Cascio) 2-No (Norton, Talbot)
Talbot suggested T.M. Boudreau to attend a C.O.A. Building Committee meeting

10:40 P.M. Norton motioned seconded by Cascio to enter into executive session not to return to open session under M.G.L. Chapter 39,S.23B to consider the purchase, exchange, taking, lease, or value of real property if such discussion may have a detrimental effect on the negotiating position of the governmental body. Roll Call: Talbot-Aye, Matta-Aye, Cascio-Aye, Norton-Aye, Desmond-Aye

Respectfully Submitted,

Karen Brearley
Administrative Assistant