Town Council Meeting, February 11, 2008
Meeting opened at 7:00 PM by Matthew Lovell, Council President.
Roll Call – Matthew Lovell, present; Michael Magiera, present; David Whitney, present; John Dinuovo, present; George Backus, present; Paul Burns, present; Philip Hebert, present; and Roger Duguay, present. Also present were Richard Fitzgerald, Town Manager and Patricia Kennedy, Executive Assistant.
Pledge of Allegiance – All
Consent of the Agenda Order – Moved and seconded to accept the agenda order. Vote was 8-0 in favor.
Visitors Comments (for items not on the agenda) – none
Minutes of Preceding Town Council Meeting – Jan. 14, 2008 – Moved and seconded to approve as written. Vote was 8-0 in favor. Jan. 22, 2008 – Moved and seconded to approve as written. Vote was 8-0 in favor.
Jan. 31, 2008 – Moved and forwarded to approve as written. Vote was 8-0 in favor.
Discussion – Feb. 23 Budget Meeting – Mr. Lovell announced that on Feb. 23, various town department heads would be attending the meeting to discuss their budgets for FY09 with the Council. He asked the Council if they had a preference as to what departments should appear first. Mr. Fitzgerald suggested the following departments:
Assessors, Council on Aging, Planning, Library, WWTP, DPW, Police and School. He will work up a schedule with times for each department. It was moved and seconded to approve list and the vote was 8-0 in favor.
Barbara Barry joined the meeting at 7:08 PM.
Resolution #2008-14 – Amendment to the Council Rules & Procedures – This resolution provides for amendments to the Town Council Rules and Procedures as follows: “no formal votes shall be taken at working sessions” and “the re-organization of the Council shall be the final agenda item of the meeting and shall be followed only by adjournment”. It was moved and seconded to approve these amendments. Vote was 9-0 in favor.
Resolution #2008-15 – Council support of Municipal Partnership – This resolution was introduced to communicate to our representatives in General Court the Town Council support for Governor Patrick’s Municipal Partnership Act, Sections 23-27 that eliminates utility corporation tax exemptions and Section 29 to allow by local option a meals tax and hotel tax. It was moved and seconded to approve this resolution. Vote was 9-0 in favor.
Resolution #2008-16 – Council petition to Legislature on Casino legislation – This resolution urges the 185th General Court to begin debate on Governor Patrick’s filed legislation entitled “An Act Establishing and Regulating Resort Casinos in the Commonwealth”. Councilor Dinuovo was not in favor of this resolution as he felt the public would perceive this as a Council endorsement of a casino in Palmer. It was moved and seconded to approve this resolution. Vote was 7 yes; 1 no; and 1 abstention.
Council sub-committee appointments – Council President Lovell announced the list of Council sub-committees and their members as follows: Appointment Review Committee – John Dinuovo, David Whitney and Roger Duguay; Departmental Budget/Ordinance Committee (Public Service) – Paul Burns, Matthew Lovell and Roger Duguay; Departmental Budget/Ordinance Committee (Public Safety) – George Backus, David Whitney and Philip Hebert; Departmental Budget/Ordinance Committee (Public Works) – Michael Magiera, Paul Burns and Matthew Lovell; Departmental Budget/Ordinance Committee (Municipal Finance) – Barbara Barry, John Dinuovo and George Backus; Non-Tax Revenue Committee – Michael Magiera, Barbara Barry, Philip Hebert and Matthew Lovell; Town Manager Goals Committee – Barbara Barry, Michael Magiera and Matthew
Special Committee on the Governor’s Casino Legislation – Roger Duguay, John Dinuovo and Michael Magiera.
Budget Resolution #2008-12 – Transfer Monat St. Acct to Library Construction Fund – It was moved and seconded to release the funds from the Monat Street Sewer Account #3044414 in the amount of $54,989.44 due to the project closure and to use these funds to eliminate the Library Construction deficit. Vote was 9-0 in favor.
Budget Resolution #2008-13 – Transfer Belt Filter Press Acct. to Library Construction Fund – It was moved and seconded to release the funds from the Belt Filter Press Account #304435 in the amount of $2,183.12 due to the project closure and to use these funds to eliminate the Library Construction deficit. Vote was 9-0 in favor.
Sub-Committee Report - none
Town Manager’s Report – Town Manager Richard Fitzgerald thanked Stanley Pietryka, town electrical inspector for 37 years, for his devotion to the town. Mr. Pietryka resigned for health reasons. Mr. Whitney asked if the town had a practice of sending letters of thanks to retired employees and Mr. Fitzgerald said he would look into it. The Town Manager also reported on permits issued by the Planning Board, storm water ordinance committee meetings, financial information to the Council, overtime accounts in town departments, personnel, curbside trash pickup update, GIS, Connect CTY the town wide notification system, domestic violence task force, PRA rail bid, Palmer Town Building handicap ramp and the re-construction of Springfield and Bridge Street in Three Rivers as well as his work on the budget.
Councilor’s Round Table –
Phil Hebert wished everyone Good Night and God Bless.
Roger Duguay commented on the low voter turnout at the Primaries and wished more young people would take an active part in the elections.
John Dinuovo mentioned a new book at the Palmer Library on the town history of railroads and asked Library Director Nancy Bauer to speak on the subject. She thanked all who were responsible for putting together the information for the book and stated that there would be a book signing at the library in the near future.
David Whitney thanked all the town employees who helped the short-staffed Treasurer’s department with their work .
Michael Magiera asked if there was any way to target teens to encourage them to vote and was told that there is a voter sign up at the High School.
Adjournment of Formal Session
Matthew Lovell entertained a motion to adjourn formal session at 8:00 PM and to enter into executive session and adjourn therefrom. The vote was as follows: Matthew Lovell, yes; Michael Magiera, yes; David Whitney, yes; John Dinuovo, yes; Paul Burns, yes; Barbara Barry, yes; George Backus, yes; Roger Duguay, yes; Philip Hebert, yes.
Patricia A. Kennedy,