10/12/10 Board of Selectmen



  • 10/12/10 Meeting Agenda
  • Minutes 10-12-2010
  • Video on Archive.org


    October 12, 2010
    Members Present: Lynda Walsh, Chairman
    Larry Harrington, Vice Chairman
    James J. DeVellis, Clerk
    Lorraine Brue
    Paul Mortenson

    Others Present: Kevin Paicos, Town Manager
    Robert Hockstra, AT&T Corp.
    Jack Authelet, Historian
    Bob Cutler, Town Clerk
    Joan Gallivan, 63 Alden St. – Fox Memorial
    Fire Chief Roger Hatfield
    Kevin Weinfeld, Bill Grieder, Gordon Greene, Planning Board

    The meeting was brought to order at 7:00 p.m. by Lynda Walsh, Chairman.

    7:00 – Citizens’ Input – Lynda Walsh introduced Kevin Paicos as the new Town
    Manager and welcomed him to his first meeting with the Board.

    A brief discussion was held regarding the decision to change the
    Halloween night celebration to Saturday, Oct. 30th rather than Sunday, Oct 31st.
    Lynda Walsh read a prepared statement:

    “I’ve received many calls in the last few weeks and I feel that I should
    address them publicly for all to understand. First the Halloween
    recommendation. After hearing a plea from a mother to support a change of trick
    or treating for this year to Saturday, the entire board felt it was a great idea
    because of the additional traffic in town for the Patriots 4 O’clock game on the
    31st. In the interest of public safety, which we, as a board are to protect, we
    voted unanimously to support the idea. I had no idea that vote would be so
    controversial. I thank you all for your calls of concern. Many of the callers
    weren’t upset because of the date, but the way it was handled and that others
    who may have been in displeasure didn’t have a chance to vote their opinion. In
    hindsight, perhaps we should have asked for it to be an agenda item for this
    week, but I honestly felt it was the right choice and never imagined that folks
    would not agree to err on the side of caution. The calls/emails I’ve received have
    been about 50/50 pro/con. We, as aboard cannot cancel Halloween celebration
    and we certainly have no right to dictate your plans. However, you must realize
    that many holidays have been changed over the years for public convenience,
    this vote was taken for public safety. Personally, I’ll be ready for trick or treaters
    on Saturday and Sunday night.”

    Other members of the Board had received similar calls, some in favor
    and others dissatisfied. Paul Mortenson said he felt very strongly that the right
    decision was made; he plans on keeping his lights out on Sunday. Jim DeVellis
    stressed the importance of getting the word out early so that everyone would be
    aware of the change. He said this is a public safety issue. Larry Harrington
    agreed that this is a safety issue. He pointed out that it is not a school night and
    children would be out later than usual. He hopes people will support this

    7:05 – Public Hearing – Underground Fiber Optic Cable, AT&T – Jim
    DeVellis read the Public Hearing Notice. The purpose of this hearing is to
    discuss the application of TCG New Jersey, Inc., 157 Green Street, Foxborough
    for permission to install (1) Fiber Optic Cable on an existing utility pole and
    underground conduit system for telecommunication services.

    Robert Hockstra, AT&T Corp., gave a brief overview of the issues related
    to the request for permission to install a Fiber Optic Cable along the public ways
    of Green Street and Hampshire Street. He pointed out that work has all ready
    been completed in Mansfield to the Foxborough Town line.

    A general discussion was held. Jim DeVellis pointed out that under the
    Right of Way By-Law the Board is supposed to receive written recommendations
    from the departments affected by this work. He said there is nothing that
    indicates anyone has looked at this and any decision has to be based on
    approval of all Town boards. Mr. Hockstra said they are ready to go to work on
    Monday if the contract goes to Highway Superintendent Bob Swanson. They
    would like to finish the work before the snow flies. Sandra Herrmann said a
    discussion had been held with Bob Swanson on why the Board got nothing in
    writing. He will bring forward the street openings for the Board. She pointed out
    that requests of this type had not been reviewed in the past. Kevin Paicos noted
    that the Board had not had the opportunity to implement the By-Law and under
    the circumstances suggested creating an exception in order to move forward
    contingent upon receiving the appropriate approvals and recommendations. Jim
    DeVellis expressed concern about setting a precedent. Further discussion was
    held regarding compliance with the Right of Way by-Law and the possibility of
    other entities saying they are exempt. Sandra noted a number of these types of
    issues were sent to Town Counsel and the response from Town Counsel was
    that applicants need to comply with the Right of Way By-Law. The applicant
    stated that they’re not exempt from the Right of Way By-Law.

    Motion by Paul Mortenson to close the Public Hearing. Seconded by
    Lorraine Brue. Vote: 5-0-0

    Motion by Lorraine Brue to approve the application for permission to install
    (1) Fiber Optic Cable as submitted by TCG New Jersey, Inc., 157 Green Street,
    Foxborough subject to positive recommendations from Building Inspector,
    Planning Board and Highway Department. Seconded by Larry Harrington.
    Vote: 5-0-0

    7:20 – Preservation of Historic Documents – Jack Authelet and Bob Cutler
    came before the Board to discuss the preservation of historic documents. Bob
    Cutler said he has been working with Jack Authelet on the historical records for
    the Town dating from 1898. They are looking for ways to raise funds for the
    repair and preservation of these Town records. He has made inquiries as to what
    other Towns are doing in this regard. Jack Authelet showed one historical record
    book that has been repaired to demonstrate what a repaired record looks like.
    He also showed a record book that is in need to repair. The contrast was quite
    evident. The cost for repair is approximately $1,000 per book; there are a series
    of books that need repair. Jack Authelet pointed out that there is a lot of work to
    be done. He hopes to get a commitment of a sum of money to start and to then
    build on that with a small percentage of any betterment funds to be allocated to
    the preservation fund. He pointed out that it would be at no direct bearing on the
    taxpayers. These records are kept in a vault in Town Hall.

    A brief discussion ensued. Bob Cutler suggested talking with Randy
    Scollins about setting up a separate account and getting funds to get things
    started. Kevin Paicos pointed out that there are all sorts of agreements that
    could be worked out with the developers of projects coming up in Town. He
    suggested meeting with Bob Cutler, Jack Authelet and Randy Scollins on
    Wednesday, Oct. 13th to discuss other ideas for funding. Jim DeVellis noted that
    it would make sense to see if something could be included in the permit process
    for the Library and/or Town Hall projects for three vaults for storage of these
    records. Bob Cutler pointed out that records of vital statistics have to remain in
    the Town Hall.

    7:35 – Fox Memorial – Joan Gallivan – Joan Gallivan came before the Board to
    speak of the future placement of the Fox Memorial that has been at the Boyden
    Library since 2004. With the expansion of the Library, the memorial will be
    moved and Joan suggested finding a fitting place at the Town Hall. She pointed
    out that there are funds available to move and pay for any landscaping that may
    be necessary. A brief discussion was held. Jack Authelet took a moment to
    explain the reason why this memorial could not be put on the Town Common.
    He said the final decision regarding the Common was up to the BOS. He pointed
    out that the Common has a finite limit of available space and the memorials there
    are in honor of those who served our country and those who are now serving in
    far-away places. The Town has a moral obligation to erect memorials to those
    who serve. Kevin Paicos said he had read the Fox history, was quite impressed
    and he could not think of a more appropriate place than the Town Hall for the
    new home to the Fox Memorial.

    Motion by Lorraine Brue that Joan Gallivan work with Kevin Paicos to
    initiate moving the Fox Memorial to the Town Hall location. Seconded by Paul

    Jim DeVellis suggested having the contractor for the Library work move
    the memorial. Joan Gallivan said she would be working towards that end.
    Vote: 5-0-0

    7:55 – Emergency Planning – Fire Chief Hatfield – Chief Hatfield was present
    to discuss the document “A resolution adopting the Town of Foxborough Hazard
    Mitigation Plan”. He explained that this document has been in the works for
    years – 2004 to 2007 and has recently received approval from MEMA. The
    document identifies areas that need improvement; things that could be impacted
    by natural events such as floods, hurricanes, etc. He explained that in order to
    be eligible for FEMA funding in case of a natural disaster the Town must adopt a
    local hazard mitigation plan; a plan that has to be workable. He hopes the BOS
    will approve this document so he can start focusing on “getting things started”.
    The Chief pointed out that now is the time to go after Federal grant money. A
    brief discussion was held. Chief Hatfield was requested to update the
    Foxborough Hazard Mitigation Plan with Kevin Paicos, as many sections are

    Motion by Paul Mortenson to adopt the “Hazard Mitigation Plan” in
    accordance with M.G.L. c.40 as presented by Fire Chief Roger Hatfield.
    Seconded by Lorraine Brue. Vote: 5-0-0

    8;05 – Cross Street Reconstruction – Planning Board members, Kevin
    Weinfeld, Bill Greider and Gordon Greene were present for an update on Cross
    Street reconstruction. Kevin Weinfeld gave a brief background on the Payson
    Rd. & North Street construction work. The Planning Board has all ready agreed
    to fix Cross Street and are asking for permission for street opening in order to
    move ahead with the project. Bill Greider pointed out that discussions had been
    held regarding installation of traffic lights to allow public safety vehicles to move
    through the intersection. The Planning Board wants to be sure everyone is
    comfortable with the process. They are now waiting for an MOU on the scope of
    work. The Highway Dept. will do the culvert and the Stadium is responsible for
    grading and any reclamation work.

    A brief discussion was held including comments about traffic flow on
    Cross Street, how best to notify residents to anticipate the construction and
    scheduling meetings to explain what work is being done and that three different
    contractors are doing the work and putting this information on the web site.
    Motion by Larry Harrington to approve the street opening for Cross Street
    reconstruction. Seconded by Paul Mortenson. Vote: 5-0-0

    Larry Harrington explained that the Audit Committee is looking at accounts
    in the budget where existing revenue could be used to help offset some of the
    debts. The original purpose for allotting the funds may no longer be needed; it
    would be helpful for the BOS and the Advisory Committee to be aware of such
    funds. Larry stressed the fact that these are not hidden funds but rather funds set
    aside for a single purpose that may no longer exist and could be used for a
    different purpose. Kevin Paicos pointed out that if the Audit Committee can do
    something quickly it would reduce the amount of work for Randy and himself.

    Minutes: The Minutes for the Board of selectmen’s Meeting of
    September 28, 2010 were reviewed.

    Motion by Jim kDeVellis to approve the Minutes of September 28, 2010 as
    amended. Seconded by Larry Harrington. Vote: 5-0-0

    Southeastern Regional School District Invitation – Received from Luis
    G. Lopes, Superintendent, an invitation to attend a meeting to select a
    representative to the collective bargaining process with the teachers’ federation
    scheduled for Tuesday, October 12, 2010. No action taken.

    Constable Re-appointment – Paul Morrison – Received a request from
    Paul V. Morrison, 77 South Grove Street a request for re-appointment as
    Constable for the Town of Foxborough. A brief discussion was held.
    Motion by Paul Mortenson to approve the re-appointment of Paul V.
    Morrison for a three-year term as Constable for the Town of Foxborough, subject
    to a CORI evaluation and with a term to expire October 23, 2013. Seconded by
    Jim DeVellis. Vote: 5-0-0

    Appointments – Board of Recreation – Received from Debbie Giardino,
    Recreation Director, a request for two appointments to the Board of Recreation –
    Alison Eskenas, 17 Carmine Ave. and James Green, 96 Main Street.
    Motion by Larry Harrington to appoint Alison Eskenas, 17 Carmine
    Avenue, to the Board of Recreation as an Associate Member, term expiring May
    01, 2011. Seconded by Paul Mortenson. Vote: 5-0-0

    Motion by Larry Harrington to appoint James Green, 96 Main Street, to the
    Board of Recreation as an Associate Member, term expiring May 01,2011.
    Seconded by Paul Mortenson. Vote: 5-0-0

    Appointments – Foxborough Cultural Council – Received from Mary E.
    Buckland a request for 5 appointments and 1 re-appointment.
    Motion by Larry Harrington to re-appoint to the Foxborough Cultural
    Council Mary E. Buckland for a one year term to expire October 25, 2011.
    Seconded by Lorraine Brue. Vote: 5-0-0

    Motion by Paul Mortenson to approve appointments for three-year terms
    for J. Neil Forster, 209 South Street, Mark Small, 111 South Street, Carolyn
    Godin, 151 South Street, Paula Bishop, 15 Wilkenson Way and Rosemary
    Smith,85 Cocasset Street as requested. Seconded by Jim DeVellis. Vote:

    Donation – Animal Control – Received from Felines of Foxborough a
    gift of $600.00 to be deposited in the Animal Control Gift Fund – yard sale

    Motion by Larry Harrington to accept with gratitude the gift of $600.00 from
    Felines of Foxborough to be deposited in the Animal Control Gift Fund.
    Seconded by Paul Mortenson. Vote: 5-0-0

    Pedi-Cab Proposal – Vincent Monaco was present to outline his proposal
    for Pedi-Cab service to provide rides from Gillette Stadium events on Rt. 1.
    Received from Police Chief O’Leary a memo, dated Oct. 7, 2010, stating his
    concerns about the proposed operation of Pedi-Cabs on Rt. 1. A discussion was
    held. Board Members and Town Manager, Kevin Paicos, expressed their
    concerns about the safety of Pedi-Cabs on Route 1, before and after events at
    Gillette Stadium. It was pointed out that State Police have jurisdiction over traffic
    on Route 1 and that more information is needed for a Hackie License. Kevin
    Paicos said this would have to be carefully vetted as it could be especially
    complicated and dangerous.

    “Keno To Go” – Express Mini Mart – Received notice from the Mass
    State Lottery Commission regarding a request for “Keno To Go” by Express Mini
    Mart, 126 Main Street. No action taken.

    State Election Warrant – Motion by Larry Harrington to approve the
    Warrant for State Election for November 2, 2010 as submitted. Seconded by
    Paul Mortenson. Vote: 5-0-0

    Larry Harrington noted there had been a lot of reaction resulting from the
    meeting last week regarding the tax increase. He felt things were made quite
    clear on why the Board did not recommend a split tax rate. He read from a
    prepared statement:

    “First, it was the voters at Town Meeting who approved the increased
    spending levels which resulted in the higher taxes. While we have over 10,000
    registered voters, only 3% attend the typical Spring Town Meeting to approve the
    budget, on behalf of the entire town, and as I said that is what drives the tax rate
    in fact:

    • 2/3 of the tax increase was the result of last spring’s Town Meeting.
    The Selectmen had initiated a debate before Town Meeting on the
    merits of level funding (which would NOT raise budgets) versus
    level services (which raised budgets). People spoke for and
    against level services and the potential increase in taxes at a public
    hearing and at Town Meeting, with Town Meeting overwhelmingly
    supporting level service and higher taxes.

    • 1/3 of the tax increase was the result of the High School project
    which was again overwhelmingly approved at Town Meeting and in
    a Prop 2-1/2 override for a debt exemption. This should not be a
    surprise for those who voted for the High School project as they
    knew the tax impact. The same holds true for those who supported
    the Library Project this year and who will see the further tax
    increases for that project.

    We have strong commercial base in Foxborough which pays 25% of the
    Towns expenses. These commercial businesses don’t have the opportunity to
    vote at Town Meeting or to vote for/against a debt exclusion on a ballot. Nor do
    they benefit directly from the High School or Library projects. However, the taxes
    they pay significantly reduce the residential tax burden.

    I would also remind the public that some of us supported an effort to raise
    the meals tax with the proviso that the full amount raised by used to reduce
    property taxes as an offset to reduced state aid. I didn’t think the increase would
    negatively impact restaurants or those dining out but the revenue could have
    reduced the tax increase by a third. But again, democracy spoke at Town
    Meeting and Town Meeting voted against the meals tax.

    I voted for the single tax rate for two reasons:

    • First and foremost, I don’t think it is fair for homeowners to vote to spend
    money, but then expect commercial businesses, who did not have the
    right to vote for the spending or directly benefit from the spending, to pay a
    disproportionate amount for that spending.

    • Second, we need commercial businesses to thrive, to create and/or
    maintain jobs, and to continue to be able to pay their fair share, which is
    now 25% of the tax burden. I didn’t think a split rate was fair or
    appropriate now and it would have hurt small businesses.

    On the Town’s web site is the entire presentation from last week which shows the
    real estate values for the last 10 years, how much the largest taxpayers pay, how
    our rates compare with surrounding Towns, etc. I encourage those who want
    more information to review that data.”

    Upcoming Meetings – Paul Mortenson asked for an Executive Session
    with Water & Sewer at the next scheduled meeting. Jim DeVellis suggested
    having a representative from the MBTA to present the merits of the proposal for a
    station at the Stadium. Kevin Paicos to meet with Town Manager of Walpole.
    Larry Harrington suggested having Barney Frank as well as State Representative
    for a public meeting to discuss available funds and development on Route1.
    Kevin Paicos suggested having as much public discussion as possible at the
    appropriate time. These issues are going to be controversial and the public
    would want to weigh in. He agreed that a meeting with a representative from the
    MBTA would be appropriate.

    Motion to adjourn by Larry Harrington. Seconded by Paul Mortenson.

    Vote: 5-0-0 Meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
    James J. DeVellis, Clerk

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