BOARD OF SELECTMEN
DECEMBER 9, 2013
Page 1 of 5
Attendance: First Selectwoman Derrylyn Gorski, Selectman Donald Shea, Selectwoman Aileen Magda
Visitors: Attorney Kevin McSherry, Lisa Amadeo, Salvatore Amadeo, Kim McClure, Arthur Slicer, Sheila Wade, Carol Goldberg, David Forman, Donna Shea, Brian Laubstein
First Selectwoman Gorski called the meeting of the Board of Selectmen to order at 7:30 pm. The meeting was held in the Selectmen’s Conference Room of the Bethany Town Hall. All present were asked to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
First Selectwoman Gorski called for a motion of approval for the minutes of the meeting of November 25, 2013. Selectwoman Magda moved to table acceptance because she did not receive the minutes to review before the meeting. Acceptance of the minutes was tabled until the next meeting.
First Selectwoman Gorski called for a motion to refund taxes. The motion to refund to BAC Tax Services Corp the sum of $54.00, to GMAC the sum of $93.89, to Jordan or D. Lechner Gruskay the sum of $192.70, to Lucy F. Caruso the sum of $2.99, to Steven Vinas the sum of $302.80, to Toyota Motor Credit the sum of $208.63, to Cary Realty, LLC the sum of $782.20, to Vault Trust the sum of $1,500.51 and to John R or Susan M Wolanic the sum of $20.72 all for overpayment of taxes was moved by Selectman Donald Shea. The motion was seconded by Selectwoman Magda. The vote taken was unanimous.
HIRING OF LAND USE ATTORNEY
Kim McClure, Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission was present to request permission to hire a land use attorney to assist with the Green Haven application and hearing. The Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to make this request. Chairman McClure had made some inquiries from attorneys and she was recommending from her findings $5,000 to cover review of the applications and hearings. The hiring of additional legal counsel is done at the discretion of the Town Attorney and the First Selectman. Attorney McSherry and the Selectmen discussed this request. First Selectwoman Gorski took their request under advisement and they agreed that Planning and Zoning Chairman McClure, First Selectwoman Gorski and Attorney McSherry would hold a meeting on Tuesday to further discuss this matter. Selectwoman Magda moved to approve up to $5,000 for the hiring of an attorney. No second was made to this motion. Following further discussion, Selectwoman Magda indicated that both she and Selectman Shea would like to see an attorney hired.
APPOINTMENTS TO CHARTER/ORDINANCE REVIEW COMMITTEE
First Selectwoman Gorski moved to table appointments to the Charter/Ordinance Review Committee for this meeting as she was waiting for acceptance from someone she had asked to serve on this committee. Selectwoman Magda moved to appoint Paul Manger to the Charter/Ordinance review Committee. Selectman Shea seconded the motion. The vote was called. There were two yes votes and one no vote that of First Selectwoman Gorski.
APPOINTMENTS TO LONG TERM FINANCIAL PLANNING COMMITTEE
First Selectwoman Gorski opened discussion regarding re-appointments to the Long Term Financial Planning Committee. Appointed to the original committee were Chip Spear, Steve Squinto, Sharon Huxley, Aileen Magda and Jamie Stirling. Selectwoman Magda was representing the Board of Finance at the time of her appointment. First Selectwoman Gorski moved to have Janet Brunwin replace Selectwoman Magda because of her expertise and experience as former chairman of the Board of Finance. Selectman Shea seconded the motion for discussion purposes. No vote was taken. Sharon Huxley, who at the time of her appointment represented the Planning & Zoning Commission, could represent the Board of Finance as a member of that board now. Discussion followed regarding expanding of the committee to six or seven members, as Selectwoman Magda wanted to remain on the Committee. Attorney McSherry indicated the committee could be expanded by making a change to the charge. Following further discussion Selectman Shea moved a motion to expand the committee to six members by amending the charge. Selectwoman Magda seconded the motion. The vote taken was unanimous. Selectman Shea then moved a motion to reappoint Selectwoman Magda to the Long Term Financial Planning Committee and to appoint Janet Brunwin as the sixth member of the committee. Selectwoman Magda seconded the motion.
The vote taken was unanimous.
RECYCLING CENTER CHARGE FOR MATTRESS DISPOSAL
The Selectmen discussed for clarification charges for mattress disposal with Carol Goldberg. It was not clear if a mattress and box spring would be charged as one unit. The Solid Waste Recycling Committee had determined that they would each be charged separately. It was questioned whether a box spring could be put in the metal dumpster because of the springs. Carol will bring the concerns back to the Solid Waste Committee for clarification.
First Selectwoman Gorski opened discussion with the Selectmen regarding the Airport Property, and to address the concerns of Selectman Shea and Selectwoman Magda. They were questioning activities on the property regarding activation of the Senior Housing plan. First Selectwoman Gorski explained that Mutual Housing of New Haven, a non-profit group for senior housing, had shown interest to do a preliminary feasibility study for Senior Housing at this location. No Town monies have been spent. To move forward on this type of a project would require Town Meeting approval. The previous attempt to develop this area had failed because of septic, well and drainage problems as the previous engineers had designed it. Attorney McSherry explained procedures that would need to be done to ever bring this project forward.
The Selectmen opened discussion regarding the Hangar Project. Selectman Shea and Selectwoman Magda questioned when approval was given to move forward with this project. Both Selectmen questioned the minutes of the Town Meetings where this issue had been addressed. First Selectwoman Gorski read from the minutes of the meeting of the Town Meeting of December 14, 2009 the amended resolution as follows:
Be it resolved at the Town Meeting of the Town of Bethany that the use of the Bethany Airport Hangar Building shall be changed from the current use as a storage building to a Community Recreation Center/Emergency Shelter.
Be it further resolved that the Town of Bethany shall prepare an analysis of:
a. Potential expenses and revenues for the project, including potential alternatives, and
b. Fundraising strategies
To be presented back to a Town Meeting within 6 months
Be it further resolved that, pending approval of such analysis, said Bethanhy Hangar shall be renovated and restored preserving as much of the building as is reasonable and restore or replicate the existing construction to respect and memorialize the existing hangar building and its significance in the history of the Town of Bethany.
The renovation and restoration of the Bethany Airport Hangar shall be in a manner consistent with proposals of the Airport Steering Committee and design of Ames & Whitaker.
A Special Town Meeting held April 26, 2010 addressed final approval.
It was opinion of Selectman Shea and Selectwoman Magda that the minutes did not clearly give permission for this project to move forward. Arthur Slicer was asked by First Selectwoman Gorski to speak to the Board regarding details and history of the Hangar project and its progress. Arthur gave an emotionally filled report on the progress of the project and the time, effort and interest that both he and members of the committee had been put into it. He expressed his displeasure with the comments from both Selectman Shea and Selectwoman Magda. He felt they were creating a hostile environment.
Selectman Shea and Selectwoman Magda questioned Alan Green regarding the hiring of Harkness for tree work. They both felt the work should have gone out to bid since it had exceeded the $5,000 threshold for bidding. The work will be put out for VIP bid (Vendor in Place) in January. Attorney McSherry explained procedures for bidding and proper payment of invoices.
Selectman Shea and Selectwoman Magda expressed their desire to have a column in the Bethany Bulletin. First Selectwoman Gorski explained that the Bethany Bulletin was a news letter and that they could add newsworthy articles to it anytime as long as they were not politically motivated.
BETHANY HISTORICAL SOCIETY REQUEST TO HAVE TOWN INCLUDED IN OIL BID
First Selectwoman Gorski will have the Bethany Historical Society included in the bidding for oil for fiscal year 2014-15. Since the Town bids oil one year in advance, it was not possible to include them in oil delivery for fiscal year 2013-14 as the request was just recently made to the Town by William Brinton.
LETTER FROM BRIAN FOURNIER
The Board of Selectmen discussed the letter from Brian Fournier to the Board of Selectmen. Selectman Shea and Selectwoman Magda requested the letter to the Board of Selectmen from Brian Fournier be included in the minutes of this meeting. Selectwoman Magda and Selectman Shea are asking for his resignation from the Board of Education as they have no confidence in him.
Adjournment was called at 9:05 pm after a motion was moved by Selectman Shea and seconded by Selectwoman Magda.
June G. Riley
Secretary, Board of Selectmen