04/23/2018 SB Minutes
Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
April 23, 2018
Present: Chairman Moritz, Selectman Boisseau, Selectman Moore, Selectman Ubaldo.
Chairman Moritz opened the meeting at 6:00 pm.
Don Lavoie from Bethlehem Reimagined and as Deputy Moderator came before the Board to discuss purchasing a voting counting machine. He said the past couple elections there have been difficulties with counting. He also explained Mary Lou Krambeer researched purchasing a machine. Mr. Lavoie said special pens need to be used and you slide the ballot into the voting machine. He said only one set of ballot clerks will be needed and counters will not be needed. There was discussion about how the write-ins will still have to be hand counted but Mary Jackson explained the machine will separate the ones with write-ins into a separate tray. Mr. Lavoie went over the numbers for the machine ($3500.00), programming ($500.00), maintenance ($250.00). Mrs. Jackson said she looked into the numbers and they are a little off. Mr. Lavoie said he said he would donate his fee (deputy moderator) to go towards the machine and said Bethlehem Reimagined will fundraise to raise the $3500.00. Selectman Boisseau asked how long the fundraising period would be for. Mr. Lavoie said he isn’t sure but said it would be nice to have it for the primary in Sept. Chairman Moritz said Mrs. Jackson has $2,600.00 left in her budget for this year. Mr. Lavoie said there will be two more elections this years with a cost of $2100.00 each so the budget will go over anyways. Chairman Moritz said the costs associated with those elections will be less than the town election. She also suggested it be budgeted for in the 2019 budget and said the annual maintenance and programming would need to be added as a line item. Paul Greenlaw said they could set a fundraising goal of $4500.00 to $5000.00 to help with costs other than the machine. Selectman Ubaldo asked about the longevity of the machine to be usable and was told it won’t be discontinued anytime soon and that it is the only one certified by the Secretary of State. There was discussion about cost savings, timeliness and accuracy. Rita Farrell said the community comes together for the counting. She was told the 32 counters were there until 4:30 this year. Selectman Moore said there are plenty of community events in town. Mrs. Farrell said there was a count that was questioned in Wisconsin because of problems with machines. She said a recount can be requested because of concern about machines. The Board agreed they would like to move forward and have Bethlehem Reimagined fundraise for the machine. Julian Czarny said there are string attached; maintenance fees, programming fees, special pens, and losing involvement of the community. Chairman Moritz said there are other ways to get community involved. Chris Jensen said he thinks it (voting machine) is a great idea. The Board told Paul Greenlaw and Don Lavoie to move forward with fundraising and if they don’t get enough this year they can use it to offset budget next year. Mrs. Farrell said it is happening very fast and said the machines could be hacked. Chairman Moritz said both Mary Jackson and Mary Lou Krambeer looked into it in March before the election. Mrs. Farrell asked if there would be a public hearing for people to vote on it. Chairman Moritz said it has been on the agenda for 2 weeks. Mr. Lavoie said Profile and Bethlehem Elementary are not in compliance with elections and said the school districts can vote to have their elections in conjunction with town elections.
Cheryl Jensen came before the Board to give an update on Northern Pass. She said the SEC Committee voted 7-0 against Northern Pass. Northern Pass asked that they re-open the hearing. Mrs. Jensen said the SEC will deliberate on the motions for rehearing on May 24th and continue if necessary to June 4th. Mrs. Jensen suggested someone from the Board be there in case they have questions for Bethlehem. Selectman Moore said she would go.
Chris McGrath asked about the flag pole and was told the Board is in process of taking care of it. Mr. McGrath asked about the new streetlights at Maplewood and if they were moving some. Chairman Moritz said they looked into multiple areas with Maplewood being one of them. She said the skate park will need electrical work that will cost between $11,000 and $23,000. She said she believes they addressed the Maplewood ones by reducing the wattage and said the lights will be added to our GIS. Mr. McGrath asked about the bike trails and was told they will talk about it next week at the meeting. Mr. McGrath also said there is town property being blocked again and worries it may prevent people from bidding on it. Mrs. Jensen asked if that is the Building Inspectors job. Chairman Moritz said they will send another letter.
Mrs. Farrell said Agassiz Street is dark and wondered about the streetlights. She asked Selectman Moore what town events she was referring to. She also asked if the transfer station committee was going to get going again since in was aborted. Chairman Moritz said it was paused. Mrs. Farrell said they took more people and she wants people to look into transfer station and not people that will sabotage it. Selectman Ubaldo said he is the new liaison for the committee and said there was an email about using Littleton’s and was recommended as the best option. Mrs. Farrell said that is very troubling because Casella will be back, and a transfer station will make us independent of Casella. Chairman Moritz said the committee was gathering information on options. Mr. McGrath said they looked at options, but costs will change, and they have many years to figure this out. Chairman Moritz said we have a transfer station until 2021 so we don’t want to be premature and there is no reason to rush the committee because there is plenty of time for them to make a recommendation to the Board. Mrs. Farrell said the state dictated 2021 for them to provide a public benefit. Mrs. Jensen said she would like to see evidence of the transfer station committee meeting. Chairman Moritz said a date will be set up before the next Select Board meeting.
Mrs. Farrell said in the settlement agreement with Casella is says when stage IV is filled settlement agreement is no longer in effect. She asked the Board to look into that.
Chairman Moritz said in September that was questioned and Kevin Roy said it was until life of the landfill.
The Board reviewed sign permits. Chairman Moritz moved to approve the sign permit for Presby. Selectman Moore seconded. Carried 4-0.
The Board tabled the sign permit for green cotton because there is a question about a second sign.
Chairman Moritz moved to approve the sign permit for Dollar General. Selectman Ubaldo seconded. Carried 4-0.
The Board reviewed the minutes from 03/29/18.
Chairman Moritz moved to approve the minutes. Selectman Boisseau seconded. Carried 3-0 (Selectman Ubaldo abstained).
The Board reviewed the minutes from 04/02/18.
Chairman Moritz moved to approve the minutes. Selectman Ubaldo seconded. Carried 4-0.
At 7:20 Chairman Moritz moved to go into non-public session per RSA 91A:3 II for matters of personnel and reputation. Selectman Moore seconded. Chairman Moritz did roll call with all members agreeing to go into non-public session.
The Board met with a taxpayer to discuss repurchasing a property. Chairman Moritz moved to rescind T. Ricci’s right to repurchase and reissue on 05/07/18. Selectman Moore seconded. Carried 4-0.
The Board discussed deeding and signed the deed waiver.
The Board discussed personnel.
Selectman Moore moved to rehire MA, LHSL, MA for the Rec dept. Selectman Boisseau seconded. Carried 4-0.
Chairman Moritz moved to hire HV, FH, HH, WR, JS, MS for the Country Club. Selectman Boisseau seconded. Carried 4-0.
Chairman Moritz moved to approve the pay increase for SM. Selectman Moore seconded. Carried 4-0.
Selectman Moore moved to approve axe. Chairman Moritz seconded. Carried 4-0.
At 8:35 Selectman Ubaldo moved to come out of non-public session. Selectman Boisseau seconded. Chairman Moritz did roll call with all members agreeing to come out of non-public session.
At 8:35 Selectman Ubaldo moved to adjourn. Selectman Boisseau seconded. Carried 4-0.