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Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
Bethlehem Selectmen Office
December 29, 2014
Present: Chairperson Laleme, Selectman Blanchard, Selectman Culver, Selectman Fiorentino, Selectman Glavac.
At 6:00 pm Chairperson Laleme opened the meeting.
The Board reviewed the default and proposed budget. Chairperson Laleme said she is concerned with cutting the budget too much and trimming it to the point of having no leeway. Selectman Blanchard agreed and said they can’t keep lowering the budget like this. Selectman Glavac said the Town will start to see a lack of services if the budget keeps lowering. Selectman Glavac also said we need to bring in more revenue and growth to lower taxes. The Board discussed what was anticipated for the GGB Maintenance budget and discussed the need for an electrician to fix the lighting issues in the meeting room.
The Board discussed when the budget hearing would be and it was determined that it would be on Monday January 19th at 6pm. Selectman Fiorentino said with the proposed budget and anticipated revenues the amount to raise for taxes next year is down $100,000.00.
The Board discussed the minutes from 12/15/14. Selectman Blanchard moved to approve the minutes as amended (change dropins and streamlight to two words and leave the word for off the sentence on page 1, paragraph 2, 3rd sentence). Selectman Fiorentino seconded. Carried 4-0 (Selectman Glavac abstained).
Chairperson Laleme said the Board needs to decide what to do about the boundary line issue with Littleton on Railroad Street. She said Littleton can’t find the markers and asked if we should have a surveyor look into this or keep the boundary as it has been for all these years. Chairperson Laleme said the Select Board is supposed to walk the Town boundaries (preambulation) every 7 years or hire someone to do it. She said she has a copy from John Keller of one that was done in the 1800’s. It was determined that Chairperson Laleme and Selectman Blanchard would meet with Littleton Town Manager to discuss the boundary line issue.
Chris McGrath suggested to the Board that they do a newsletter to inform the public on Town business. Chairperson Laleme said the minutes are on the website and said it would be costly to mail newsletters. Mr. McGrath said they didn’t have to be mailed but could be left at the Village Store.
Alan Jackson asked the Board why and from whom is the Town being sued. Chairperson Laleme said there have been several legal issues recently including Site Plan Review issues, property owner issues, and being sued by Fairpoint.
Mr. Jackson also asked the Board how many police officers and cruisers we have and asked if it would be cost effective to have the officer drive his own car to court and get mileage reimbursement. He was told that may be a liability issue if they are in uniform driving their personal vehicle. Mr. Jackson also asked the Board about the possibility of hiring a prosecutor and he was told that at one point we were going to share a prosecutor with other towns but the judge said it wouldn’t work.
Mike Bruno told the Board that he appreciates the Select Board and knows what they do is difficult. He said he agrees with Selectman Glavac about the need to promote and welcome businesses. Mr. Bruno also said every year he goes to the Profile School meeting to vote and not enough people from Bethlehem go. He said he hopes more people from Bethlehem go to the meeting.
Brett Jackson asked where in the budget the Board will be taking the amount to cover the overage in the legal budget. Chairperson Laleme said there are other areas in the budget that have excess like the TAN interest.
At 7:08 Chairperson Laleme moved to go into non-public per 91-A for matters of personnel. Selectman Glavac seconded. Chairperson Laleme did roll call with all members agreeing to go into non-public session.
The Board discussed personnel.
At 7:40 Chairperson Laleme moved to come out of non-public session. Selectman Fiorentino seconded. Carried 5-0.
At 7:40 Chairperson Laleme moved to adjourn. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 5-0.