Buxton Charter Commission
September 10, 2009
Call to order
Andrew Townsend called to order the regular meeting of the Buxton Charter Commission at 7:30pm on September 10, 2009 in Buxton Town Hall large meeting room.
Members Present: Andy Townsend, Dianne Senechal, Jennifer Barschdorf, David Dunn, Brent Havu, Judy Sjulander, Larry Miller, Dan Collomy, May Schumacher
Approval of minutes from last meeting
Charter Commission Meeting Minutes August 27, 2009. Approved 8-0-1 (May abstained)
Tom Kennie – Wanted to know how we planned to get information out to the public, as he said most people he talked to when getting the petition, to get the Town Manager question on the ballot, signed thought we already had a Town Manager. Dianne responded by telling Tom that we announce the meetings on Saco River TV. To which Tom responded not all residence have cable TV, he suggested putting out a flyer.
As Tom was the only person from the audience that wanted to speak a motion was made to end the public comment section of the meeting early. 9-0-0
The Commission discussed the questions that should be sent out on the survey. Dianne thought that open ended questions could be overwhelming. Larry thought the questions Brent send were good and should be left as is. Dianne suggested that we would need a paragraph to explain the survey and what we were looking for.
The questions were then discussed one by one producing the rough draft of the survey. While the questions were being discussed a motion was made by Brent to allow Bob Libby to speak about the hiring process. 9-0-0. He explained the current hiring process of advertising, reviewing resumes, interview and the hiring of the new employee. May asked how a new Department Head would be hired, Bob’s response was that the 5 selectmen would be the one to hire. Larry wanted to know if they asked for outside advice. Bob responded they would talk to surrounding Town’s Department heads.
While discussing the wording of questions and deciding how we would get the information that we needed, David stated that as a group we decided to do the survey first, then talk to people, bring back the information to the group, suggested we could do a follow up survey if needed, he thought we had a good start.
It was decided that we would discuss the distribution of the employee survey at the next meeting. It was also asked that once the survey was completed and ready to be distributed that it be posted to the website.
Larry asked if we would add to the website that public comments are accepted at all meetings, he also asked if we could get a mailbox at the Town Hall and let people know that they can mail or drop off information as well.
Andy stated that he would like his phone number put on the website, May, Judy, Brent, David, Larry, Dan, Jen all said there numbers could be posted to the website as well.
May stated that she met with the selectmen, Andy asked her to please wait and address this during new business.
May stated that she met with the selectmen, she was not happy with how things on the Commission have been handled, she was not at the last meeting, she stated that she watched the meeting 4 times and did not get the consensus from the meeting that the Commission had decided to do a survey first and hold meeting secondary.
May then asked Andy if as the Chair he would be fair if people didn’t agree with him.
Andy responded that yes he would be fair.
May continued by saying that Andy had cancelled an appointment between her and Greg and Greg called her, not Andy.
Andy’s response was that yes he did that, consensus of the Commission was to start with the survey, he asked Greg to cancel as he did not have access to May’s phone number, he did ask Jen to e-mail May Andy’s phone number, which May never used, and legal counsel was sought.
May then stated that she did not get the consensus that the survey would be done first and that would be followed by interviews. She then asked if Andy planned to use the Vice Chair, as the Vice Chair could have contacted her. Andy again stated that he wanted to get legal clarification.
May asked who contacted Andy and what the complaint was. To which Andy responded it didn’t matter.
David reiterated what the attorney had said when asked about meeting with people, we need to bring back the information, and he then asked why we needed to call the attorney.
Andy responded by saying the committee left focused on the survey and he wanted to clarify the rules and the validity of the rules.
At this point a general discussion took place about what and when information needs to be brought back to the group, it was also discussed if the Chair should be allowed to contact the attorney without the knowledge and approval of the rest of the Commission.
May then asked to get clarification on the letter from the attorney, the letter stated that a vote was taken and no vote had been taken that she had seen from watching the meeting, she thought that in the future the questions to the lawyer needed to be in written form so that the commission would know exactly what was asked. David thought that a motion had been made, but no evidence was found.
Jen asked that on the agenda a correspondence section for e-mails to be read be added after the public comment section, no objections were raised.
Jen had an e-mail from John Myers asking it the commission wanted the e-mails to be printed for public record – it was decided that yes the commission would like them printed for public record.
An e-mail from Jeff Grinnell was read. A motion was made to allow Jeff Grinnell to speak 9-0-0.
Jen asked Jeff what was meant by having more complete minutes. Jeff replies that it should be less choppy and more wordy and flowing.
Larry asked Jeff about the information that he had gathered. Jeff responded that he had done research in Knox County where he had relatives, and he would be happy to forward that research to us. Jeff also stated that he thought the commission had a tough job, and needed to work as a group putting personalities aside. The commission should be looking top down not bottom up. He suggested that the commission needed to look at the big picture and not just one piece, that being the Town Government. He also stated that it did not look good that the commission had spent 2 hours to compose questions for a survey.
Jeff stated that he did not require a response e-mail as he was able to get the answers he was looking for from the meeting.
Jeff was asked to please forward his information to Jen.
May had some paperwork from MMA that had population projections, she also wanted a more up to date salary survey, which she was unable to obtain from the MMA website as she was denied access, she requested that the Chair ask the Selectmen for a copy, it was stated that the Vice Chair would handle her request.
Larry thought that it was premature at this time.
May stated that the census papers were a good resource.
Dianne stated those were easy to get.
Motion Make 1 copy of the most recent salary survey from the Selectmen 8-1-0.
Jen asked if the commission would like Drafted minutes posted to the website – the response was no.
Brent discussed the need for the questions to the attorney, as well as, the response be in writing. Brent made a Motion, which Larry 2nd any questions to the attorney need to be in writing and agreed on by the commission before being submitted to the attorney. 6-3-0
May thought the Secretary should write up a brief statement for the Buxton newsletter.
Agenda for the next meeting –
-fine tune finalize rough draft
-distribution of survey
- start working on the Charter from the beginning
The Commission members are to bring in questions for the Town Residents.
Andrew Townsend adjourned the meeting at 10:04pm by a motion 9-0-0.
Minutes submitted by: Jennifer Barschdorf