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Town Seal
Charter Commission Minutes 11/12/2009
Buxton Charter Commission
Meeting Minutes
November 12, 2009

Minutes prepared by:  Dianne Senechal

  • Call to Order
The regular meeting of the Buxton Charter Commission was called to order at 6:30 p.m., November 12, 2009 by Chairman, Andy Townsend.

  • Roll Call
Present:  David Dunn, May Schumacher, Brent Havu, Andy Townsend, Dianne Senechal, Larry Miller, Dan Collomy and Judy Sjulander.  
Absent:  Jennifer Barschdorf.

  • Approval of Minutes from Last Meeting
The Charter Commission Meeting Minutes of October 22, 2009 were approved as amended.  The next to the last sentence under New Business was removed.

  • Public Comments
There were no public comments.  However, Andy Townsend reported that an individual that had served on the Personnel Review Committee called him to discuss the role of the Personnel Committee when it was in operation.  It was the role of the Committee to pre-screen individuals when there were openings at the Town Office and make recommendations to the Selectmen of individuals who met the qualifications.  It was also their duty to mediate with employees and the Selectmen when there was an issue.

If there were personnel issues beyond their scope, the Committee used the Town Attorney for advice.  They had no authority over the employees.

  • Review of Correspondence
No correspondence

  • Open Issues

  • Resident Survey Update
Judy Sjulander reported that she distributed Resident Surveys to the public on voting day and she felt she gave out at least 1,000 forms.  The public was very appreciative of the chance to participate in the survey and many individuals completed the forms on site and put them in the survey box.

Dianne Senechal reported that forms are coming back in the mail and are deposited in the survey box.

  • Other Open Business
Larry Miller read a section of Maine Law regarding the Appointment and Term of Officials as he felt he may have misquoted it at the last meeting.

Brent Havu asked if the definition of ‘cause’ is on the list of questions for the attorney.  There was a general feeling that the Committee needs to understand what is and is not cause for removal from a position.

There was a discussion of hiring a person to take notes at future meetings of the Charter Commission.  It was noted that at the very first meeting of the Commission that recording the minutes of the meeting would be time consuming and the person recording the minutes might not be able to fully participate in the discussion.  After discussion of the issue, it was determined that a person should be hired to take the minutes of the meetings.

A motion was made and seconded to hire a person to take the minutes of the Charter Commission Meetings at a pay rate no higher than what is currently being paid the note taker at the Planning Board.  Unanimously approved.  

Dianne Senechal was asked to look into hiring a person for the task and have the person attend the January 14, 2010 Meeting to take the Meeting Minutes.

Dianne was asked to let the Committee members know how much the position paid once the information was obtained.

It was clarified that Jennifer Barschdorf would still hold the position of Secretary and handle communications with the Committee.  The Committee wanted a member of the Charter Commission to oversee the changes to the Charter and the person hired would only take minutes.
It was requested that the Minutes of the Charter Commission be sent out seven days following the Meeting.

  • New Business
  • Charter Section – Article II Board of Selectmen
Section 2.01 through Section 2.08 was discussed by the members of the Charter Commission.  Some of the issues that were identified for more discussion and thought were:

  • Term limits
  • Compensation for Selectmen/salary
  • Consistency in language/capitol letters
  • Filming public portions of all Selectmen Meetings
  • Once a week meeting of Selectmen sufficient – is it sufficient to conduct business
  • Town Manager may handle appointments if Town Manager form of government is used
  • May be a conflict to allow Selectman to bid on a job
  • Maybe some re-arrangement of duties could be assigned to each Selectmen to oversee a Department for reporting purposes
  • Review/think about what determines grounds for forfeiture of office for a Selectman
  • What to do about three Selectmen together and what constitutes a meeting
  • Charter Sections 3.06  (Municipal Services) and 3.07 (Bonds)
There was a discussion of the content of section 3.06 as it may be too detailed and getting into information contained in job descriptions.  There was discussion of perhaps combining Section 3.02 and 3.06 and expanding the heading.  Section 3.02 had tentatively been expanded to include all Department Head positions and Section 3.06 did not cover the same positions.  Members were asked to review other Charters to see how this issue is handled by other towns.

  • Town Manager Information Session
There was a discussion regarding reviewing Town Manager job descriptions and inviting Town Manager(s) to come to the January meeting to speak to the group.  Larry Miller suggested that the Town Manager Job Description be distributed prior to the meeting.

David Dunn suggested that he would be interested in hearing from a Town Administrative Assistant.  It was noted that Waterboro had an Administrative Assistant.

Larry Miller asked the Chair and Vice Chair to coordinate the Town Manager(s) visit to the January meeting.  Chairman Townsend and Vice Chair Senechal agreed to coordinate.

  • Next Meeting
Charter Commission Meeting, Thursday, December 10, 2009 6:30 p.m.
The next Meeting will be a Workshop to review Resident Surveys and will not be televised.

A motion was made and seconded to accept Resident Surveys until
December 10.  Unanimously approved.

Charter Commission Meeting, Thursday, January 14, 2010 6:30 p.m.

  • Adjournment
Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p m.  Unanimously approved.

Town of Buxton
  185 Portland Road, Buxton, ME 04093 (207) 929-5191
Town Office Hours: Mon, Tues, Thur, Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm & Wed: 11:30am - 7:30pm
For departmental office hours please visit that department's home page.