Town of Buxton
Minutes for September 1, 2010 Selectmen’s Meeting
Prepared by: Beverly Gammon
Members Present: Peter E. W. Burns, Robert C. Libby, and Dianne Senechal. Selectmen Jean C. Harmon and Clifford L. Emery were absent.
Others Present: Brandon Pierce, Cole Libby, Rhonda Pierce, Mitchell Pierce, Steve Libby, Michelle Lohutko, Michael Grovo, Bruce Mullen, and Kathy Mullen.
Selectmen’s Meeting Agenda
The Meeting was called to order at 7:01 p.m.
After the Pledge of Allegiance was said, Selectman Burns announced that the Board would depart from their usual order because Police Chief, Mike Grovo, had some presentations to make. Chief Grovo asked Brandon Pierce and Cole Libby to come up front and stand with him. He said these two boys were riding their bicycles on Spruce Swamp Road on July 31st. As they were approaching Route 202/ Narragansett Trail they saw an elderly man who was doing yard work trip and fall. The man was knocked unconscious and started bleeding severely. They immediately went to his aid, called 911, and stayed with him until the rescue arrived. Chief Grovo said he is very proud of these two boys for taking the action that they did. He said it
may have made a difference in this gentleman’s life; if they had not seen the gentleman fall or ignored it there could have been a different outcome. Chief Grovo read a Letter of Recognition and gave one to each of the boys along with a special coin the Police Department gives to those who go above and beyond. He again thanked and congratulated Brandon Pierce and Cole Libby for what they did.
Chief Grovo then asked Michelle Lohutko, our Animal Control Officer, to come up front. He said in January 2009 the Buxton Police Department received a call in reference to a dog being abused by its owner. Chief Grovo said he initially received the call and responded to the address that was given. Evidence at the scene supported the caller’s complaint and once he located the dog involved he contacted Michelle. They had a conversation on the phone and he said, without hesitation and while off duty, she came to the location to assist. He said she was able to convince the owner of the animal to sign ownership of the dog over to the Town. The dog needed immediate medical attention that was visible from the wounds. The Chief said, as with all of
Michelle’s cases, she pursued this case with one hundred and ten percent of her dedication. She worked with the District Attorney’s office in bringing charges against the owner as well as finding a safe and loving home for the dog. Through Michelle’s dedication and hard work with the District Attorney the case was resolved on Monday August 23, 2010 with the defendant accepting a plea agreement. Mike Grovo said the plea agreement consists of the following: A lifetime ban on owning any animals; three years in jail with all but nine months suspended; restitution to the Town of Buxton in the amount of $3,013 with a $1,000 fine. He has two years of probation. Chief Grovo said animal abuse cases rarely get such strong sentencing but because of Michelle’s strong work ethics and dedication to this case it gave the District Attorney the information and evidence needed to get such a conviction. Police Chief Grovo thanked Michelle for all the hard work and dedication
to the citizens and pets of the Town of Buxton. He gave her a Letter of Recognition and a special coin. The Chief then introduced the dog whose name is Tom. He said Tom is very healthy, has a loving home and a big sister that watches out for him.
When Mike Grovo finished, Bruce Mullen, our Fire Chief, read thank you letters to Chief Grovo and Michelle Lohutko. He said his wife Kathy and he were fortunate to be blessed with the rescued dog. He said in the careers they have chosen to serve the public, as with the Selectmen, they do not do it for thanks but as opportunities arise they try at least to pass that information on. He went on to thank Michelle for her compassion, swift response, and diligence in continuing to monitor Tom’s progress. He thanked her and the Police Department for thinking of their home as a safe haven for Tom and for supporting them in their decision to make him a permanent part of their family.
Bruce Mullen said the Police Chief’s commitment to our community goes above and beyond expected job duties. Chief Mullen said he and his wife are grateful to the Chief and the Department for allowing them to be a safe haven for Tom as he recovers and for the Chief’s support in their decision to make Tom a permanent part of their family. He said had it not been for Chief Grovo’s swift response and dedication it would not have been possible. Chief Mullen then presented the letters to Chief Grovo and Michelle Louhtko.
Selectman Peter Burns thanked everyone and said the Board appreciates the actions that all have taken. He said there were also a couple of Buxton residents who were given the same award in the Selectmen’s office earlier this evening and the Board wishes to thank all those who stepped forward and did their civic duty for the betterment of the community.
The Selectmen’s Meeting then resumed.
- Approval of Prior Meeting Minutes
Selectmen Meeting Minutes August 25, 2010.
Approved 3-0-2. (Selectman Harmon was absent last week. Selectmen Harmon and Emery are absent this week.)
- Discussion held between 5:00 & 7:00 p.m.
Selectman Burns mentioned there was discussion earlier about the passing of Barbara Elwell on Monday. He said Barbara has been a pillar in this community for many years and has done so much for the community. The Town Report was dedicated to Barbara and Sharon this past year and they were the Marshalls of the Community Day Parade. He said they had a wonderful time that day. Selectman Burns said the Board is sorry to hear that she passed. He gave information about the funeral and visiting hours. Selectman Libby said she was a great lady. Selectman Burns and Selectman Senechal share some personal experiences with Barbara and Selectmen Senechal said the Board extends their condolences to the entire family.
The Board had a resident in earlier to discuss a Poverty Abatement issue. The Board also discussed a letter from Maine Municipal Association regarding an appraisal of some of the Town buildings. They informed the Board the insured values were 5% less than the appraised value and want to increase the values in the policy which the Board agreed to because they are doing it at no additional cost to the Town. The Board spent a little time discussing the new Buxton Elementary School. Selectman Burns said there will be a formal opening for the public within the next couple of weeks. He is not sure of the date yet. He said he has been in the building and it is a lovely facility with beautiful classrooms. He encouraged everyone to
go and see what their tax dollars have purchased because he thinks people will be pleased.
- Email from Sharon Leahy-Lind at Maine.Gov—Re: Air Quality Alert.
- Email from Ellen Heath at Maine.gov—Re; Mandated Shutdown Day September 3, 2010, and Holiday September 6, 2010.
- Email from a Buxton couple thanking David Pinkham and crew for work they did on Depot Street replacing culverts. Selectman Burns said there has been a lot of work done and they are appreciative of it. He reported that he received a phone call from a resident who ended up hitting one of the bumps prior to the tarring of one of the culverts that had been replaced. He said there is not enough time in a day to remove the culvert, bring it up to level and then put the tar back to get it to the grade level with the rest of the road. Unfortunately they had to leave a lip of several inches of tar that was cut away. They were all identified with “Bump” signs and cones and each edge is painted florescent orange which is standard practice by the DOT. The Town does
not own any barrels with lights on them which would have helped in this situation. The Board cautions people that there is a lot of work being done by the Highway Department replacing culverts and when you see a work area, please slow down and b e cautious of that because the roadway may be cut away.
- Review of Projects and Issues
Selectman Libby reported that he took a few days off last week. Since returning he has been checking Email and had a couple of questions on real estate.
Selectman Senechal said David Pinkham came in today and said they have replaced twenty five culverts. As of yesterday they have all been paved over and the deep bumps have been taken care of. Selectman Senechal said she also wants the public to know that the Town received a check today for a little over $22,000. That is money that came back from filing for FEMA money last spring. She said the gentleman who represented FEMA gave the Town of Buxton an A+ because of the wonderful paperwork, cooperation, and forms that were turned in from the Town of Buxton.
Selectman Burns reported that he has been coming in to the Town Hall every day doing paperwork. He said he went over the list of action items the Board needs to resolve in the near future and when the other Selectmen get back from their vacations the Board will be scheduling a couple of workshops so they can get some of the open issues resolved as soon as possible. The Board needs to close the carry-forwards and get that taken care of as well as other issues that need to get done. He said the Board will start to get busier in the next couple of weeks.
Tax Collector’s Job Description.
The Board has spoken with John Myers since he just got back from his vacation. They asked if he and Sue Myers would review the second draft to see if there are any issues with it so the Board can hopefully get that resolved next week.
E.O.101108025 – An order to approve Tashia Geaumont’s attendance at the Maine Association of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Directors Conference.
- Executive Orders by Initiative
E.O.101108026 – An order to appoint Hilda Lynch to the position of Buxton News Editor effective September 1, 2010. Approved 3-0-2.
E.O.101108027 – An order to accept a letter of resignation from David R. Piche dated August 30, 2010. The effective date of separation will be September 13, 2010. The Board thanks him for five years of service to the Town of Buxton. The Board is sorry to see him go and they will be available for an exit interview with him at his convenience.
- Accounts Payable and Payroll Warrants
E.O.101108023—An order approving expenditures as documented in Accounts Payable Warrant #08-11. Approved 3-0-2.
E.O.101108024—An order approving expenditures as documented in Payroll Warrant
#08-11. Approved 3-0-2.
- Next Meeting of the Board
Maine Department of Transportation Public Hearing Tuesday, September 7, 2010; 6:00 p.m. in the large meeting room here at the Town Hall.
Selectmen’s Meeting Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Next Charter Commission Meeting Thursday, September 9, 2010.
The Town Office will be closed Monday September 6, 2010 and the Transfer Station will be closed Tuesday, September 7th for Labor Day.
Selectman Burns gave a reminder that school is in session and asked that people please watch out for buses and children. He also provided information about the Buxton Recreation Department’s After School Program that is held at the new Buxton Elementary School until 6:00 p.m. and the Senior Trip to Poland Spring on Friday, September 24, 2010.The deadline to register for the Senior Trip is September 16th. Contact the Buxton Recreation Department for more information.
- Public Comments and Questions
Motion made and seconded to adjourn the meeting at 7:29 p.m. Approved 3-0-2