Town of East Hampton
Town Council Regular Meeting
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Eaton E. Smith Meeting Room – Town Hall
Present: Chairperson Melissa Engel, Vice Chairman John Tuttle and Council Members Chatham Carillo, Thomas Cordeiro, Christopher Goff, Barbara Moore and Susan Weintraub. Also present were Acting Interim Town Manager Anne McKinney, Town Attorney Jean D’Aquila, Recording Secretary Cathy Sirois, members of the press and citizens.
Call to Order & Pledge of Allegiance
Chairperson Engel called the regular meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. in the Eaton E. Smith Meeting Room at the Town Hall.
A motion was made by Mr. Goff, seconded by Ms. Moore, to add an item to New Business – Police Overtime. Voted (7-0).
A motion was made by Ms. Weintraub, seconded by Ms. Moore, to add an item to Old Business – Village Center Signs. Voted (7-0).
Approval of Minutes
A motion was made by Mr. Tuttle, seconded by Mr. Goff, to approve the minutes of the Town Council Special Meeting and Regular Meeting of October 11, 2011 as written. Voted (5-0-1). Ms. Weintraub abstained as she was not present at the October 11th meetings.
Nikki O’Neill, 53 Meeks Point Road, congratulated the Council on a job well done. She commented that the town usually sees low turnout for elections and hopes the turnout will be higher. She quoted her late husband Governor William O’Neill - “Distortion will fail. Truth will prevail”.
John Hines, South Main Street, said goodbye to the Council members and noted that he appreciates their point of view even though he doesn’t always agree with them.
Nelson Maurice, Mallard Cove, thanked the Council for their part in the construction of the Senior Center expansion/renovation.
Peter Brown, 76 Barton Hill Road, thanked the Council for their work and thanked them for providing the opportunity for public comment on their agendas.
Update on Congregational Church Parking Lot:
Anne McKinney and Town Attorney Jean D’Aquila met with representatives of the Congregational Church to discuss the agreement regarding the parking lot. The church is asking for funding assistance for snow plowing as well as a clear understanding with the town about the use of the parking lot including Center School. This item will be brought back to Council when the agreement is ready to be finalized.
Discussion on Designated Smoking Areas at Sears Park:
The Council had asked for designated smoking areas within Sears Park. The Parks & Recreation Advisory Board recommended that Sears Park be a non-smoking location. After discussions with Ruth Plummer, Parks & Recreation Director, Attorney D’Aquila prepared an ordinance and a policy for designated non-smoking areas within the park. If the Council wants to be able to enforce the non-smoking then the ordinance is the better choice as it allows for the issuance of infraction tickets to violators. The Council discussed whether the ordinance/policy should be for designated smoking areas vs. non-smoking areas. The Council decided that the policy would be adopted at this time and if needed in the future the ordinance could be considered.
A motion was made by Mr. Tuttle, seconded by Ms. Weintraub, to adopt the policy for No Smoking Areas to be Designated within Sears Park. The policy will be included in the minutes filed in the Town Clerk’s office. Voted (5-2) Ms. Moore and Mr. Goff voted against.
Village Center Signing:
Ms. Weintraub reported that business owners in the Village Center have asked for additional signage indicating that there are businesses in the center. Ms. Weintraub presented an idea for a sign to be placed on the East Hampton sign at the intersection of Route 66 and Main Street. Ms. Engel suggested placing a similar sign at the top of Main Street near Route 16. The Council is in support of the signage idea. The sample signs will be sent to the Economic Development Commission.
Discussion of Sears Park Sticker Sales:
Town Clerk Sandra Wieleba requested that the sales of Sears Park stickers be removed from the Town Clerk’s office. She reviewed the volume of duties performed by the Town Clerk’s office during the months that Sears Park stickers are sold. Director of Parks & Recreation, Ruth Plummer, noted that the stickers are also sold at the Parks & Recreation office, the public library and the Police Department. The Council discussed possible new ways to sell the stickers.
A motion was made by Mr. Goff, seconded by Ms. Moore, to remove the purchase of Sears Park stickers from the Town Clerk’s office. Voted (7-0). The Town Manager will review and make the determination of which departments will sell the stickers going forward.
Police Department Overtime:
Ms. Engel reviewed overtime for the Police Department for the last two pay periods. She noted that Sgt. Green is out on paid administrative leave and Sgt. Dowty is away at training. She asked that Ms. McKinney review Police Department overtime. There were also questions regarding two open positions in the Police Department. Scheduling will also be reviewed.
Report of Acting Interim Town Manager
Anne McKinney reported the following:
- Wendy Regan, Director of Youth & Family/Social Services, completed a program for healthy teens and strong families.
- CT Magazine rated East Hampton #10 in their November, 2011 issue.
- The Memorial School oil tank is completed and was done under budget.
- The generator at the Fire House is complete and the roof is being worked on.
- Animal Control officers will be doing random surveys of homes in town for dog licensing and vaccinations. This is allowed under State Statute 22-349 and 22-338.
- She is still researching the Hog Hill drainage issue.
- She spoke with Mr. Quinlan from CL&P and a meeting will be set up soon.
- She spoke with Mr. Weichsel last week. He was home recovering.
- The Senior Center is awaiting final approval on a 2007 fourteen passenger van for the Seniors.
Bids & Contracts
Award Contract for Performing Arts Gazebo at Sears Park:
A motion was made by Mr. Tuttle, seconded by Mr. Cordeiro, to award the contract for architectural services for the Sears Park Performing Arts Gazebo to Cheryl Newton Architects for their proposal amount of $12,500. Voted (7-0).
Ms. McKinney recommended appointments for the Economic Development Commission, Chatham Health District Board and the Conservation-Lake Commission as noted in the following motion:
A motion was made by Mr. Goff, seconded by Mr. Cordeiro, to appoint Jon March, Jamie Bell and Mimi Perrotti to the Economic Development Commission; Dick Edmonds to the Chatham Health District Board and Joseph Mercieri to the Conservation-Lake Commission as an alternate.
A motion was made by Mr. Cordeiro, seconded by Mr. Tuttle, to appoint the following individuals as noted below. Voted (7-0).
Robert Petell – Commission on Aging – Term through December 31, 2014
Patricia Dufour – Commission on Aging - Alternate – Term through December 31, 2014
Sheila Tomlinson-Earl – Arts & Cultural Commission – Term through December 31, 2013
Sue Greeno – Commission on Aging – Term through December 31, 2012
David Williams – CT River Assembly – Alternate – Term through December 31, 2014
Robert Talbot – Inland Wetland Watercourse Agency – Alternate – Term through June 1, 2012
Joseph Mercieri – Housing Code Board of Appeals – Term through December 31, 2016
A motion was made by Mr. Goff, seconded by Mr. Cordeiro, to reappoint the following individuals as noted below. Voted (7-0).
Richard Brown – Board of Fire Commissioners – Term through December 31, 2014
Dean Michelson – Board of Fire Commissioners – Term through December 31, 2014
Mark Lorah – Inland Wetland Watercourse Agency – Term through June 1, 2014
David Boule – Inland Wetland Watercourse Agency – Term through June 1, 2014
Joshua Wilson – Inland Wetland Watercourse Agency – Term through June 1, 2014
Gary Aubin – Northern Middlesex County Cable TV – Term through June 30, 2013
Charles Roberts – Middle Haddam Historic District – Term through December 31, 2016
Chris Dart – Middle Haddam Historic District - Alternate – Term through December 31, 2016
Len Heroux – Parks & Recreation Advisory Board – Term through December 31, 2014
Financial Statements and Transactions
End of Year Transfers (FY 2010-2011):
A motion was made by Mr. Cordeiro, seconded by Ms. Moore, to approve the 2010-2011 end of year budget transfers as recommended by Board of Finance on October 17, 2011. Voted (7-0). The listing of transfers will be included with the minutes filed in the Town Clerk’s office.
Special Education Excess Cost Grant Additional Appropriation $794,490 (FY 2010-2011):
A motion was made by Mr. Cordeiro, seconded by Mr. Tuttle, to approve the additional appropriations for the Board of Education as recommended by the Board of Finance on October 17, 2011. Voted (7-0). The listing of transfers will be included with the minutes filed in the Town Clerk’s office.
Transfer to Capital Improvement Fund (#50) for Radio Replacement Project ($209,000) (FY 2010-2011):
A motion was made by Ms. Moore, seconded by Mr. Goff, to transfer $209,000 to the Capital Reserve Fund for radio equipment upgrades as recommended by the Board of Finance on October 17, 2011. Voted (7-0). The listing of accounts to be transferred to/from will be included with the minutes filed in the Town Clerk’s office.
A motion was made by Mr. Goff, seconded by Ms. Carillo, to approve tax refunds in the amount of $679.53. Voted (7-0).
Communications, Correspondence & Announcements
Mr. Goff noted that he saw the new Park & Recreation Fall/Winter brochure. He is hopeful that the brochures can be distributed earlier as some of the programs have already finished.
Ms. Weintraub brought in two bags of mulch from the Transfer Station. They are the product of the leaves composted there and the brush that is chipped. The mulch is available for free and can be delivered by Public Works free of charge.
Ms. Engel asked that Ms. McKinney research the usage of town owned cell phones for personal use. Ms. Weintraub noted that maybe training for staff is needed.
Dale Maynard, Quiet Woods Road, commented that it is unfortunate that town employees need to come before Council to discuss system issues.
Ann McLaughlin, 85 North Main Street, thanked the Council for the appointments to the Commission on Aging. She is hopeful a letter will be put in the paper regarding all of the appointments.
John Hines, South Main Street, asked if it is true that East Hampton is funding an officer on the cold case duty in Rocky Hill. Ms. Engel noted she is not aware of this.
Bunny Simko, Long Hill Road, asked how many regular hours per week the police officers patrol. She expressed her concern for the officer’s ability to work such long hours per week with the amount of overtime that was discussed earlier in the meeting.
Lori Wilcox, 4 Hawthorne Road, thanked the Council for removing the fee for leaves at the Transfer Station. She also asked why the mulch at the Transfer Station is not sold. Ms. Weintraub noted there are liability issues if it is sold as opposed to giving it away.
Fran Klein, Bellevue Street, thanked the Council members. She commented that it was uncomfortable to hear staff members ironing out an issue. She feels it should be handled internally.
Jack Lanzi, 38 Walnut Avenue, thanked the East Hampton Little League that hosted the fall baseball teams.
Janice Cavanaugh, Hog Hill Road, commented on Sgt. Green’s leave with pay and the police department.
Ms. Engel responded to Ms. Simko regarding the number of regular hours worked by the police officers appears to be 40 per week but this will be checked into.
Ms. McKinney responded to the comment regarding the staff bringing issues to Council. She is meeting with all staff members to identify issues and working on the issues with the department heads.
Council Member Commentary
Each Town Council member provided a brief commentary of their service on the Council.
Discussion of permanent signs for High School sports championships.
A motion was made by Mr. Goff, seconded by Mr. Cordeiro, to adjourn the regular meeting at 8:15 p.m. Voted (7-0).