Sunday, May 20, 2018

Okay, here is a math problem for you:

Templeton local required contribution . . . . . . . . . . . . $4,385,110.00
additional appropriation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,272,179.00
Templeton transportation difference . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $   675,463.00
debt service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $   417,911.00
Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $6,750,663.00

Now, from Templeton Town Meeting:
 warrant article # 33  NRHS district . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $6,332,752.00

to pay NRHS district for educating, transporting students and capital and debt expenses.

Is the debt expense included in the motion dollar figure presented by the selectmen?

I guess the answer will be, no problem, we will do it over in the fall.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Not so fast . . . . . it just may be a Grand Illusion!

Looking at the Town web site to look at recently posted Moderator Rules for the up coming Templeton Annual Town Meeting. The rules in part state that materials placed on the table have been pre approved.

It further states If you would like to make such materials available to Town Meeting members, please submit them to me for approval at least 48 hours before the start of Town Meeting.

It states you can drop off these material to the Templeton Police department.????

After reading an email from the moderator to a couple of people with the same reply which contains the following:

"I absolutely have the authority to determine what is or is not allowed at the town meeting. For example you or anyone else is not allowed to smoke or bring any alcohol or firearms to the town meeting. Town Meeting Time page 136."

So I contacted the Moderators Association and purchased a copy of Town Meeting Times for $25.00.
Came in the mail on Saturday and I quickly turned to page 136 to see what it says.

I found that chapter 9, with a subject of Debate, begins on page 134 and goes to page 138. On page 136, the only reference to any rule or power of the moderator I found was at the bottom of the page;

"Carlyle not withstanding, ("the substitution of tobacco smoke for parliamentary eloquence is by some held to be a great improvement"), with a footnote 9. it is improper (footnote 10) and in Massachusetts, illegal to smoke or carry intoxicating liquor in a town meeting (footnote 11)

Looking at the footnotes, #11 states Mass. Gen. Laws, c. 54, section 73. Note that this empowers the moderator to cause the offender to be removed, but not confined.

This seems to state that rather than having the authority to determine what is or is not allowed at Town Meeting, it simply gives the moderator the authority to have one removed from the meeting for violating the law or a rule.

There may be a copy of Town Meeting Times available for reading at a library. You can always buy a copy or perhaps the moderator will allow you to read his copy and read page 136 for yourself.

I will have my copy at Town Meeting.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

TO: Board of Selectmen
FROM: Carter Terenzini, Town Administrator
RE: Administrator’s Weekly Report
DATE: May 10, 2018
CC: All Departments ______________________________________________________________________________ ANNUAL TOWN MEETING, SATURDAY, MAY 19, 2018, 9:00 A.M. @ NRSD GYM

Important Notice to All Departments 
Job Openings: Seasonal Laborer (DPW) & Laborer/Truck Driver (DPW), 

Business Meeting or Workshop: The following is intended to supplement agenda items where a full memorandum may not have been required or updates are needed.

6. b. This is to recognize the very positive contribution to our organization of the four interns we have working with us this semester.

6. d. As you now know, the auditorium normally used for Town Meeting is not available to us. After lengthy discussions and on-site review, the recommendation is to move it to the Gymnasium of the High School. While it is in the same building complex it - unfortunately - has a separate street address (#464 versus the warned #462 Baldwinville). We are advised such a move requires a joint decision of the BoS and Town Moderator. This is to hear the formal recommendation of the Moderator and Clerk and hear the steps that will be taken to advise the public and ensure an orderly carrying out of the move.

6. e. This is to adopt a meeting calendar for FY 2019. It includes an expanded and pre-set number of meetings for the budget process. As discussed previously it is based upon the recommendation to move your meeting nights to Wednesday. This has several advantages. It avoids the need to reschedule around any of the Monday holiday conflicts. In fact, I am told that there are no holiday reschedules in this calendar. It means you are here on Wednesday nights to sign warrants avoiding the need for you to make extra trips and avoiding the likelihood we are lacking a needed signature as we face any timelines to release checks. Finally, by moving to a fiscal year calendar each board gets to set its own schedule at its annual organizational meeting.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018


On the $3.75 monthly customer charge, this increased from $3.00 to $3.75 on January 1, 2018.  The extra $0.75 per month per residential electric customer will cover the cost of our new AMI system over a 20-year depreciation schedule.  The customer charge covers the cost to read customer’s meter, produce an electric bill, mail the electric bill to the customer and process their electric payment 12 times per year.

The electrical work on Elm St going on is an aerial cable replacement of some wire put up in the early 1980s with gray covering.  Historically this gray-colored aerial cable has had problems with flashovers and has led to power outages.  The 1,200’ of gray cable left on Elm St will be the last of it in town.  A few years ago we replaced about 10,000’ of the same type of cable on Patriots Rd from JBM down to Lawrence Place over a 3-year period.  The new aerial cables are all colored black.

John M Driscoll
General Manager

Templeton Municipal Light & Water Plant
86 Bridge Street, P.O. Box 20
Baldwinville, MA 01436
Phone   (978) 939-5323 x11
Fax       (978) 939-4309

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Do you even listen to answers given to you by the person you ask ? That was asked and answered on TCTV by the Town Administor May 2 18 - he came in - sat down and listened to your committees redundant questions & pointless comments. 

I listen to the answers given by many people. If you think the questions are redundant or pointless, perhaps come to Advisory Committee meeting and explain yourself. Of course, it is hard to stay anonymous if you come and introduce yourself. 

I recall listening to people tell the select board that an article for Town Meeting had to be worded this way. So the article was presented that way and then behold, a few years later, the article had to be redone because it was done done correctly the first time. Perhaps more questions before things move forward and there would be fewer errors.

Take the question concerning the E911 grant (the fund that the audit report states is still being accounted for improperly. $106,000.00 in funds had to be re-classed from the general fund to the E911 S+I grant fund.

Perhaps more redundant questions and that situation could have been avoided. Again, if you are comfortable with changing things that may have already been addressed in a report that you paid around $10,000.00 for. Lastly, the Town was told by way of the Town Accountant that after the audits for FY 2013 through FY 2016, we now have good numbers. However, since that time, this committee that you feel asks redundant and pointless questions/comments, have found a number of errors. Through our redundant process, the Advisory Committee has gotten some explanations for these errors. Perhaps you are someone who does not care about those things, some people do care. 

Lastly, the question concerning E 911 grant accounting; a question was asked about the posted dollar figures in the monthly expenditure reports; 
March 22, 2018 shows an allocated balance of $157,606.04 with expenditure of $62,466.44 with an ending balance of $95,139.60.

April 23, 2018, expenditure report E 911 grant shows allocation of $197,874.96 with expended $62,466.44 with an ending balance of $135,408.52.

Answer provided:    Beginning fiscal year balance of $  78,270.58
                                revenue in FY 2018                     $119,604.38
                                expended in FY 2018                  $  62,466.44
                                Available balance                        $135,408.52 

No explanation concerning how the $157,606.04 came to be nor how it went from that to $197,874.96 on the report of April 23, 2018.   So the question will be asked again when an answer is hopefully obtained that explains that. 

There will be some openings on the Advisory Committee at the end of the up coming Annual Town Meeting.
Also, perhaps an interested party missed a board of selectmen meeting but watched the Advisory Committee meeting. Even the Town Administrator admitted he missed something when he commented about the FY 2019 spending plan book having been out there for 10 weeks. His answer was the same but with out the original clarification that was stated would happen. Better to ask the same question a few times in an attempt to get it right the first time rather than have to do it three times. You may not agree with that, oh well.
I went to Town Hall today and visited the Town Clerk's office. I asked if there were readily available Town Meeting records for 1951. There are, in old large books. There are also annual Town reports. The book I looked through went from 1940 something up to the 1960's. I found the Town Meeting warrant where many of the Town's by-laws came to be. It was voted as the Collector of taxes shall collect, under the title of Town Collector, all accounts due the Town, except interest on investments on trust funds. This means that not only sewer receipts, but light & water receipts should be collected in Town Hall by the Town Collector. (as recommended in the DOR financial review of the Town of Templeton.

I feel any confusion could be cleared up by referring to the tax collector as the Town Collector from here on out. Just as the Advisory Committee some how morphed into the Advisory Board, even though the Massachusetts General Law requiring it's creation refers to it as a committee and even the Templeton by-laws refer to it as the Advisory Committee. To this day, even a member of the Advisory Committee still calls it the Advisory Board.

Under Article V - financial affairs, section 5, refers to the Town Coordinator can sell obsolete town equipment to the highest bidder (s) with the approval of the board of selectmen.

With so many improper and conflicting by-laws, and with the codification book (s) and a CD/DVD in Town Hall, why are the selectmen so intent on messing with by-laws concerning Advisory Committee before going through the codification report which you paid around 10 thousand dollars for?

I hope the same number of people who showed up at the polls show up for Town Meeting.

Looking over the unofficial vote totals for the election in Templeton, there seems to be a good deal of voter apathy. Look at the blanks totals for all of the positions and questions. Additionally, there were three open positions with no candidates who took out papers for Cemetery, Board of Health and Housing Authority. One thing is for sure, Templeton is no longer the community with the low tax rate. I will be looking to the select board to inspire people to run and become involved. I think there will be a number of positions open on Advisory Committee this year.