Friday, June 30, 2017

As One of the administrators of this blog i feel it's time to only allow posts that are of a civil nature without name calling and insults from the people who post comments.
The past comments and also some blog posts have shown to be from hast and will be no longer tolerated.
As my uncle Pauly said to me shut it down if it is not what you think it should be.
Please read it but comments will be restricted if allowed at all.
A total shut down of this blog will be done if it is whats best for Templeton.
Thank you!

After Davey apparently removed a comment from a blog, he posted the above comment, so watch how he responds here.
I wonder if Davey will practice what he seems to be preaching? 

posted by Jeff Bennett
So if you check out some history, the Massachusetts Attorney General approved members of the Advisory Board/Committee as "special municipal employees" whatever the intention of that was and if that has never been rescinded, well, I may have to investigate using my MCAD (Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination) training to good use. Being over 45 (60 yrs old) being a Veteran, I am feeling I am being picked on by our BOS (along with trying to limit my free speech rights and to deny the publication of public information) I will have to look down that road.

Unlike someone else, I will not shut this blog down because someone does not like it. No political buy off here. No freebies buy off here, no "be a good little employee" here. The publication of material having to do with our government and the right to criticize that government in many ways is too important. I would hope someone who is serving Templeton by way of an elected position would understand and remember that as they may read a part of the United States Declaration of Independence around the 4th of July.

posted by Jeff Bennett

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The electronic machine must be back up and running because Advisory just received a budget versus actual via email! A request for financial transfers to pay the snow and ice deficit (charge card) in the amount of $131,800.00.

Reasons given for this large deficit are three factors: an extremely harsh winter, the expense of making winter sand while not planning for it in the fiscal year 2017 budget and excessive repairs on aging equipment.

(Hey, I traded in my 1991 plow truck for a 1997 truck, I am moving on up!)

Seriously, how does a highway department not plan for having sand for the winter time if that is the medium you want to use? We must remember the truck bought out of the snow and ice fund which added to the deficit.

The money will come from various funds

Town administrator salary
$   1775.00
Advisory Committee reserve
$ 36,000.00
Conservation committee assistant
$   1,500.00
Town vehicle fuel
$ 12,500.00
Fire/EMS salaries
$ 17,500.00
Police salaries
$ 45,000.00
Cemetery superintendent salary
$   7,525.00
Veterans agent salary
$  10,000.00

Total for all transfers

A note here: It is NOT the Advisory Committee reserve fund, it is the TOWN'S reserve fund and it helps with borrowing!

posted by Jeff Bennett (I never post as anonymous)

I hope the posting of this important public information does not offend anyone, and if it does, oh well.
The take away from the meeting last night with members of BOA/DLS is there is no need for Templeton to be spending 10 thousand dollars (or any amount) on the Collins institute or other entity because the Division of Local services already offers services for free. They are paid for already through state taxes. So if Templeton wishes to save some money, use the state agencies, who stated they are willing, able and available to selectmen (and others) to provide help, assistance and training.

posted by Jeff Bennett

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Hi all Advisory committee members,

For some reason we were not on distribution for the email for Open Meeting Law and Conflict of Interest Law documents when they were sent in March.  Please take some time to fill out this paper work and send the required forms to the Town Clerk. I will followup at the July 12th 2017 committee meeting as an additional reminder.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Richard Curtis <>
Date: Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 9:29 AM
Subject: Conflict of Interest / Open Meeting Law 2017
Cc: "townclerk" <>

It appears that I left your Board off the mailing list when I sent out the 2017 Open Meeting Law and Conflict of Interest Law materials in mid-March. Please read Attachment #1, which gives instructions of how to complete this process.
Please have all Advisory Board Members send in the acknowledgement form (COI) and certificate of receipt form (OML) to the Town Clerk no later than July 10, 2017.
If you have questions concerning this process, feel free to call me.
Richard Curtis, EMD
1 Elm Street
Baldwinville, MA 01436
(978) 580-6620
Rich Curtis was designated/volunteered to be  the Town liaison for this (these) items.

Pound this - as an FYI:

According to the general by-laws of Templeton/ capital planning/improvement:

Article XLII - Capital Planning By-Law:

Section 2: Committe duties:
To facilitate the reasonable acquisition and replacement of capital items (defined as assets and projects with a useful life of five years and a cost of MORE than $10,000.00.)

So, if say the board of selectmen vote to allow highway to spend up to $10,000.00 for say a snow plow, does that need to go before capital planning? Now, if the amount spent on a snow plow ends up at say $8,500.00, was this by-law violated? I think not!

Interesting to read further on;

It is the intent of this by-law that all capital improvements requested by a town department or board should be considered in the committee's report before presentation to the Town for appropriation. That would be Town Meeting, so what if a purchase does not go before Town Meeting? Does that item still need to go before capital planning? Since the language is should rather than must or shall, it indicates that it is not a must requirement, more like a recommendation, in my opinion.

posted by Jeff bennett

Monday, June 26, 2017

RE: is this a violation of open meeting law
Fri 6/23, 9:33 AM
You forwarded this message on 6/23/2017 9:31 PM

Fri 6/23, 9:33 AM

Good morning Mr. Bennett,

Thank you for your email.

Our office is not able to say whether or not a violation has occurred unless an Open Meeting Law complaint has first been filed with the public body. However, I am happy to answer any questions you have about the Open Meeting Law. Which aspect of the posting requirements do you think the Templeton Board of Selectmen violated?

Kaitlin Maher
Paralegal, Division of Open Government

Apparently, someone in the selectmen's office considered it a possible violation so they changed the meeting date to conform with the law, selectmen, you are welcome.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Templeton selectmen should be thanking concerned Templeton resident Jeff Bennett for helping the selectmen avoid an open meeting law violation - failure to follow open meeting law guidelines with regards to how to properly post a public meeting.

posted by Jeff Bennett
The blue bird is out and about, and it said a treasurer/collector could be headed to Templeton, with a paper trail of experience and certification. Also, piles of paper work that is NOT needed in Templeton.
Resignations, asked for and volunteered, questions and clouds following, along with a sigh from DOR, "oh no" and the merry go round goes round and round. Next up - OMLV paperwork.

Templeton could possibly soon have a new "first family", we shall see.

So, with the 38 hour work hours in Town Hall that is suppose to be in effect, does that mean people only get 38 hours vacation time?  Perhaps Templetn should just go back to Town Hall open five days per week, Monday to Friday and have 8 hour days, eliminating these hourly problems.

posted by Jeff Bennett

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Selectmen finally ad "public comment" item to agenda, per their own policies and procedures. To bad it was done to an agenda that was posted finally at 10:23 P.M. Thursday evening, past the 48 minimum requirement per the Open Meeting Law. The public comment item was added on Friday Morning at 11:36 A.M. So here is a pat on the back selectmen for a job well done . . .sort of!

from the AG's Open Meeting Law guide:

Meeting notices must be posted in a legible, easily understandable format; contain the date, time, and place of the meeting; and list all topics that the chair reasonably anticipates, 48 hours in advance, will be discussed at the meeting.  The list of topics must be sufficiently specific to reasonably inform the public of the issues to be discussed at the meeting.  Where there are no anticipated topics for discussion in open session other than the procedural requirements for convening an executive session, the public body should list “open session” as a topic, in addition to the executive session, so the public is aware that it has the opportunity to attend and learn the basis for the executive session. 

The finally posted agenda has items 1, 2, 3, 4a thru 4q, then 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 adjourn. The Town Administrator weekly report posted earlier in the day has references to those 4a - 4q items, indicating some knowledge of what was going to be included at the next open meeting of selectmen on June 26, 2017. So, why was the meeting not posted until Thursday evening past the 48 hour rule? Is this another case of selectmen snubbing rules, procedures and the law? Is this an open meeting law violation. Could that be a $1,000.00 fine? We shall see.

posted by Jeff Bennett

Friday, June 23, 2017

One task of the Advisory Committee, discussed and voted on by all members.
In my opinion, which I believe I am still entitled to have, is this is another example of interference by the office of the Board of Selectmen and is one reason I believe, the jabs will continue, from this individual anyway. Don't like me, don't like being written about and on and on, fine, but a report of a Committee that involves the accounting of public, taxpayer monies needs to be reported as submitted, as it was written and completed, in my opinion. If the original report had been included in the fiscal year 2016 annual town report that was handed out at the May 2017 elections, this would not even be mentioned here today and beyond.


At the Advisory Committee meeting on June 21, 2017 a review of the FY16 issued Advisory Committee's annual report compared to your edited version was done,  The conclusion of the committee was that the submitted report be the one that is issued and not your edited version.  As the committee's report is a public document it is not subject to be edited by anyone other than the public body from which it is being issued.  In addition, the edited version does not include the transfers brought before the committee which were reviewed/discussed and were not approved.  Excluding them from the report would be in violation of the Town By-law Article IV  SEC 6.

Again, the attachment is the Advisory Committee  FY16 annual report being resubmitted to be included in the revised Town annual report.

Wilfred Spring
Advisory Committee Chairman

posted by Jeff Bennett
Want to see a Town website that is easy and citizen/taxpayer friendly, take a look at the Town of Athol, which uses the same website service as Templeton but with much better service (in my opinion and thought - watch out for the thought police)

Welcome to the Sunshine Page! 

Here the Town seeks to offer more convenient access to information about Athol's operations and finances.  You will find information about Athol's budget, key contracts, various reports and policy documents, and a link to ClearGov where you can compare Athol's finances with other communities in the Commonwealth.  Note: The Town's governing documents (Charter, Zoning and General Bylaws) can be accessed from the home page or by clicking here.
I hope this information helpful, but, you can always reach me with questions concerning Town operations by emailing  I try to respond to all inquiries within two business days.  Thank you!
Shaun A. Suhoski, Town Manager

posted by Jeff Bennett
If you wish to see what a Town face book page can or should look like, go no further than the Town of Hubbardston, MA. Well done by the Huddbardston selectmen!

An example of content from Hubbardston Town face book page - Selectmen meeting info, what a concept, informative and assistance to constituents. 

The Board of Selectmen will be taking questions during their meeting Monday, June 26th, which will be answered during the Public/Press question & answer section at the end of the meeting. If you have a question/comment/concern that you would like to have the Board address, please email it to the Town Administrator at or in the comments section on the Town of Hubbardston Facebook page notice, along with your street address.
Questions will be taken until 6:00pm Tuesday evening. The Board will try to address as many as time permits. Profanity, derogatory comments, and/or personal attacks will not be read or tolerated.

posted by Jeff Bennett
Winchendon hires Burlington company Streetscan to find it would take 60.2 million dollars to get all of the roads in that Town nice and smooth, bump free etc. The study was conducted with a high-tech van using ground penetrating technology to come up with a list of roads by condition. Apparently, a little over two thirds of the Town's roads are in fair, poor, very poor, or serious condition. The rest are good or excellent. Winchendon is suppose to receive just under $444,000.00 in chapter 90 monies from the state.

Perhaps using Winchendon management to oversee Templeton would not be such a bad idea!

posted by Jeff Bennett
What got the ball rolling:

Sort of like the former selectman JEFF BENNETT sitting on the Insurance Advisory Committee.
Should he have known or was he just stepping over MGL when he wanted to?
Should he have checked the procedures? After i meeting he was removed and things were straightened out. Hard to see the trees in the forest?
The more we look the more we will see in Templeton.

little Davey I was voted on the IAC by a vote of the Advisory Committee which was following the Towns by-laws. When I was voted on the IAC, that made the BOS office "nervous so effort was made to see if they could keep me off. MGL and the Town by-law seemed to conflict even though the by-law had been approved by the attorney general of the state. I do not know if anyone ever checked to see if the Town by law was incorrect or not. I never did and because of that, the AC agreed or surmised that there would no longer be a member of the committee on the IAC, got it. little Davey pretty quiet on Templeton light & water. bought off by the powers at be by way of Light buying things for highway. wait til we see what was bought by snow & ice.

Advisory Committee meeting of April 14, 2016 - Insurance Advisory Committee appointment:
Motion by Wil Spring
Second by  Bev Bartolomeo
five members present - yes all for Jeff Bennett as representative from Advisory Committee to insurance advisory committee. First meeting on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 per Templeton Town bylaw that had been approved by the Attorney General.

So, is correcting the misrepresentation of facts an open meeting law violation?
 I will be waiting to hear.

posted by Jeff Bennett
from the Town Administrator report of 6/22/2017

n. After checking with your various schedules for availability I have scheduled a joint meeting with the Winchendon BoS for 07/27 at 7p in Winchendon Town Hall to discuss the opportunities for programmatic and management sharing.

Public Works Highway Department: Removed branches, stumps and loamed/seeded where trees were cut. The brush mower continues to mow road side areas thru out town. Re-Patched the pot hole under the bridge on Central St., water seems to be under mining the patch. We also patched in various other areas on Brooks Rd. and Baldwinville Rd. The Sweeper worked in the area of Barre Rd, Harley Hill, Henshaw and Stone Bridge, and continued to Minuteman and Musket. Approximately 15 Ton of milling put out on Claire Dr. to help even out the roughness in the road. This effort will continue as the winter took its toll on the surface of the road. The director attended the conservation meeting on Monday night to address the situation on Cottage lane. On Tuesday Alan attended the Elementary school meeting seeking info on the ONE WAY and RADIUS changes. Parts for the H7 and H9 ten wheelers are on hand and those two vehicles should be returned to the fleet. Alan reached out to the Light and Water department about obtaining their used bucket truck to replace the one that is out of service @ the highway barn. The meeting was positive in respect to the light and water will be upgrading in the Spring and would be open to surplus their 2006 to the highway department in the spring. The options to repair the 2001 truck are expensive, New motor ~$12,000.00, Rebuilt out sourced ~$8,000.00 and rebuild in-house ~$2000. Since the feeling from the Light & Water department is favorable that they would surplus the 2006 to us, we will be putting a small amount ($2k+/-) into the truck to get it running. This bucket truck is vital to highway for emergency storm and tree related issues.

posted by Jeff Bennett

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Just a little late - again!

Screen shots make a pretty picture with time and date - Jeff Bennett
Templeton Board of Selectmen
Town Hall, 160 Patriots Road, East Templeton
Monday, June 26, 2017, 6:30 p.m.

1. Call the Meeting to Order

2. Pledge of Allegiance

3. Meeting Minutes~ 6.12.17

4. New Business: 
a. Introduction of New Employee
b. Discussion Re: 06/28 w/DOR (portions w/Advisory Committee)
c. Action RE: Representative to MPO
d. Action RE: Annual Appointments
e. Action RE: Otter River Sportsman’s One-Day Licenses
f. Action RE: Open Space Plan Submission to the State
g. Action RE: Open Space Grant Re: Land Acquisition at TDC
h. Action RE: BoS member to attend Advisory Committee Meetings
i. Action RE: FY ’17 Budget Transfer Request(s)
j. Action RE: Response to OML Complaint of J. Farrell
k. Action RE: Response to OML Complaint of R. May
l. Action RE: Filing of OML Complaint #1 w/Advisory Committee 
m. Action RE: Filing of OML Complaint #2 w/Advisory Committee
n. Action RE: Memo of TA Re: Options to Fill Position
o. Update RE: Town Website Renewal Project
p. Update RE: Scholarship Committee
q. Update RE: Audit Workpaper Review/Approval

5. Old Business:

6. Board & Staff Member Comments & Reports 

7. Potential Request for Executive Session

8. Adjournment

The listing of Agenda items is those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent it is permitted by law.
Scheduled By:the automatic scheduling system
Posted At: June 13, 2017 6 AM EDT
Last Modified: June 22, 2017 10:18 PM EDT
Minutes:Minutes are not on record with the Town Clerk's office

41.06: Excess and Deficiency Funds

(1)  Every regional school district shall maintain an excess and deficiency fund on its books of account. At the end of every fiscal year, any surplus or deficit in the district's general fund shall be closed to the excess and deficiency fund.
(2)  On or before October 31 of each year, every regional school district shall submit to the Department of Revenue the forms and schedules as the Department of Revenue requires for the purpose of reviewing and certifying the balance in the regional school district's excess and deficiency fund. At the discretion of the Commissioner, the Department may withhold release of all or some part of the quarterly state school aid for the regional school district if the regional school district has not filed the required forms and schedules by such date.
(3)  A regional school committee may use all or part of the certified balance in the excess and deficiency fund as a revenue source for its proposed budget. If the certified balance exceeds five percent of the proposed budget, the regional school committee shall use the amount in excess of five percent as a revenue source for its proposed budget.

the above from 603 CMR 41:00
Seems to be the business of the school committee.

posted by Jeff Bennett

29.03: Notice Posting Requirements

(1) Requirements Applicable to All Public Bodies
(a) Except in an emergency, public bodies shall file meeting notices sufficiently in advance of a public meeting to permit posting of the notice at least 48 hours in advance of the public meeting, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, in accordance with M.G.L. c. 30A, sec. 20. In an emergency, the notice shall be posted as soon as reasonably possible prior to such meeting.

perhaps there was a computer error but it seems the no subject meeting agenda means there is no meeting or it will be an emergency meeting? Wonder how that rolls? Oh, the superior Board, that must be it. And the wheels go round and round.

posted by Jeff Bennett
A busy day indeed

Good Day Paul:

As requested, the Chair has placed this on the agenda of 06/26.  However, he notes that it most likely cannot be the type of “working session” that the Advisory Committee might envision given that this is a regular business session for the Board.  There will be a limited amount of time (10+/- minutes) available in order to allow for the Board to act upon the many other matters before it that evening.  Further, he wanted to advise you that given the so-called “work-out” plan contained in the memo on the Audit exit meeting with DOR and their setting forth of further specific expectations on page 5 of their letter of May 23, his sense of the 06/28 meeting is that it may well prove to be more of a listening session for the Town than anything else.  With that he looks forward to seeing you on 06/26 and 06/28.

Many Thanks

Carter Terenzini
Interim Town Administrator
Town of Templeton
160 Patriots Road
East Templeton, MA 01438

The posting for a selectmen meeting copy/paste here at 8:15 P.M.

Information for Meeting of Board of Selectmen
Monday June 26, 2017 6:30 PM EDT

Town:Templeton, MA 
Board:Board of Selectmen
Time:Monday June 26, 2017 6:30 PM EDT
Location:Town Hall
160 Patriots Rd., East Templeton, MA 01438
Conference Room
Scheduled By:the automatic scheduling system
Posted At:Jun 13, 2017 6 AM EDT
Last Modified:Jun 13, 2017 6 AM EDT
Minutes:Minutes are not on record with the Town Clerk's office

posted by Jeff Bennett
Eatch your mouth kids could be reading and learning how to hide and take pot shots at the people who have saved them money. You forget i saved all TMLP ratepayers 12.00 per year when i pointed out the customer charges were never there prior to the 1st time in 2009.
But go ahead buy 2 more packs of smokes and enjoy.
At least my big mouth is worth something you nameless drone

Yes davey, you saved the residents $12.00 on their light bill so they could send that money into the town by way of taxes so you can have free tee shirts and such. Nice job!    

posted by Jeff Bennett