Saturday, October 7, 2017

TO: Board of Selectmen
FROM: Carter Terenzini, Town Administrator
RE: Administrator’s Weekly Report
DATE: October 5, 2017
CC: All Departments

Important Notices 
If you are one of the Department’s where your employees got a wage adjustment as of 10/02/17; Please be sure to have completed your conversations with them ASAP. 
Positions Now Open: DPW - Highway: Laborer/Truck Driver 
BoS Workshop 10/16 to review Draft Warrant. Please plan to attend if you have an article. 
As of the requested date of 10/02 for staff articles, we had about 12. 
As of today, we do not have any citizen petitioned warrant articles.

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.

4.i.(1) This is the latest Draft after addressing concerns coming out of your 10/02, a final review with UMass, and a final re-read. We believe it is ready for adoption as is. That said, do please understand that we will need to - in the near future - add a section to accommodate some of our more day to day procedures (i.e. as the Electronic & Bad Check Policy, petty cash, and the like). Please also understand that while we continue to make great progress some of this is aspirational given our current state. That is to say that - rather than putting target dates in numerous places - we simply need to have you - in your adoption vote - get this onto the public record. Weekly Report: With no changes coming from the participants, I was able to finalize the memo on our meeting with DOR for you. I’ve been working with team leaders Carol Harris and Mike Branley (TA of Swansea, NH) on final preparations for the assessment center for our Management Fellow this coming Tuesday. Work with Alan to finalize a preferred DPW fleet and capital planning continued as did work with U-Mass Collins to finalize the Financial Policies Draft coming out of your 10/02 workshop. We received the contract boilerplate for the Police Contract and hope to have it out to bid by next week. Our "free cash" has been certified for the General Fund at $1,042,588 and the Sewer Fund at $743,735. With this in hand I can now finalize the several warrant articles we need for clean-up and FY ’18. With the construction of the school getting ever close I worked with ODS on how to pay our Inspectors for this extraordinary project which is not covered by the base annual compensation. We have lost one of our Seasonal Laborers (In Training to become a Laborer/Truck Driver). We will re-advertise but are very concerned over our recruitment efforts given our very low starting wages (less than $15/hr for a CDL). The Daymill remanded hearing will be held on November 1, 2017.

 Public Works 
Highway Department: Some cold patching done on Royalston Rd. Brooks Rd, Hamlet Mill, Sunrise and Henshaw Rd. Millings from Rt 68 were hauled to Gilman Waite Field. More sand brought from the Pit to the bard for use this winter. We are cleaning up, repairing and applying a coat of enamel paint to the plows in preparation for the winter plowing season. Catch basins were rebuilt on Red Fox crossing and hot topping added to Ladder Hill and Partridgeville Rd. Some roadside mowing was done on Carruth, Phillipston Rd and Queen Lake Roads. The mechanic is installing the new sander in H16. He also repaired a corroded transmission line in one of the COA vans. Our general use pickup truck has been red lined because the brakes are gone. 
Buildings & Grounds: The director attended a School Building meeting, Select Board Work Shop and a class in Hadley. He is currently working on an audit of all of the playgrounds in Templeton. The crew cleaned and graded the walking path around Gilman Waite field and trimmed back the brush. We are working with an intern from Narragansett in the cemeteries and common areas; his interest is horticultural and landscaping. Grass Mowing at all buildings as well as all common areas in town. Assist was given in spreading millings @ Gilman Waite field to improve the parking area. General maintenance was done to the equipment and cleaning. Prepped an area for a burial in Green Lawn cemetery and placed a bronze marker. Flags put to half Staff for the victims of the Vegas shootings. Swings taken down @ Otter River playground and the bearing, chains and connections will be replaced.
an email response from the selectmen to Advisory Committee. The committee wanted to be on the agenda of a selectmen meeting to talk about the roles and responsibilities of the Advisory Committee. The following is the answer received:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Selectman Caplis <>
Date: Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 9:16 AM
Subject: Fwd: request from Advisory Committee
To:, Wilfred Spring <>, Diane Haley Brooks <>,



I’m really not sure what you are seeking.  It seems to me that the roles are fairly well laid out in that the TA proposes a budget to us, we finalize it to send to you and then you make recommendations to us (if you have some before we finalize it) and then to the Town Meeting.  At this time the BoS expects an estimate of revenues from the staff at its workshop of 11/6, a presentation from the TA of his proposed budget on 2/26/18 and workshops in March with a goal of giving you its budget to you on or before April 9th (possibly even March 26th).   We intend to invite you to each of these meetings and will give you the final schedule once we adopt it (possibly as early as 10/10).

If you have want some columns added to the spreadsheets for your use, or something else along those lines, I’m sure the TA will accommodate you if you let him know. 

Let me know if there is something else we can do.

John Caplis

'I am sure the TA will accomodate you?" Hate to bring this to anyone's attention, but that added column is in the Templeton Town by-laws, you know, those policies and procedures for running the Town!

First off, I wish the debate (s) that happen here, on other blogs or mediums would happen at Town meeting. I wish selectmen would not use any means available to stifle or outright stop that debate. If you do not think that happens, you need to watch one town meeting where selectmen Brooks did exactly that. The possible debate involved the new school and perhaps a good portion of the "talk" concerning the school (s) could have been dealt with if that debate had been allowed to take place. Of course, some of the blame for a lack of town meeting debate has to land at the feet of the citizens who go to Town Meeting. Rather than talk about a bedroom community or not, perhaps we should really talk about how do we want to operate this entity called Templeton? Do we want an open Town Meeting or not? Do we want a representative form of Town Meeting? Do we want selectmen making the decisions or do we stand by while one individual seems to run things? Where is that full time one individual by the way? Rather than start at the middle of the book, lets start at the beginning, where is the full time Town Administrator/ Where is the certified, experienced Town Treasurer/Collector?  Do you know one person meeting that criteria applied for the position of collector/treasurer with municipal experience but was passed over for someone with no municipal experience. What could the reason be for not hiring an experienced, previously certified treasurer/collector? I am not a conspiracy theory guy but that is an interesting question.

Back on the schools, three things come to mind; 1. having a conversation with a previous school superintendent, I asked about the leaking roof at Templeton Center school and why it was not repaired? answer: "We did not think we could get a new school if the roof was not leaking"
2. The regional school agreement contains an item where if any repair is over $5,000.00, it is the responsibility of the town, a few years back, the district did several different repairs to the schools and then lumped them together and presented a bill for about $12,000.00 so those repairs would not have to come from the school budget. That superintendent now or was employed west of Templeton.
3. There were several questions for a debt exclusion to replace the roof at Templeton Center over the years, from a "low" of about $75,000.00 up to about $175,000.00. All of those were rejected by towns people at Town Meeting, so the people have to admit failing to provide funds for the often talked about maintenance of buildings.