Friday, October 19, 2018

We will have a presentation on the study of our roadways and the establishment of a Pavement Management System on the BoS Agenda for 10/24.  I think most folks will find it shock (how poor the roadways are when viewed through the eyes of a professional) and awe (when what we need to be spending is viewed through the eyes of a taxpayer. 

Templeton residents: When given the information on just how bad the roads are in Templeton, this will equate to shock and awe! Actually, I see how bad the goat path I live on is as I drive on it every day.

So, what will it take to get all roads in Templeton to be smooth and even? Money and lots of it, also it will require time. Where will the money come from? Look in your wallet or your bank statement or for some, check your phone. If we began to plan right now, it would be about two years before any comprehensive work could begin and it would probably be 10 years for the work and money spent to show value. Yes, there is chapter 90 funds (gas tax) and complete streets as well as CDBG funds, and maybe even green community grants;  well maintained, even roads require less time to plow and equate to less fuel spent on time to make roads safe for travel. Even some tree management might be required to open the roadways and allow the sun to warm the roads. Perhaps the selectmen have a policy to cover these subjects?

If you live on a private way, you shot yourself in the foot last night by voting down the private road (s) articles.
Bottom line is the roads will not fix themselves and it costs money and that money will come from you. One cannot eat your cake and have too! 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

John Caplis is fond of proclaiming that he is not a liar. He never lies.  Then why, when asked on more than one occasion, why the sewer department raises were not processed as voted at town meeting.  His answer was: "they were afraid that if sewer got their raises on July 1st before the other non union got theirs that others would complain"  Now he tells Sewer dept. that there would be no raises until the MCAD complaint was settled. Yet the MCAD complaint was made in part because of the raise issue.  So much for "honest John". I also do not remember Town Meeting vote being contingent on any other conditions such as performance reviews by our esteemed TA, which apparently WILL NOT happen, since the sewer employees do not report to Carter, they report to the independent elected Sewer Commissioners. You can go back and check Town Meeting votes beginning in 1994 and see identical votes creating a Sewer department enterprise fund and Water enterprise fund. Information is Light & Water non union employees got their raises on time. 

Process the sewer department raises and there would be no MCAD complaints, that would be following and honoring Town Meeting vote, that would be doing the right thing. 

Now, how about that tax increase override coming to fund the school district. Again, Templeton selectmen cried poor yet there were two tax increases in May and one proposed for this evening. A police cruiser and highway 1 ton being paid for by meals tax, tax increase for 4 EMS employees and proposed tax increase for dog licenses tonight.  There is always that "debt smoothing" item the selectmen talked about before and the new school is only costing you $1.74 per thousand. There is that $417,000.00 you are already paying and have been for over 20 years for the high school, so just keep that going and there is an extra 400K for the district, remember, it is all about the kids!

Next time you see your selectmen, ask them about that town meeting vote and sewer department raises being ignored. YOUR vote being ignored, again!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Selectman Diane Brooks states she wants to know how school choice money is spent. She wants an accounting of it. Well, I think if she wants to know about school spending, she should run for school committee. I think Templeton residents should have an accounting of how much each town employee earns but I do not see that in the annual report. Residents cannot see exactly how there money is being spent with an omnibus budget. How about selectmen give residents a clear, detailed report on those dollars first?

Begin by following the law, ask Town Meeting what kind of budget format do the people want and have a vote on it.

Give us a report on all Town employee earnings, including light & water and Sewer dept. Then explain why non union sewer dept. employees have not had their Town Meeting appropriated raises processed yet?

Sunday, October 14, 2018

TO: Board of Selectmen
FROM: Carter Terenzini, Town Administrator
RE: Administrator’s Weekly Report
DATE: October 11, 2018
CC: All Departments

Fall Town Meeting – October 18th – 7:00 p.m. 
Business Meeting or Workshop: This is to expand upon items where the attached memos may need some expansion or where a full memo was not required. 

Weekly Report: John Driscoll and I met with our MIIA representative to review our Medex rates for January. It will be flat at 0% over the 6% estimate we had used in the budget. Some of this comes from a savings change in the RX formulary. We worked with Town Counsel and others to finalize the motions and summaries for the Voter Information guide. Evans Circle has been cleared for winter plowing as has Laurel View. Adam led the team to get our MS-4 Notice of Intent. The final application is due 06/30/19 and sections of it may be beyond our in-house capabilities.

Town Accountant: Nothing reported. 

Treasurer/Collector: We have been working with Bill Trust on the new template to bill Q3 and Q4 real estate in one billing (two coupons) and come to learn that there is another area vendor that may save us those template costs and be a lower billing rate. We will be meeting with them next week on their services and may find it best to switch vendors completely.

Administration & Finance 

Assessor: Short but very busy week in the office. I worked with the Collector/Treasurer on Land of Low Value Takings and imputing information into Gateway. Also, a letter will be going out within the next couple weeks to sewer users from the Collector/Treasurer in regards to a lien that was placed on their properties back in 2006 for betterments apportioned on their tax bills for WWTF Upgrade. The sewer department was made aware of this letter as there may be questions from sewer users in regards to it. Reached out to our Light, Water & Sewer departments for any liens they will need to have placed on the upcoming actual real estate billing in January. I attended the department head meeting on Thursday morning. Posted the agenda and preparing for the upcoming board meeting on Tuesday the 16th. Exemption applications are still coming in and residents are reminder to get the application and paperwork in ASAP so that they can be applied to the 3rd & 4th quarter tax bills.

Town Clerk: Nothing reported.

Public Works 

Highway Department: The new 2018 Mack truck is on the road and is a welcome addition to the fleet. There are 4 vehicles still red lined, H3, H35, M11 & H10. H11 is being transformed into a plow/sander. The cemetery truck # CD5 had work done to the brakes, including the emergency brake. The Council on aging vehicle 3005 came in because it was pulling to the right. The caliper had to be repaired and preventive maintenance done while it was in the shop. The paperwork to request funding to repair Pail Factory road through Chapter 90 has been prepared for signatures. We are hoping for emergency approval on this so the road can be repaired in early November. A culvert on Brooksvillage road had a 10 wheeler load of beaver debris cleared from it allowing the water to flow. The sidewalk near Lee’s hot dog stand was repaired where a tractor trailer had damaged it. Cold patching was done on Main St, Winchendon Rd, Gray Rd and South Street. The bush and trees around Laurel View were trimmed. A catch basin at the entrance of Laurel View was rebuilt as well. Some roadside repair was done on Cook Rd and Haskell. Trees were cut on Conti Ave and Harley Hill. The Notice of Intent (NOI) was completed /and filed with the state. This is part of the storm water management plan.

Buildings & Grounds: A burial in Pine Grove cemetery occurred Saturday and there are planned burials on Saturday for the entire month of October and into November. Bush trimming was done in Green Lawn cemetery. The picnic tables and trash barrels that were brought to the middle school were picked up and put away. Clean up of leaves and other debris has begun as the autumn season is upon us.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Advisory Committee Recommendations for Special Town Meeting
Thursday, October 18, 2018 – 7:00 P.M.

Article 1.    Payment of late or unpaid bills from prior fiscal year:
                   Sewer Dept. -      $1,795.97
                   Cable Dept. -           110.40
                   Highway Dept.        220.80

Advisory Committee: This article funds outstanding obligations from prior fiscal years that the Town must pay. These bills will be funded from the current fiscal year budget.

Advisory Committee recommends favorable action on this article.

Article 2.     Amend Town by-laws with adoption of “stretch energy code”

Advisory Committee: This article will increase the cost of building in Templeton, however, it is a step toward Templeton becoming a “Green Community” and should benefit the Town by way of grant eligibility in future efforts to save on energy costs Town wide.

Advisory Committee recommends favorable action on this article.
Article 3.     Amend Town By-Laws for repair of private Ways / Roads.
Advisory Committee: This article will allow all taxpayers to receive services paid for by tax dollars. Furthermore, this article along with other actions being pursued will allow these private roads to eventually become approved Town roads ending any stigma or division among Town residents concerning private roads versus Town accepted roads.
Advisory Committee recommends favorable action on this article.

Article 4.     Filing of special legislation to establish an infrastructure betterment fund.
Advisory Committee: This act would simply create an account /place for any funds collected from residents on private roads for permanent repairs or improvements completed on said roads/ways.
Advisory Committee recommends favorable action on this article.

Article 5.     Adopt Massachusetts General Law chapter 80, section 13b: defer repayment of certain betterment liens.
Advisory Committee: This article would help some residents over age 65 in the way in which betterment repayment is dealt with regarding the Town.
Advisory Committee recommends favorable action on this article.

Article 6.     Amend Town By-Laws by having employment contracts for all department heads.
Advisory Committee: This article would allow the Town to utilize this option as a marketing tool in attempting to attract new Town employees. Town Meeting must realize that some elected boards, such as Board of Health have say in employment contracts under the law.
Advisory Committee recommends favorable action on this article.

Article 7.     Amend Town By-law regarding animal control.
Advisory Committee: Action on this articles consists of repealing the current existing Town by-law in its entirety and replacing it with article 7 verbiage to bring the by-law in step with current state law. This article also allows for increases in dog license fees as well as significant increase in non-criminal disposition fines.
Advisory Committee recommends favorable action on this article.

Article 8.     MART dial a ride promotion.
Advisory Committee: This article deals with the Town’s share of ride share fees with regards to services such as Uber and Lift.
Advisory Committee recommends favorable action on this article.

Article 9.     Stone or Stoney Bridge road study.
Advisory Committee: This article deals with one step in the process that could allow the Town to pursue grants or other funding sources to be used in efforts to repair, maintain or replace of structure known as Stone (Stoney) Bridge.
Advisory Committee recommends favorable action on this article.

Article 10.     Fiscal 2019 Cable department budget supplement.

Advisory Committee: This article allows for more of the funds collected by way of contract agreement with Comcast Cable to be utilized to support the operation of the Town’s cable channel and broadcast of meetings of many Town boards, committees and events held in Templeton.
Advisory Committee recommends favorable action on this article.

Article 11.     Capital budget supplements.
Advisory Committee: While the committee has reservations of going back to taxpayers multiple times for more funding on the same project (s), it also acknowledges that town assets must be protected and invested in for long term tax dollar savings.
Advisory Committee recommends favorable action on this article.

Article 12.     Capital budget supplements
Advisory Committee: This article deals with two subjects, one being money for the Assessor’s office to replace a funding source that was presented to Town Meeting by board of selectmen that “fell through” and the other item involves tree work on Templeton common, which falls in line with maintaining , protecting and investing in Town assets.
Advisory Committee recommends favorable action on this article.

Article 13.     Fiscal Year 2019 general fund operating budget supplement.
Advisory Committee: Again, the committee cautions against the continued practice of using one time funds to support re-occurring expenses of the Town’s general fund expenses. The Town does have a reserve fund to deal with unanticipated emergencies. The committee also questions the need to supplement a legal budget of $60,000.00 as well as the need for additional IT funding this early in the fiscal year. Provided there is sufficient explanation of additional funding requests for legal and IT;
Advisory Committee recommends favorable action on this article.

Article 14.     Payment of Town share of Narragansett Regional School District debt.
Advisory Committee: This article will fulfill Templeton’s obligation to pay debt service that was dealt with at the May 2018 Annual Town Meeting.
Advisory Committee recommends favorable action on this article.

Article 15.     Fiscal Year 2019 operating budget transfer.
Advisory Committee: This article requests Town Meeting to approve a transfer of monies from one Town fund to another but it lacks specificity as to where the funds will be used; under Fire & EMS on the Town’s monthly expenditure report, there are funds for personnel, employee support, purchase of services, supplies and “other”. The committee feels that Town Meeting deserves to know what this proposed transfer will be used for, salary increases, maintenance, etc. Due to insufficient information on this proposed reallocation of funds:
Advisory Committee recommends against this article.

Article 16.     Deposits to the Town’s stabilizations funds and OPEB reserve fund.
Advisory Committee: The committee favors regular deposits into these funds, as it shows the Town is committed to building savings and/or reserve funds as well as providing a means to handle long term Town financial commitments and capital investment.
Advisory Committee recommends favorable action on this article.

In conclusion, Advisory recommends that residents of the Town be involved in the process of Town government by attending Town Meeting, voting and becoming involved through elected or appointed positions and committees that work to make the Town of Templeton a better place to work and live in.

Respectfully submitted by the Templeton Advisory Committee:

Jeffrey Bennett – Chairman          Michael Currie – Vice-Chair
Lee Guthrie – Clerk                       Tony DeJoy
Amy Guthrie                                  Debra Wilder
Wil Spring

Saturday, October 6, 2018

FY 2019 budget - $60,000.00 for legal services under purchase of services. Included under that fund is Legal services, employee physicals, Town P.O. box, town forester plan. As of September 13, 2018, there has only been $1,412.97 spent.

So, at this early date, asking for $5,000.00 for unanticipated legal costs = ??????

One scenario is the MCAD (Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination) regarding refusal to process raises for non-union employees of Sewer Department (in part, due to push back of elected sewer commissioners to bring collections to town hall and commissioners pushing back against the Town Administrator doing employee evaluations of Sewer employees.) Town Meeting vote beginning in 1996 gave that oversight to Sewer Commissioners.

The holding back of non-union employee raises, probably by town accountant not processing them, violates mandate by Town Meeting vote and I am insulted as a resident of Templeton.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Selectmen ignoring or overriding Town Meeting vote??

Why after three months have the Sewer department non union employees have not had their pay raises processed by way of Town Hall? At the Annual Town Meeting back in May of 2018, money was approved for non-union personnel of the sewer dept. pay increases. This money is budgeted for and by sewer dept., rate payers provide this: warrant article 19:

On a motion duly made and seconded the Town voted to appropriate the sum of One Million Seventy Seven Thousand Three Hundred Fifty Five Dollars and No Cents ($1,077,355.00) to operate the Sewer Department for Fiscal Year 2019 and to meet said appropriation by a transfer of Thirty Six Thousand Six Hundred Fifty Six Dollars and No Cents ($36,656.00) from the certified retained earnings of the Sewer Fund and the balance from the receipts and revenues to be collected on behalf of the Sewer Department for said fiscal year.
Passed Unanimously/May 19th @ 12:16 pm

Please contact the selectmen, town administrator and ask them what is the problem and then tell them to do what you voted for them to do!

Look at the warrant for the upcoming Special Town Meeting on October 18, 2018, article #13 - selectmen unanticipated legal costs - MCAD complaints? Again, why are the selectmen ignoring Town Meeting vote? Several Town Meeting votes in fact.

Maybe it is not low wages but bad management that keeps people and Towns from wanting to deal with Templeton?

Monday, September 17, 2018

Annual and Special Town Meetings

What’s the difference between annual and special meetings?
Each town must hold an annual Town Meeting. Additional Town Meetings are called special meetings. They may be called as many times during the year as necessary.
When are Town Meetings?
Annual Town Meetings, unless otherwise provided by special law or charter, must be held in February, March, April or May. The Board of Selectman may delay the annual meeting, but it must be completed by June 30th.

What does it mean that some towns have two business meetings?
A town may divide its business meeting into two meetings. Towns that do so hold one business meeting at the beginning of the year. The focus is primarily on the budget, finances, and taxes. The second business meeting is held in the fall. It is still part of the annual Town Meeting. The focus is on zoning, planning and by-laws.
In sum....
November: Some towns hold elections.
January, February, March, April, May, June: Some towns that held elections in November and December hold business meetings. Some towns hold both elections and business meetings.
Fall: Some towns hold second business meetings.

To the best of my knowledge, Templeton as a Town has not voted to divide it's annual town meeting into two parts, so any Town Meeting held after the required annual Town Meeting would be a special Town Meeting.  Following the guide from the secretary of state of MA, any Templeton Town Meeting held after the required annual Town Meeting would be a special Town Meeting rather than a fall town meeting; we should not allow our elected people to just start renaming things without our approval, otherwise you end up with things like a change in the budget format being done without our approval, per the DOR. If these things are not challenged and our elected people are allowed to keep making incorrect statements, pretty soon those items become accepted as fact rather than what they are; misinformation statements.
Templeton Board of Selectmen
Annual Retreat
Fire Station, 466 Patriots Road, Templeton, MA
Wednesday, September 19, 2018, 6:00 p.m.

1. Call the Meeting to Order 

2. Discussion and review Draft FTM Warrant (max 30 minutes)

3. Annual Goal Setting

4. 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.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

What constitutes a public body?

While there is no comprehensive list of public bodies, any multi-member board, commission, committee or subcommittee within the executive or legislative branches1 of state government, or within any county, district, city, region or town, if established to serve a public purpose, is subject to the law. The law includes any multi-member body created to advise or make recommendations to a public body, and also includes the governing board of any local housing or redevelopment authority, and the governing board or body of any authority established by the Legislature to serve a public purpose.

Boards of selectmen and school committees (including those of charter schools) are certainly subject to the Open Meeting Law, as are subcommittees of public bodies, regardless of whether their role is decision-making or advisory.

The above can be found by looking up the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law guide.

Sat 9/15/2018 7:34 AM
You forwarded this message on 9/15/2018 7:34 AM

Monday, September 3, 2018

September 4, 2018 at Templeton library: 6:00 P.M. to discuss what to do with the large rock left by the highwy department after they re did the road in front of the library. Get rid of the rock or turn it into a civil war memorial. I thought all the civil war memorials were being torn down because they offend people? Who will pay for the rock being turned into a memorial?

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Consider an under ride vote on tax levy??

What is an Under ride?
Proposition 2 1/2 allows a community to reduce its levy limit by passing an under ride. When an under ride is
passed, the levy limit for the year is calculated by subtracting the amount of the under ride. The under ride results in a permanent decrease in the levy limit of a community because it reduces the base upon which levy limits are calculated for future years.
A majority vote of a community’s selectmen, or town or city council (with the mayor’s approval if required by law) allows an under ride question to be placed on the ballot. An under ride question may also be placed on the ballot by the people using a local initiative procedure, if one is provided by law. Under ride questions must state a dollar amount and require a majority vote of approval by the electorate.

With around one million dollars in so called "free cash" in 2017 and stated estimates of around eight thousand dollars left from FY 2018, perhaps it is time for an under ride for Templeton.

Free cash is a revenue source that results from the calculation, as of July 1, of a community's remaining, unrestricted funds from its operations of the previous fiscal year based on the balance sheet as of June 30. It typically includes actual receipts in excess of revenue estimates and unspent amounts in departmental budget line items for the year just ended, plus unexpended free cash from the previous year. Free cash is offset by property tax receivables and certain deficits, and as a result, can be a negative number.

The Bureau of Accounts (BOA) certifies free cash as of July 1 after the submission of the municipality's balance sheet. Updates to free cash must also be certified by the Director of Accounts. These certifications can only be appropriated from the date of certification through June 30. As of each July 1, a municipality's free cash available for appropriation is $0 until a new balance sheet is received and a new free cash amount is certified.

If selectmen cannot or will not ensure that taxpayer/voter's wishes, per their votes at town meeting, are carried out, then selectmen should have less funding available to them for budget planning.
When something is presented and voted on, selectmen should ensure it happens; when selectmen fail to do this, then steps need to be taken to show selectmen who is really in charge: the residents!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Is there real transparency in Templeton Town Hall or is there something else going on?

Why is it that things that are voted on at annual town meeting are ignored and things that are not actually voted on at town meeting get put in place?

A new budget format was used and presented without an article or motion put before Town Meeting, yet, money appropriated and voted on at Town meeting for non union raises for the sewer department are ignored by the selectmen. Just what is going on and who is in charge? Are the selectmen aware of what is going on? They are and they have so far not acted.

ABUSE OF POWER Re: Missing nonunion raises (No subject)

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Documentation shows back in October of 2017, selectmen received from the Collins institute a document with it's opinion concerning Templeton by-laws specifically on the Advisory Committee.
It was on the subject line of Roles and responsibilities of Advisory Committee.

Selectmen went on to propose multiple changes to Town by-laws regarding the Advisory Committee, without having any discussion with the committee, including withholding this document from the Collins institute.

One interesting item included was the institute stating they were aware of only one other town where Advisory Committee can appoint it's own members if a vacancy occurs during the year. A search with a timeline of about 5 minutes showed this to be not true and there are probably other towns where this is done as well. Great to see transparency and this so called working together thing often coming from the selectmen.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

So, the audits are coming, the audits are coming;

The audits are complete and now we have good numbers?

Now we have a good financial team in place?

Town Hall employees state that time could be better spent than answering resident questions on town finance and it is discouraging to have so many questions on town spending and on town financial records.

Town Administrator states a known incorrect number was written in on a document being used to obtain funding for a new sewer department pump station.

Questions being raised again on whether a town employee broke a contract or request for services into several parts, thus avoiding or breaking a Massachusetts General Law (c 30B) for which the town has already been shown to have done and had training from the MA inspector general's office.

As all of this is considered, the question (in my opinion) becomes has Templeton really made any progress or has it been one grand illusion?

On another front, a report out from MIT that devices, particularly cel phones and all those "apps" really do appear to be tracking and recording what we do on those phones.

Things like putting photos on the so called cloud, even if the photos are deleted from the phone and whether you are asked permission or not; those same apps even record key strokes and send this data out to whom ever is / will pay for it. Seems like the so called big brother is really watching and keeping track of all that we do. Does not seem like the people who report such things are really wacked out after all; they just may be ahead of the curve.