Saturday, December 8, 2018

I would encourage people to attend the 01/29 public meeting with the Town Moderator and Town Clerk at 6:30 p.m. in the Conference Room.

"No, the Town did not buy a new dump body for a 1984 Mack it did, however, buy a Dump Body (as we advised people we would with those monies in seeking approval of the $160k for the 6 wheeler)."

If the selectmen / town did not buy a dump body for a 1984 Mack truck, how can they state that has been done?

Want to improve town meeting attendance, stop putting out BS to us!
Something cannot be stated as complete if it was never done!!!!

Article 20 of annual town meeting May 2017 shown on Templeton website
shows $17,500 for dump body 1984 Mack.

Article 7 of special town meeting November 2017 shown on Templeton website
shows $160,000 for six wheel dump truck. You appropriated $160,000.00 for a truck.

Monthly expenditure report shows $17,500.00 for dump body 1984 Mack spent,
it also shows $158,800.00 for six wheel dump truck spent. What was the $17,500.00 spent on?

November 14, 2018 - Board of Selectmen meeting;
item f - adopt selectmen goals:

CAPITAL PROJECTS Cost   DoneIn Process  DeferPlanning
Dump Body - 1984 Mack 10 Wheel$17,500      X
Mini Split A/C Town Hall$17,500      X
Templeton Center Fire/EMS Roof$35,000      X
Senior Center Siding$195,000      X
6 Wheel Dump Truck$160,000      X
Infield Groomer$10,000      X
Fire Training Room AC$3,500      X
Fire Chief Vehicle$35,000      X
Cemetery Garage Roof$10,000      X
Cruiser / Dump Truck$138,000      X
Fire Engine$550,000      X

Friday, December 7, 2018

from the Massachusetts Division of Local Services:

Credit rating agencies weigh healthy reserves as a positive when assessing a community’s overall ability to honor its debt obligations. Local finance officials should understand credit rating agency threshold percentages for all reserves, especially if they intend to borrow funds or seek a rating upgrade.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Not too long ago, Templeton chairman of the board of selectmen stated that all of the towns that touch or border Templeton had tax rates of $20.00 per thousand. So, looking at tax recap sheets today on the website of the Massachusetts division of local services, this is what I found:

City of Gardner - fiscal year 2018 tax rate at $20.27 per thousand
Barre,                - fiscal year 2019 tax rate at $18.12 per thousand
Templeton         - fiscal year 2019 tax rate at $17.24 per thousand
Phillipston         - fiscal year 2018 tax rate at $16.48 per thousand
Winchendon      - fiscal year 2019 tax rate at $16.71 per thousand
Hubbardston      - fiscal year 2018 tax rate at $15.13 per thousand
Royalston           - fiscal year 2018 tax rate at $14.44 per thousand

*fiscal year 2018 used because the tax recap for those towns have not been posted yet.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Interesting item in the Templeton town by-law codification work;

Currently in article 1 the general by-laws of Templeton, the penalty for violating a by-law is $20.00 for each offense. The current state statue allows for a maximum of $300.00 and codification recommends the penalty be increased to the current maximum.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Public Hearing
Re: Royalston Road
December 12, 2018 @ 7:00 p.m. Meeting Room of Town Hall

Public Meeting
Re: Codification
January 15, 2019 @ 6:30 p.m. Meeting Room of Town Hall

Sunday, December 2, 2018

In case the selectmen have forgotten:

Town Meeting vote has spoken on many things concerning the Templeton Sewer Department, charged with overseeing those things are the elected Templeton Sewer Commissioners, I also recall Town Meeting voted for raises for non-union Sewer department employees, no strings attached. Where are those raises?

To see if the Town will vote 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. Or take any other action related thereto.
Submitted by the Board of Selectmen for the Sewer Commission -Majority Vote Required

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

To see if the Town will vote to appropriate the sum of Seventy Thousand Dollars and No Cents ($70,000.00) to address a series of items upon which maintenance has been deferred and to meet said appropriation by a transfer of said sum from the certified retained earnings of the Sewer Fund. Or take any other action related thereto.
Submitted by the Board of Selectmen for the Sewer Commission
Majority Vote Required
On a motion duly made and seconded the Town voted to appropriate the sum of Seventy Thousand Dollars and No Cents ($70,000.00) to address a series of items upon which maintenance has been deferred and to meet said appropriation by a transfer of said sum from the certified retained earnings of the Sewer Fund.
Passed Unanimously/May 19th @ 12:16 pm

see if the Town will vote to ratify, approve and confirm the vote adopted under Article 10 of the Warrant at the May 14, 2016 Town Meeting, pursuant to which the Town voted to authorize the borrowing of Two Million and Three Hundred Thousand Dollars and no cents ($2,300,000.00) to pay costs of the Pleasant Street sewer pump station project, including the payment of all costs incidental and related thereto; or take any other action relative thereto.
Submitted by the Board of Selectmen for the Sewer Commission - 2/3 Vote Required
 Advisory recommends for this article.

On a motion duly made and seconded the town voted that the Town ratify, approve and confirm the vote adopted under Article 10 of the Warrant at the May 14, 2016 Town Meeting, pursuant to which the Town voted to authorize the borrowing of Two Million and Three Hundred Thousand Dollars and no cents ($2,300,000.00) to pay costs of the Pleasant Street sewer pump station project, including the payment of all costs incidental and related thereto.
Passed Unanimously/May 13th @ 11:37am

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, borrow pursuant to any applicable statute, or transfer from available funds the sum of Two Million Four Hundred Thousand Dollars ($2,400,000) to pay for the replacement of the Pleasant Street sewer pump station; said sum is to be raised from sewer user charges and fees, entrance fees, tipping fees paid by disposal contractors, betterments and other fees and monies collected as per Sewer Department Rules by the Town of Templeton Sewer Department; or to take any other action relative thereto.

Submitted by the Board of Selectmen for the Sewer Commission
On a motion duly made and seconded the town voted to raise and appropriate, borrow pursuant to any applicable statute, or transfer from available funds the sum of Two Million Three Hundred Thousand Dollars ($2,300,000) to pay for the replacement of the Pleasant Street sewer pump station; said sum is to be raised from sewer user charges and fees, entrance fees, tipping fees paid by disposal contractors, betterments and other fees and monies collected as per Sewer Department Rules by the Town of Templeton Sewer Department. 

Passed Unanimously/May 14th @ 12:49pm

Saturday, December 1, 2018

I watched a recent selectmen meeting on the tv and I listened to Julie Richards complain that some department heads did not show up for a meeting, she followed that up with "if a manager cannot make a meeting, they should get their butt on the next agenda for selectmen meeting." She went on that she feels disrespected and insulted. So, I looked at the agenda for last nights selectmen meeting, five sets of meeting minutes for approval, of those five meeting minutes, Julie Richard was shown absent for three of them. I went and looked at past selectmen meeting minutes and I found Julie Richard absent from the following meetings: May 30, June 25, July 11, July 25, October 1, November 7, November 14. I think that selectmen Julie Richards should get her butt to selectmen meetings before she complains about anyone else!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Well, at least the firms hired and paid to look at things and make suggestions are doing their homework???? Right!!

from the Collins memo concerning Advisory Committee:
TO:     Templeton Board of Selectmen 
FROM:    Edward J. Collins, Jr. Center for Public Management
DATE:     October 16, 2017
RE:     Miscellaneous findings regarding the Advisory Committee in Templeton

Although the primary focus of this Community Compact project is Templeton’s budget document, process, and related financial policies, throughout the research for the project, the Center project team has become aware of various issues affecting the Town’s ability to develop its budget and financial policies. This memo addresses one of these topics: the role and responsibilities of the Town’s Advisory Committee. (Future memos may address other aspects of the process.)

Advisory Committee Vacancy Appointments :
  The Center project team was reviewing the Town’s finance‐related bylaws and noticed an unusual provision related to how the Advisory Committee is constructed (emphasis added): 

Article IV, Section 3. The said committee shall fill any vacancy which may occur in its membership, by vote, attested copy of which shall be sent by the secretary to the Town Clerk. If any member is absent from five consecutive meetings of said committee, except in case of illness, his position shall be deemed to be vacant and shall be filled as herein provided. The term of office of any person so chosen to fill a vacancy shall expire at the final adjournment of the next succeeding Annual Town Meeting, and the Moderator thereof shall appoint his successor to complete the unexpired term of the member in whose office such vacancy originally occurred.”

 The project team is aware of only one other town (Townsend) that similarly provides for the Advisory Committee to select its own members in the event of vacancies. In those towns where the Moderator is the appointing authority of the Advisory Committee (which is a plurality of Massachusetts towns), the Moderator typically fills vacancies that appear. Allowing a board or committee to appoint its own members, even for a short period of time, risks creating a situation where any traits or points of view can become self‐reinforcing. 

It would be worth considering a revision to the bylaw to remove this provision to reduce the potential that a future Advisory Committee becomes self‐reinforcing.

from the website of the town of Bolton, MA:

chapter 10; boards, committees and other bodies
article I Advisory committee

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Templeton All Boards Meeting 
Monday, November 26, 2018, at 6:30 P.M 
Kamaloht-1 North Main Street, East Templeton, MA-01438 
Board of Selectmen is hosting this third joint meeting of all Town Boards and Committees

1. Call the Meeting to Order
2. Chairman of SelectBoard ~ Finance & Progress Overview FY’18
3. Timeline & Outlook for FY’20
4. Round Robin of Board & Committee Members a. Needs/Wants for improved efficiency & service to the community; b. Possible Goals for their units c. Comments, Additions, Revision to BoS Goals
 5. Wrap-UP & Comments

You Are Invited!  

All Boards Meeting 
 Monday, November 26, 2018, at 6:30 P.M 
Kamaloht-1 North Main Street, East Templeton, MA-01438 

The SelectBoard will be hosting this third joint meeting of all our Town Boards and Committees on November 26, 2018. Based upon what we learned from the last two years’ meetings, we hope to improve upon this avenue of communication. The purpose of this meeting is several fold. Certainly, we hope to convey to you the progress we have made this past year. However, we also hope to hear from you with respect to your view of that progress, the direction you feel our organization should be heading in and - most importantly - your ideas of how we might better work together to improve communications, efficiency, and better serve our community. My fellow Board members and I look forward to seeing you on the 26th for some great communication!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The subject that no one seems to want to talk about:

Tax over ride for the school district. The district has said it will seek a tax override but so far, no amount or reason (s) have been given. The school supporting selectmen all of a sudden want answers about this, as if they seem upset, surprised or both. This subject has been talked about multiple times, especially this past budget season.  Get ready for an interesting time and remember, you have already voted on and approved three tax increases since May of 2018. In case you forgot, override for ambulance service, meals tax and the new animal control by-law that increased the cost of dog licenses and fines for any violations. It has been stated the tax increase will be significant. Then there will be the tax increase to pay for the building itself. Remember, you voted on that back in 2015, so enjoy all of the tax hikes you voted for and remember to break out the check book.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Countdown to 2020 Town Meeting

Checkpoint                                                                                  Day                          Date
Town Election                                                                             Monday                    May 20, 2019
Town Meeting                                                                             Wednesday               May 15, 2019
Advisory Committee Drop Dead to Issue Report                        Monday                    May 13, 2019(1)
Annual Town Report in Town Clerk’s Office                                Monday                    May 13, 2019(2)
Target Date for Voter’s Guide to be Available to Public              Wednesday                May 8, 2019
Drop Dead for Warrant & Advert to be Posted/Published           Wednesday               May 8, 2019(3)
Drop Dead for BoS to Submit Warrant to
Constable & Advert to Newspaper                                               Wednesday               May 1, 2019
BoS Takes Final Vote on Warrant                                                Wednesday               April 24, 2019
Advisory Committee Public Hearing on Budget TBD TBD Advisory Committee(4)
Drop Dead for Ballot Questions for Annual Town Election           Wednesday               April 17, 2019
BoS Drop Dead to Transmit ATM Warrant & Budget
Recommendations to Advisory Committee                                  Monday                     April 8, 2019(5)
Last Day to return nomination papers Monday April 1, 2019
BoS Adopts Budget & Warrant Recommendations                      Wednesday               March 27, 2019
BoS Budget Workshop (Answers to Q’s) SNOWDATE                 Monday                    March 25, 2019
BoS Budget Workshop                                                                  Thursday                  March 21, 2019
Desired Date for NRSD to Adopt OPEX budget                            Monday                   March 18, 2019
BoS Budget Workshop Presentations SNOWDATE                      Saturday                  March 16, 2019
BoS Budget Workshop – Presentations                                         Saturday                  March 9, 2019
ATM Warrant “Closes”                                                                     Monday                  March 4, 2019(6)
TA Presents Budget & Warrant Package                                        Wednesday             February 27, 2019
Nomination Papers Available at Town Clerk                                    Monday                  February 25, 2019
Drop Dead TA Concludes 2nd Review                                           Tuesday                   February 19, 2019
BoS “Opens” ATM Warrant to Citizen Petitions                              Wednesday              February 13, 2019(7)
Drop Dead TA Concludes 1st Review                                             Wednesday              February 6, 2019
Request to BoS for Suggestions of Cover & Dedication                 Thursday                  January 31, 2019(8)
Budget Estimate from WRRS                                                          Thursday                 January 31, 2019
House 1 w/Cherry Sheets Released                                                Wednesday             January 23, 2019(9)
TA 1 on 1 DH Reviews (Week of)                                                     Monday                   January 21, 2019
BoS Meeting w/Legislative Delegation for Session Review              Wednesday            January 9, 2019
Capital Improvements Committee Submits Proposed CIP                Wednesday           January 9, 2019
DH’s Submit all Budget & Warrant Materials to TA                            Wednesday           January 2, 2019
TA Sends “Budget Guidance” Memo out to all                                  Thursday                November 29, 2018
BoS Adopts Revenue Estimates                                                        Wednesday           November 28, 2018
Convention of the Committees                                                           Monday                 November 26, 2018(10)
Drop Dead for Monty Tech to apportion OPEX budget                      Friday                    November 16, 2018
BoS Finalizes Goals & Objectives                                                     Wednesday            November 14, 2018
BoS Holds Goal Setting Retreat                                                         Done
TO: Board of Selectmen
FROM: Carter Terenzini, Town Administrator
RE: Administrator’s Weekly Report
DATE: November 8, 2018
CC: All Departments

Important Notice to All Departments 
Open Positions 
On-Call Plow Operators - DPW 
Driver/Operator/Laborer – DPW 
Clerk – Treasurer/Collectors Office 
Accepting Applications for Hired Equipment for Plow Operations 

(Better tell dave smart Town is hiring big bad contractors)

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.

5. b. This is required to determine if you will have a single or split tax rate. Once you make this decision, we can finalize our submission to DOR of the so-called recap sheet and set the tax rate.

5. f. This is from your workshop of 11/07 with a few minor changes as discussed. Please notify us of any further changes you might like by CoB 11/13 that we can have them prepared for your final action on 11/14. 5. h. We had six great submissions which I narrowed down to three for interviews by me, Adam L. and Bob S. After presentations and interviews we narrowed our interest to the firm of Milone and MacBroom at which time we opened the fee proposal. Thankfully, upon opening the fee proposal, we found that they were within budget (As we told you the fees ranged from $35k to $143k. I’m not sure why the others were so high - and we had no clue which fee was tied to which vendor as I had the AA open them, so we knew only the range – but I will tell you it was a concern for a bit. Fortunately, their fee proposal allows us some room for change orders to develop the information required by various grant agencies.

5. i. This is to rollover the current BANs on the School and PD together with an additional tranche of $9m for the school. At this time, it appears we will have our credit rating in time to take a portion of the BANs to permanent financing in February. The balance will go to Bond about12 to 18 months later. This will mean there will be a full payment on those Bonds in the FY 20 budget and we can phase the tax rate impact in over a couple of years.

5. j. This is for the Board to discuss what type of presentation it will be making and what it hopes to gain from the All Boards Meeting.

Weekly Report: We had a meeting/tel con with representatives of FEMA, MEMA and Rich Curtis our EMD concerning emergency funding we are eligible for relating to the March 13-15 storm. We have completed a draft damage inventory and have a 60-day window to finalize it. We can get 75% of cost items which are above $3k resulting in a potential reimbursement to us of $17.5k+/- at this time. We filmed another Talk of the Town, completed another evaluation and prepared adverts for the several open positions and contract opportunities as well as finalizing Draft contacts for Stone Bridge and hired equipment.
 Interesting reading:

Today's Bible Lesson ... 
In today ’s world with President Trump getting hit daily, I decided a little Bible Lesson might be appropriate.
Remember what Jesus said: 'Goats on the left, sheep on the right' (Matthew 25:33). 
Jesus also told Peter that if he wanted to catch fish do it from the right side of the boat. He did and filled the boat with fish. 
John 21:6 (NIV) ... He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish." 
Origin of Left & Right… I have often wondered why it is that Conservatives are called the "right" and Liberals are called the "left". 
By chance I stumbled upon this verse in the Bible: Ecclesiastes 10:2 (NIV) - "The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.    Thus, sayeth the Lord.    Amen! 
It surely can't get any simpler than that. 
Spelling Lesson: The last four letters in American... I Can 
The last four letters in Republican........ I Can 
The last four letters in Democrats....... Rats 

Monday, November 5, 2018

from the finance committee handbook - just so you know.
chapter 3, page 3.3

The format found in the law addresses itself to budgetary
basics. Almost all towns and cities in the Commonwealth go
well beyond this in their annual budget presentation package
(see Chapter 2). DOR has also ruled that only a town
meeting — not the finance committee or selectmen — may
determine the exact budget format to be used (see In Our
Opinion, 92-145). As a practical matter, town meeting
would have to vote to reject the present format and request a
new one for the following year.

following is a link so you can check for yourself.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

On the Massachusetts division of local services, it shows Templeton receiving meals tax distribution of $4,384 in September, the next distribution at the end of the 2nd quarter in December. We better catch up quick!

from the voters guide for annual town meeting in May of 2018:
The local option meals tax was created by the state in the fall of 2009. Since then a little over 60% of the state’s municipalities have adopted it. The local option tax adds 38 cents on a $50 meal. The DOR estimated Templeton would have receive almost $50,000 in revenues if it had adopted the local option meals tax for 2016. (We await the 2017 report). The state’s revenue estimates for this tax have proven to be very reliable over the years since they are based upon actual state receipts. The vendor pays the local sales tax imposed under this section to the Commissioner at the same time and in the same manner as the sales tax due to the Commonwealth. Shortly after the end of every quarter in the Fiscal Year, the state then sends Town its share of the collections. If adopted, the Board of Selectmen intend to use this as a funding source to meet the Town’s many needs with respect to replacing its rolling stock (i.e. cars, trucks, and the like).

ARTICLE 28 Authorize Lease of Capital Items – Police & DPW
Submitted by the Board of Selectmen
2/3 Vote Require

 I move, contingent upon the adoption of the Local Option Meals Tax, so called, will vote to (a) raise and appropriate the sum of Forty Two Thousand Dollars and No Cents ($42,000.00) to pay for the first year of a three year lease for a fully equipped police cruiser and a one-ton pick-up with dump body, wing and plow with said lease not to exceed One Hundred and Twenty Six Thousand Dollars and No Cents ($126,000.00) in total, and have a so called escape clause for lack of appropriation in addition to provisions for an early pay-off, without penalty, and a One Dollar ($1.00) buy-out upon the conclusion of all regularly schedule lease payments and (b) appropriate the sum of Twelve Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($12,500.00) to write down the purchase price of said items such that they may be leased within the foregoing limits set in this article and to meet said appropriation by a transfer of said sum from certified free cash. Or take any other action related thereto.

Summary: This article seeks the necessary appropriations and authority to purchase a new police cruiser (replacing a 2011 which is expected to have 150,000 miles on it by the time of replacement and currently has numerous transmission, drive train, and electrical problems) and a fully outfitted one-ton pick-up for the DPW (replacing a 2001 vehicle we have had to recently take out of service due to the numerous repairs needed that would that far exceed its value). It solidifies the intent of the Selectmen to use the Local Option Meals Tax for exactly the purposes articulated above. If carried forward this will support one cruiser every three years. It will also support our intended complement of four one-ton pick-ups, each of which we hope to get twelve years of service from.
Still think the selectmen are working for you:
Read the agenda for the next sewer commissioners meeting

Sewer Commissioners are elected by you to over see the operation including funding of the Templeton sewer department.
Operation expenses, including pay raises voted on by you, the voter/taxpayer and still it seems the selectmen are ignoring your vote! Time to let the selectmen know how you feel about this.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2018 4:30 P.M.



1. Board of Selectmen and Town Administrator withholding all Sewer Department Non-Union Employee raises. These raises were budgeted, approved by the Board of Sewer Commission and Voter approved at Annual Town Meeting.

2. Admin. Asst. Correct Pay Rate still being withheld by Town Administrator and Board of Selectmen.

3. Joe F./Town of Royalston Sludge

4. Capital Planning Update

1. Sundstrom Abatement

1. Budget to Actuals
2. Marie M. Abatement
1. Pleasant Street Update – USDA Closing
2. Flusher Truck repair bid solicitation advertised
3. Draft Sewer Lien list
4. Plant Road Roof
5. Engineer Contract Amendment
Yesterday, while attending the meeting of association of town finance committees at Devens, I sat in on finance committees and social media.
Most of the subject was how one town uses electronic communication to get the word out, with regards to town business. Eventually, the subject of open meeting law and social media came up. I was listening intently; the subject I wanted came up, members of a committee posted and commented on something, eventually, a majority or quorum was involved in comment. Someone filed open meeting law complaint. The results were interesting, the Massachusetts office of open government found basis for the complaint, seems the post and following comment  was not aimed at just members of the committee, rather it was out there for all to see, read and comment on. Pretty much for the whole connected world to see, read and comment on. In the case of Templeton Advisory Committee members, a Templeton selectmen commented on things, more than once. He even went so far as to file a complaint at a selectmen meeting. There were eventually multiple complaints filed, which were answered by the committee. In the end, other than negative newspaper coverage, nothing happened and nothing else resulted. The answer is, as in the example given at yesterday's workshop, was the post and following comments were out for everyone to see, read and comment on. If it had been a group face book post for instance, available to only committee members, it would have been a different story.

Again, past and present members of the Templeton Advisory Committee are vindicated, they did nothing wrong and DID NOT VIOLATE the Open Meeting Law!

As for the committee, five of the seven current members attended the conference, on a Saturday, which began at 8:15 in the morning and ended around 2:30 in the afternoon.

Friday, November 2, 2018

TO: Board of Selectmen
FROM: Carter Terenzini, Town Administrator
RE: Administrator’s Weekly Report
DATE: November 1, 2018
CC: All Departments

Public Works 
Highway Department: In regard to Red Lined vehicles, the following is the final assessment; H35 (2001 F350) is permanently out of service and will be replaced with the new F550 currently on order and due to be delivered in February/March time frame. M11 (1975 Catch basins cleaner) is permanently out of service, one option is to replace it with a used catch basin cleaner, replacing the catch basin cleaner would allow the DPW to clean the basins rather than spend thousands on an outside source. H10 (2003 Ford F150), was a surpluses vehicle that is rusted beyond repair, we will replace it when another vehicle is available from surplus. H3 (1997 Volvo L70C loader), will be permanently out of service, and has previously been replaced. The first 2 classes have been scheduled for the new director in Baystate roads Scholar program. Reviewing requirements for getting the new director certified as a “Playground Safety Inspector” as well. Since the introduction of the DPW “TO DO” log many issues have been recorded and addressed. There are some still pending that will be addressed as time and supplies allow. The Generator that provides power to the DPW in the case of an emergency was worked on and is ready for the winter storm season. The north east winds over the weekend caused many downed branches. Several locations were addressed, and dead trees and limbs cut and removed. The driveway permit is being rewritten to include more details on the apron and safety features. When the driveway permit is approved it will be put into immediate use. CD5 the buildings and grounds truck had a new emergency brake cable added. 237, one of the SUV police cruisers was looked at for a headlight issue as well as the heater not working when the car is idle. The ACO truck came in for an oil change and general inspection. The project on Hubbardston road has been completed, as well as Pail Factory road. A Swale was made near the driveway to the paper mill to reduce the amount of water flowing thru the parking lot during heaving storms. Potholes were filled on Old North Road, Barre Road and Highland Ave.

Let's think about this a while; roads are in bad shape and there have been several roads with washed out areas that needed repair. Considering all the talk about the old worn out equipment that the highway department has or had, would it make sense to go buy another used piece, or new, for that matter, to do a job that is being done by a contractor for about $13,000.00 per year. If the highway department does this job, the truck has to be maintained, use fuel and ties up a highway department employee, which means there is one less individual to work on road repair.

There probably should be a costing analysis of this and other situations to determine the best way to spend taxpayer dollars. For instance, take the mowing of all the grass on town owned land, what is the possible cost of contracting it out versus the cost of the town doing it: cost of trucks, maintaining trucks including fuel, cost of mowers and trailers along with fuel for mowers, cost of labor, both full time and part-time/temporary/seasonal (to include any effect on the town's unemployment rate costs, if any) I believe if you check, the additional costs beyond salary, for each benefited town employee, is around $20,000.00 per. Upfront costs may appear higher, but the long term picture must be looked at, such as the ever increasing retirement and health insurance costs, as in OPEB expenses. The more town employees you have, the higher those costs become, contractors on the other hand, have no such effect. Also consider, if a town employee has an accident, with any town equipment, the town is on the hook. With a contractor, they are on the hook. This is a business decision and approach.

Take ambulance service provided by the town, you, the taxpayer just had an increase in your taxes, by way of a tax override (permanent increase in your taxes) to pay for that, where as a private ambulance service would have paid a fee to the town for the privilege of providing that service for the town residents. That is the choice you made and unless the approach changes, expect taxes to go up and up. Can you say tax override for the school district next year? It is a real possibility that must be considered as we approach the next budget season. The cost to the taxpayer for the new school will come home to roost soon enough.
6:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 13, 2018
at Templeton Town Hall, 160 Patriots Road, E. Templeton MA 01438

The major items to be discussed are what type of zoning would best benefit the town with regard to areas located on Baldwinville and Patriots Road; the Commission will also hear any other proposed changes to zoning in Templeton.

If you are unable to attend but wish to submit comments or questions, please do so such that they are received by the close of business on the day of the meeting, to:

 Laurie Wiita, Director, at P O Box 620, E Templeton MA 01438 or by email at

Posted this 30th day of October, 2018 Laurie A. Wiita, Director Development Services

Posted: Gardner News 10/30/2018
             Town Web
             Town Bulletin Boards
Town Meeting Times, which if one reads the Templeton Town By-Laws, is the guide or procedure book for Town Meetings. Page 54, the reading of the articles: this speaks to the point that some towns have adopted the practice of omitting the reading of articles, either with the consent of the meeting or by tradition. Town Meeting times states if the reading of the articles is to be omitted, the warrant should be printed and in the hands of or available to every voter. A voters guide is not the warrant. It is going to take the will of Town Meeting to get things back on track so everyone has enough information in hand so as to make an informed decision.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Today, Templeton Town website shows no job openings at present time. Perhaps someone from Town Hall reads these postings. Point is, when someone is hired for a position offered on the Town web site, why is the website not updated? What other things happen in Town Hall that are not updated regularly so you can depend on some information anyways?

What is needed is a policy to guide Town Hall on how to do these things and then, all would be well.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Dear Board of Selectmen:

I write to offer some words of caution.

We have a conference call scheduled for Tuesday at 1:30 to begin the work of closing out the BAN on the Pleasant St. pump station project.  I received an email from Town Counsel that he has been notified that his necessary participation in this process must be scheduled through the town administrator's office.  As you know the TA is part time and this week he won't be in the office until Thursday.  I have copied Holly on this email, but I will tell you here that the closing will require a lot of work on an almost constant basis, and it is my opinion that the process will be hindered and delayed by requiring town counsel to receive approval from the part time town administrator.

I have directed everyone to copy the TA with all correspondence.

If there are complications and/or delays in closing the BAN and securing the grant and permanent financing from USDA because of this, the responsibility will be with the Board of Selectmen and the town administrator.


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Perhaps the Templeton selectmen require a policy to look at the Templeton Town website weekly so they can ensure the information is correct and up to date.
Right now, that website shows Templeton is looking for a management fellow, an assistant Town accountant, assistant treasurer and a DPW  Superintendent, along with a highway driver/laborer.

Another issue, after receiving the latest Town expenditure report, I notice that one Eric Pollitt is on the mailing list. He left Templeton employment back in July 2018 and here it is October 2018.  How can anyone be expected to trust any information on the Town website?

Once again, at a Town meeting, Templeton resident Steve Drury brought up information that the Town may be owed around $300,000.00 from person or persons violating Town by-laws. So far, Templeton selectmen seem uninterested in acting.  Instead, those same selectmen are interested in increasing Taxpayer legal costs by ignoring Town Meeting vote; failing to ensure or in this case, instruct employees to process non-union raises for sewer department employees.

One other issue is the failure of Town employee, Treasurer/Collector failing to follow Town by-laws in providing information requested by the Templeton Advisory Committee.

For a group that talks alot about policies and procedures, these selectmen seem to have a hard time following long established policies and mandates put in place by the very people who put the selectmen in place; the voters/residents of the Town.

That is my opinion on some Templeton matters / issues. It is also my opinion that Templeton chairman of the board of selectmen is long on talk and short on walk. John Caplis shows often he was in the military and anyone who has been in knows that when orders come down, you follow them, whether you agree or not. Well, Town Meeting gave selectmen some orders, when will they be obeyed? Perhaps selectmen feel no one cares when only 50 or so people show up for Town Meeting, which means we the people, hold some responsibility for this lax effort on the part of selectmen. Time for residents to stand up for themselves.

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