Friday, July 20, 2018

Templeton Board of Selectmen
                                  Town Hall, 160 Patriots Road, East Templeton
                                                Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 6:30 p.m.

Agenda
1. Call the Meeting to Order

2. Pledge of Allegiance

3. Public Comment

4. a. Meeting Minutes~ 6.11.18, 6.25.18, 7.11.18
b. Executive Session Minutes~ 7.11.18

5. New Business: 
a. Action RE: Appointments & Introductions
b. Action RE: Waive Right of First Refusal~59 Day Mill Drive
c. Action RE: One Day Liquor License ~ Templeton Fish & Game
d. Action RE: Proposed Name Change of Brazell Pond by USGS
e. Action RE: Class Action Law Suit RE: USA Payments in Lieu of Taxes
f. Action RE: Snow & Ice Planning & Status Interim DPW Director
g. Action RE: Lawn Tractor, Infield Groomer & Associated Retrofits
h. Action RE: Purchase & Financing of Fire Engine
i. Discussion RE: Personnel Policy Updates, Revenue Streams, Goal & Objective Setting, School Relations (Caplis)

6. Old Business:

7. Board & Staff Member Comments & Reports

8. Potential Request for Executive Session per MGL Ch. 30;§21.2, contract negotiations with non-union personnel (Town Administrator)

9. Adjournment

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

In the spending plan for fiscal year 2019, it states under the treasurer/collector office;
Treasurer/collector - $31.63 hourly or salary of $62,741.00
Deputy treasurer/collector - $22.01 hourly 19.5 hours /  $22,404.00 year.
administrative assistant - $15.15 hourly  19.5 hours / $15,421.00 year.

Not for nothing, given Templeton history of finance, perhaps we should stick to a stated plan rather than change after annual town meeting with voted appropriations? Why present to the people one thing, then after the vote, change it up? Maybe they think no one is paying attention.

TO: Board of Selectmen 
FROM: Carter Terenzini, Town Administrator 
RE: Administrator’s Weekly Report 
DATE: July 12, 2018 
CC: All Departments ______________________________________________________________________________ 
Important Notice to All Departments Job Openings: 
Assistant Town Accountant / / Assistant Treasurer/Collector // Director of Public Works

Also on Town website, under box; paid, volunteer and contract opportunities - there is position of assistant treasurer/collector listed.

Then there is this: 

On Jobquest the listing  Job Details   Massachusetts jobquest
 Assistant Treasurer/Collector
 10801813
 Open
 07/17/2018
 08/02/2018 
 $17.00
 $18.00
 Hour

Pay rate offered will depend on qualifications and experience.
Board of Assessors:

Town of Templeton spending plan for FY 2019 has an item, Vision software upgrade for the Assessors.

Going to be funded by a contribution from Templeton Municipal Light & Water department.

Dollar amount - $20,000.00.

March 6, 2018, meeting of TMLWP /  commissioners vote to not fund this item, voting instead to put that money towards improvements to Bridge street, the road that goes by the TMLWP building (s).

Assessors office finds out about this on June 25, 2018 - after annual Town Meeting, which was in May. Great communication here!

So, this required item was going to be funded from a sum of money provided by the TMLWP, except on March 6, 2018, the commissioners vote to not do it.

According to the meeting minutes of the TMLWP commission, two former Templeton selectmen, Chris Stewart and Gregg Edwards and Dana Blais voted to:

$82,000.00 for: $8,500.00 for a tractor, $5,000.00 for groomer, $20,000.00 for SCBA tanks and the rest towards Bridget Street reconstruction. Perhaps it slipped the mind of the town administrator to inform the assessors of this, so where were the selectmen in this? Are they engaged in the budget process or not, it is essentially their budget that is presented and then sent to Advisory Committee.

Back in 2006, when Gregg Edwards was a selectmen, Vision is mentioned in the report from the assessors. Strange two former selectmen did not suggest to find out the details of Vision first, prior to voting it down.

On a more important front, Chris Stewart suggested the town begin paying "their" electric bills in full again. Suggestion of a tiered approach, 20% in FY2019, 40% in FY2020, 60% in FY2021, etc., until the town is back to full payment again.

Ideas about Vision software: The GM at TMLWP stated not sure what Vision software upgrade was, but he suspected it had something to do with the Sewer department and the Town's plan to take over sewer collections. Gregg Edwards was concerned it was some new yet to be tested accounting software and he did not want Templeton being the test case for it. Chris Stewart stated instead of $20,000.00 for Vision, the 20K should go to Bridge street reconstruction. The commission went for 20K for tanks instead, per the above vote. Interesting thought process from the people who oversee TMLWP.

Great transparency from Town Hall - a firing offense perhaps???
Watching the board of selectmen meeting of April 23, 2018 and hearing the town auditor, CPA Tony Roselli, talk about cash collection control. Specifically, with regards to department collections,such as say, the Town Clerk collection of dog license fees; they need to be accounted for, because although the dollar amounts are small, they add up!

So, we have seen that the threshold of worry for that think tank justsmartnuff is around 14 cents a year per tax payer, I believe when a CPA or certified public accountant, states that all dollar amounts should be tracked and thought about, well, that justifies the Advisory Committee discussing $700.00 per year.

Advice to justsmartnuff; stick to making salads!
So, at Town Hall, the full time employees, so called, do not work 40 hour weeks (38 hrs +/-)

At the budget hearing meetings, with sewer department, there was a pretty involved discussion on the sewer administrative assistant getting up to full time. The town administrator indicating 40 hours was required (why not for town hall?) After much back and forth, it was stated it would be 36 hours full time this year and fiscal 2020, the hours would move to 40 hours.

Fast forward to now, there was/is money in the budget (s) for a 2%  non union raise, apparently, the sewer department administrative assistant was left out. Why would that be? I was at a meeting of sewer commissioners (elected by the town to take care of "all things sewer" look up the MGL on that!) There was and still is,apparently,  a point of contention between the town administrator and the elected sewer commissioners on the collections of the sewer department. One item is the sewer commissioners feel the town should get their house in order first, before taking on sewer collections, and charging the enterprise fund for indirect costs.

I have to wonder if this raise issue is the result of payback, that has seemed to be the way of the operation from the BOS office, tow the line or else, follow my lead, or else. Look at the number of long time employees gone recently? What conclusion do you come to? Select board chairman states it is probably an oversight, so give us time to look at it. Time for select board members to follow the town general by-laws and lead and manage, give direction to town administrator, rather than the other way around. No excuse for promised, stated, accounted for and appropriated by town meeting, raises not given out to all included.

Interesting to see how this perceived arm twisting works out. Why should there be such a struggle to do things correctly? I mean, the town has good numbers, the audits are all done, we have qualified people in position, the financial team, so why this issue of a raise not being passed on. All of the union raises were handed out. Seems to be an operational approach, come up with a way to get an employee to leave if they do not become a good little pawn and then, well, since you don't have an assistant, we will be glad to have collections in town hall.

If you doubt this, attend a meeting of sewer commissioners and ask them, contact the chairman of the select board and ask him about this. This is a management issue that the select board is responsible for.

Monday, July 16, 2018

follow up to a speech by Cameron Fortes:

Using the cold war as a possible parallel (a stretch perhaps)

in the 1960's, there was the Cuban standoff, involving America and the USSR.

Then there was the Berlin Wall come down.

A stand off of sorts between the Templeton Board of Selectmen and the Advisory Committee.

Was the Board of Selectmen meeting of July 11, 2018 the day that some from one blinked?

Cameron Fortes, like Nakita Khrushev, seems to have moved away from the rest of the leadership at town hall  (leadership at town hall, another stretch?) I think someone blinked, and like Khrushchev, Fortes seems to be willing to try something different.

As I recall the big to do concerning Open Meeting Law supposed violations, I use that in parallel with the blockade, with no movement, no solution, until someone blinked.

Now, with regards to the Berlin Wall, we have one player, but who will be the one for the "other side"? It may be time for two most unlikely of folks to "tear down that wall" and begin a new movement. Just like the Cuban blockade ending, some internal things need to happen in Town Hall: a new chairman of the board of selectmen perhaps? New dialogue from the Advisory Committee, because using the old same ole same ole has not worked. An uneasy "peace" while new ideas / rules are crafted and agreed upon, to better the Town and move people back to Town Meeting.

The who, how and when may pose the bigger problems, but this needs to happen.

Now, so justsmartenough does not have a melt down and burn all his/her salad recipes, I am not really comparing the politics of Templeton to the cold war and the USA / USSR stand offs, satellite wars and Nuclear showdowns, but I do think there is a legitimate parallel: two powers who in the past and perhaps even still, working towards dominance, while leaving things that really matter in the cellar. It is time to let some light in.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Just watched the selectmen meeting of July 25, 2016 and at 22 minutes into the meeting, chairman of the select board John Caplis can be heard stating that he is not in favor of using the same audit company over and over; he prefers to share the wealth a little bit with different companies.

Templeton Board of Selectmen's Meeting 7.25.16   

So there ya go and enjoy.
A slow news day in Templeton equals:

As a resident of Templeton, I find it interesting that the Board of Selectmen have had at their disposal, a legal question / concern from the Advisory Committee, along with an answer, to include some possible solutions, since 2015, October there of, and yet, they chose to only address or change one bylaw, that would only have affected the Advisory Committee, while omitting the bylaw that directly affects them and their directly appointed town employee, whose own words state; "my job is to make the selectmen look good."

So, why not consult with Advisory Committee first on a bylaw change directly affecting that committee? Why not address the bylaw, Article III, town officers, and bring clarity to all?

We will have to wait and see what the codification process has brought us, but looking at the current bylaws, there is still an issue before us that needs to be clarified, with the end result being a clear, stated, forward reaching, fact finding role for the Templeton Advisory Committee. Since the Advisory Committee can only request an item be placed before Town Meeting, it seems to be something that the selectmen will have to push forward. The other option is by way of a citizens petition so as to allow Town Meeting to decide this most important item. Is this something that would bring people back to Town Meeting, I can only hope so.

Seeing how it has been stated or written that the Advisory Committee is a committee of Town Meeting and therefore part of the legislative branch of Templeton government (legislative branch being those who show up for town meeting) does that mean the board of selectmen effectively flipped off the people of Templeton by not addressing this issue in entirety? You make the call.
email to Town Hall - Board of Selectmen Office

from: pderensis@aol.com                        10/28/2015, 6:15 P.M.

Re: Budget Process

To: townadministrator@templeton1.org

____________________________________________________________________________

Bob;

The General Laws of the Commonwealth leave to each municipality to decide its own process to determine which board or official presents budgets to town meeting. Accordingly, the answer to your question turns on what the town has adopted as by-laws, or what practice and procedures have been followed over time.

So we turn to the town's by-laws to see what the answer to this question is.

The town has a "strong" advisory committee, responsible for advising the town not only as to financial articles, but "all" articles. It has the following responsibilities:

Article II Town Meetings:

Section 6. All articles in any warrant for a town meeting shall be referred to the Advisory Committee for its consideration. ...  A public hearing shall be held, upon all such articles, ..... Said committee shall, after due consideration of the subject matter of such articles, report thereon to the town meeting, in writing, such recommendations as it deems best for the interests of the town and its citizens ..... (emphasis added)

Article IV, Advisory Committee
Section 4. It shall be the duty of the Advisory Committee annually to consider the expenditures in previous years and the estimated requirements for the ensuing year of the several boards, officers and committees of the town, as prepared by them in such form and detail as may be prescribed by said committee. The said committee shall add to such statement of expenditures and estimates another column, giving the amounts which in its opinion should be appropriated for the ensuing year, and shall further add thereto such explanations and suggestions relating to the proposed appropriations as it may deem expedient, and report thereon as provided in section five of Article II. [note: section 5 of Article II appears to be irrelevant, and section 6 of Article II appears to be intended]

Section 6. It shall be the duty of the Advisory Committee to make an annual report of its doings, with recommendations relative to financial matters and the conduct of town business, to be contained in the annual town report.

More recently, the town has adopted other bylaws relating to the creation of the position of town administrator in the town. (Article III, section 4) and has established the Board of Selectmen and or town administrator as key for capital projects:


See Article XLII, Capital Planning


Section 2: Committee duties: To facilitate the reasonable acquisition and replacement of capital items (defined as assets and projects with a useful life of five or more years and a cost of more than $10,000.00 but including items with an individual cost of more than $10,000.00), the Committee shall have the following duties and responsibilities:

• Annually collect all proposed capital improvements for the coming six years from all departments, on forms designed for that purpose.
• Consider all requests and the relative need and impact of
these requests on the Town’s financial position.

• Establish and annually update a five-year Capital Improvement Plan, based on this information.
• Annually, prepare a report prioritizing capital needs for the coming fiscal year, and recommend a Capital Improvement Budget for that fiscal year.

• Submit this annual report and their recommendations for purchases or improvements, in the form of a separate capital article, to the Board of Selectmen for its consideration and approval.

Upon endorsement by the Board of Selectmen, the Capital Budget shall be included on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant for consideration.

It is the intent of this bylaw 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. It is the responsibility of the committee to submit an explanation of the omission of any request. This explanation is to be provided to the Board of Selectmen before any vote for appropriation takes place on the omitted request. The Committee's report and the Selectmen's recommended Capital Budget shall be made available to the Advisory Board for review and inclusion in the annual recommendations of the Advisory Board.

Finally, most recently:


Article 20: Change to the Town Budget Process:

To see if the Town will vote to change Article IV “Advisory Committee,” Section 4 of the Town By-Laws to read:


“It shall be duty of the Town Administrator in conjunction with the BOS to consider expenditures and develop a budget for the ensuing fiscal year of the several boards, officers and committees of the town, as prepared by them in such form and detail as prescribed by the Town Administrator.”; or take any other action relative thereto.
Submitted by the Board of Selectmen


On a substitute motion duly made and seconded the Town voted that Article III “Town Officers“ of the Town By-laws be herby amended:

4. “It shall be duty of the Town Administrator in conjunction with the BOS to consider expenditures and develop a budget for the ensuing fiscal year of the several boards, officers and committees of the town, as prepared by them in such form and detail as prescribed by the Town Administrator.” (emphasis added)
Passed Unanimously/May 19th @ 8:38pm
 
The bylaws already had, when the foregoing motion was voted, an existing Article III, section 4, which is the bylaw that created a town administrator position in the town of Templeton. Presumably, the intent of establishing a new section 4 wasn't to repeal the existing section 4, so presumably the reference to a new Article III section 4 is a typo and presumably was intended to become 4a or 5? but that isn't clear. Or perhaps the intent was to add a new section to the end of the existing section 4?
 
In our opinion, the substitute motion, by removing the reference in the motion to changing key basis for the Advisory Committee's role set forth in Article IV, section 4, did not change the Advisory Committee's powers with respect to town meeting arising from that unchanged section. Instead, it appears that we have a parallel track of budget making, with the town meeting vote established in the Town Administrator a key role, leaving both the Town Administrator and Advisory Committee with key roles. It is a basic rule of legal interpretation that the title to an article is not determinative (and that is the only place there is a reference to "a change" as finally voted; and that all the laws need to be read together and all implemented as best we can. It can be argued with substantial persuasiveness that either of the two has primacy in the presentation of the actual motions to be made at town meeting, and nothing forecloses the other from offering a substitute motion. Therefore, primacy in making a motion, however, is not clearly established by the words in the bylaws so adopted, leaving the issue to be one of the "legislative intent" by town meeting, i.e., what did town meeting intend.
 
We would recommend that there be a clearer statement by the voters at town meeting to resolve this issue.
 
Absent an article on the warrant for the special upcoming town meeting to clarify whose motion is made "first", then we suggest that the Town Administrator and Advisory Committee reach an understanding based on what is clearest for the voters to follow, and failing an agreement, then at the beginning of the special town meeting, the moderator should ask the town meeting to adopt rules of the meeting, which could include a rule as to which/who makes the initial motion to be brought before the town meeting. If Advisory Committee objects to the TAs motions, or if the TA objects to the Advisory's motions, then let the voters decide what is the procedure to be used.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

In a message dated 10/26/2015 9:57:39 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, townadministrator@templeton1.org writes:

Paul -

The Advisory Committee is questioning the authority of the Selectmen to present the annual operating budget to the town meeting. They feel that the Selectmen's budget should be given to them and that they should present a budget to the town meeting.

Last year, I read the new by-law as establishing an "executive budget" similar to the budget process in federal, state and city governments. The executive budget is initially developed by the T.A. and then reviewed, modified and adopted by the Board of Selectmen. The Selectmen's budget is then given to the Advisory Board for review, comment, and recommendations at town meeting, but it is the Selectmen's budget which is presented at town meeting.

The Advisory Board is a committee of the Town Meeting and part of the legislative branch of town government. Their job is to review the Selectmen's budget and make recommendations to the town meeting but not to develop a separate budget for town meeting.

The Advisory Board would like to have an opinion from Town Counsel on this procedure.

Bob


Robert T. Markel
Interim Town Administrator
Town of Templeton
160 Patriots Road
East Templeton, MA 01438
(978)894-2753
Proposed by-law change seems to back up what has been stated:
Selectmen are aloof and not engaged in what is going on in Town Hall


existing Templeton General Town by-law:

Article II Town Meetings:

Section 6. All articles in any warrant for a town meeting shall be referred to the Advisory Committee for its consideration. The Selectmen after drawing any such warrant shall transmit immediately a copy thereof to the chairman of said committee. A public hearing shall be held, upon all such articles, unless a public hearing by some other tribunal is required by law, and a notice of such hearing shall be given by inserting in the local newspaper. Said committee shall, after due consideration of the subject matter of such articles, report thereon to the town meeting, in writing, such recommendations as it deems best for the interests of the town and its citizens. Copies of the report of the Advisory Committee shall be made available to the voters at least two days before town meetings and at all town meetings.

from the Warrant for the 2018 Templeton Annual Town Meeting:


ARTICLE 4
Amend By-Laws Re: Advisory Committee
Submitted by the Board of Selectmen      
Majority Vote Required



Section 5.It shall be the duty of the Advisory Committee annually to consider the expenditures in previous years and the estimated requirements various warrant articles, for the ensuing year of the several boards, officers and committees of the town including
any citizen petitions thereon. as prepared by them in such form and detail as may be prescribed by said committee. The said Advisory Committee shall add to such statement of expenditures and estimates another column, giving the amounts which in its opinion should be appropriated for the ensuing year, and shall further add thereto such explanations and suggestions relating to the proposed appropriations as it may deem expedient, and report thereon to the community at least seven days before the date set for the Annual Town Meeting and at least four days before the date set
for a Special Town Meeting with such explanations and suggestions as it may
deem most useful to the community. as provided in section five of Article II


Proposed changes / additions are in bold type.
NOTE: Selectmen did not confer with Advisory Committee on these proposed changes.
Also;
section five of Article II appears to be irrelevant, and section 6 of Article II appears to be intended

Since the general by-laws of the Town already state all warrant articles for Town Meeting will be considered by Advisory Committee, I have to wonder if the selectmen actually read and understand what they vote on and sign?



















Assistant Treasurer/Collector: Part-Time flexible schedule position (19+/- hrs/wk over four days) responsible for processing real-estate and excise taxes as well as other receivables, and performing all general duties within the office and acting as the Treasurer/Collector in the absence of the same. Requires an Associate’s degree in Accounting or Business and three years of administrative support and bookkeeping experience or an equivalent of education and experience. Preference is given to those with experience in a front-line customer service. Submit application letter, resume, and standard Town application form available at
www.templeton1.org (click on Paid, Volunteer and Contract Opportunities) or Town Hall to Carter Terenzini, Interim Town Administrator, 160 Patriots Rd, PO Box 620, East Templeton, MA 01438. The position will be open until filled, with first reviews beginning August 2, 2018. The Town of Templeton is an EOE.


FireFighter/EMT-P: Forty Eight hour regularly scheduled week responsible in municipal Fire/EMS Department of Career/Call personnel. Responsible for response to all calls, maintenance of inventory and equipment, and general related duties. Requires a High School or GED diploma, EMT-P certification w/two years of E-911 response experience (w/ACLS & PHILS), FireFighter I/II Pro-Board certification (or the ability to earn the same w/in 12 months) and ICS 100/200/700/800 certification(s) (or the ability to earn the same in three months) and valid driver’s license.

Submit application letter, resume, copies of certifications, and standard Town application form available at www.templeton1.org (click on Paid, Volunteer and Contract Opportunities) or Town Hall to Carter Terenzini, Town Administrator, 160 Patriots Rd, PO Box 620, East Templeton, MA 01438. The position will be open until filled, with first reviews beginning June 21, 2018. The Town of Templeton is an EOE

Which do we have, interim, full time or part time?

Proof read anyone? Consistency anyone?





















Friday, July 13, 2018

FY 2019 selectmen spending plan;
page 57 - Assessors / Other - expense budget:
Vision software upgrade . . . . $20,000.00*

* = moved to capital.

page 273: Capital - Assessor Capital: $20,000.00 for Vision software upgrade.

page 274: excel spread sheet with capital items and funding source;

Vision software upgrade = $20,000.00 TMLWP*

* Pending TMLWP (Templeton Municipal Light / Water Plant,

page 292; capital planning committee - Assessors Vision software upgrade is non tax impact item, as it will be paid for out of the Assessors overlay fund.???

Listed members are Doug Morrison - selectmen
                                 Robert May - Advisory Committee
                                 Cheryl Richardson - Treasurer/Collector
                                 Carter Terenzini - Town Administrator

page 6; capital - total budget $1,068,675.00

TMLWP - $43,500.00
Overlay -   $13,450.00 (how does one cover a $20,000.00 expense with only $13,450.00)?

TMLWP commissioners vote to not fund Vision, but the message never gets past the T/A, or that is what appears to have happened.

No more salad recipes. (There is always one who wrecks it)

Details details?

Town of Templeton
Employment Opportunity

Assistant Town Accountant: Part-Time flexible schedule position (19+/- hrs/wk over four days) responsible for processing payroll and accounts payable, management of insurance and benefits and general assistance to the Town Accountant. Requires an Associate’s degree in Accounting or Business and three years of administrative support and bookkeeping experience or an equivalent of education and experience.
Assistant Treasurer/Collector: Part-Time flexible schedule position (19+/- hrs/wk over four days) responsible for processing real-estate and excise taxes as well as other receivables, and performing all general duties within the office and acting as the Treasurer/Collector in the absence of the same. Requires an Associate’s degree in Accounting or Business and three years of administrative support and bookkeeping experience or an equivalent of education and experience. Preference is given to those with experience in a front-line customer service





Submit application letter, resume, and standard Town application form available at
www.templeton1.org (click on Paid, Volunteer and Contract Opportunities) or Town Hall to Carter Terenzini, Interim Town Administrator, 160 Patriots Rd, PO Box 620, East Templeton, MA 01438. The position will be open until filled, with first reviews beginning August 2, 2018. The Town of Templeton is an EOE.


I thought the selectmen said we do not have an interim Administrator any longer because they appointed Carter to a one year deal with a contract that states "Town Administrator" (even if the required hours are only 16 per week)

So, is the administrator interim, as in temporary, is he part time, long term or do the selectmen not know? Do the selectmen know the difference?


The more one looks at Templeton government, the more it appears there is a certain lack of engagement on the part of selectmen. I have watched selectmen meetings since the last town election and I will say congratulations to the voters; you re-elected a no show selectmen for three more years - yay! Selectmen Richards is always there for the tough discussion - NOT!






Thursday, July 12, 2018

To those who visit this blog, you should watch the youtube movie that is the Templeton board of selectmen meeting of July 11, 2018. Especially the last 20 or so minutes. A selectmen speaks to many issues raised here on this blog. A selectmen speaks to problems, concerns and questions raised, pointed out or asked by the Templeton Advisory Committee.

Some may request an order of humble pie with a side of crow. I enjoyed it so much, I watched it twice and will probably watch it again.

Note to selectmen Caplis; you should not leave your selectmen binder on the table in the conference room - with paperwork in it marked confidential!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Attorney General issues advisory; 

Public sector workers’ rights and employer obligations in wake of Janus ruling

In response to the June 27 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME, the Office of Attorney General Maura Healey issued an advisory regarding public sector workers’ rights and employer obligations.
 
Under the Janus decision, public sector unions may no longer charge agency fees to employees who are not union members, and public sector employers may no longer deduct agency fees from a nonmember’s wages without the clear and affirmative consent of the nonmember employee.
 
Municipalities are advised to consult with legal counsel to immediately stop payroll deductions for the non-union members of all bargaining units, and to notify the representatives of all bargaining units of the intention to comply with the Janus decision.
 
The attorney general’s advisory affirms the collective bargaining rights of public sector employees under Chapter 150E, explains the impact of the Janus decision on union dues and agency fees, and reminds readers of the procedures for access to union members and personal information in the public sector.


On June 27, 2018, the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, (Janus decision). The following is a Question and Answer (Q&A) created by the Department of Labor Relations (DLR) in order to assist those affected by the decision. This Q&A reflects the state of the law as of the issuance of the Janus decision. The statements and opinions expressed below represent the best judgment of the DLR at the current time. Not all of the issues, however, are fully resolved yet. The materials below do not carry the force of law and are not meant to be a substitute for your own legal counsel’s advice. If you are unsure of your rights and obligations under the law or collective bargaining agreement, and or need further clarification regarding any of these answers, legal advice should be sought.
1. What does the Janus decision mean for public sector employees in Massachusetts?
The Janus decision makes it unlawful for public sector employers or unions to require that an employee who is not a voluntary dues paying union member to pay an agency fee to a union as a condition of obtaining employment or continued employment. This means that neither an agency fee nor any other payment to the union may be deducted from a nonmember’s wages, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to such a payment. Under the Janus decision, agency shop arrangements contained in collective bargaining agreements are invalidated.
2. What is an agency fee?
An agency fee is a sum of money that an employee who chooses not to be a dues-paying member of a union pays to a union for activities related to the union’s obligations as collective bargaining representative, such as negotiating contracts and representing employees in grievances and arbitrations. Previously, under M.G.L. c. 150E, § 12, it was lawful to require payment of an agency fee as a condition of employment pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. Janus holds that agency fees may only be deducted from employees who affirmatively consent to pay them.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Templeton Town website,
meeting calendar, Board of Selectmen meeting;
Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at 6:30 P.M.

5b Joint Meeting w/Housing Authority RE: Appoint Candidate to Housing Authority through the May 2019 election

5b - This opening has been posted on the website for two weeks. One candidate, John Columbus, has submitted an application.


from the Templeton Town website;

The Templeton Housing Authority is part of an independent State agency that is not governed by the Town of Templeton. As a public service and resource for the residents of Templeton, the Town has included this page on our website. 

The office is located at 99 Bridge Street, Baldwinville, MA  01436.
Regular Office Telephone Number: 978-939-2374

Massachusetts General Law, chapter 41.
Section 11: Appointment to fill vacancy in town office

Section 11. As used in this section, the term ''vacancy'' includes a failure to elect. If a vacancy occurs in any town office, other than the office of selectman, town clerk, treasurer, collector of taxes or auditor, the selectmen shall in writing appoint a person to fill such vacancy. If there is a vacancy in a board consisting of two or more members, except a board whose members have been elected by proportional representation under chapter fifty-four A, the remaining members shall give written notice thereof, within one month of said vacancy, to the selectmen, who, with the remaining member or members of such board, shall, after one week's notice, fill such vacancy by roll call vote. The selectmen shall fill such vacancy if such board fails to give said notice within the time herein specified. A majority of the votes of the officers entitled to vote shall be necessary to such election. The person so appointed or elected shall be a registered voter of the town and shall perform the duties of the office until the next annual meeting or until another is qualified.


Section 20: Selectmen; duties and oath; penalty

Section 20. Selectmen shall, upon the receipt and approval of the bond of a collector of taxes or treasurer, give written notice thereof to the assessors. The selectmen shall be assessors of taxes in towns which have not authorized the election of such officers; and before acting as assessors they shall take the oath required of assessors. A person elected a selectman who enters upon the performance of his duties before taking the oath of office shall forfeit not more than one hundred dollars.

Section 21: Authorization for selectmen to act as or appoint other town officers

Section 21. By vote of a town meeting called for the purpose in any town at least sixty days before an annual meeting, or upon request by petition of ten per cent of the qualified voters of any town filed with the selectmen thereof at least sixty days before an annual town meeting, asking that the selectmen act as a water and sewer board, water commissioners, water and municipal light commissioners, municipal light board, sewer commissioners, park commissioners, board of public works, board of health, assessors, or commission of public safety, or perform the duties of such boards or officers or any of them or that cemetery commissioners, assessors, a superintendent of streets, a chief of the police and fire departments or board of health be thereafter appointed by the selectmen, the selectmen of such town shall include in the warrant for such annual meeting for submission to the voters such question or questions in the following form, to be placed on the official ballot in towns using such ballot:?
Shall the town vote to have its selectmen act as _______?
Shall the town vote to have its selectmen appoint _______?
If a town, in which the selectmen are elected for terms of one year, shall vote in accordance with this section that its selectmen shall act as or perform the duties of any of the aforesaid boards or officers, it shall, at the next annual meeting, elect one selectman for one year, one for two years and one for three years, or, if five are to be elected, one for one year, two for two years and two for three years, and thereafter in either event shall elect them for terms of three years. Upon the election and qualification of the selectmen at such next annual meeting, and upon the appointment and qualification by oath of the officers herein authorized to perform the duties of any existing town board or officer, the term of office of such existing board or officer shall thereupon terminate, and all the duties, powers and obligations of said boards and officers shall be transferred to and imposed upon their successors.

Friday, July 6, 2018

You could live in Methuen, MA;


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METHUEN, MA — As Methuen suffers through the worst budget crisis it’s seen in years, two departments lie at the center of the city’s fiscal woes: the school department, already $4 million in debt from this past fiscal year, and the police department, whose contracts will cost the city more than $1 million in raises.
While the School Department has fallen into debt mainly due to special education costs, the police contracts, which city leaders say they are unable to afford, are the result of poor negotiation on the city’s part, officials said.
City Auditor Thomas Kelly and Mayor James Jajuga said Friday the contract negotiated under former Mayor Stephen Zanni included language that never should have been approved because of the exponential increases in salary it afforded all 96 officers, plus the chief.
“I don’t know how this got to the point it got to,” Jajuga said. “I spoke to Tom Kelly about it, and Tom said, ‘I was never asked to really analyze it, when I did I said there were problems and I was ignored.'”
The city’s five captains stand to gain the most from the contracts. One police captain, who currently earns $157,052.16 with ancillary benefits included, will earn $440,735.42 next fiscal year if the contracts are honored — a raise of 180.63 percent, according to data provided by Kelly.
from the finance committee handbook, chapter 3, page 20
The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) has ruled
that finance committees are responsible for preparing and
submitting their municipality’s annual budget (Chapter 39 s
16, Ch. 41, s 59 and s 60M.G.L.), unless there is a charter or
bylaw giving this authority to the board of selectmen or town
manager (DOR’s In Our Opinion, 93-310). The exact format
of an annual town budget is community specific. DOR has
determined that while the law regarding annual municipal
budget format is directed to cities, it should also be followed
by towns.
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 townmeeting — not the finance committee or selectmen — maydetermine the exact budget format to be used (see In OurOpinion, 92-145). As a practical matter, town meetingwould have to vote to reject the present format and request a
new one for the following year.


If you wish to send a message to the selectmen, try a citizen's petition to change the budget format at Town Meeting. (Who is really in charge?)
How it gets done in Templeton selectmen office;

Following last night's meeting, I checked the "mail slot" of the Advisory Committee in Town Hall. Mail from the school district, which contained a letter informing Advisory that on June 18, 2018, the school committee voted an interim assessment concerning Templeton's contribution. The amount voted is $6,332,752.00. This does not include the debt service for the district. Letter states assessments (dollar figures) will be recertified for both member towns after such time as Town of Templeton holds it's fall special Town Meeting in October to include the debt service. (letter dated June 22, 2018)

Also included, a letter to the district from Carter Terenzini (with cc to BOS, treasurer/Collector and Accounting) Advisory Committee was left off, probably not on the Christmas card list of the Town Administrator.
 
That letter sent to district superintendent, states that "I write to assure you that sufficient funds were appropriated to pay the Town's NRSD debt." (I need to see that warrant article) Letter goes on as; "While those funds may not have been appropriated in the conventional manner within your article, the general fund contains a $500,000.00 sum of monies which were originally intended to reduce a Bond Anticipation Note from $10,000,000.00 to $9,500,000.00 upon it's rollover in the fall of 2018. This payment is not required but was anticipatory. Therefore, we will use this uncommitted fund to pay your assessment upon as it becomes due."
"I shall leave to the BOS the matter of whether or not to backfill it at the fall Town Meeting."
 
"Please feel free to call upon me if I may provide you with any further information or certifications on this matter of the availability of these funds."

signed Carter Terenzini, Town Administrator.
 
CC: BOS, Treasure/Collector, Accounting.
 
The letter is dated May 22, 2018