Monday, January 29, 2018

On a motion duly made and seconded the Town voted to appropriate the amount of Forty-Seven Million, Five Hundred Sixty-Three Thousand, One Hundred Eighty-Four Dollars ($47,563,184) for the purpose of paying the costs of designing, constructing, originally equipping and furnishing a new Templeton Elementary School located at 17 South Road, Templeton MA, including the payment of all costs incidental or related thereto (the “Project"), which school facility shall have an anticipated useful life as an educational facility for the instruction of school children of at least 50 years, and for which the Town, through Narragansett Regional School District, may be eligible for a grant from the Massachusetts School Building Authority ("MSBA"), said amount to be expended under the direction of the Templeton Elementary School Building Committee; and to meet this appropriation, the Treasurer, with the approval of the Selectmen, is authorized to borrow said amount under M.G.L. Chapter 44, or pursuant to any other enabling authority; The Town acknowledges that MSBA's grant program is a non-entitlement, discretionary program based on need, as determined by the MSBA, and any Project costs the Town incurs in excess of any grant approved by and received from the MSBA, through the Narragansett Regional School District, shall be the sole responsibility of the Town; provided further that any grant that the Town, through the Narragansett regional School District, may receive from the MSBA for the Project shall not exceed the lesser of: (1) Sixty-Two and Eighty-Four Hundredths Percent (62.84%) of eligible, approved Project costs, as determined by the MSBA, or (2) the total maximum grant amount determined by the MSBA; provided that any appropriation hereunder shall be subject to and contingent upon an affirmative vote of the Town to exempt the amounts required for the payment of interest and principal on said borrowing from the limitations on taxes imposed by M.G.L. 59, section 21C “Proposition 2 ½”; and that the amount of borrowing authorized pursuant to this vote shall be reduce by any grant amount set forth in the Project Funding Agreement that may be executed between the Narragansett Regional School District and the MSBA.

Passed by 2/3/November 9th @ 8:14

from the special Town Meeting of November 9, 2015. While watching the meeting of January 23, 2018 of the school building committee, there was a presentation of invoices, with one being from the school district's attorney (as stated by the OPM for the project) so my question is why is the district's attorney rather than the Town's counsel looking over contracts for this Town of Templeton project?

from Templeton's general by-laws:

Article III – Town Officers
Section 1. The Selectmen shall have the general direction and management of the property and affairs of the town in all matters not otherwise provided for by laws or these By-Laws.

Article VII – Legal Affairs

Section 1. The Selectmen shall be agents of the town to institute, prosecute and defend any and all claims, actions and proceedings to which the town is a party or in which the interests of the town are or may be involved.

Section 5. It shall be the duty of the Town Counsel to conduct the prosecution, defense or compromise of claims, actions and proceedings to which the town is a party, and the prosecution of actions or proceedings by or on behalf of any town officer, board or committee as such; to conduct the defense of any action or proceedings brought against any town officer, board or committee as such when the Selectmen, having determined that any right or interests of the town are or may be involved therein, shall so request, to conduct proceedings brought by or against the Assessors before the Board of Tax Appeals; to assist in the prosecution of complaints for violation of any by-law of the town, when requested so to do by the board of officer enforcing the same, to examine and report upon titles to all land to be acquired by the town; to prepare or approve contracts, bonds, deeds, and other legal instruments in which the town is a party or in which any right or interest of the town is involved; to appear at any and all hearings on behalf of the town whenever his services may be required; and generally to advise and act for the town officers, boards and committees upon and in legal matters touching the duties of their respective officers.

I have to wonder if the current selectmen have ever looked at these by-laws? By passing off or allowing a separate legal entity, the school district, to control such a large Taxpayer funded project, I have to ask if this makes the selectmen derelict in their duty?
Information from Town Hall:

Snow & Ice spending from week ending October 10, 2017 through January 7, 2018;

Labor -     $31,412.62 - allocated - $45,000.00

Services - $34,246.73 - allocated - $87,500.00

So now you can see what you have spent on getting your roads plowed or sanded, equipment bought or repaired. You may decide if that was money well spent or not.
With regards to the licensing issues, if any, with the former MBW site, as well as the proposed or current goings on there; it may appear to be illegal at first glance, as has been the case before in Templeton, but they usually turn out to be shady, grey, right on the line but not technically illegal.

The one thing that may make people pay, if there are some questionable items, is the conflict of interest, which as I recall, cost one former Templeton selectmen a $1,000.00 on my complaint. So, if you feel strongly that there may be an issue, take the steps and file a conflict of interest complaint, it may work or it may not.

The only way to change this is to vote out of office the involved parties, so that is on the people of the Town. That may mean that you have to step up and run and become involved.

This particular item could make for an interesting public comment at a selectmen meeting, so perhaps Bob Adams will show and make that comment. Personally, I am sitting back watching the people who voted for the planning board members, voted for the police station upgrade, the people who say they want business in Town, the people who allowed chapter 90 money to be used for equipment rather than actual road repair and on and on, and now those same people want to question the process, the people involved and the taxes they pay. Well, once upon a time, the Town had a chance to make a few changes that could have have helped Templeton's financial direction but they chose the status quo; which is fine and was their choice, so now, deal with it as you got what you wanted. Remember, you voted for it!