BOARD OF SELECTMEN

 

REGULAR MEETING

February 7, 2006

 

 

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:

         Judy Neville, First Selectman

       Johnny Potts, Selectman

       Paul Giusti, Selectman

 

ALSO PRESENT:  George Maranis, Administrative Officer;  Gary Conrad, Chief Financial Officer;  Cheryl Jones, Personnel Director;  Frank DeNicola, Director of Public Works;  Mike Pastore, Town Engineer;  Tiger Mann, Senior Engineer;  Sandy Reddin, Chairman, and Jack Horner, member, New Canaan Fire Commission;  Steve Kleppin, Acting Town Planner/Zoning Enforcement Officer;  Jim Cole, Director of Emergency Services;  John Howe, Superintendent of Parks;  Steve Benko, Recreation Director;  Dr. Lewis Annunziato, Chairman of the Town Council;  Carol McDonald, Director of Human Services;  seven paid Firemen;  Laura Kenyon, New Canaan Advertiser;  John Mordecai, New Canaan News-Review.

 

Judy Neville called the meeting to order at 10:00 am, called the roll, and asked that the minutes of the Special Meeting of  December 20, 2005 and the Regular Meeting of January 17, 2006 be approved.  The minutes of December 20, 2005 were approved unanimously on the motion of Mr. Potts and the second of Ms. Neville (Mr. Giusti abstaining because of absence), and the minutes of the Regular Meeting of January 17, 2006 were approved unanimously, on the motion of Mr. Potts and the second of Mr. Giusti.

 

Mr. Howe then presented a request from the Parks Department to retain two companies, Hutchinson Tree Care Specialists, Inc. and O’Neill’s Tree Care, Inc., in the amounts of $63,450 and $39,000, respectively, for pruning, fertilizing, and spraying trees in certain public areas of the Town.  The aggregate amount requested, $102,450, is within the remaining budgeted amount of $138,853.  Mr. Howe described the scope of the work and how it would be delegated and, in response to a question from Mr. Giusti, committed that the remaining budgeted amount, $36,803, would be expended in the spring of 2006. On the motion of Mr. Potts and the second of Mr. Giusti, the request was approved unanimously.

 

Tiger Mann next presented a request from the Department of Public Works for an appropriation of $5,000,000 for Phase II of a pavement management plan for the Town of New Canaan’s network of roads.  Mr. Mann explained that this Phase would concentrate on the downtown area, particularly those streets that had been torn up by the water company (which would contribute to the road repairs.)  Drainage, curbs and sidewalks would be done at the same time to insure permanency of the repair work.  Mr. Giusti focused on the installation of brick sidewalks, and the Selectmen instructed the Public Works Department to prepare a plan specifying which sidewalks would be done in brick and which in concrete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Mr. Mann’s presentation included discussion of Pavement Condition Indices, miles of roads completed and to be done, and the eventual attainment of the goal of “Maintenance Not Required” roads.  On the motion of Mr. Giusti and the second of Mr. Potts, the Selectmen unanimously approved the appropriation of $5,000,000.  Mr. Giusti thanked Mr. Mann, as well as Mr. DeNicola and Mr. Pastore for their excellent work in managing the road repair project

 

Commissioner Reddin then presented a request from the New Canaan Fire Department for a special appropriation of $252,300 to defray unbudgeted operating expenses for the year ending June 30, 2006.  Mr. Reddin explained that the Fire Department budget had consistently been understated in recent years and that this request resulted from a continuation of that pattern.  He attributed the budget over-run principally to increased call volume and inadequate staffing, resulting in inordinate amounts of overtime and callbacks.  He argued for increased staffing, which he explained would reduce overtime and eliminate callbacks.  On the motion of Mr. Giusti and the second of Mr. Potts, the request was approved unanimously.

 

Mr Kleppin next presented a request from the Planning & Zoning Department for a proposed schedule of Planning & Zoning fees (copy attached.)  After unanimously removing the $5 Tag Sale fee, the Selectmen, on the motion of Mr. Potts and the second of Mr. Giusti, unanimously approved the fee schedule.

 

Mr. Benko then asked the Selectmen to approve a contract with Kompan Unique Playgrounds for $9,267.40 to repair the playground equipment at the Kiwanis playground. Koman had installed the equipment and was best qualified to do the repairs.  Citing safety issues and the need to accomplish the repairs quickly, the Selectmen voted unanimously, on the motion of Mr. Potts and the second of Mr. Giusti, to award the contract as requested.  The funds will come from the unexpended budget, $12,500, of the Stone/Coviello property at Kiwanis.

 

At this point, the Selectmen addressed appointments and, at Ms. Neville’s request and the approval of Mr. Potts and Mr. Giusti, the appointment of Beverly Greenberg to the Department of Human Services was added to the Agenda.   On the motion of Mr. Potts and the second of Mr. Giusti, the following appointments were approved unanimously:

·        Beverly Greenberg to the Department of Human Services for a term to expire December 31, 2006.

·        Christina Ross to the Park & Recreation Commission to fill the unexpired term, to December 1, 2006, of Paul McCurdy, who resigned.

·        Angelo Gesualdi to the Fire Department Building Committee.

 

The Selectmen then deliberated on the authorization of an expenditure of $850 as New Canaan’s share of proceedings before DPUC in connection with CL&P charges for street lighting.  Mr. Maranis reported that he had contacted Richard Seltzer, Chairman of the Town’s Utilities Commission, on the matter and that Mr. Seltzer had argued against the expenditure, citing constraints on possible future recoveries from CL&P.  On the motion of Mr. Potts and the second of Mr. Giusti, the Selectmen voted unanimously to not make the contribution.

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Pastore next led the discussion of guidelines to be given to the Town Hall Building Committee in connection with the renovation of Town Hall. There was general discussion among the Selectmen, specifically on staffing requirements, size of the Auditorium and the Board Room, and possible relocation of Departments to other sites.  These suggestions would be conveyed to the Committee at its next meeting.

 

The Selectmen then, on the motion of Mr. Potts and the second of Mr. Giusti, unanimously approved tax refunds and, on the Motion of Mr., Giusti and the second of Mr. Potts, unanimously approved legal bills.

 

The Selectmen then agreed, on the motion of Mr. Potts and the second of Mr. Giusti, to add to the Agenda the approval of the hiring of an Assistant Fire Chief. Commissioner Reddin argued for the hiring but, as the discussion veered into personnel matters more appropriately discussed in Executive Session, the Selectmen voted unanimously, at 12 noon, to go into Executive session to discuss personnel matters.

 

The Selectmen returned to Regular Session at 1:30 pm whereupon, on the motion of Mr. Potts and the second of Mr. Giusti, they voted unanimously to:

·        hire Fred Baker as Fire Marshall at a salary of $80,000 per year (Grade 19 ˝, Step 3) and to reimburse him for his annual contribution of $8,538.36 to the Town of Westport for medical coverage (no coverage to be provided by New Canaan.)

·        retain Dr. David Reed as an independent contractor, providing agreed-upon services to the Health Department, at a rate of $75 per hour (for an estimated two days per week.)

·        remove Firefighters Joe Dilorio, Alfred Bueti, Kevin Vetti, and Patrick Moley                                                                          from probationary status.

·        approve the attendance of Phyllis Jordan at a Tax Assessor’s conference at a cost of $475.

·        approve the sale, at public auction, of  small wagon stored in the Town Hall garage.

 

There being no further business, the Selectmen voted unanimously to adjourn at 1:38 pm.

 

 

                                                                          Respectfully submitted,

 

 

                                                                         George M. Maranis, Secretary