Work Session, 1-5-18

Time stamps available:
0:00:00 Call to Order / Pledge of Allegiance
0:00:44 APPOINTMENT: Andrew Shagoury, police building warrant article
Asking for $30,000 warrant article to hire architects to make plans and estimates
0:03:20 requires town meeting vote to release funds from capital reserve
0:03:55 Bill: CIP recommended that instead of taking money out of capital reserve, this year we should budget for the architect plans instead of putting money into capital reserve.
0:05:45 location for building: next to fire station or across from library. Town already owns those properties.
Chip doesn’t want to say to an architect, “here’s $30,000,” what’ve you got?
0:15:40 Lloyd talking about police building report from a few years ago
0:21:50 Chip: Motion to present warrant article for $30,000 for a design for a police building. 3-0.
0:23:15 APPOINTMENT: Carla Lootens
“I won’t apologize or resign.”
Carla: I’m not a policy maker. The selectmen make the decision.
0:25:10 Carla: You could reach out to NHMA again.
0:26:00 Chip: We can make a decision whether to release the information, and if there’s an aggrieved party they can take it to the Supreme Court
0:27:45 Carla “I don’t want the information.”
0:28:45 Bill: Public has right to public information. AG has identified certain items it’s our responsibility to protect. To suggest they’re not protected is at odds with the AG’s guidance.
0:30:27 Lloyd: Thank you for your service. I was on the committee for 17 years. I worked on HIPAA and Right to Know in past. We don’t have a right to know what book you take out from the library, or if you have a pistol permit.
0:33:15 Carla “I do hope you’ll do something about what’s up on Max’s web site.”
0:33:30 Chip “It’s a free and open web.”
0:34:45 WARRANT ARTICLES Wording of warrant articles.
0:35:12 Chip “I’m not comfortable with ‘no amount to be raised from taxes.’ “
Bill: Let’s strike that language.
0:38:45 Fire Truck warrant article.
0:42:03 Property auction
0:43:20 Chip: strange marriage when using town attorney as auctioneer.
Remove “indefinitely until rescinded”
0:47:20 Article 7 no longer applicable ($75,000 for police building)
0:50:00 (roughly) Bridge talk
0:58:50 RSA 31:19-A-V take money from undesignated fund balance and create a fund “A trust fund…that is established for the purpose…health insurance… for town employees.
1:01:56 Chip: Article 17 establish a trust fund of $100,000 for paying health insurance
1:07:40 Lloyd: Library warrant article.
1:08:57 Benefit services agreement (wait for Diane to arrive)
1:10:20 Diane arrives
HealthTrust (subsidiary of LGC) manages the FSA
1:15:10 Bill: move approval
1:15:40 PUBLIC COMMENT
Gordon: does the board intend to get clear advice on whether it’s legal to disclose per-employee costs for health benefits?
Guy: if Public Comment is going to be solicited it should be in the agenda
Max: I did not ask Carla to apologize
Carla: Yes you did
Max: When?
Carla: It’s in your email.
Max: No it’s not.
Motion to Adjourn

Published in Board of Selectmen
Max Ledoux

Author: Max Ledoux

I've lived in Tuftonboro since 2014. I grew up in Lisbon Falls, Maine (the Moxie capital of the world). I run tuftonboro.net.

11 thoughts on “Work Session, 1-5-18”

  1. Does it annoy any of you that when someone is speaking and says something Carla disagrees with that she cuts them off and starts talking over them? Carla, I know you read this site so that is simply some constructive criticism. Let the person who is speaking finish then make your comment/response. This is how adults are supposed to act.
    To the Selectmen, I remember some months back Max. did exactly that when Bill was speaking and Max started to talk over Bill. The First Selectmen chastised Max for this and put a stop to it. I am asking the Selectmen to be consistent with this policy.

  2. I’ll ask again how does having access to the exact per employee healthcare cost help the Tuftonboro tax payer? I understand Max is a passionate advocate for following the letter of the law and his interpretation of state regulations leads him to strongly feel the public is entitled to this information. However, Carla and the selectman do not believe this is the case. All 5-of these individuals are credible and make convincing arguments. My feeling is there are many things to worry about in life and knowing the exact cost of health care premium per employee isn’t one of them. Unless someone can tell me what critical benefit is derived by having this information I suggest we call a truce and move on to more pressing issues.

  3. The answer is simple Mike, it is the law to provide this type of info when requested, it is that simple. It does not matter if Carla and the selectmen do not believe this info should be given out, the law is the law and they should not deny any of these requests simply because they do not agree. Hope this clears things up for you Mike.

  4. I understand from Max’s technical interpretation of the law there has been a violation. Let’s move beyond that point assuming he is correct. My question is why does it matter (I don’t believe it does) and what will be done about it (hopefully nothing as I don’t want to see precious resources expended). Laws are violated everyday. For example, if you position yourself on the side of a the typical roadway with a 25 MPH speed limit you will likely see substantial numbers of motorists violatating the speed limit. I think this example and the town’s lack of voluntary disclosure of health insurance premiums are similar.

  5. Mike, if you don’t care what we spend per employee on health benefits, then that’s ok. You don’t have to.

    The selectmen and Carla have not made convincing arguments why it should be withheld. They can’t even keep their story straight. Lloyd and Chip keep reverting to HIPAA, which was Carla’s first attempt to censor the information. Lloyd’s stating that “we don’t have the right to know what book you checked out from the library” is totally irrelevant. We’re not talking about library books.

    It’s also not relevant you subjectively think it doesn’t matter.

    This information is public — per the letter of the Right to Know statute (RSA 91-A), and the spirit of the statute (government transparency), and Supreme Court precedent (Firefighters vs LGC) — and the selectmen have no right to withhold it.

  6. Good Evening Max:

    I knew what we spent per employee for healthcare last year. I simple took the total and divided it by 14. You continue to refuse to answer my question of why the detail matters so let’s simply agree to disagree. Reasonable people often must do so. In closing, I would add that since are so concerned with these micro details of Tuftonboro’s inner workings you should run for selectman. I believe it would be an eye-opening experience.

    Best

  7. Hi Max
    while I agree that taxpayers have the right to know generally what the town pays out in benefits and healthcare care to employees each year. I also feel that it is unnecessary and somewhat of a privacy violation to specifically name the employee and exactly how much they cost as far health insurance goes. I certainly hope that they don’t go as far as bracking the cost down by doctors visits, medical procedures, and medications as that would certainly be a HIPPA violation. I think a good compromise would be to make how much a single, couples or family plain costs through the town public knowledge.

  8. Mike: I really appreciate that you have taken the time to comment. I have directly responded to your question of why it matters. If you don’t agree that it matters, that’s fine. But you do not get to say that I have not answered you, because I have.

    HC: What I am asking for is public information. Full stop. Public information.

  9. I agree with Max. Mike and others who are asking why does it matter the answer is so simple. This requested info is allowed by law and must be given out upon request through RSA 91-A. It does not matter why the requestor asked for this info, the bottom line is once again it is the law that it must be given out and not withheld because some think it should be. For those folks that disagree your efforts should be focused on changing the RSA.

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