Selectmen’s Meeting, May 8, 2017

0:00:00 CALL TO ORDER / Pledge of allegiance
0:00:25 PUBLIC INPUT
0:00:32 Chris Sawyer
0:02:41 DEPARTMENT UPDATES
0:02:45 Jack Parsons / Code & Buildings
0:04:38 Clay Gallagher / Transfer Station
0:39:20 Jim Bean / Bridges (with Peter Holden, Holden Engineering)
1:10:05 Jim Bean / Highway Department
2:26:08 REVIEW & APPROVAL OF MINUTES
2:27:17 SIGNATURE FILE
2:35:49 Discussion about cemetery abandonment (Thomas-Moulton cemetery) public hearing to be held July 24.
2:44:05 CONTINUED BUSINESS
2:44:08 Junkyards
2:50:12 Tax-Deeded Properties
3:02:01 Cow Island Project
3:04:21 SELECTMEN’S UPDATES
3:04:25 Bill:
Donation to Special Olympics in honor of Steve Honeycutt. Amend previous motion to $75 donation. Passes 3-0.
Milfoil control committee to meet. Needs new members.
Planning Board meeting looked at zoning changes / GIS maps
3:12:45 Chip:
Parks & Rec
Conservation Commission/Jack Parson/Sand replacement at beach
3:17:01 CORRESPONDENCE
Department head meeting May 12 at 10AM
Letter from Carol Steinman
Boat ramp stuff
3:22:15 Jack Parsons has sent a letter to property owners in regards to littering on Durgin Road (two couches and a stuffed chair have been at the end of a driveway for at least six weeks)
Dump stickers and 19 mile Bay parking stickers
3:32:00 OTHER BUSINESS
Jeff Moody / boat ramp
3:32:29 PUBLIC INPUT
Elissa Paquette: “The certified minutes that you’re talking about, is that what is online?”
Chip: “I have no idea if it’s online.”
Karen: “Those are her final minutes. I understand the first draft didn’t have that same decision.”
Elissa: “So you were reading the final minutes.”
Chip: “I’m reading the minutes that were given to us as final from the town clerk…”
Lloyd: “Those are considered…”
Elissa: “[inaudible]…it was a draft…”
Chip: “I don’t think there was significant change from the draft to the final.”
Bill: “Right.”
Elissa: “oh, ok.”
Chip: “In that respect.”
3:34:45 Elissa: “I spoke to Dan Barnard and he said he and Heather agreed with Max and that they had amended the minutes.”
3:35:24

Chip Albee Insists Amendment That He Voted For Didn’t Happen

Selectman Chip Albee is insisting that Town Meeting did not restrict the sale of tax-deeded properties to sealed bids only. “This discussion about whether or not [inudible] should only be put out for sealed bid, and not be auctioned, I think the question in my mind is not whether or not the town voted on that, because they didn’t.”

But we did. Continue reading “Chip Albee Insists Amendment That He Voted For Didn’t Happen”

Selectmen’s Meeting for May 1, 2017

0:00 CALL TO ORDER / PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
0:30 PUBLIC COMMENT
6:10 APPOINTMENT: Richard Sager
35:40 REVIEW and approval of minutes
41:25 SIGNATURE FILES
51:40 CONTINUED BUSINESS
59:00 SELECTMEN’S UPDATE
1:06:30 Highway Department several lines items over budget
1:08:20 Calendar announcements
1:09:40 Correspondence
1:16:00 RTK from Don McWhirter
1:24:00 OTHER BUSINESS
1:26:00 PUBLIC COMMENT
1:26:10 Chris Sawyer — Fire truck
1:27:15 Guy Pike — Stonewalls in town rights of way
1:27:40 Max Ledoux
1:29:00 RETURN TO BUSINESS: redo motions from last Friday’s meeting because wrong dates were used by accident

Selectmen Visit Brown Road

On Friday, April 28, the board of selectmen (Lloyd Wood, Bill Marcussen, and Chip Albee) met at Brown Road to set the edges of the town’s right of way on the property of Ted and Carol Steinman. The selectmen’s meeting was posted as a public meeting and Guy Pike, Ben Ladd, and I attended. At issue for the selectmen to examine was a line of large rocks the Steinmans had installed on the of the road last summer within the town’s right of way.

Brown Road Road at Lower Beech Pond is a 3-rod road, meaning the town’s easement is 49.5 feet wide. (A rod is equal to 16 ½ feet.) While a road might not be in the exact center of the original easement, the Steinman’s attorney last week stated that their assumption is the road is centered in the easement. The pavement of the road is 21-feet wide, according to the selectmen’s measurement, which means the town has a 14¼ foot right of way on either side of the road (21+14.25+14.25=49.5).

Although it appeared Lloyd was opposed in general to spending public money, Albee and Bill indicated that they were in favor of having the town Road Agent (Jim Bean, an elected official) move the line of rocks out of the town right of way, farther onto the Steinman’s property.

There is a separate issue of the public access to Lower Beech Pond, which the Steinmans also blocked off.

One possibility there is that NH Fish & Game could install a boat ramp. It’s unclear what the town would have to do, if anything, in preparation for that. Chip mentioned the town could stabilize the bank for Fish & Game.

The board will likely have more to discuss on this issue at Monday’s meeting at 4PM at the town offices.

Brown Road Boulder Issue: Ted and Carol Steinman Meet with Selectmen

Saying that they had met with Carolyn Sundquist “at this table” in a “series of meetings,” Dr. Ted Steinman and his wife, Carol, accompanied by their attorney, Jeremy Eggleton of the law firm Orr & Reno, described to the board of selectmen (left to right: Chip Albee, Bill Marcussen, Lloyd Wood) on Monday, April 24, how last year they had sought and “followed directly the town’s directions” when placing boulders along the edge of Brown Road on their property in order to block access to Lower Beech Pond from boat trailers and bob houses.

Carolyn Sundquist’s emails concerning Brown Road were obtained by Guy Pike through a Right to Know request last December. In one email to Road Agent Jim Bean dated August 25, 2016, Carolyn Sundquist wrote “I advised the Steinmans to go ahead with placing boulders in front of the access.”

Continue reading “Brown Road Boulder Issue: Ted and Carol Steinman Meet with Selectmen”

Resident Seeks Richard Sager’s Invoices

Resident Betsy Frago has made a Right to Know request under RSA 91-A to inspect the invoices from Richard Sager to the board of selectmen from August, 2016, to the present. Sager is the board’s attorney. The selectmen, however, have not been completely forthcoming.

Betsy met with the selectmen at their meeting on Monday, April 24, to find out why they have not provided her access to the records yet.

Betsy has already obtained the town check register for that period and determined that Richard Sager was paid $13,961.40 in taxpayer money during that period. She would like to know what that money was spent for.

An analysis of the check register shows that since the selectmen launched a lawsuit against Bob McWhirter and me in early December of last year Tuftonboro taxpayers have paid Richard Sager $11,113.30.

Sager’s March payment, funded by taxes, was $4,244.18. Sager’s payment in the month before the selectmen sued Bob and me was for $70. In the three months before the lawsuit, Sager received on average $218 each month. Since the lawsuit, taxpayers have written Sager checks for on average of $2,778.33 each month (December – March).

The selectmen are suing me because they are attempting to illegally charge me $6.50 to inspect government records even though RSA 91-A specifically forbids them from charging a fee for the inspection of a governmental record.

 

Selectmen’s Meeting for April 10, 2017

Time stamps are approximate:

0:01 Pledge of Allegiance
0:25 Library update
Christy doesn’t like Trump’s proposed budget that cuts federal funding to libraries
Friends of the Library to donate another $10k. $40k+ over last… ten years.
new fiction book club starting
5:20 NarCan training at library on May 5
7:00 Bill asks Christy to attend emergency management debriefing on Friday
8:10 Roads department update
$5,000 over cleanup budget already
45 road events this year (29 last year)
Dame, New, and Brown Roads are in particularly tough shape
12:15 Selectmen discuss planned emergency management debriefing
13:15 Review and approve minutes
19:18 Signature file
Public employee salary adjustment for RETROACTIVE PAY RAISES
21:00 written permission to send information to auditors
23:20 copier agreement: $.13 per page (Lloyd misread: fee is actual 1.5 cents per page!)
Chip: that gives us a basis for charging for copies
25:10 Veteran’s credit for property taxes two properties
first approved, second denied — application by surviving spouse who moved to NH after the veteran died. credit only available to resident veterans and surviving spouses
31:08 tax levy gravel pit
32:00 notice to excavate
33:55 Continued Business
Board meeting schedule
40:00 Brown Road
Chip: Carolyn Sundquist told Steinmens they could put the boulders in place.
45:25 Lloyd asks for public comment
Bob & Sue both said just remove the rocks
Chip: The rocks were placed there because one selectman made a decision so we need to make a decision as a board
Max: Aren’t the rock the Steinman’s property? If the town removes them, might the Steinmans retaliate legally?
Jim: Just wants to be sure so that if we move the rocks we don’t have to do it again
52:00 Town copy policy
53:40 Bill: clear that “actual cost” not intended to cover labor!
54:45 Chip: We’re not in it for profit
55:05 Lloyd NH supreme court accepted Merrimack county Superior Court decision (Kelley v. Hooksett Assessing Office, Case No. 11-CV-266): you can’t charge for labor.
57:00 Chip: spending $275/hr for an attorney to argue about cost of copy. (Chip probably misspoke: Sager’s last known fee was $175/hour)
57:50 Chip motion to change copy fee to $.15 per page. Motion passes 3-0.
58:50 Police cruiser
59:09 Lang Pond
Review checklist (Jim Bean)
1:11:25 Jack Parsons
1:11:55 Update town contact list (?)
1:12:30 Lake Road boat ramp proposal
1:13:45 Selectmen’s update
Bill:
Planning board
cemetery trustees
old homes days committee will meet April 18 (open meeting)
Master plan update. Zoning in town.
Lloyd: Multitown roundtable April 11 at 6:30 at the fire station in Tuftonboro
1:21:00 Lloyd is recusing himself from fire department-related issues since he’s on the department
1:21:30 Correspondence
1:21:40 Brown Road correspondence
1:23:25 Lloyd wants to send $100 from the town to special olympics in honor of Steve Honeycutt (his obit. requests such donations in lieu of flowers)
1:24:50 RTK response to Ed Comeau
1:32:00 Chip felt Sager’s response was trying to pick a fight and Chip wants to avoid that.
1:34:09 Continue with other correspondence
1:42:13 Other Business
Court case continued. No hearing on April 18.
1:44:00 Public Input
1:44:20 Bob McWhirter asked about emergency management debriefing scheduled for Friday.
1:46:33 Max Ledoux asked the board to investigate using a payroll company to process employee paychecks
Joe Kowalski: Is there a fee for bringing in your own scanner to make copies of public records (No)
1:48:00 Guy Pike: Municipal estoppel (re Brown Road)
1:49:40 motion to adjourn

 

 

 

Selectmen Demonstrate That Their Lawsuit Is Frivolous

In the video at the 3:13 mark Selectman Bill Marcussen says, “When you look at what has gone on through various cases that have gone to court it’s clear that the intent is that the costs of the copies to the public cover the actual cost and it’s not intended to cover the time of the town employees that’s involved.”

Yet the selectmen’s lawsuit against Bob McWhirter and me goes into great detail about the amount of labor that would be involved in responding to Bob’s Right to Know request.

The selectmen seek to charge us a fee to inspect governmental records. We have not asked for the selectmen to provide us with copies. Instead we have said that we would use our own equipment to make copies. And yet the selectmen tried to charge us anyway, even though in the video at the 8:42 mark they concede that they cannot charge a fee for someone to use their own equipment to make copies of governmental records.

 

Selectmen’s Meeting for April 3, 2017

0:45 Pledge
1:15 First appointment: Gerry Hammer / Jack Parsons
5:00 Intent to excavate permits: discussion of ordinances in light of new articles passed at Town Meeting
5:10 — Jack Parsons
7:00 — Chris Sawyer, PB chairman weighs in
12:30 Review of pending intent to excavate paperwork
14:00 — motion to approve with provisions that selectmen can rescind. 3-0
15:00 — Signing paperwork
15:50 Jack Parson Building department update (the only damage to town property from Storm Stella was a few shingles blew off town house roof)
16:35 Ben Ladd — Mirror Lake boat ramp grant that was passed by Town Meeting. Discussion of contractor bids.
21:45 Chip would like to set a policy for putting contracts out for bid in the future, but not for this project since it’s already in process.
23:50 motion approval of project. passed 3-0 and Lloyd signed the paperwork
25:30 Clay Gallagher Transfer Station update & household hazardous waste collection update (july 29 & august 5). Pamphlets at transfer station.
44:15 Transfer station workers would like to work half day on Easter. They would receive holiday pay + half day.
50:30 Chip raises issue of different rates for contractors at transfer station
51:25 Review of 3-27-17 meeting minutes
53:00 Continued business
53:10 — Board committee assignments
Chip: Budget, welfare, Parks & Recreation
Bill: Planning, Old Homes, Energy, CIP Joint loss, milfoil, Planning
Lloyd: emergency planning, conservation, TACC, watershed
57:12 Board meeting schedule. Bill doesn’t want more meetings. Chip says if there aren’t more meetings, then the meetings have to be better organized. Chip doesn’t like relying on attorney client privilege as a way to subvert open meeting requirement to respond to RTK. Lloyd is ok with meeting every Monday. That way the meetings will be shorter, too. Lloyd suggests meeting once a month at 7PM. Also at different locations around town. Next meeting Friday at NINE AM.
1:06:45 Brown Road
Chip “I don’t know how you got into; well, I do know how you got into this mess.” Says to direct Road Agent to remove the rocks.
Bill: rocks clearly within right of way.
Chip: problem I have with this is it was all done without a vote.
Chip: enormous amount of legal bills in this town, and this is one of the reasons why.
Lloyd asks for input from public
1:17:20 Sandy Knoll Road
1:23:30 Selectmen’s update
1:23:40 Chip looked at the tree on Union Wharf Road. Chip says it’s not on town property, but is in town right of way. Chip thinks it’s health and not a danger.
1:25:12 Bill went to workshop on town roads. If someone wants to build on a property on Sandy Knoll Road, they’ll still have to get a building permit, and the governing body doesn’t have to approve it. Noted with sadness the passing of Steve Honeycutt, town Sextant.
1:33:00 Lloyd met with Mark Howard and others to tour three areas of concern in town on state roads: Tuftonboro Corner, 109/109A, and Mirror Lake narrows.
1:34:07 Correspondence
1:42:50 Appointments to Agricultural Commission. Approved.
1:44:35 Motion to appeal all yield taxes. Perchanski. Bob Wood. Alan Blazek. 3-0
1:47:23 Intent to cut. Blazek. Perchanski. 3-0
1:48:42 Request for change in employment compensation. (RETROACTIVE to January 1, 2017.) Tabled.
1:51:30 Other business
1:52:00 Right to Know from Ed Comeau
1:58:15 Chip “I don’t know what Comeau’s after.”
1:59:30 in past Tuftonboro had a former employee who was still covered.
discussion…
2:07:45 Chip says they need to set a price per copy policy at a market rate.
2:09:45 Chip need to respond to Comeau saying the board will working on the request.
2:10:40 public input
2:10:50 Elissa Paquette question about intent to excavate and the board wanting to have an addendum allowing the to revoke permit.
2:15:06 Charlotte Allen: NarCan training opportunities
2:16:32 Carla Lootens: Wanted to make sure town won’t give anything to Comeau unless the selectmen’s attorney, Richard Sager, has looked at it.
2:17:05 Gordon Hunt: Was happy selectmen were not giving in to Comeau just because he has an attorney.
2:17:35 Steven : follow up Brown Road. Why did property owners place rocks?
Max Ledoux: To clarify, Carolyn Sundquist told Steinmans it was ok.
Elissa Paquette jumped to Carolyn’s defense.

More info on Brown Road:
https://tuftonboro.net/max/town-government/board-of-selectmen/selectmen-meet-encumber-funds-vote-brown-road-lower-beech-pond-issue/
https://tuftonboro.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/carolyn-sundquist-lower-beech-pond-boulders-brown-road.pdf
https://tuftonboro.net/max/outdoors/nh-fish-game-confirms-lower-beech-pond-not-stocked-fish-2016/