April 21, 2015 Minutes

These minutes were posted by the Selectmen.

Town Office, 85 Main Street
Pittsfield, New Hampshire 03263

APRIL 21, 2015

5:30 PM Call to Order




  1. Police Cruisers – Disposal
  2. 37 Main St Clean-up Bids
  3. Chris Ward Request to Purchase Stair Railings from 42 Chestnut
  4. Highway Safety Grant
  5. Website Committee
  6. Website Upgrade


  1. PLT Ceasing Operation July 2016
  2. Officer Phil Child Safety Program
  3. Transportation Advisory Committee Meeting Summary


  1. Clayton Wood Website Committee Reappointment Request
  2. Building Permit Fines (Pending Public Hearing)


  1. Current Use: Lachut R17-3-3; R17-3-4; R17-3-8
  2. Eckhardt Elderly Exemption
  3. Tax Anticipation Note






Call to order at 5:33 P.M. by Eric Nilsson, Chairman


Erie Nilsson (EN), Chairman, Albert Douglas (AD), Vice-Chairman, Gerard LeDuc (GL), Denis Beaudoin (DB), Nicholas Hayes (NH) Michael Williams (MW), Town Administrator, and Delores Fritz, Recording Secretary.



Clayton Wood: I have served as Chairman of the Website Committee for the past eight years and have worked with the committee augmenting different new aspects of the programs. Now the Town is actively getting quotes to the tune of $7,000 and an annual fee when the committee has been doing it for free. You are considering disbanding the committee all without any open discussion. This is a great product for the Town at a minimal cost. To not be consulted on this is mind boggling. Your best source is the Website Committee to be involved in this. I need you to understand your decision will affect many different organizations in Town which are all served by the Website.

I asked the Board to re-appoint me to the Website Committee and my request was tabled with no discussion even with me sitting here in the audience.

Eileen Leg: I have a question: Why are you having a problem with the Website Committee? Are you satisfied with what they are doing? There has been no input as to any dissatisfaction with the Website Committee. (MW) The BOS made several requests to the committee and were told that they could not be implemented.


Eileen Lq,gg The Website Committee are all volunteers and work for nothing. They have an active part in different groups and you doing this shows a lack of need and respect for them and of gratification. The aura comes through that suggests to people to not volunteer. They keep the Town alive and on a positive note. Pittsfield is looked at as a Town which welcomes people and the population for positive things. It is extremely vital.

Carole Richardson: I feel the same as Eileen. I am amazed that the Board allows the Town Administrator to speak for you. Start asking questions. The Minutes and the Agendas are hard to follow. To start at 5:30 P.M. is early for people and they cannot make the meetings. You have Public Input at the beginning of the meeting but there is no Public Input at the end of the meeting. (EN) The Board makes decisions before the end of the second Public Input. Carole Richardson: I know this is a difficult job but you need to start listening to people.

Clayton Wood: The Website Committee has received no requests from the Board in writing; if they did, we would come back to the Board to ask questions. We work with various committees to understand what they want. These things need to be in writing and discussed and I do not understand why that has not happened and do not know what you are talking about.

Joan Osborne: The committee needs a list of the things that are requested. I would like to see the Board of Selectmen not the Town Administrator making the decisions.

Paul Richardson: I have a question on the Agenda – Old Business about Building Permit Fines (Pending Public Hearing). I believe only the Court system can fine people. (EN) We currently have fines in place and this would just be an update of what is already in place. If you look at the Building Permit it is noted on there about the fines. Paul Richardson: Why are you having a Public Hearing?

(EN) A Public Hearing would be pending to get public input.

Jim Pritchard: I do not know how you can fine someone; 1 do not understand that. In 1988 the Town repealed all their Building Codes.

Bob Le: We would like to have some input before you make a decision. Close Public Input



(NH) Public Input at end of meeting




  1. Police Cruisers – Disposal Police Chief Cain was present.

Chief Cain: Basically, I am asking permission to dispose of two cruisers:

2004 Black Explorer – scrap metal and the Crown Vic, (which is being replaced by the new cruiser which is on order) with sealed bids and the Crown Vic with a minimum bid of $1,000.

(DB) Motion to approve advertising for a sealed bid for the Crown Vic Cruiser at a minimum bid of $1,000. (AD) Second. Carried 5-0.

Chief Cain: The Explorer should be scraped for whatever the metal will yield because of the condition that it is in. It was noted that it has about 118,000 miles on it, involved in several accidents and needs major overhaul.

(GL) Motion to approve obtaining a sealed bid for the 2004 Explorer Cruiser. (NH) Second. Carried 5-0.

(NH) I was looking at it from a point of “parts” sales. 4. Highway Safety Grant

Police Chief Cain: This is the Highway Safety Grant that was approved previously and which has been done the past 14 years and needs the signature of the Chair of the Board of Selectman. Grant is for $7,646.93.

(AD) Motion to approve Chair signing Highway Safety Grant. (DB) Second. Carried 5-0.


  1. Officer Phil – Child Safety Program

Chief Cain: I believe everyone is familiar with this program. We have participated in this program for the last 17 or so years for the kindergarten through fourth grade students. It is funded by local businesses and has always had good feedback from teachers and parents. Board agreed.



  1. 37 Main Street Clean-Up Bids:

Selectman Nilsson recused himself and was seated in the audience. (5:53 P.M.) Vice-Chairman Douglas presided over the discussion.

(AD) We have two clean-up bids for 37 Main Street.

(MW) We received three bids but one was an E-Mail and not a sealed bid which was for $3,500.

Bid 1: Aspen Bridge Builders                $2,600.

Bid 2: JJP & Sons LLC                           $100.

(AD) Motion to approve Clean-Up Bid for 37 Main Street by JJP & Sons for $1,600. (DB) Second. After Discussion: Carried 4-0.

Discussion: (AD) Selectman Nilsson has recused himself as he is part of

JJP & Sons LLC. Considering both bids, there is a $1,000 difference, I suggested JJP & Sons LLC as I believe they can do the job and is the lessor bid.

(NH) JJP & Sons is part of the company of the Building Inspector and normally I would have some concerns because he is a Town employee but since this is a sealed bid, do not. I did notice that the debris would be disposed of at the BCEP, is that going to cost extra? (MW) Since this is a Town-owned property, the BCEP will provide dumpster whichever company is used.

(DB) I understand the ties to the Town that may be involved but looking at it from a cost status, it is reasonable to take the lower bid. I feel that an in-Town company can do the work regardless. There would be no impropriety there.

(GL) This is a sealed bid and there should be no problem with it. (AD) It has gone through the bidding process and anyone has the right to bid on it.

Selectman Nilsson returned and was seated on the Board (6:00 P.M.)

  1. Chris Ward Request to Purchase Stair Railings from 42 Chestnut St.

(AD) Motion to accept Chris Ward request to purchase stair railings from

42 Chestnut Street. (DB) Second. After Discussion: (AD) Retract Motion and (DB) Retract Second.


Discussion: (AD) It is unusual for anyone in Town to purchase something from the Town. We are not vendors. 1 did not think we would do that. I think he wants these railings because he needs them to match them in his home. I would like Chris Ward to have the railings given to him and perhaps, request he donate to one of the Town committees of his choice. (DB) Do we have any idea of what the costs would be? (MW) A nominal amount. Would he be allowed to have the railings before/after the Police Department and Fire Department have

accomplished their training in building?

Chief Martin: I am unsure of which railings you are discussing? There could be the issue of a fall. (AD) I would recommend that they stay in place until the training has been completed. Chief Cain: Either way is fine. I have no concerns.

Helen Schiff: I know that building has some beautiful woodwork. Are we setting a precedent and opening Pandora’s Box?

(MW) I think we should allow Chris Ward to do this. (NH) Perhaps we could auction it off so that everyone has a fair shake on what they want.

Helen Schiff: I know one of the grandchildren of the owner was asking about it.

(AD) I do not think we should allow people to go and get whatever they want. I do think it is legal though.

Helen Schiff: How would we know what a fair donation would be? (AD) I did not have a specific dollar amount in mind. Helen Schiff: I think we are opening Pandora’s Box on this.

(NH) We should find out if we can auction things off legally. (MW) I do not think there is anything else that would sell at auction.

(AD) Retract Motion and (DB) Retract Second.

(DB) I think we should take another look at this. I agree with what Helen Schiff said though it may be that no one is getting anything. (AD) Take another look at it and do what is proper.

(AD) Motion to table purchase of stair railings at 32 Depot Street. (NH) Second. Carried 5-0.


  1. Website Committee

(AD) Motion to discuss and recommend issues concerning the Website Committee. (DB) Second.

Discussion: (AD) When I first moved to Town, I worked with the Website Committee. Clayton Wood was one of the first people I contacted. I think the Committee should stay intact but what I would like to do is set up some parameters as an advisory board. The consensus is that we have not heard from the Website Committee in a while. I would like to:

  1. Keep the Committee as is as an Advisory Committee which would report to the Board of Selectman as to what they are doing.
  2. Board of Selectman would come up with the parameters.

I would not like to see this committee disbanded; they have not done anything to warrant this but to make sure that we get information from them as to the scope of what they are doing.

(EN) I would like to make them an advisory and policy maker committee.

(NH) I guess we should hear from those involved to see what they think of the Website Committee to find out what people are looking for such as a “dream list,” etc. and let the committee discuss whether they can meet these challenges. I would not like to see any change until we hear about it from the people to see how they feel about it. If the Website Committee can meet the demands then that is good but if they cannot then that is different. We should not make a decision until we get info from the different departments as to what they need and want.

(AD) If they can handle it, they should be allowed to handle it; if not, then we do something different. (DB) I agree.

Bob Legg: I see you can make the decision on being advisory. Who is going to do the work and who is paying for it?

Joan Osborne: Does the Budget Committee know about this? What kind of monies are we looking at and where is it going to come from? (EN) No.

(AD) Retract Motion. (DB) Retract Second.

(AD) Motion to approve Website Committee as advisory and policy making committee. (DB) Second. Carried 4-1 (NH).


  1. Website Upgrade

(AD) Motion to discuss Website Upgrade. (GL) Second.

Discussion: (NH) I do not think we should make a unilateral decision. I do not know what we need for content as we have not heard from any department on what the general public wants.

(AD) In talking about websites, the consensus is that normally a Town will go out and get a vendor to develop a website – it is created and put on the server. There are updates to the Website and links and most of the time it goes out to a third party. The Town Administrator and Department Heads should be able to update. We should have gotten there but we have not. I recommend that we go out to a third party. The Website Committee can be involved and work with the vendor.

Public Input:

Bob Legg: What would be the committee’s incentive to work with someone you are going to pay and is not on budget?

(AD) Is the Committee in a situation where it could create a website?

Clayton Wood: I am awaiting the conversation as to what you would want and what the costs should be. The Committee can do anything you want. We never refuse anyone. We put the whole system in place. What do you want done? We never discussed this? (EN) Control should be given to Town Administrator, Department Heads and Cara. Clayton Wood: Yes, we can do that. The school does it now. At the school, there are eight administrators on at any time. The Website has all those features. To say the Website is not up-to-date is incorrect. Epsom just copied our Website because they like it so much. We have heard no complaints. You are the only ones that do not know what the Website Committee is doing. In the past, we have made requests to come in here and have had no response. In the past, the BOS did not want to be involved in Website. Can we do what you ask – Yes we can do that. I do not know what advisory committee means.

(AD) I believe Town needs a new website; that is my opinion. If the Town elects to go out for a new website, it would have to go out to bid. If the Website Committee can create a new website, I can change my mind. Is the committee willing to design a new website?

Chris Hill: Speaking in regard to the EDC, which is an advisory board, there is a lack of guidance. What will be your guidance and what would you like. Boards


change here more so than the volunteer committees and the trouble is the lack of future planning.

(NH) We are putting the cart before the horse. Let’s put out a plan first and be careful how we spend our money.

(AD) I am looking to have the Website Committee take a shot at the website. We have this website for five years and we need a change, actually a major overhaul. I worked for another town for about 15 years and we changed the website nine times. It is good every so often to change the features of your website – it draws people.

When asked for specifics on what he would like to see on the website, (AD): I would like to see a counter which is basic, easier navigation and less links on the page. If the committee has the ability and resources to do it, then they can.

Carole Richardson: Have you talked to the Committee about fixing it? (AD) The Town Administrator and I could meet with them, but if the committee does not have the capacity to do this, then we need to know that.

Eileen Leg: I see your point. People in Town are familiar with certain things and the Website. I think a discussion would be very appropriate before changes are made. You stated advisory – will a definition of the term as to what they will be doing be available? What are their responsibilities going to be? What is going to be their job description? You need to define all these things clearly. Chris was right – volunteer people stay in place a long time. The Board needs to put together the definitions of what advisory boards do.

Jim Pritchard: I am not a member of the Website Committee. I really do not want to see a website radically different so as to not know how to navigate things. You also discussed links in big towns but there is not enough information on the homepage and you need to know where to go. I am not going to understand it and not be able to navigate it easily. You should get feedback about the Website.

Helen Schiff: On the EDC website, Clayton made changes. They looked at other towns and were able to capture it. People do get used to simple things.

(DB) Who controls the contents of the website? Who is in charge?

Clayton Wood: We have policies. We do not get involved in religion, political matters except local or other controversial matters. (DB) So the committee decides what goes on the Website, what pictures, etc.? Who do they ask for approval?


Clayton Wood: The committee itself. ‘People are not happy coining to BOS. BOS does not approve content. Whatever comes through goes through the committee. The website capacity now is the best resource for the Town. We know what is “running in Town.” The people in Town do not have major technology equipment to run. The BOS Minutes are the most hit item as is the front page, and then the PD. We have all that information and anyone building a website should have this info also. We get new information every day. I am sure you do not want to get all this every day. Have you asked the Department Heads if they want to get involved in this?

Close Public Input

(AD) As far as now being advisory, I believe the committee will be reporting and updating the Board. There should be more communication with the Board – maybe quarterly. I do not go to the Website very often; it is old and we need something new. I do not want to hold your hand but we need to tighten up the communication. I would like to see this get started. The Website Committee can present something and I would be glad to review it. I would like to see the Town have a new updated website. Clayton Wood: Tell me what features you ae looking at. Give me some requests. (AD) What I would like is to simply become the liaison to the Website Committee. We can sit with the Town Administrator and write up what we would like to see or have on the website and then meet with the committee. I have seen advisory committees in other towns do this.

Clayton Wood: That is way too confusing. You make it sound like we did not… (EN) POINT OF ORDER. This needs to be discussed with the Board.

(NH) I really would like to go with the recommendation made previously by getting departments to note what they want and what they are willing to do and present it to the Website Committee. First get the information, start there and move on. We are approaching this backwards. (AD) I disagree with you. (NH) Get the information as to what they need and let the people on the committee decide what they need and do not need. We can start with what we’ve got for nothing.

(MW) related the various dates and issues presented to the Committee: May, 2014 – Pittsfieldnh.gov, August, 2014 some updates as well as in February 2015 – Website Committee refused all the content. They do not meet but once or twice a year.

Motion: (AD) Retract Motion and (DB) Retract Second.


(AD) Motion to table Website Upgrade to a future meeting. (GL) Second. Carried 5-0.


  1. Property-Liability Trust Ceasing Operation July 2016

(MW) PLT has advised they will no longer be in business and the FY20 16 coverage period will be the last year they will provide property liability, workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation coverage to the NH public sector. (EN) So this will be addressed in the next budget season.

  1. Transportation Advisory Committee Meeting Summary

(MW) We have received a Memo from Ted Mitchell, Representative regarding the Transportation Advisory Committee for Board review.

NEW BUSINESS ACTION ITEMS – Continued: 7. Junk Fuel Tank @ Highway Department

(MW) There is an old junk fuel tank at the Highway Department which Sparky would like to buy. He is willing to weigh it and pay Town for the scrap.

(NH) Was it pre-determined that it was going to go to scrap. It would be the same amount of money if it would go to the dump.

(AD) Motion to approve purchase ofjunk fuel tank at Highway Department by Sparky at fair market price. (DB) Second. Carried 5-0.


  1. Clayton Wood – Website Committee Re-Appointment Request

(AD) Motion to approve appointment of Clayton Wood to Website Committee. (NH) Second. After Discussion: 3-1 (EN). (GL) Abstain.

Discussion: (AD) I would like to see Clayton stay in place on the Website Committee based on what we have seen so there will be an easy transition in moving forward.


(EN) It is now an advisory committee and would like to know if Clayton is still interested in being appointed? Clayton Wood: It sounds like it will be the same work and dealings as it is now. Yes, I will do it.


  1. Current Use: Lachut Tax Map R17, Lot 3-3, 3-4 and 3-8.

(MW) This was addressed at the last Board meeting but there was some question regarding the acreage. These lots are being added to adjacent land that is in current use so will qualify.

(AD) Motion to approve Current Use for Tax Map R17, Lot 3-3, 3-4 and 3-8. (DB) Second. Carried 5-0.

  1. Eckhardt Elderly Exemption

(MW) This individual owns an additional parcel of property and therefore, does not qualify.

(AD) Motion to deny Elderly Exemption for Eckhardt, Tax Map U01, Lot 25 due to applicants exceeding assets allowance limits. (GL) Second. Carried 5-0.

  1. Tax Anticipation Note

(MW) This was approved at the last Board meeting. The paperwork is now ready for Board signatures.

(DB) Motion to approve Board sign TAN note as approved April 7, 2015. (GL) Second. Carried 5-0.

Board members signed Tax Anticipation Note. CHECKS and MANIFESTS

(GL) Motion to approve Accounts Payable and Checks Register. (NH) Second. Carried 5-0.

(GL) Motion to approve Payroll and Direct Deposit. (NH) Second. Carried 5-0.



  1. Public Session Minutes of March 31, 2015

(GL) Motion to approve Public Session Minutes of March 31, 2015. (AD) Second. Carried 5-0.

2, Public Session Minutes of April 7, 2015

(GL) Motion to approve Public Session Minutes of April 7, 2015. (AD) Second. Carried 5-0.


Bob Le: Denis, your questions seem to be centered on photographs. Do you expect to know when they are being changed? (DB) Not really; I was merely using it as an example.

(AD) I would like to clarify as the word advisory seems to be scaring some individuals. Bob Le: Unnecessary

(AD) I would not expect committee to come before the Board with every little thing. All we are asking is that you communicate with the Board and address any major concerns you may have with the Board. That is what we are asking.

Bob Legg: You talked about photos – at what level do you want to be involved? (DB) It was just a question and I used photos as an example. Bob Lei If you need new pictures, we will put new pictures on. (DB) I was trying to determine how the process works. Bob Le: Pictures and content are not handled the same. (AD) You put up good pictures.

Chris Hill: I like Al’s suggestions but we are all busy and maybe a yearly update would be appropriate; quarterly would be too much. It is a two way street.

Eileen Legg: Concerning the Website Committee – these are text savvy and technology people who think and do things differently than regular people. These are volunteers who have a huge responsibility involving the whole Town. Because they are volunteers, we have to be very gentle so as not to turn volunteers off so as to not make one think “I am not sure I want to be a volunteer.” This can start snowballing. We should be asking questions. If they cannot do it, then Town can pay to have it done.


Carole Richardson: It would be worthwhile once in a while to offer Thank You(s).

Joan Osborne: I want to see names and other initials spelled out in the Minutes. Initials are too confusing.

Helen Schiff I think everyone needs to be more patient.

Bob Legg: About 50% of the links are service organizations in Town and not Town departments. Are you getting their input?

Jim Pritchard: I am Recording Secretary for the Planning Board. The use of initials instead of names goes back about thirteen years. I have actually been questioning the policy myself and would like to know what the public thinks about that.

Close Public Input (7:25 P.M.) NON-PUBLIC SESSION

(GL) Motion to go into Non-Public Session per RSA 91-A:3 11(e) – Consideration or negotiation of pending claims or litigation which has been threatened in writing or filed against the Town or any subdivision thereof, or against any member thereof because of his membership in such body, until the claim or litigation has been fully adjudicated or otherwise settled. (AD) Second. Carried 5-0. Individual members of the Board were polled and all agreed.

Board went into Non-Public Session at 7:26 P.M. Board returned to Public Session at 7:35 P.M.

NOTE: RSA 91-A (III) – Minutes of proceeding in non-public session shall be kept and the record of all actions shall be promptly made available for public inspection, except as provided in this section. Minutes and decision reached in non-public session shall be publicly disclosed within seventy-two (72) hours of the meeting, unless, by recorded vote of 2/3 of the members present, it is determined that divulgence of the information likely would affect adversely the reputation of any person other than the members of the Board, or render the proposed action ineffective. In the event of such circumstances, information may be withheld until, in the opinion of a majority of members, the aforesaid circumstances no longer apply.

Shall the Minutes be publicly disclosed?         No.


Motion made by (NH) and Seconded by (AD) to not publicly disclose the Minutes because it is determined that divulgence of the information likely would render the proposed action ineffective. Carried: 5-0. Individual members of the Board were polled and all agreed.


  1. Utility Partners

(MW) At the next meeting of the Board, the principals of Utility Partners will be here to introduce themselves and to answer any questions the Board may have.

  1. Department Head Meetings

(MW) Starting next month, the Department Heads (PD, FD, and HD) will be present at the first meeting of the month to offer an update on their department. It was noted that a criteria would be available that will pertain to every department. Also, perhaps meeting with the various boards and committees.


(GL) Motion to adjourn. (NH) Second. Carried 5-0. Meeting adjourned at 7:43 P.M.

Approved: May 5. 2015

Eric Ni1ssoihairman                                                                   Date

I hereby certify that these Minutes were recorded by me on April 21, 2015, transcribed and publicly posted on )ril 23, 2015.

Delores A. Fritz, Recording ccret

No Attachments Olympus: 1:53:18