Board of Selectmen
Kevin Kopetz, First Selectman; Janet McCarty and William Mitchell, selectpersons (Albert Cretella III, selectperson prior to 11-18-05 meeting)
In response to my request, the Board of Selectmen minutes from Jan. 2006 through the present are now available on the town website, and are linked to below. Below are meeting summaries. Click the dates below to view each meeting's minutes.
5-1-2007 Special Meeting to discuss the Ierardis' retirement and pension. No minutes yet, but the open part of the meeting, prior to going to executive session, can be seen on video, in two parts: 1 and 2 (videos courtesy of Doug Wood). Selectwoman McCarty was the only member of the Board who wanted the matter dealt with in public. Two representatives of the press spoke in favor of having the matter dealt with in public. Please read my blog entry on why no sufficient argument was made by the Board or its special counsel to allow a closed, executive session, although I do believe that part of the meeting should have been closed. Click here for the Channel 3 report on the meeting.
4-12-2007 Unapproved Minutes. Kopetz notes that the BoS acts as the pension review board, responsible for determining the retirement benefits of the Ierardis. McCarty suggests that a forensic auditor be hired and that a whistleblower provision be added to the town Code of Ethics. Call for Annual Budget Town Meeting, preceded by voting on purchase of emergency vehicle and noise ordinance. McCarty opposes, because she wants appropriation voted on with budget referendum in May.
3-8-2007 - Nothing of note.
2-15-2007 - Ratification of 5-yr contract with Local 818/Supervisors Union (retroactive to 2005). Approval of call for Special Town Meeting on 3-13 for tire disposal assignment of tax lien, noise ordinance, four capital appropriations totaling up to $385K, and senior tax relief ordinance. McCarty opposes call due to her preference to have appropriations voted on with budget referendum in May. Kopetz and Mitchell argue that they are emergencies, that citizens support such appropriations, and that the money comes out of unappropriated fund balance [ie., old taxes], not new taxes. Unanimous approval of CT Clean Energy resolution, with goal to have 20% of town energy come from clean, renewable sources by 2010.
1-11-2007 Approval of early retirement of former first selectman Anthony Rescigno with a lowered 80% pension. Opposed by McCarty with request for more information. Discussion of tax relief for qualifying seniors. Appointments to Open Space Advisory Committee from respective boards and commissions.
12-30-2006 Special Meeting to discuss arbitration award re teachers contract. Unanimous vote not to reject the award.
12-14-2006 Pratt & Whitney developers to begin "listening tour" in January. Lots of reappointments to boards and commissions. Demolition of Knights of Columbus building announced.
12-13-2006 Special Meeting with Board of Finance to discuss creation of a Capital and Non-Recurring Fund. No description at all of the discussion in the minutes, nor are there BoF minutes for the meeting.
11-16-2006 Nothing of note.
10-12-2006 Transfers of town property to neighboring landowners. McCarty raises possibility of tax relief for qualifying senior citizens.
9-14-2006 Unanimous approval of a call for a Special Town Meeting on 9-28 to vote on designation of Planning & Zoning Commission as Aquifer Protection Agency, a $445K appropriation to balance actual expenses, budget transfers in the amount of $255K, and phase-in of revaluation costs up to $85K.
5-11-2006 Controversy regarding Gary Johns' appointment as Town Assessor. McCarty abstains from voting on Johns' appointment.
4-3-2006 Request from resident that signs alerting voters to referenda be installed. Controversy surrounding phase-in costs and the position that it would be an "administrative nightmare." McCarty moves to rescind pay increases for the BoS.
3-9-2006 McCarty questions Stop & Shop's distribution center's assessed value versus its selling price. McCarty asks for a discussion about the 1990 BoS decision to reimburse condominium owners for refuse and recycling collections.
1-12-2006 In a letter, resident Robert Wechsler proposes including limited public comments as part of the BoS agenda, with reference specifically to people being allowed to speak concerning the appointment of a new Town Attorney. McCarty believes it would be beneficial to allow public comments. Yet no vote is taken. New Town Attorney (Jeffrey Donofrio, partner of past Town Attorney Robert Ciulla) announced. McCarty asks if competitive bids for the new Town Attorney were obtained to make sure charges are fair and reasonable. No other lawyers or law firms were considered.
11-18-2005 McCarty again moves for a one-year delay on revaluation. Kopetz and Mitchell vote no; McCarty votes yes. McCarty moves to reschedule the BoS meetings to evenings. Kopetz and Mitchell vote no; McCarty votes yes. McCarty moves to have a Freedom of Information Workshop for the town. Kopetz and Mitchell vote no; McCarty votes yes. Various people are nominated to serve on different commissions. All are approved except McCarty's nominee, Brian Cummings, to the Inland/Wetlands Commission. Mitchell moves to table the nomination. McCarty notes that this is highly unusual. Kopetz and Mitchell vote yes to table; McCarty votes no.
10-24-2005 Special Selectmen's Meeting. Kopetz and Cretella meet without McCarty and without having given the required 24-hour minimum advance notice to hold the meeting. Both vote to terminate the CMB Land Swap. Town Attorney Robert Ciulla says at that evening's Town Meeting that the Town Meeting is not allowed to discuss this matter (no vote was scheduled), and the majority accepts his questionable interpretation, given without citing any law.
10-13-2005 Kopetz announces that, due to the will of the people, the October 24th town meeting will be a continuation of the August 8th town meeting to discuss the two land swaps.
9-8-2005 McCarty asks to delay revaluation one more year. Kopetz says McCarty can't discuss the issue at the meeting because she did not put the item on the agenda 24 hours before the meeting. Letter from resident Michael Mele asking BoS to allow NHTV to videotape comments and questions at the end of BoS meetings. McCarty supports putting citizen's comments on the air. No vote was taken. McCarty asked the BoS to join with her in a letter to the Board of Finance requesting funds to assist residents with higher fuel costs. Community Services Director Joseph Ierardi said that the Emergency Fund dealt with that (however, according to the arrest warrant affidavit against him, he made no deposits in this fund in 2006).
7-18-2005 Gary Amato, Michael Mele, and other residents present a petition with 1200 signtures asking for a one-year delay on property revaluation. McCarty moves to delay revaluation. Kopetz and Cretella vote no; McCarty, yes. Kopetz moves to hold a special town meeting to discuss the CMB Land Swap and another land swap. All vote yes.
6-17-2005 CMB Land Swap is discussed. Kopetz and Cretella vote yes to trade the property. McCarty votes no and advocates that the Land Swap should go to a referendum vote.
5-6-2005 Letters from Ann Ruocco and Michael Mele asking for a delay in revaluation. Kopetz asks Town Attorney Robert Ciulla to give reasons for doing the revaluation now. McCarty says she thinks residents should be allowed to decide.