Select Board Bids Adieu To Jeff Ritter – And Other Business On Its Full Agenda

A reasonable audience some, as you’ll see later, from far away places, attended Wednesday’s Select Board meeting.   The meeting was called to Chair John Cronin at 7:00 pm.

First up was the COVID update from Emergency Management Director, Fire Chief Michael Cassidy. 

No new cases since June 8. Last case cleared June 24. Still no active cases in town.  Residents should not become complacent; we need to remain vigilant in face covering use, physical distancing and hand washing.

Some town offices and buildings will be open for public access beginning July 9th (TODAY), see the Town website for specifics. The Library will re-open on Tuesday, July 14th (delivery and curbside pick-up will continue.)  The Senior Center will be open by appointment only starting on Monday, July 13th.  Access is limited to 50% capacity.  Spacing guides and barriers are in place.  HPD and HFD remain closed to public access.

The HPD and HFD are eligible for reimbursement from a separate State fund that can be used in lieu of CARES Act monies – freeing those up for other needs.

The Board commended Chief Cassidy for his ‘remarkable work’ these past several months.  The Chief outlined contingency plans for any Town employees who test positive or contact someone who tests positive.

Cassidy will meet with other key stakeholders at the Placentino/Miller cafetorium this Friday to work out details for the July 20th Town Meeting.  The Board requested that the Chief publish the Town Meeting safety guidelines so residents know what to expect.

There were no weekly warrants for the Board to approve.

Public Comment:

Mr. Sparrell reminded residents about the Hazardous Waste Disposal this Saturday at R.A.M.S. from 9 – Noon.

Mrs. Hein, Mr. Cronin, and the public had no comments.

Jeff Ritter, below left, delivered his last Town Administrator report before he leaves office this Friday.

  • Ritter thanked the Board for its support
  • He thanked Chief Cassidy for his ‘extraordinary work’ these past months.
  • Also, he thanked the Town staff for their help and support during his tenure.

Mr. Ritter invited Facilities Manager, James Keast, (above right) to update the Board on various projects.

  • The clean-up at 260 Woodland Street is awaiting final DEP sign-off – the Board discussed the short-term safety and long-term plans for the site.  Following the final clean up the Board directed that the property is not used by DPW for materials storage and that the area is secured to avoid public access until plans can be made for the site’s future use.
  • The Pinecrest doors should be installed next week
  • The bid request for the Town Hall doors is now out with bids due by August 14, 2020
  • Arrangements are in place all Town facilities have high-touch areas sanitized twice / day.  Tis is in addition to the regular cleaning that has always been done.
  • The Town Hall septic planning continues.  The tax assessors will be involved as the new system will be installed in part of the FCC green.

The members of the Board thanked Mr. Ritter for his service and wished him well.

Asst. Director for the Senior Center

Sr. Center Director, Linda Marshal (below left – in San Francisco?) and Council on Aging Chair, Bob Malone (right) spoke about the importance of filling the role of Asst. Director when the current Asst. Director, Linda Sottile leaves the job September 1st.  The Board approved the request to post the open position.

Depot Liquors

On June 26th an intoxicated individual was sold alcohol at this store.  No one was hurt and traffic violation was cited.  The Board takes this matter very seriously and wants to ensure that the recent new owner is given fair warning.  The Board authorized a warning letter be sent to the owner that also requires that all Depot Liquors employees receive State approved training on the alcohol sales laws.

Annual Town Meeting Warrant

The Board refined the content of the Warrant which includes 22 Articles.  The Board approved the final version of the Warrant and signed in preparation for it being posted on the Town website on Thursday (TODAY).

Finance Committee Liaison, Vin Murphy (above – Zoomed in from the tropics) provided consultation on some of the finance related articles.

Board Business:

  • The Board approved two bids for road work.
  • The Board appointed two Auxiliary police officers. a Parking Clerk/Deputy Collector, a special labor counsel, and an on-call EMT.
  • The Board approved the annual (295th) Town Report which will be posted on the Tow website for all to peruse.
  • The Board accepted two gifts:
    • $100 to HFD from Mohawk Path residents for a recent birthday parade
    • $400 to the Sr. Ctr. Food Program from Superette patrons.
  • The Board approved meeting minutes from June 25 and June 30 meetings – also approving the release of the June 30 Executive session minutes.
  • Mrs. Hein shared a draft of a letter to our State and Federal legislators requesting support for Holliston.  The Board will forward the draft to the School and Finance Committees for input.
  • The Board approved three year-end budget transfers for HPD
  • The Board approved the 2-year renewal of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Brocton Vets’ Center to provide outreach for at-risk vets at the 1750 Washington Street facility.
  • Each Board shared his/her goals for the coming year
    • Mr. Sparrell
      • Work on the Capital Expense process
      • Work on the Facilities Manager’s budget
      • Improve communication with the Finance Committee
      • Lay groundwork for a Strategic Plan
      • Work on a retirement funding plan
    • Mrs. Hein
      • Active transportation and recreation
      • Improved health-care costs for the Town and its employees
      • Sustainability and mitigation efforts with a focus on water conservation
    • Mr. Cronin
      • Successful transition of the new Town Administrator
      • Public works infrastructure
      • Governance committee recommended changes / improvements
  • The Board approved the alignment of members as liaisons with all Town Committees and Departments

The meeting adjourned at 9:05 pm.

Chris Cain

Leave a Comment