recognize SH football team, review Paula Lane/Circle Drive
EMS coordinator Ceccarelli resigns
by Becky Harvey
DUDLEY – Monday's Board of Selectmen meeting opened with the request by Chairman Jonathan Ruda to observe a twenty-six second moment of silence in memory of the slain students and educators of Sandy Brook in Newtown, Connecticut.
Immediately following the opening of the meeting, selectmen invited representatives of the Shepherd Hill Regional High School football team, including coaches and team captains, to come up front for congratulations on their winning season. Coach Chris Lindstrom commented on the efforts of the team and voiced his thanks for the community’s support. Both Steven Sullivan and Peter Fox expressed their gratitude for the players’ hard work all year. They, and Chairman Ruda, offered a citation plaque to the team for their successful season. Senior captains Chris Dutting, Alex Sinni, Brad Picard and Drew Ravenelle all expressed their thanks to the selectmen and accepted the award with thanks to the community and Board.
Following, Sullivan moved to make four special appointments:
Deborah Thibaudeau –MIS Director
Nancy Runkle- Camera Operator
Brian Dorval- Interim Animal Control Officer and DCTV Cameraman
Dennis Tremblay- Interim Animal Control Officer
All four appointments were unanimously approved by vote of the board.
The board also heard from Police Chief Steven Wojnar, who asked the board to approve thirteen reserve officer terms that were due to expire. All were approved for new terms through December 13, 2013. In addition to term extensions, one term was ended through resignation. The board accepted Walter Spiewakowski’s resignation from the Council on Aging.
Liquor Licenses for many of the town’s businesses were renewed by unanimous vote, but due to an abstention, the vote on Common Victualler’s licenses and Amusement licenses were postponed until a later date when a quorum could be obtained.
Due a potential appearance of an ethics breech, the Assessor’s Office sent Lisa Berg, the Principal Assessor, to have selectmen vote on collecting a fifty dollar fine from a Railroad Avenue resident who has some form of dealings with the Assessor’s Board. This is an “odd case” of the “rule of necessity,” according to Town Administrator, Peter Jankowski. The board unanimously approved the motion to collect the fine.
Once again, board members went back and forth regarding the Paula Lane and Circle Drive issue as to whether or not the town would have access to the private road and plow over the course of the winter. Due to one of the six property owners refusing to sign off on giving up their rights, residents were forced to wait again for the board to get more information prior to voting and giving them an answer. The representative residents complained that they have been trying to get approval since 2010, but Sullivan stated that the issue has become convoluted due to votes of other town boards that affect their capabilities to make decisions.
The board addressed the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law after board members risked life and limb to attend a past meeting during a severe storm. The law allows leniency for attendance, including the ability to have remote participation. Chairman Ruda requested that this issue be reviewed by board members and considered for limited acceptance in the circumstance of severe weather, and the like. Due to the fact that the other members weren’t too familiar with the laws, discussions were tabled until next month, allowing members to thoroughly familiarize themselves with them.
Selectman Sullivan commented that a letter should be written in a show of support, on town letterhead, to the town of Newtown, Connecticut. Ruda agreed.
Chief Dean Kochanowski sadly announced the resignation of Firefighter and EMS Coordinator, Brian Ceccarelli, who has accepted a position in Charlton as the fire inspector. The chief requested that Firefighter Walker be assigned in his place.