The meeting was called to order at approximately 7:10 PM with the following members present: Martin W. O’Brien, Chairman; Susan J. Bolster, Selectwoman; Brian J. Perrin, Selectmen and Virginia L. Wilder Executive Secretary/CAO.
ROLL CALL: Chairman O’Brien - Yes
Selectwoman Bolster- Yes
Selectmen Perrin- Yes
There were several people in attendance to witness the vote relative to pending negotiation with Massport. In attendance was:
Town Accountant Mike Bertino
School Committee Member Pat Milano
Councillor Joe Ferrino
Councillor Phil Boncore
Councillor Jim Letterie
Councillor Dick Gill
Councillor Nick DelVento
Councillor Russ Sanford
Councillor Linda Calla
Airport Hazards Committee Member Tom McNiff
Airport Hazards Committee Member Jerome Falbo
Airport Hazards Committee Member Rick Rhodes
Airport Hazards Committee Member Bob Driscoll
Council President Thomas Reilly
Selectwoman Susan Bolster started off by making motion to vote the Massport Pilot Agreement as it stands before them.
Selectmen Brian Perrin respectfully disagreed stating that he believes a deal of this length and importance should be made by the new Town Council and not the outgoing Board of Selectmen.
Chairman O’Brien then asked that Selectmen Perrin read aloud for the group the Agreement so that viewers as well as members of the audience could hear for themselves exactly what is being voted on.
Selectmen Perrin then read aloud said Agreement and a copy of that document is attached to these notes.
Chairman O’Brien then opened up the floor for comments and questions.
Tom McNiff stated he questions the CPI Index mentioned in the Agreement and he feels the Massachusetts cost of living is traditionally higher than what the CPI Index reflects. He further takes issue with the 20-year length of the Agreement, questioning what would happen if inflation goes lower?
Councillor Boncore stated that he is concerned document presented tonite before this Board is not a final document. He feels the Board has done a tremendous job relative to the increase on the table from Massport and he commended the Board on a job well done. With that being said, he urged the Board to hold the vote until a final document with all details is worked out and reviewed and approved by Town Council (Attorney) Robert Noonan.
Councillor Ferrino questioned Section 2 of the Agreement, stating he would like to see a final pay schedule on the Agreement before a vote was taken.
Mr. Falbo asked for the total amount from all sources prior to this agreement. He further asked for the percentage of interest plus or minus of 8% year – will there be an upward adjustment? Is it cumulative or per annum?
Chairman O’Brien answered that it is cumlative.
Mr. Falbo asked if the 8% is an average over ten years? He then stated that the cost of living based on the CPI Index has not risen above 3% in the last eight years.
Rick Rhodes thanked the Board for their aggressive stance relative to this agreement, but he stated concerns with committing to the agreement for 20 years. He questions whether the yearly payment will be enough in the coming years. He commented that possibly waiting for the new Town Council may be the way to go.
Bob Driscoll stated that he has concerns for the length of the Agreement, he is concerned the amount of money may not be enough in 20 years and finally that he thinks the new government should have the final say in the Agreement.
Councilor Sanford asked is this 20-year length a trend that Massport has put into place with the surrounding communities of East Boston, Revere and Chelsea?
Chairman O’Brien said that this agreement is actually better overall than the deal that Chelsea negotiated.
Councilor Sanford then asked who was on the negotiating team for Winthrop? And did Winthrop have Legal Council at these proceedings?
Chairman O’Brien stated that on the negotiating team from Winthrop was himself, Town Accountant Mike Bertino, and Executive Secretary Virginia Wilder. On the Massport team was Government and Community Development Director Tom Butler, Director of Administration and Finance Leslie Kirwan and Legal Council Dave Bannard.
Mr. Driscoll stated that the Harvey Maibor study shows Massport may be encroaching on more Winthrop property than we realize and that is a factor to consider in negotiations.
Chairman O’Brien said that the property has not increased – it is the same amount of property that it has always been and that is a false statement. He said that now that negotiations are final he feels completely confident in making that statement.
Chairman O’Brien stated that there had been deals on the table along the way that he brought back to the Board and each time the Board continued to push back until they got a deal that they felt was in the best interest of Winthrop and in doing so they took quite a financial risk, which now Chairman O’Brien feels was all worth it.
Selectwoman Bolster said that she feels there is a perception out there that this has been a quick process and that is certainly not the case. She feels this is a solid agreement and to wait for the new government is fiscally irresponsible.
Chairman O’Brien stated that the Town’s financial condition is serious- at the Fall Special Town Meeting it was voted to take $128K from the Reserve Fund. There is currently no money to pay all the Town’s bills in the current fiscal year without this Agreement. And the new Town Council will not be able to fund their budget without this Agreement. He said he believes this Agreement will help our new government to be successful.
Council President Reilly thanked the Board for the information packet relative to this agreement and that was passed on to the Council. He stated that he believes we need to spend more time answering questions and that more discussion is needed before a vote is taken.
Chairman O’Brien stated he wants to move to a vote and asked Executive Secretary/CAO Virginia Wilder to ask for a Roll Call Vote on the Massport Mitigation package before them tonite.
ROLL CALL: Chairman O’Brien - Yes
Selectwoman Bolster- Yes
Selectmen Perrin- No
Chairman O’Brien thanked his negotiation team, the Airport Hazards Committee for providing information to the Board and being so instrumental in the fight against Massport. He then thanked his fellow Board members, Susan and Brian as well as former Selectmen Richard DiMento who worked tirelessly on this Agreement. He also thanked Senate President Robert Travaglini for being an advocate for Winthrop and stated that Winthrop would not have this deal with the Senate President’s support, as well as the accompanying support of Representive Bob DeLeo.
Chairman O’Brien then went on to say that this is a reason to celebrate, that this is a victory for the town of Winthrop. He suggested that the new government review Personal Property Tax issues for every plane that touches down on Winthrop’s land and to look to the Assessor’s Office to provide Massport with a bill which can be used in negotiations in the future.
Chairman O’Brien then asked Virginia Wilder for the next order of business to be discussed.
Virginia Wilder asked that the Board vote the minutes of the following Selectmen’s Meetings 10/3/05, 10/24/05, 10/28/05, and 11/4/05.
Selectmen Perrin had some questions on the above minutes and asked that the Board hold the vote to approve until the next meeting so that he could review them more carefully.
Ms. Wilder then asked the Board to consider a request by DPW Director Dave Hickey and the purchase of a Street Sweeper.
The Board had questions on this request and asked that Mr. Hickey come to the next meeting to provide more information.
VOTED: on a Motion by Selectwoman Susan J. Bolster, 2nd by Selectmen Brian J. Perrin and made unanimous by Chairman Martin W. O'Brien to accept the annual evaluation and associated increase of DPW Director Dave Hickey and forward to the Personnel Board.
VOTED: on a Motion by Selectwoman Susan J. Bolster, 2nd by Selectmen Brian J. Perrin and made unanimous by Chairman Martin W. O'Brien to accept the annual evaluation and associated increase of Kathleen Hickey Senior Clerk and forward to the Personnel Board.
VOTED: on a Motion by Selectwoman Susan J. Bolster, 2nd by Selectmen Brian J. Perrin and made unanimous by Chairman Martin W. O'Brien to accept Jeanne Maggio’s resignation from the Board of Health due to her recent election to the Town Council.
VOTED: on a Motion by Selectwoman Susan J. Bolster, 2nd by Selectmen Brian J. Perrin and made unanimous by Chairman Martin W. O'Brien to accept Nick DelVento’s resignation of Deputy Harbormaster due to his recent election to the Town Council.
Virginia Wilder stated that it should be noted that the Board of Selectmen is taking resumes and letters of interest for the Board of Health, Harbormaster Department, Constable and Conservation Commission and that the Board of Selectmen will forward those names on to the incoming Town Council.
VOTED: on a Motion by Selectwoman Susan J. Bolster, 2nd by Selectmen Brian J. Perrin and made unanimous by Chairman Martin W. O'Brien to approve a Taxi License for Erly DaSilva of 1000 Governor’s Drive.
Ms. Wilder stated that Gary’s Crystal Cove Restaurant has sent a letter requesting that they be allowed to stay open until 1:00AM on the morning of January 1, 2006. She further stated that in speaking with Town Council (Attorney) Robert Noonan, this would require a hearing on an amendment to their license. A public hearing would take 7 to 14 days for notification in a newspaper and then even if there were time it would need to be sent into the State Alcohol and Beverage Commission and traditionally they do not take action on requests at this time of year since they are in the process of handling all renewals. Therefore it is recommended that the Board not take action on this request.
There was no motion made to take action on this request and Chairman O’Brien asked that the Selectmen’s Business Office send a letter to the owner of Gary’s Crystal Cove informing them of the Board’s decision.
VOTED: on a Motion by Selectwoman Susan J. Bolster, 2nd by Selectmen Brian J. Perrin and made unanimous by Chairman Martin W. O'Brien to approve a one-day liquor license for Viking Pride Foundation’s Winthrop High School Reunion on June 24, 2006 from 5PM to 10PM at Miller’s Field. It was stated by Chairman O’Brien that this request had been approved for legality by the School Committee.
VOTED: on a Motion by Selectwoman Susan J. Bolster, 2nd by Selectmen Brian J. Perrin and made unanimous by Chairman Martin W. O'Brien to approve request from the Disabilities Commission to approve the expenditure from the Handicapped Parking Fines account in the amount of $500.00 for the purpose of mailing an Assistance Questionnaire form to the residents of Winthrop.
VOTED: on a Motion by Selectwoman Susan J. Bolster, 2nd by Selectmen Brian J. Perrin and made unanimous by Chairman Martin W. O'Brien to appropriate funds of up to $3000 to pay for the Volunteer Recognition Event scheduled for December 8, 2005 at 5pm in the Senior Center. 214 volunteers have been invited.
VOTED: on a Motion by Selectwoman Susan J. Bolster, 2nd by Selectmen Brian J. Perrin and made unanimous by Chairman Martin W. O'Brien to approve the request made by Town Hall Staff for permission to place Holiday wreaths on the front doors of Town Hall for the period from December 1, 2005 to January 2, 2006. The wreaths will be purchased from employee dontations.
Chairman O’Brien then asked if the other Board members had anything they would like to discuss.
Selectmen Perrin asked that the Delby’s Lot signage be completed as that is outstanding.
Chairman O’Brien informed the Board that two senior volunteers had asked to stay on and continue to volunteer even though their hours had been completed. He thanked them for their service and noted that this is a compliment to the Department Heads in which they volunteer for as well as the Program itself.
Chairman O’Brien then suggested there be a motion to adjourn.
VOTED: on a Motion by Selectwoman Susan J. Bolster, 2nd by Selectmen Brian J. Perrin and made unanimous by Chairman Martin W. O'Brien to adjourn for the evening at approximately 8:10PM.
BOARD OF SELECTMEN
Martin W. O’Brien