Minutes Adopted as Presented 01/20/09
ENFIELD TOWN COUNCIL
MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING
MONDAY, JANUARY 5, 2009
A Regular Meeting of the Enfield Town Council was called to order by Chairman Kaupin in the Council Chambers of the Enfield Town Hall, 820 Enfield Street, Enfield, Connecticut on Monday, January 5, 2009. The meeting was called to order at 7:15 p.m.
PRAYER – The Prayer was given by Councilman Edgar.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Pledge of Allegiance was said.
ROLL-CALL – Present were Councilmen, Bosco, Crowley, Dumont, Edgar, Kaupin, Kiner, Lee, Mangini, Nelson and Ragno. Councilman Jones was absent. Also present were Town Manager, Matthew Coppler; Assistant Town Manager, Daniel Vindigni; Town Attorney, Kevin Deneen; Town Clerk, Suzanne Olechnicki; Director of Public Works, Pia Hawkes; Deputy Director of Public Works, Geoffrey McAlmond; Director of Economic Development, Raymond Warren.
FIRE EVACUATION ANNOUNCEMENT
Chairman Kaupin made the fire evacuation announcement.
MINUTES OF PRECEDING MEETINGS
MOTION #180 by Councilman Nelson, seconded by Councilman Mangini to accept the minutes of the December 15, 2008 Special Meeting.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #180 adopted 10-0-0.
MOTION #181 by Councilman Ragno, seconded by Councilman Nelson to accept the minutes of the December 15, 2008 Regular Meeting.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #181 adopted 10-0-0.
Athletic Field Committee
Chairman of the Athletic Fields Committee, Daniel O’Connell, announced that the fields project is complete to specifications and completed under budget. He noted the committee considered it an honor to serve and guide this project through to completion with the help of many people, i.e., the Town Council, administration, Public Works and Art Pongratz. He noted Building and Grounds does a great job, and he hopes the Town will do all they can to support that department.
Councilman Nelson highly commended the Committee for all their work. He noted plaques will be erected at each facility to honor this committee for their accomplishment.
Councilman Crowley stated the Enfield Ramblers Football Team is ecstatic with the new athletic fields, and visitors are in awe of the new fields. He noted all the hard work of this committee shows.
Chairman Kaupin, Councilmen Nelson and Edgar presented plaques to each of the members of the committee.
Chairman Kaupin thanked the committee for all the work they did for the Town of Enfield.
PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS & PETITIONS
Jack Sheridan, 7 Buchanan Road
Stated his belief the bike path should be put on the back burner. He noted at a previous meeting, only two people who lived in that area voiced support for a bike path. He stated the Town should be fast-tracking the South Maple Street Bridge, which is in horrendous condition. He pointed out he has photographs showing the deteriorated condition of this bridge.
As concerns a dog park, Mr. Sheridan pointed out a dog was killed at the South Windsor Dog Park.
Mr. Sheridan stated his belief the technology refresh program raised by Chief Technology Officer, Paul Russell, would be a great tool for home schooling.
As concerns the issue of home heating fuel assistance for Enfield High School, he stated he wonders what that is about. He noted the school system has 75,000 gallons of fuel in the ground that they’re not using, plus they’re paying storage for fuel they are not using. He added they put diesel fuel in with the fuel oil cost.
Charles Woods, 11 Westerly Drive
Stated Route 190 is a nightmare with bumper to bumper traffic. He proposed consideration be given to providing turning lanes to keep traffic moving. He noted right now, people are pulling onto the shoulder of the road to get around other cars. He stated his belief the Town needs to spur along the State to take a look at Route 190 regarding the provision of turning lanes.
Mr. Woods suggested the Town use some of the land it owns in the Presidential section to provide a needed play area for children.
James DiFranco, 42 Weymouth School Road
Thanked the Town Council and Pia Hawkes for addressing the clean up of an area near his home. He noted he was told this area would be seeded in the spring. He went on to note that as long as he has lived there, there has been some type of barrier to keep out vehicles and ATV’s. He stated he would like to see those barrier replaced.
Mr. DiFranco noted snowplows have been piling up snow in an area that blocks children from accessing the school property. He requested this be addressed.
He stated he was disappointed to learn that they would not be able to erect a light where he requested. He questioned if this will never happen, or is this an item that’s being postponed. He requested this be revisited.
Paul DeGregorio, 15 Debbie Lane
Stated he has had many communications with Councilman Nelson over the past couple months. He noted on October 16th of last year, they had their first communication together. He stated the first words out of Councilman Nelson’s mouth to him were, “I hear your dog got hit by a car”. He asked Councilman Nelson how he knew this, and Councilman Nelson informed him Jason Jones told him his dog was hit by a car, and he says you think he did it. He noted he questioned whether Mr. Jones told Councilman Nelson that on December 3, 2006 a man living at his house was doing 40 to 50 mph, flew past him and his dog, slammed on the brakes and said an obscenity to him, and he called the police. He noted Councilman Nelson indicated he didn’t know about that.
Chairman Kaupin stated this is a Town Council meeting, and the issue should be related to the Town. Mr. DeGregorio responded “It is, because if one family is being harassed and let down, all families are being let down. Let me finish because this gets very hairy now…”
Chairman Kaupin stated, “You need to refrain from personalities…you are to speak on Town issues.” Mr. DeGregorio responded, “These are Town issues. On October 2, 2007, did Jason Jones tell you about the girl that was living at his house…”
Chairman Kaupin stated, “You’re done, that has nothing to do with Town business. This is not the forum for those types of issues. You’re done”.
Mr. DeGregorio stated, “Another thing, Mr. Nelson told me you guys are discussing behind closed doors how to cut me off.”
Chairman Kaupin recessed the meeting at 7:40 p.m.and reconvened the meeting at 7:45 p.m.
Mrs. Collins, the Hazardville Section
Stated she is glad to see the dog park will not be in the proposed area. She stated her hope the Council won’t be spending so much time on the dog park issue in the new year.
Margaret Jedziniak, 232 Abbe Road
Stated her belief the number one thing this year should be the ability for Enfield citizens to vote on the Town budget.
Ms. Jedziniak questioned out-of-town people using a lot of Enfield’s facilities. She questioned the possibility of out-of-town people being included in the head count of users at those facilities, which could effect the impression that facilities should be expanded to accommodate more people. She pointed out Suffield’s recreational youth programs don’t invite out-of-towners to participate in their programs. She stated her belief Enfield is bearing the brunt of providing recreation and wellness centers for the surrounding region. She went on to note that Somers would be glad to donate to the Enfield Food Shelf, but they don’t want such a facility in their town.
Ms. Jedziniak stated many people from Massachusetts bring their dogs to Powder Hollow for exercise.
She stated the State is spending 9% of the Town’s money every year, while only 6% is coming in. She stated her belief the Council should discuss this with the State and ask the Town’s representatives what they will do at the state level to help out Enfield.
COUNCILMEN COMMUNICATIONS & PETITIONS
Councilman Lee questioned if there are measurements in place to identify resident v. non-resident usage of services and whether each department can indicate how that ratio is either a positive or negative to the budgets of their respective services. He stated his understanding Parks & Recreation charges a higher fee for certain things which actually enables those programs to stay afloat, and the senior center has something similar. He noted if each department could do this, it would be helpful and possibly shed some light on what Ms. Jedziniak has indicated.
Councilman Lee questioned the status on the South Maple Street Bridge. Mr. Coppler stated the main part is getting this through the State because the State is the gatekeeper for the funding, therefore, the Town has to go through all the different procedures of the State before the Town will see that federal money. Councilman Lee questioned whether the Town is up-to-date with its share of the tasks, and Mr. Hawkes responded yes and added they’re scheduled to go out to bid in three years. Councilman Lee stated perhaps a letter to the Town’s contingent might be in order concerning this matter.
Councilman Mangini questioned the status on the equipment to help the Council with acoustics as concerns the televising of the Council meetings.
Councilman Mangini thanked the Police Department for posting the merge sign on Elm Street near O’Hear Avenue.
Councilman Bosco stated he raised two items previously and noted he does not see any fencing at the Town Farm tobogganing hill, nor a light on Silver Lane.
Councilman Nelson indicated he is still waiting for action on the light on Sword Avenue.
MOTION #182 by Councilman Nelson, seconded by Councilman Mangini to move Items D., F., and G. from Items for Discussion to Miscellaneous.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #182 adopted 10-0-0.
Chairman Kaupin stated as a representative at CRCOG, he will bring up the issue of turning lanes for Route 190.
TOWN MANAGER REPORT & COMMUNICATIONS
Mr. Coppler stated they are looking at a February timeframe for installation of the audio upgrades in the Council Chambers.
Mr. Coppler stated the Silver Lane light installation should be happening very soon. He added the fencing for the toboggan hill should be addressed very shortly.
Referring to Mr. DiFranco’s inquiry regarding a light, Mr. Hawkes agreed there needs to be a light, however, funding is tight. He added this item will be on their “to do” list.
As concerns Mr. DiFranco’s request to erect barriers near the school, Councilman Nelson suggested checking with the Police Department to be sure this isn’t an emergency access area.
TOWN ATTORNEY REPORT & COMMUNICATIONS
Attorney Deneen noted he researched the issue of registering or licensing cats. He referred to some municipalities that do this. He noted there are two separate, but related statutory authorizations for any municipality to act. He explained the first act relates to feral cats, which are domesticated but unowned cats. He noted this act could allow a municipality to adopt an ordinance which requires any keeper of such cats to have them spayed or neutered. He stated fines could be imposed. He stated if this type of statute is enacted, the town would then have the ability to enact a second statute, but the second statute can’t be done, unless they do the first. He explained this would be a little broader whereby it allows them to put into place fines for domestic cats or feral cats that substantially damage property or cause unsanitary conditions. He noted it allows and puts into place the ability for the Animal Control Officer to take those types of cats into custody and lays out a process similar to dog handling.
Attorney Deneen stated a number of municipalities have looked at this and decided not to proceed with this because they identified fairly significant start-up costs. He noted Mansfield tried to take a different approach under Statute 7-148, which is authorization for the municipality to take care of the public health and welfare of its community, but it seems quite a bit beyond the two specific statutory authorizations that deal with feral cats.
Attorney Deneen stated he put together a memo for the Council as well as an analysis that the General Assembly’s office did in 1999, and there hasn’t been any substantial change to the statute since then.
Councilman Nelson questioned why the Town couldn’t use its current Animal Control Officer and just split the existing dog pound to accommodate cats.
Councilman Lee questioned whether the Animal Control Officer’s reports make a distinction between feral and domestic cats. Attorney Deneen responded yes, they use the term, “unowned domestic cat”.
Councilman Lee requested the Town Attorney check to see if the ordinance in place currently prohibits the feeding of wild animals.
Mr. Coppler suggested perhaps the Public Safety Committee could meet with the Animal Control Officer to discuss what the capabilities are right now and what it may take to be able to provide any level of service.
REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEES OF THE COUNCIL
Councilman Mangini stated the Fourth of July Committee has begun the process for the next celebration. She noted the next meeting is scheduled for Sunday, February 8th, and prior to that meeting there will be a winter dinner dance on February 7th.
Councilman Mangini stated the Council received in their packets the information from the National League of Cities regarding the economic recovery that’s being presented at the federal level. She noted from the national perspective, they’re looking to have their resources brought directly to municipalities and cities and bypass the State in as many ways as they can. She explained what’s happening – the State receives the funds and information, and by the time the municipalities are the recipients, much of the funding has been watered down. She noted they’re looking to concentrate on infrastructure investments, supporting individuals by way of municipalities, improving financial markets, etc.
Councilman Lee stated the Development Services Subcommittee has set a date for its next meeting, which will be Wednesday, January 19th at 8:00 a.m. He noted that will be held at Town Hall.
APPOINTMENTS (TOWN COUNCIL & TOWN MANAGER)
All appointments remained tabled.
Items C., D., E., and F. remained tabled.
APPOINTMENTS (TOWN COUNCIL)
Appointments to the Board of Assessment Appeals, North Central District Health Department Board of Directors and Enfield Revitalization Strategy Committee will appear on the next agenda.
RESOLUTION #183 by Councilman Nelson, seconded by Councilman Mangini.
RESOLVED, that in accordance with Chapter VIII, Section II of the Town Charter, the Enfield Town Council does hereby amend the classification plan to include the following new position in the Town budget for FY09 for the Development Services Department:
Add (1) Building Permit Technician $39,000”
Delete (1) Secretary $25,986
*$35,000 starting salary
+$2,000 upon completion of Zoning Enforcement Technician
+$2,000 upon completion of Building Permit Technician Training
Mr. Warren stated the Development Services Department is shrinking, and they still need to do the job. He noted his recommendation is to change the position from secretary to a higher level, more trained, certified individual. He added they propose that the position in the Community Development office remain vacant. He noted that position has a salary of approximately $65,000 and with benefits it’s $86,000. He stated they’re also contemplating other reductions in Planning with a pending retirement of a part-time position. He noted the net effect in development services is a reduction in staff and personnel costs in conformance with the directives of the Manager.
Councilman Bosco stated this is exactly what he has been looking for, as long as they don’t put someone into this eliminated position in the near future.
Mr. Warren stated the elimination of that position would cause a hardship in Community Development and constrain what can be accomplished. He noted they propose using some CDBG funds to purchase some part-time service to help out with the rehab program, but not fill the position. He added he was contacted by Windsor where they’re having similar budget problems and they question whether this can be done collectively with a couple towns to work on the housing rehab portion.
Councilman Nelson questioned how Mr. Warren sees things going in the Building Department with the full-time building inspector not being replaced and using a part-time inspector at this time. Mr. Warren stated when the full-time inspector retired, funds were budgeted for a part-time position, and that will stay as is. He noted this is a tough economy, however, it hasn’t reduced the impact on the Building Department yet because they’re still putting out as many permits, re-doing as many plans and doing as many inspections, but they’re just doing it with less people. He pointed out that’s why they need the counter tech position that can handle people as they come in and answer questions. He noted this position would be trained about codes and applications.
Councilman Nelson expressed his appreciation for the efforts made by this department.
Upon a ROLL-CALL vote being taken, the Chair declared RESOLUTION #183 adopted 10-0-0.
RESOLUTION #184 by Councilman Nelson, seconded by Councilman Mangini.
RESOLVED, that in accordance with Chapter VI, Section 8(f) of the Town Charter, the following transfer is hereby made:
TO: 3300 – Building Code Enforcement
FROM: 3300 – Building Code Enforcement
Overtime 0100-01-0030-3300-00000-0140 $3,500.00
Salaries – 0100-01-0030-3300-00000-0120 $2,500.00
I hereby certify that the above-stated funds are available as of December 8, 2008.
/s/ A. Lynn Nenni, Director of Finance
Upon a ROLL-CALL vote being taken, the Chair declared RESOLUTION #184 adopted 10-0-0.
DISCUSSION RE: ESTABLISH COMMUNITY CENTER STUDY COMMITTEE
There was a consensus to set up this study committee. Chairman Kaupin pointed out this is not making a commitment, but only establishes a study committee to look at this idea.
ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION
MOTION #185 by Councilman Ragno, seconded by Councilman Crowley to move Item E. to Miscellaneous.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #185 adopted 9-1-0, with Councilman Edgar voting against.
MOTION #186 by Councilman Dumont, seconded by Councilman Crowley to move Item H. to Miscellaneous.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #186 adopted 9-1-0, with Councilman Edgar voting against.
DISCUSSION RE: WPC ENERGY SELF-RELIANCE PROJECT
Mr. Coppler stated at the last meeting Marvin Serra did a presentation about what he’s been working on to bring self-sufficiency for energy needs to the Water Pollution Control Plant. He noted Mr. Serra had pointed out this is a project that has sparked interest at the DEP to try to get onto a funding schedule through the potential stimulus package that may be coming out in the near future. He stated DEP has requested that any community interested in submitting a project such as this needs to get it submitted within the next two weeks. He noted they are looking for a consensus from the Council to turn this in to DEP as a potential funding project.
Councilman Mangini noted refarming is another project and questioned whether there will be competition between these projects.
Mr. Coppler stated they’re getting a lot of requests from a lot of different parties asking the Town to produce shovel-ready projects. He noted they’re putting out whatever meets a particular agency’s request. He stated this particular project is through DEP, which has nothing to do with communications.
Councilman Mangini stated refarming is a very important project. She noted she wants there to be a very clear understanding with all levels of government that Enfield is looking to receive appropriate funding from all ends.
Councilman Nelson pointed out the savings they could get from the WPC could help fund refarming. Mr. Coppler stated currently they fund WPC through the tax dollars the Town collects. He noted they’re looking potentially at over $300,000 in savings per year by doing this project. He stated if they can get federal funding to do this project, the return on investment is immediate, therefore, that’s money that becomes available in future years’ budgets to put toward different projects.
Councilman Crowley questioned whether they would have to go out to referendum. Mr. Coppler responded yes, they would have to go to referendum for the WPC and refarming projects.
Councilman Lee voiced his support of the WPC project.
It was the consensus of the Council to move forward with the submittal of the WPC project to DEP.
RESOLUTION #187 by Councilman Ragno, seconded by Councilman Mangini.
WHEREAS, the Enfield Town Council established the School Athletic Fields Building Committee to oversee the design and reconstruction of the High Schools athletic fields; and
WHEREAS, the School Athletic Fields Building Committee has successfully overseen the design and reconstruction of the Enrico Fermi and Enfield High Schools athletic fields;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Enfield Town Council does hereby dissolve the Schools Athletic Fields Building Committee effective the date of this resolution, with sincerest appreciation and thanks to the members of the committee for their diligent work bringing the project to its successful completion.
Councilman Nelson stated now that this project is closed out, perhaps this group would like to look at the finishing touches, i.e., press boxes, outside facilities for players, storage areas, etc. He expressed his appreciation to this committee for doing a great job.
Upon a ROLL-CALL vote being taken, the Chair declared RESOLUTION #187 adopted 10-0-0.
RESOLUTION #188 by Councilman Nelson, seconded by Councilman Ragno.
WHEREAS, the Town of Enfield has published a legal notice display ad and mailed a formal letter to a number of agencies and abutting property owners announcing a public informational meeting for the proposed Local Roads Accident Reduction Program project known as State project 48-189, Freshwater Boulevard at Cranbrook Boulevard Intersection Improvement, Town of Enfield; and
WHEREAS, a public informational meeting was held on November 20, 2008, 6:00 pm at the Central Library, 104 Middle Road, Enfield, CT 06082 at which residents had an opportunity to voice their concerns; and
WHEREAS, the Enfield Town Council has considered the concerns of the residents from the public informational meeting and finds the proposed project is in the best interest of the Town of Enfield and will promote the health, safety and general welfare of its residents and provide for convenience and safety of the motoring public;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Enfield Town Council, based on the above, and by virtue of this resolution, hereby fully supports the proposed project.
Councilman Mangini questioned whether there will be a cost to the Town, or is this State-funded. Mr. Hawkes stated it’s partially funded through the Local Roads Accident Reduction Program, which is funding $208,000 for construction, and the Town is covering 10% of the construction cost and 100% of the design cost and construction inspection. Councilman Mangini questioned the Town’s out-of-pocket cost. Mr. Coppler stated the estimated construction cost is $560,000; the Town is receiving $208,000 from the Federal Local Roads Accident Reduction Program; the design, advertising and construction inspection will cost the Town approximately $134,000. At the present time, the Town has $249,453 in the CIP account. He stated the Town would have to budget in a future CIP another $240,000. He noted this will have to be part of the CIP discussions for 2009/2010.
Councilman Mangini stated if the Council passes this resolution, it appears the Town is pretty much bound to go forward. Mr. Coppler responded if the Council has no desire to do improvements at that intersection, he recommended not going any further forward since the next step would be to start the design process. He went on to note there is a definite safety issue at that intersection, and the need to complete this project hasn’t changed. He acknowledged the budget has gotten tighter, but in terms of prioritizing public safety, this would be one of the top CIP priorities.
Chairman Kaupin questioned if there’s funding coming from CRCOG, and Mr. Hawkes noted that would be the $208,000, which are federal funds passing through CRCOG.
Councilman Lee requested clarification about the Town’s funding responsibility, and Mr. Coppler stated it’s a 90%/10% match for the actual construction piece of this project and then it’s 100% for the engineer and design.
Councilman Lee expressed his support of this project since this is the worst intersection in Enfield.
Councilman Nelson questioned who came up with the construction cost, and Mr. Hawkes responded the Town’s consultant. Councilman Nelson questioned the possibility of doing the engineering in-house to save $130,000. Mr. Hawkes stated the design of the project is approximately $15,000; the construction inspection is approximately 15% of the construction cost. Councilman Nelson questioned if the inspection can be done in house. Mr. Coppler stated they have been using Wenners for the actual inspection construction of all the roads in the 2005 Roads Project, and he stated his belief they would use Wenners to do that construction inspection.
Councilman Nelson stated his impression this is a very costly construction amount. He feels the numbers aren’t right and are out of range.
Councilman Mangini agreed with Councilman Nelson. She added her belief they need to revisit those numbers.
Mr. Hawkes noted he could check to learn if the $208,000 would expire if this item is postponed.
Councilman Bosco questioned if the Town’s engineering department can design something like this in house. He noted he would rather wait on this and start looking at different ways of doing all the Town’s engineering before paying sub-contractors. He feels the numbers don’t add up.
Mr. Coppler referred to the design and noted there are multiple disciplines involved, and the Town might not have the capability to do everything in-house. He added the Town can do straight-forward designs in house, i.e., D’Annunzio Avenue.
Councilman Lee requested Chairman Kaupin ask CRCOG at their next meeting if they’ve had any intersection realignment projects go out to bid in the last 90 days. Chairman Kaupin indicated he will try to get in touch with the Chairman of the Transportation Committee.
Chairman Kaupin stated it would be helpful to get cost information earlier. He went on to state this intersection has to be fixed, and it has to be fixed the right way. He requested more information be provided for the January 20th meeting.
MOTION #189 by Councilman Edgar, seconded by Councilman Ragno to table this item until further information is available.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #189 adopted 10-0-0.
RESOLUTION #190 by Councilman Ragno, seconded by Councilman Mangini.
RESOLVED, that in accordance with Chapter VI, Section 8(f) of the Town Charter, the following transfer is hereby made:
TO: Heating Fuel Enfield High School $75,908
Miscellaneous State Revenue $75,908
I hereby certify that the above-stated funds are available as of 12/24/08.
/s/ A. Lynn Nenni, Director of Finance
Mr. Coppler referred to questions which were raised previously:
1) Is the transfer request moving the money to a Town-controlled or Board of Education-controlled account?
Mr. Coppler explained this is actually not a transfer, but rather they’re receiving new revenue, and then they’re appropriating that to the school system.
2) If we’re moving to a BOE-controlled account, why is it being transferred there?
Mr. Coppler explained the intent of this money is for additional heating costs associated with the schools. He noted according to a presentation on December 3rd, the Board of Education indicated this was one of the revenues they were looking at to help offset the million dollars plus deficit they may have this year. He noted it was also indicated that any money left over after heating would be coming back to the Town.
3) Since we already have the check, do we need to make the transfer, or can the money just reside in the Miscellaneous State Revenue Account until the time the transfer is needed?
Mr. Coppler stated yes, it could, and they do not have to do this appropriation if the Council prefers not to. He referred to the letter from the State and noted the intent is that this be used for heating costs associated with the schools.
4) Why is the money targeted to Enfield High School?
Mr. Coppler stated he couldn’t really get a good answer to this question. He noted this is the way the money came in.
5) Was the money for a specific school or intended for the entire district?
Mr. Coppler stated after talking with the school system, it’s his understanding it was intended for the whole district and not just one particular school.
Councilman Lee questioned if they have any indication that any energy account from Enfield Public Schools is forecasted to be in the red, and Mr. Coppler responded they haven’t received any information like that.
Chairman Kaupin stated his belief they don’t have to make this transfer yet, and he prefers not to make the transfer until they get the list from the Board of Education on what they’re doing to help close their $1.2 million dollar gap. He noted he still considers this money as belonging to the school system.
Councilman Edgar stated the Town has a CIP account with money to cover Enfield High School’s heating control system. He questioned whether that work has ever been done, and perhaps this money can be used for that purpose.
MOTION #191 by Councilman Edgar, seconded by Councilman Lee to table this item.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #191 adopted 10-0-0.
RESOLUTION #192 by Councilman Ragno, seconded by Councilman Kiner.
RESOLVED, that in accordance with Chapter VI, Section 8(f) of the Town Charter, the following transfer is hereby made:
TO: 1500 Registrar of Voters
Election Workers 0100-01-0050-1500-00000-0134 $2,500.00
FROM: 1500 Registrar of Voters
Professional Development 0100-01-0050-1500-00000-0322 $1,000.00
Rental Equipment-Vehicles 0100-01-0050-1500-00000-0422 $ 500.00
Travel 0100-01-0050-1500-00000-0580 $ 500.00
Furniture & Fixtures 0100-01-0050-1500-00000-0733 $ 500.00
I hereby certify that the above-stated funds are available as of January 1, 2009.
/s/ A. Lynn Nenni, Director of Finance
Present for this discussion was David Wawer, Registrar of Voters.
Mr. Wawer stated he provided a handout to the Council which explains why a canvass is done.
Councilman Crowley commended Mr. Wawer’s office for the fine job they do. He went on voice his concern they’re taking $2,500 out of professional development, rental equipment, travel and fixture and furniture. He stated his hope it won’t be necessary for Mr. Wawer to come back for replacement funds for this account.
Councilman Ragno stated he will support this resolution and agrees with Councilman Crowley about being mindful about some of the other line items as they approach the next budget.
Upon a ROLL-CALL vote being taken, the Chair declared RESOLUTION #192 adopted 8-2-0, with Councilmen Edgar and Nelson voting against the resolution.
RESOLUTION #193 by Councilman Mangini, seconded by Councilman Ragno.
WHEREAS, the Town Council has determined that bidding school district supplemental literacy materials would be against the best interest of the Town;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Council hereby waives the bidding process in favor of using The McGraw-Hill Companies.
Councilman Edgar stated he looks at this as a masterful job of circumventing the bidding procedures by Charter. He stated his belief the selection committee in essence negotiated a contract and is looking for the Council to approve it. He noted the way it was negotiated was not so much on the cost of the textbooks, but rather for freebies. He stated he firmly believes this should go out to bid.
Councilman Nelson stated he was the one who originally started the Council putting money aside for the Board of Education for textbooks so that the Council made sure that the money allocated was for textbooks. He noted what he saw at the earlier meeting were not textbooks, but rather tools that will help them get to where they want to be. He stated these materials would be for small group reading activities, however, they are not textbooks. He stated his impression they wouldn’t be in the textbook line item at the school, and he believes they are a separate item. He noted he doesn’t agree with the bid waiver. He stated they indicated they do not take cost into effect when it comes to picking a book. He noted a close runner-up book might cost a lot less money, but they never checked because cost doesn’t matter to them. He pointed out it was stated it wasn’t their charge to worry about cost, but rather their charge is to pick the best book that they see. He stated a comment was made that this is the only company that meets the Connecticut state specs. He noted he finds it hard to believe that one company in the United States meets the Connecticut state specs. He stated his belief this is the wrong approach.
Councilman Mangini stated her belief the curriculum team presented the situation to the Council and noted they are looking at value, and oftentimes value doesn’t come with a price tag to deliver literacy to the children. She noted they often have to think out of the box, and this is what the curriculum department came up with to successfully meet their charge. She voiced her support of the bid waiver in this case.
Councilman Lee stated the curriculum team provided a document that lays out a process that the school system uses to select the appropriate curriculum for the Town of Enfield. He noted that process is something that a lot of people in the state hold very dear, and they treasure the ability to use local authority to identify the priorities for one community over another. He stated he lauds Enfield Public Schools for holding this as a priority of their own.
Councilman Lee stated the process used is set by Board policy, and he assumes that in the creation of a board policy, there’s some kind of vetting from the Board of Education’s legal representation. He further assumed if there was ever a problem with this process not jiving with Town Charter, that would have been identified long ago. He stated the process they use appears to be consistent, and it certainly has been in the few years that the Council inserted itself into the process. He noted he will not mince hairs between what a textbook is and what a soft cover book might be. He stated if there has been a process that has been working in the selection of tools, and the Enfield Town Council wants to be part of that process, he believes they need to respect what their process has been. He stated his belief the Council has no authority whatsoever to change the way academics are identified. He noted he will support this resolution.
Chairman Kaupin stated he will support the resolution. He noted when they first began this process, it was his understanding the Council would not be involved in the selection of material. He noted the goal was to get textbooks and educational instructional materials into the school system. He stated this is a reading program for K through Grade 6 for nine schools. He noted the school system is about $1.4 million dollars behind in their curriculum updating program, and this is an expenditure of about $219,000.
Upon a ROLL-CALL vote being taken, the Chair declared RESOLUTION #193 adopted 8-2-0, with Councilmen Edgar and Nelson voting against the resolution.
Jack Sheridan, 7 Buchanan Road
Noted veterinarians are concerned about rabies and diseases from feral cats and wild animals. He pointed out there are monies from organizations for local vets to inoculate and spay feral cats.
Mr. Sheridan stated there are books that he knows of that the school system is buying that no other school system buys, and that’s why they’re so expensive. He questioned whether that means all the other Connecticut schools have a substandard curriculum.
He noted they should look to see what some of the other school districts are doing. He questioned why Enfield would choose to buy a book that no one else is buying.
There were no comments.
MOTION #194 by Councilman Mangini, seconded by Councilman Nelson to adjourn.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #194 adopted 10-0-0, and the meeting stood adjourned at 9:43 p.m.