Present: Ketcham, Pemberton, Takacs
Also present: Highway Superintendent Jeff Hanson & six members of the public and a representative of the Redding Pilot.
First Selectman Ketcham called the June 17, 2013 meeting to order at 7:30 pm.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mrs. Ketcham suggested an amendment to the minutes of May 7, 2013. These minutes were approved at the May 14, 2013 meeting. She asked that the second paragraph under Action on Petition be amended to include the following at the end of the third (final) sentence: “on their own initiative because it represented a change in Redding’s governmental process”. Mrs. Pemberton and Mr. Takacs were in agreement.
Motion: move to approve the minutes of the May 14, 2013 meeting as submitted. Pemberton, Takacs. Approved. Unanimous.
DISCUSSION AND ACTION ON PARKING APPEAL
The Board of Selectmen received a parking appeal for a parking violation in the Georgetown area. The individual was notified by letter that the appeal would be on the agenda, but could not be contacted by phone. The individual was told that if he could not attend this meeting, the item would be postponed to the next meeting. The individual was not present and this item was tabled to the next meeting.
UPDATE ON HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT ROADWAY RATING PROGRAM
Highway Superintendent Jeff Hanson provided a report on the condition of all the roads in Redding. He and Robert Paradise drove every road in town and gave each a rating of 1 to 10 based on the condition of the road and need for repaving or repair. He summarized that 40% of the town’s thru roads fell below a 5 rating (1 being the most in need and 10 being a road in new or very good shape). 33% of the main roads in town fell below a 5 rating and 40% of the roads with no outlets were below a 5 rating. Mr. Hanson’s next step is to prepare a priority listing of the roads that should be repaired or repaved next. He reported that work is being completed on Deer Hill Road, Sullivan Drive, Brookside Road and Ledgeway Road. Mr. Hanson indicated he may hire subcontractors to do some of the roadway reconstruction work on the roads, such as backfilling the curbs. He added that the crew was still working to catch up from last fall’s storms and the removal of tree debris.
James Miller, Middlebrook Pond Road: Mr. Miller asked if the work related to the roadway reconstruction was being accounted for separately from the regular Highway Department operations. Mr. Hanson responded that this was being done.
Frank DeSalvo, Mountain Road: Mr. DeSalvo noted that there is tree debris on his property from the storm. Mr. Hanson responded that CL&P is responsible for clearing that debris and they are behind schedule.
DISCUSSION OF TOWN MEETING GUIDELINES
Mrs. Ketcham researched other Connecticut towns regarding their guidelines for sending issues to town meetings for approval. She found the towns have varying guidelines, often depending on the size of the town. She suggested the board discuss the primary issues of notification of residents of the issue, town meeting or scheduled machine vote and the issue of when an issue should be decided on at a town meeting or a machine vote.
The notification process currently employed is the required legal notice in a newspaper with local circulation, along with articles in the paper, notification on the town’s website and the email notification to those who subscribe to the email notification on the town website. The cost of mailing a postcard to each household, including the printing, sorting and postage, in today’s dollars is $1,210. Notification by telephone was also discussed. The CT Alert system is reserved for emergency use only. The schools use a system that could be purchased; this would cost about $240 for 4000 households.
The issue of approval by town meeting or machine vote was discussed. Currently state statutes state that 20 residents can petition a town meeting, and legislation allows that number to be increased to 50. The cost of conducting a machine vote is $6,250. Financial information on the cost of town meetings over the past five years will be requested of the Finance Director.
Mr. Takacs noted that the real issue is finding a way to increase the resident participation in local government issues. The board discussed the potential of surveying residents on how they could prefer to get information, by the website, email, newspaper, post card, etc. The Board will discuss the matter again at the July meeting.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Selectmen reappoint Vanessa Alward, Meredith McClung and Gary Miyashiro to the Park & Recreation Commission for terms July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2016. Pemberton, Takacs. Approved. Unanimous.
Video project: Mrs. Pemberton reported she is almost finished with video clips of the town. The next step is to prepare the narrative script. She suggested finding a local person to assist with the actual narration of the video presentation. The goal is to finish this project by the beginning of September.
Leash Ordinance: The Park & Recreation Commission submitted a letter and documentation requesting that the town create a dog leash ordinance that would cover Topstone Park and other Redding open space areas. This will be an agenda item for discussion at the July meeting.
Motion: move to recess to executive session for a discussion of union negotiations and employee compensation. Takacs, Pemberton. Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting recessed at 8:47 pm
The Chair reconvened the meeting at 9:25 pm
Motion: move that the Board of Selectmen recommend to the Board of Finance a transfer from FY 2012-13 Contingency Account for FY 2013-14 employee compensation as discussed. Takacs, Pemberton. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move to adjourn the meeting. Takacs, Pemberton. Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting adjourned at 9:30 pm.
Mary Maday, Recording Secretar