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Minutes of Board of Selectmen, 05/18/2020

AGENDA: Board of Selectmen

RECEIVED 05/28/2020 8:30am
Kathleen R. Miserendino - Redding Deputy Town Clerk

Board of Selectmen
Tuesday, May 18, 2020
Via Zoom

Present: Julia Pemberton, First Selectwoman; Peg O’Donnell, Selectwoman; Michael Thompson, Selectman.
Also present: Members of the public joined the meeting in addition to members of Boards and Commissions.

1.      Call to order
First Selectwoman Pemberton called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.

2.      Public Comment
No comments.

3.      Approval of Minutes -4/27/2020
Mr. Thompson motioned and Mrs. O’Donnell seconded to approve the 4/27/20 Minutes.

4. Executive session for pending litigation:
A. Meadow Ridge 2012 GL tax appeal
B. Negotiations

P. O’Donnell motioned and M. Thompson seconded to go into Executive Session at 6:41 p.m. Town Counsel and Counsel for a litigant were invited to attend the session.

The Board came out of Executive Session at 7:55 p.m.

Mr. Thompson moved to authorize the Board of Selectmen to approve settlement of the litigation between the Town of Redding and its former employee, Lori McHale, for the negotiated amount with remaining terms and conditions to be agreed and finalized by the First Selectman. Mrs. O’Donnell seconded the motion.

5.      BOS authorization of Budget making authority to adopt an operating budget for FY 20-21 pursuant to Executive Order 7 I section 13, reaffirmed in EO 7HH.

First Selectwoman Pemberton reported that the Board of Finance approved the Selectmen’s budget and the Board of Education was similarly approved. The next step is to authorize the budget-making authority to adopt a budget by 6/3/20.

Mr. Thompson suggested waiting until 6/3 or as close as possible to approve the budget and set the mill rate with the caveat that there could be a change in the Governor’s Executive Order re: town meetings during Covid-19. Mrs. O’Donnell commented that the preference is for the taxpayers to vote on the budget.  J. Pemberton reiterated that it is not the preference of the Board to pass a budget this way.  Approval of the Region 9 budget is needed in order to set a mill rate. It was reported that Region 9 is meeting 5/19/20 with approval of their budget on the agenda.

First Selectwoman Pemberton noted that it is highly unlikely that an in-person vote will be held unless Gov. Lamont rescinded the Executive Order. Possible options may be hand or drive-by vote.

Mr. Thompson motioned and Mrs. O’Donnell seconded the motion to authorize the Board of Finance to meet to vote on next year’s fiscal budget with the understanding that the Board of Selectmen could discuss the possibility of a town vote should the Executive Order change.

6.      Discussion of re-opening planning.

The Governor’s Executive Order re: Phase 1 reopening was screenshared by J. Pemberton. The plans for a phased reopening of the Town Hall and Community Center were discussed.  Kevin Jones, Park & Recreation Commission, reviewed the challenges for camp as outlined by CT Dept. of Public Health guidelines including a maximum of 30 people for day camp, temperature checks, social distancing and no overnight camps.  It was noted that summer camps also serve as daycare for working parents.  Mr. Jones stated that need-based enrollment could be an option.

Mr. Thompson questioned if there are similar rules for daycares. J. Pemberton stated that daycares have remained open for children of essential workers.

Mr. Jones reported that trails at Topstone are open.  He noted a number of issues to be considered re: opening Topstone fully for the summer including how many people permitted at the same time, bathroom cleaning requirements, use of boats, and use of the playground. A plan will be discussed further at the June Park & Rec. Commission meeting.

As of May 20, restaurants may open for outdoor dining only.  Mr. Thompson suggesting reducing fees to assist small businesses. Land Use Director A. Pardee stated that fees are being waived and processes are being sped up.

7.      Public comments

Diana Carlino asked when the Parks & Recreation meeting is being held. J. Pemberton reviewed the tennis court procedures, noting new rules from USTA.

Angela Caes had questions regarding the town supplying PPE. She suggested an online reservation system should reservations be required for Topstone.

Brenda Phelps suggested two-hour blocks at Topstone per family to ensure that the reservations are distributed evenly to residents.

Kristen Anstett asked if out-of-town passes will be available this year and it was noted that will be determined at a later date.

Mrs. O’Donnell commended the First Selectwoman, all department heads and employees for their time and diligence.  J. Pemberton thanked Angelica Fontanez and everyone who made donations to social services and the food pantry.

8.      Other business
No items.

9. Adjournment
Mr. Thompson motioned and Mrs. O’Donnell seconded to adjourn the meeting at 9:10 p.m.  

Submitted by:
Kristi C. Reilly