Town of NewSalem Selectboard

Meeting Minutes

April 23, 2018

Stowell Building, New Salem, MA 01355

Convened: 6:00 pm

Present: Randy Gordon, chair, Lisa DeWitt, Wayne Hachey, Selectboard; Nancy Aldrich, Town Coordinator; Jean Derderian, Historical Commission

Selectboard Reviewed & Signed the Following:

Ø Payroll & Vendor Warrants

Ø Election Warrant

Ø Appointment Slips for COA

Discussion Items

Requested Pay Raises

Finance Committee has received several requests for pay raises. Joe Cuneo, Diana Smith, and several Circulation Librarians are asking for raises. Randy clarified as to the different wages and what each raise would entail. Nancy went into some detail about how past wage increase requests were done. In the past some information was provided by FRCOG, and New Salem sought to reach at least the middle on those rankings. The Library requests are hard to quantify. The cost to up the Circulation Librarians, who are asking for $1 per hour more, would be roughly $1,500. The Director is asking for $1.50 and it would cost $1,480. Wayne asked if the raises would include the COLA or if the COLA would be in addition. Nancy suggested the raise would include the COLA, but that is something for the Selectboard to decide. Wayne was concerned about the numbers presented, and suggested the Library Director only get $1 per hour like the Circulation Librarians. Randy turned discussion to the Emergency Management Director. Joe Cuneo is looking for a one time raise of $143 dollars. Lisa felt that Joe’s request, in particular, wasn’t that much and noted he has been denied twice already in raise requests for the Emergency Management Director position in prior years. There was some discussion of Wayne’s position of only giving $1 to the Library Director noting that with a 2 percent COLA the total raise for that position would be $1,007 approximately.

A motion was made by Wayne to approve a $1 per hour raise increase for the Library Director and Circulation Librarians, as well as approve the $143 raise requested by Joe Cuneo. The motion was seconded by Lisa and passed without objection.

Request from Friends of the New Salem Library Regarding Serving Wine at Upcoming Events

The Friends are planning two events one in May and in June and would like to serve wine. The Selectboard had no objections to allowing them permission.

A motion was made by Wayne to allow the Friends to serve wine at those events. The motion was seconded by Lisa and passed unanimously.

Update on Dog Hearing Court Cases

Wayne updated on the two dog hearings. A ruling is expected from the Magistrate this upcoming Wednesday on both the Dangerous Dog and Nuisance Dog cases that are ongoing. It appears the town is likely to prevail as things stand currently. As to the Dangerous Dog Hearing specifically, the owner is appealing the ruling of the Selectboard as to the determination that his dogs are dangerous. There is also an ongoing issue of food being left out for animals by the appellant. Wayne expressed concern about the baiting wild animals giving increasing bear concerns. Nancy agreed noting that Fish & Game have advised against leaving food out for wild animals. Lisa suggested that at the very least they should move the area where they are leaving the bait deeper into their own property away from neighbors and public rights of way. Discussion ended shortly thereafter.

Memorial Day

Nancy reported that she hasn’t had many responses on this. She suggested the Selectboard pick a date and time for a pre-Memorial Day meeting to decide what will be done for events and how to plan properly and then invite the relevant parties. Nancy noted most people are flexible they just need a time and date. Wayne inquired as to who would speak at Memorial Day. There was some light discussion regarding that question. Lisa returned discussion to the date and time. It was determined to pick May 2nd, 2018 at 6:00 pm.

Change to Annual Town Meeting Date

The date is being changed, one last time. It will be Tuesday, June 19th, 2018. Nancy promises there will be no further changes. Wayne suggested taking some steps to ensure the Town Hall is ready. Nancy reported briefly on the warrant for the meeting. It looks like there will be about 34 articles. That number, of course, is subject to change until an official town meeting warrant is signed.

Letter to Tree Committee Regarding Maintenance of Veterans Memorials

Nancy read a letter that she’s drafted for the Selectboard to send to the Tree Committee. The letter recognizes the hard work of the committee, and reassures them of the Selectboard’s commitments to the Memorial and its ongoing maintenance including any trees or landscaping the committee may help put in place.

Tree Warden Budget

Lisa reported that apparently there was a separate line item for tree removal, but it was subsumed into the Highway Department’s regular budget. There is some resistance to reestablishing the line as a separate delineated line. Having it be separate makes it clearer and easier to ensure that it is used for its intended purpose. Nancy reported briefly on Wendell’s experience on the topic. Lisa noted that separating it back out and putting in about four days’ worth of tree work would make sense and make it more accountable. There was then some discussion of some of the tree removal work that the Broadband Committee is doing as part of the broadband initiative. Things are moving forward with tree work that needs to be done. Meanwhile, there continues to be an issue with removal of the staking for the project.

Election Warrant

Nancy presented the Selectboard with the Election Warrant. The Election will be on Monday, May 7th, 2018 running from 11:45 am until 8:00 pm.

COA Request

The Council on Aging had requested two new members be appointed. Tony Palmieri and Chris Bouda. The Selectboard was pleased to oblige.


The Selectboard tabled the minutes from April 9th, 2018 until the Selectboard’s next regularly scheduled meeting.

A motion to adjourn at 6:30 pm was made by Lisa. The motion was seconded by Wayne and passed without objection.

Respectfully Submitted

Jakob K. Hamm, Selectboard Clerk