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Board of Selectmen Agenda, Minutes and Archives

BOS Draft Minutes from October 21, 2014

Aquinnah Board of Selectmen
Minutes of Meeting 10/21/2014
Aquinnah Town Hall Selectmen’s Mtg Room

Members present: Chairman Jim Newman, Julianne Vanderhoop, Spencer Booker
Also present: Town Administrator Adam Wilson; Lighthouse Chairman Beverly Wright; Relocation Chairman Len Butler, Vern Welch, Wendy Swolinzky, Harbormaster Brian Vanderhoop; Shellfish Chairman Buddy Vanderhoop; Hollis Smith, Hugh Taylor, Berta Welch, Sgt Paul Manning, Police Chief Randhi Belain, DPW Director Jay Smalley, Fire Chief Simon Bollin, Planning Board Chairman Peter Temple, Jim Pickman; Gazette Reporter Alex Elvin, Bob McDairmid.

The meeting began at 5:30 pm.
-1st on the agenda under Old Business was a review of minutes from 9/22 & 10/7
-Spencer made a motion to accept the minutes from September 22nd, 2014. Julianne seconded.
The Board voted 3 – 0 in favor. The motion passed.

-Spencer made a motion to accept the minutes from October 7th, 2014. Julianne seconded.
The Board voted 3 – 0 in favor. The motion passed.

-1st on the agenda under New Business was a meeting with Len Butler, Chairman of the Lighthouse Relocation Sub-committee. He explained the most recent contract for archeological services to be done by the Public Archeological Lab (PAL) as part of the planned excavation to the lighthouse’s new site 135’ back from the cliff face. He said he met with the full lighthouse committee and they voted to recommend the service to the Selectmen. The discussion centered on PAL proposing to do a series of test pits (20” wide X 20” deep), to predetermine if there are any artifacts or features to be found and if so, to deal with them now prior to the full excavation of the trench to move the structure. Len said the cost will be $12,269.00 and that PAL already has a permit to do work up at the location that needs a simple amendment.
-Julianne asked why 20 test pits? Len said it’s a grid pattern 20’ apart and that’s the number of test holes it will take. Jim asked when? Len said once the amended license and permits are approved by Coast Guard and Mass Historic, PAL could start in less than 30 days.
Spencer made a motion to accept the proposal from PAL for archeological services related to ground testing along the move path for the relocation of the lighthouse, Juli seconded.
The Board voted 3 – 0 in favor. The motion passed.

-Next on the agenda was a meeting with the Menemsha Lease Lot Holders. The meeting involved the language of the current lease and suggested edits or modifications to it. Jim began the discussion by stating that item #13 should be eliminated because it prohibits shared use of the lots and yet it is well known that the practice exists any way. There was discussion about the item making its way into the current lease drafted 3 years ago.
Jim stated that a rule to prohibit sharing can’t be policed. If it is taken out, the rancor between lease lot holders should end. Spencer also felt that it should be eliminated, it’s anti-business. Juli said if there are people out there that can help with a business to succeed, they should be allowed; it’s too much of a restriction.
-There was discussion about who would qualify to help in a shared situation and who could take advantage of the situation. Beverly asked if the Selectmen will be able to enforce the no subletting rule. Jim said the issue is allowing for the shared usage of the lots, subletting will not be allowed. Spencer said that shared use is activity that is consistent with the marine use that exists in Menemsha. There was discussion about the leaseholder having the necessary insurance and being responsible for anyone that works on their lot.

There was consensus by the Selectmen and the Lease Lot Holders that sub-letting remains in the lease
Juli motioned to strike #13 except for the subletting portion. Spencer seconded.
The Board voted 3 – 0 in favor. The motion passed.

-Hugh brought up item #17 “Surrender”. He asked that there be language that allows a new license holder to negotiate the transfer of improvements from the departing licensee. If improvements are already in place they should not be removed without the possibility of being transferred. Wendy said she finds the wording is contradictory in “Surrender”. There was discussion about the lot’s land returning or staying the same but the improvements made by the leaseholder (pilings, docks, structures) staying in place. She thought the language in #17 needs to be cleaned up and also giving a former lessee time to remove personal property if the situation warrants it.
Jim said the Board will look at improving the surrender clause and have Town Counsel review everything.
-There was discussion about the precedent set at the circle where individuals who’ve lost their lease have had to remove all structures from the lot within 30 days. Spencer said the language for the cliffs is onerous and should also be changed. There was discussion about changing the language because marine operations are different than other lease operations.

-Hugh talked about the possibility of conveyance of the lease to family members instead of it going to the next person on the waiting list. He’d like a provision so that if he were unexpectedly incapacitated, and could no longer work the lease lot, but had family members who could and fit the marine district criteria; they could continue to have the lease rights. There was discussion about immediate family members having the right of 1st refusal to continue with the lease if the current leaseholder had to relinquish the license. Adam mentioned the policy in place about the next person on the waiting list having access to an open lot.
-There was discussion about the leases for the Cliffs and Menemsha having a level of uniformity, in spite of them being very different in character.
-There was discussion about the obligation factor and having both parties notify each other when a lease is set to expire. Wendy asked that there be a line to date the signature page as well.
-There was discussion about clause # 26 and it having language pertaining to subtenants, which seems not to be allowed. Jim said the whole lease will be reviewed by town counsel.

-Next on the agenda was a meeting with Peter Temple. He said he’s asking for help with a zoning enforcement need and it can’t be handled by the Building Inspector because of a conflict of interest. His request is for the Board to approve hiring someone capable of enforcing zoning from another town. There was discussion as to whether either the Town Administrator or the Board of Selectmen can issue a cease & desist order.
The Board, by consensus, agreed to hire an outside Building Inspector to engage in a zoning enforcement action.

-The Selectmen reviewed the 7 articles in the special town meeting warrant. There was discussion of how much the town will have to pay for the refuse district bond. Adam said it will be proportional to the 4 member town district (it’s 3% of the total bond which will be $75K over 20 years - $3,750 per year). Articles 2, 3, 4 & 5 deal with prior fiscal year bills. Article 6 asks the town for $590K to purchase the Manning – Murray property up at the Aquinnah Circle. Article 7 is for to CPC Historic Preservation Projects.
Spencer made a moton to approve the warrant as presented. Juli seconded.
The Board voted 3 – 0 in favor. The motion passed.
Jim Pickman asked what will happen to the property? Jim said the CPC will create a committee that will seek input from the community as to what should become of the property and that will also go back to the town for a vote.

-Next on the agenda was the subject of changing name of the Selectmen to Selectboard. The discussion was tabled as it may involve needing a vote at the state legislative level.
-Last on the Agenda was a request from the Aquinnah Cultural Center for permission for the Artisans Festival next July.
Spencer made a motion to authorize use of the Aquinnah Circle for the 9th annual Native American Artisan’s Festival July 25, 2015. Juli seconded.
The Board voted 3 – 0 in favor. The motion passed

-In other business, Randhi discussed with the Selectmen the Town Campus Planning Committee and an idea to change the name to the Capital Improvement Committee. He said that the name change will allow different committees can come to the CIC for oversight and coordination of projects that tie in with the entire town campus and surrounding properties. Randhi made the recommendation for a 3 person committee to report to the Selectmen and endorse various projects. He said the 3 person committee should have 1 member from the Community Preservation Committee, Planning Board and Selectmen. Adam said it should also have a paid administrative assistant. There was also talk of having a member of the FinCom should that committee be reformed.
There was consensus that the committee’s name and makeup should change and to take it under further advisement.

-Jim Pickman and Berta Welch came to the board to talk about ArtPlace, a private sector organization that is working towards revitalizing communities through art and culture. $10 million in funds and 40 awards are coming to participating communities. There’s a letter of intent due November 3rd. Jim said there’s a large group of Aquinnah residents, as a committee, putting together a joint submission for the Aquinnah Circle. It would cover the entire area and not just the parkland. He asked the Board to endorse the project.
The Board, by consensus, agreed to let the committee go forward in getting the ArtPlace recognition for the Aquinnah Circle.

-Simon came to the Board to talk about the Town-Tribe Safety Agreement and Operational Plan as it has been brought back to the Town from the Tribe’s Counsel. Simon said that what was suggested to change in the operational plan back in February is not the same and has been totally rewritten. Randhi said that the safety agreement has been given to the town from Woody but it’s not known if it has been reviewed by the Tribe’s Counsel. It appears to be the same as what is currently on file. There was discussion about what notes were taken about the operational plan from the February meeting. The operational plan does not have the mutual aide clause that includes other towns. Simon says changes that should have occurred haven’t fully happened yet.
Jim said there should be a meeting and as soon as possible. Adam said the meeting has to be specific and detailed certain points (bullets) to be discussed. There was discussion about fire chief authority on the property and the letter sent back in September requesting that the Tribe adopt the National Fire Protection Act (NFPA).
There was consensus that BOS should be talking to Tribal Council and a letter requesting such should be sent.
Adam said he would draft a letter on Simon’s behalf indicating the issues still needing to be resolved in the operational plan.

-Jim asked if there was anything else to come before the Board. Hearing none, a motion was made and seconded to adjourn.
The Board voted 3 – 0 in favor. The motion passed.

-The meeting ended at 7:00 pm.