Walpole Staff Meeting – 9/20/18

 

Selectboard Present:Peggy Pschirrer (Chair); Steven Dalessio; Cheryl Mayberry

Staff Present:Sarah Downing (Manager of Administration); Rich Kreissle (Manager of Finance);  Chief Michael Paquette (Police Department); Michael Rau (Highway Department Superintendent); Paul Colburn (Recycling Center Director); Rebecca Whippie (Hooper Institute); 

Excused:Justine Fafara (Librarian); Sandra Smith (Town Clerk-Tax Collector); Justin Cassarino (Recreation Department Director)

 

CALL TO ORDER:  Mrs. Pschirrer called this Staff Meeting to order at 5:00 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  She advised this meeting is being recorded.

 

Mrs. Pschirrer advised that Mr. Kreissle is going to tell us about an incident that occurred this past summer that was time consuming and baffling. We still do not know how it occurred.  It probably took more than two weeks to straighten it all out.

Mr. Kreissle was getting ready to leave on vacation in July when he got a call from Mrs. Daigle who said our General Fund had been compromised.  He immediately came into the office.  Checks with our account number were cashed in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The name on the checks was an entertainment business from Los Angeles, California.  They were using payroll check numbers that draw on the general fund account.  He first contacted the bank which had called the Selectboard Office to notify the Town of the issue.  The bank stopped cashing checks from the General Fund.  Mr. Kreissle ordered new checks.  He left knowing they had a system in place.  Mr. Goins, the Town Treasurer, was notified and he opened a new account.  The next Monday, when he was in Maine, two more checks came through.  This required the Town to shut down the old General Fund so that any checks already issued were not going to be honored.  They made a list of the old checks that were cut.  The Savings Bank of Walpole gave them checks that could be used until the new checks came in.  When he came back, he made a list of all the checks that had to be reissued and temporary numbers.  People were coming in with their pay checks and they were being re-issued.  Nobody lost any money.  The Savings Bank of Walpole knew this was not the Town’s fault.  Mrs. Pschirrer noted we need to thank the Savings Bank of Walpole because they realized the numbers on the checks were used last year as payroll checks.  Whoever had taken in the checks lost the money; it was a bank in Las Vegas.  Mr. Kreissle said things slowly settled down.  Taking care of this took a little more than a month.  We still have one person who has not brought in a Hooper payroll check.  Cash is a valuable asset.  We have the PDIP to protect our extra cash and have the $250,000 bank protection.  He knew that balancing at the end of the month was going to be a challenge but knew it had to be solved.  The Savings Bank of Walpole did not issue two bank statements so he had to ask for a transaction listing.  He explained how this was resolved.  He ended up balancing to the penny.  Mrs. Pschirrer noted that employees with direct deposits may not have even known about this.  We need to thank the Savings Bank of Walpole for questioning those checks.  Some of the vendors Mr. Kreissle contacted said the same thing had happened to them.  Chief Paquette said the Feds like the Police Departments to send these incidents to them even if they do not intend to pursue them because the amount is too small.  Things like this happen frequently.

Mrs. Pschirrer turned the meeting to Mr. Rau who will talk about emergencies.  Mrs. Pschirrer stated the Town has had a training session almost every November.  This year we are going to ask the EMTs to give everyone an emergency training.  They are working with Mr. Mark Houghton on this.  There will not be a Harassment Awareness Class.  Mr. Rau talked about the recent accident in North Walpole.  It does not matter how well you are set up or how prepared you are. Something could still happen.  This was an absolute “freak” accident.  Nobody was doing something they should not have been doing.  Mr. Rau was trying to do as much as he could with Mr. Thompson after he was hit while other employees were calling 9-1-1.  Even citizens came to help.  Mr. Provencher shut off some equipment that was running.  A woman came out of her house with a broom and alerted vehicles to stop.  The response of the Police Department was quick.  Everyone in the crew worked well together.  Mr. Thompson is now home but it will be a slow recovery period.  He is looking forward to coming back to work and seeing his “work” family.  After the paramedics came, Mr. Rau started making phone calls.  The first one was to Ken’s wife and Mrs. Downing.  He now has everybody’s emergency contact information in his cell phone.  Mrs. Pschirrer pointed out that every Department Manager needs to have emergency contact information for all their employees.  This information should also be available in this office.  Mr. Dalessio noted it should be cell phone numbers as well as work numbers.  Mrs. Pschirrer noted our insurance company has been very good to work with.  Copies of the “Contribution to Pooled Sick Leave” forms were distributed.  Mr. Dalessio was glad to hear that the new signs for flaggers had been ordered and he suggested hard hats for the flaggers.  Mr. Rau said the safest way for them to work in the roads is to close the road.  

 

Budgeting Process:  Mrs. Pschirrer thanked everybody for turning in their preliminary budgets.  They had an off-site meeting on September 7th with Mr. Kreissle and Mr. Goins to review them.  It is still three months until the end of the year so they will monitor where they stand.  There will be a meeting with Department Managers in December.  They also spent some time talking about Warrant Articles.  They may have to consider cutting some things out of the budget.  Mr. Brady had worked here for many years and we appreciated him but there is a need for a full time custodian. The new custodian will be split between the Town Hall, two Libraries, Police and other Town Buildings.  We also need someone to maintain the new website; a stipend position.  Mr. Dalessio said it is time consuming but not difficult.  Salary increases, with a few exceptions, will be at 2%.  

 

Mrs. Pschirrer went to the groundbreaking ceremony of the Maplewood Nursing Home today.  They are finally beginning to renovate it.  They introduced every Selectboard member there.  Mr. Bob Graves, former Selectboard member, is a patient there but is beginning to recover.  The Selectboard sent him a card from the Town.  His wife told Mrs. Pschirrer that Bob was so happy the Town sent him a Get Well card. Mr. Peter Graves is a County Commissioner and he spoke well.    

                  

Hooper Institute:  Mrs. Becky Whippie provided the following brief report.  They are off to a good start in the schools with their programs even though some days have been super-hot.  They have been looking for shady spots when outside. 

Pre-K – they are at introductions.  They scanned what plants might be their friend and which ones are not.  They tasted blueberries and had a caterpillar hunt today.  

K – They had a caterpillar hunt.  Went over butterfly and ladybug cycles.  Harvested blueberries and tasted bars they had made with them. 

First – All spring long they were planting things in the garden; now it is like a jungle.  Now they are exploring, looking at everything, and enjoying what is there.  They did start to harvest a few things.

Second – They went on trails.  Learned what poison ivy was and to stay away from it.  They are talking about living and non-living things.  They spear-headed into soils.  

Third – They have tasted some things in each garden.  Tomatoes are in abundance at the North Walpole School.  

Fourth – They drew the squash plants that are growing.  Identify the male and female blossoms because they only get squash off the female blossoms.  In this grade they visit farms so they are discussing a list of questions they can ask generally.  

Mrs. Clark is working with the fifth grade on insects.  The sixth grade is working on Botany terms.  She is harvesting tomatoes and an abundance of squash.

 

The following reports were submitted but not read/discussed at this meeting due to time constraints.

 

Highway Department:  Mr. Rau submitted the following report for the period of August 17, 2018 to September 19, 2018:

 Serviced trucks and equipment;
 Did Cold Patching;
 Cleaned Catch Basins;
 Roadside mowing and lawn maintenance;
 Gravel on low shoulders on roads that were paved;
 Worked on 9-1-1 numbers;
 Did Driveway Permits;
 Replaced culverts on Main Street in North Walpole and on Wentworth Road, Watkins Hill Road, Taggard Road;
 Ditch work on Taggard Road;
 Helped Westmoreland with trucking;
 Tables and chairs to and from the Recreation Park for the Employees’ BBQ;
 Cleaned up the Highway Department yard;
 Fixed Truck-3 hydraulic line;
 Fixed hydraulic line on backhoe;
 Prepared trucks for State inspection.

 

Selectboard Office:  Mrs. Downing submitted the following report dated September 20, 2018:

Assessing Update:

 The MS-1 form which establishes the total evaluation for the Town will be signed by the Selectboard on August 30th.  This is a first step toward establishing the 2018 tax rate.

Water and Sewer:

 Quarter 3 meter readings will begin in early October.  Invoices will be posted on or by Oct. 31st.

Town Hall Facilities:

 The Town continues to seek part-time custodian to clean the Town Hall and the Library.  This position will become a full-time position in 2019 with additional municipal buildings’ office, meeting and bathroom spaces to be cleaned.
 Until a custodian is hired, a cleaning service has been hired for weekly care of the Town Hall.

Website:

 Ryan Harrison provided training to the Manager of Administration regarding content management for the new Town website.  Thank you to Ryan for taking time to provide this training and for the offer to expand training to others.
 Updates to the website will be done as time allows.

Appreciation BBQ:

 Thank you to all who attended, And, as usual, the potluck dessert table was very popular.

Employment Opportunities with the Town:

 The Recycling Department has an open part-time Office Assistant/Recycling Attendant.  This position will become full-time in 2019.

 

Recycling Center:  Mr. Paul Colburn submitted the following documents:  Recycling Revenues Monthly Report As of September 19, 2018.  The categories were listed.  Their Budget is $173,300.00 – the Actual Revenues To-Date is $112,267.63.  The “Daily Weight Report and 3 Year to Date Comparison” and the “3 Year Comparison to Recyclables” were distributed.

 

Police Department:  Police Chief Mike Paquette submitted the following report for the period of August 15, 2018 to September 15, 2018.  Calls for Service were 566.

 

Public Safety Comparison:

Emergency – 44Administrative – 119 Citizen Assists – 71

Motor Vehicle Calls:

Accidents – 9MV Stops – 181Traffic Safety – 29

Criminal Investigations:

Drugs/Alcohol – 36 Crimes Against Persons – 51Crimes Against Property – 26     

 

Recreation Department Notes:  Mr. Cassarino was unable to attend this meeting but had submitted the following report dated September 18, 2018:

Soccer:

 95 participants this year;
 Local businesses are sponsoring the teams this year and purchasing their uniforms:

Lola’s (2)

Diamond Pizza

Spencer’s Place

The Hungry Diner

The Golden Phoenix (2)

Savings Bank of Walpole

E.E. Houghton

Smart Power Sports

Dog Daze

 Moved two of their soccer fields from the North Walpole School to the Walpole Middle School for safety reasons (more level at WES);
 Huge THANK YOU to the Transfer Station for moving the four soccer goals to the WES fields for them.

Adult Leagues:

 There is a lot of interest in starting adult leagues;
 Tried starting a kickball league, but only two teams signed up. 

*They think the reason was because they could only do it on Sunday’s because of Rec. Soccer during the week at the fields.

*They tried getting permission to use the Hubbard Baseball Fields, so they could do it during the week and use the lights.  They were told “no”.

 Ms. Cheryl Mayberry and he had a great meeting with Meghan, who runs the Keene Recreation Dept.

*She shared how they run their adult programs, use waivers to avoid having to pay for insurance, and an online scheduling/sign-up program that has really helped them.

Community Nights:  

 They have planned two community nights;

*Daddy and Me Dance – February 9, 2019;

*Mommy and Me Movie Night – March 23, 2019.

 They have shared these events on the Rec. Page and they will put it in the paper as the events get closer.

 

Walpole Town Library:  Mrs. Fafara was unable to attend this meeting but had submitted a July/August 2018 Report.  This report included comparison numbers on Days Open, Hours Open, etc for both August 2017 and August 2018.

They had 63 participants in their summer reading challenge this year.  This number is very similar to 2017’s number, though both are a slight drop from 2016.  They started an Adult Summer Reading Challenge this year and while only 5 adults participated, it was well received and they will do it again, with more advertisements, next summer.

They had a site visit with the L-CHIP committee in regards to their grant application.  They should hear from them with a decision the week of Thanksgiving.  They have another site visit coming up with the Moose Plate Grant Committee.  They have approved their application but have a few questions they would like to clarify.

 

ADJOURNMENT:  Mrs. Pschirrer declared this meeting adjourned at 6:05 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

 

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