November 10, 2008 Select Board Meeting

Select Board Meeting – November 10, 2008
Music Room, Amherst Regional Middle School


Meeting called to order by Mr. Weiss at 6:31 p.m.


Present:  Gerry Weiss, Diana Stein, Alisa Brewer, Aaron Hayden, Stephanie O'Keeffe
Absent: (none)
Present: Town Manger Larry Shaffer
Town Staff:  Helen Vivian, Jonathan Tucker
Members of the public:  Kati Rae, Tom Davies, Jim Brassord, Rob Kusner


Mr. Weiss welcomed new Select Board member Aaron Hayden, recently elected to fill the vacancy left by Anne Awad’s resignation.  It was noted that Mr. Hayden will need to run for the seat again in the spring election, if he desires to continue serving.

Ms. Brewer announced that calendars commemorating and benefiting Amherst’s 250th anniversary celebration are on sale at locations including Hastings and Collective Copies.  The calendar includes historic pictures of Amherst and lists many of the 2009 celebration events.


There was no public comment.


Lord Jeffery Inn – Parking & Traffic Plans

Mr. Hayden announced that he is an employee of Amherst College, recused himself from this discussion, and left the room.  Tom Davies, Director of Design and Construction at Amherst College described the plans for traffic and parking management during the construction phase of the inn renovation, as well as proposing changes to parking along Boltwood Ave. and Spring Street once the renovation is complete.  Much work and coordination on the plans has been done with the Town’s DPW, public safety officials and others.  The construction phase will require fencing and jersey barriers on Spring Street and Boltwood Ave., the elimination of parking spaces, and creation of a temporary pedestrian crossing and sidewalk on the Town Common.  The lawn of the Common will be restored following construction, and having the temporary sidewalk be of a material to accommodate passage by wheelchair was requested by the Select Board and agreed to by the College.  Plans for the completed street and sidewalk work call for a reduction in parking spaces on Boltwood in front of the inn with “bump outs” to accommodate trees; additional “bump outs” on Spring Street; and the relocation of Town permit parking further east on Spring. Net parking impact on the Town is projected by the College to be negligible, as creation of a new inn parking lot is part of the construction plan.  A broader discussion of the Town’s permit parking issues was put off for a future meeting.  Full details of the College’s public way plans are available in two letters to the Select Board, dated September 29th.  An updated map of the post-construction plan was provided.  With construction plans for the inn on temporary hold, no timeline was specified.  
VOTED 4 to 0, 1 absent (Hayden,) to approve the temporary road and sidewalk closures for the construction phase of the Lord Jeffery Inn project, to begin in 2009.

Filing Statements of Interest with Massachusetts School Building Authority

It was explained that the Select Board needs to vote annually to authorize filing Statements of Interest with the Massachusetts School Building Authority for Wildwood, Marks Meadow and Fort River Elementary Schools.  Ms. Brewer noted that this action keeps the Amherst schools in the State queue, but does not guarantee application approval nor does it represent a commitment by the Town to file an application for funding.

VOTED unanimously to file a statement of interest (motion attached in its entirety) for Wildwood School to the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

VOTED unanimously to file a statement of interest (motion attached in its entirety) for Marks Meadow School to the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

VOTED unanimously to file a statement of interest (motion attached in its entirety) for Fort River School to the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

Warrant Article Scheduling

Mr. Weiss explained concerns related to article 10, regarding potential amendments that might be brought forward and the fact that no map was provided in the Town Meeting packets for one of the affected areas.  There was discussion of possible postponement to November 17th, along with articles 6 and 11.  Ms. Stein said postponement would be preferable so that people have the map and understand the affected areas.  Ms. O’Keeffe said she could support postponement if the map issue was considered significant, but not for a potential unspecified amendment.
Action:  Without a vote, it was agreed that Mr. Weiss would seek postponement of Article 10.      

Budget Discussion Scheduling

Ms. O’Keeffe expressed frustration that the Lord Jeff issue was on the agenda when it lacked time sensitivity, displacing issues with time sensitivity.  She emphasized the need to discuss the budget process and information gained from the October 25th Department Heads meeting.  She proposed keeping the meeting scheduled for Wednesday, November 12th, one that would otherwise be canceled with the expected adjournment of Town Meeting until November 17th.  Questions about meeting location were raised, and would be determined Wednesday. 
Action:  Without a vote it was agreed to meet at 6:30 p.m., November 12th, to discuss only budget issues.  


New Taxi Driver/Chauffeur License – Kati Rae

VOTED unanimously to approve the new Taxi Driver/Chauffeur License for Kati Rae, 10 Quinn Drive, Holyoke, MA, to expire on December 31, 2009.


VOTED unanimously to adjourn the open meeting at 7:32 p.m.



No time for Post Mortem today – sorry.  Stuff to do and another meeting tonight (Wednesday, 11/12,) where we’ll be talking only about budget stuff.  It will be in the First Floor meeting room at Town Hall, at 6:30 p.m.



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