April 14, 2004
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Selectman Buker. Selectman Elliott was also present along with Business Administrator James Coffey. Chairman Sargent was away due to a death in the family.
7:00 p.m. Captain Mark Murdough, Hillsboro Rescue Squad, met to provide the Board with response times for the rescue squad. (Copy on file with the minutes.) Selectman Elliott stated that there had been a complaint from David Fullerton that minutes are critical to a heart attack victim. Captain Murdough pointed out that Osram Sylvania has been very supportive and donates a lot to Fire - Rescue. When asked by Selectman Elliott if there is anything additional the Board can do to reduce the average time, Captain Murdough said no. The Board expressed its desire to provide the necessary support to Hillsboro Rescue and asked the Business Administrator to send a letter to Mr. Fullerton.
The Board was also informed that there are now four new members in the rescue squad which will help.
The Board also discussed dispatching costs, and requested that the Business Administrator obtain price estimates to see what it would cost for Hillsborough to purchase dispatch services. Selectman Elliott referenced the present $256,000 budget, with only a small fraction of it being recovered by revenue. Jim Coffey said he would try to have some preliminary information by the end of May.
7:37 p.m. Peter Brigham met to review the 2004 budget for repairs to the Genesis complex. The 2003 budget provided for a new roof and heating system to the house. Mr. Brigham requested that the Board authorize up to $17,000 to various repairs listed on a handout he provided. The amount requested is less than the amount budgeted. When appropriate, the use of “volunteers” will help to reduce the cost. At the conclusion of the discussion Selectman Elliott moved to authorize up to $17,000 [of the $21,000 appropriation] be expended for repairs. The motion was seconded by Selectman Buker and passed 2-0.
7:45 p.m. Chief Stafford met to discuss an ongoing investigation with the Board. Selectman Buker, seconded by Selectman Elliott moved to enter non-public session to discuss a current investigation. The motion passed 2-0.
8:05 p.m. The Board returned to public session. Selectman Elliott, seconded by Selectman Buker moved to seal the minutes. The motion passed 2-0. Chief Stafford told the Board that there were two Homeland Security Grants funded in 2003. The first grant is for $11,570 and the second is for $11,961. The police are to purchase portable radios with the first grant and the Fire Department is to purchase radios with the second. Chief Stafford told the Board that a vendor has been set up to provide the radios through the State without any billing going through the Town. The problem is that they are not the lowest price supplier, and that if they are purchased directly from a local vendor and billed through the Town more radios
can be obtained. Selectman Elliott moved to authorize acceptance of the $11,570 grant for radios, subject to reimbursement. The motion was seconded by Selectman Buker and passed 2-0. The Board then briefly discussed funding for the SRO position. Chief Stafford explained that the Department could attract an experienced, fully certified officer for that position. This subject was agreed to be placed on the Pending Items list for discussion in the future.
Selectman Elliott asked about the hiring process and stated that he wants to be part of it. Selectman Buker pointed out that when the paramedics were being hired the Board had a list of finalists to make their final selection from. Chief Stafford asked about the letter from Lt. Roarick suggesting that the rate of base pay be raised $2.00 per hour while the Department was shorthanded. The Board responded by telling Chief Stafford that the newly formed Retention Committee is a result of Lt. Roarick’s suggestion and is scheduled to meet next Thursday night. [This committee has also been called the
8:30 p.m. Todd Starkweather, along with Ann Zwinge and John Milligan, presented a petition to the Board which read as follows:
“TO THE SELECTMEN OF THE TOWN OF HILLSBORO:
We, the undersigned residents in the Town of Hillsboro respectfully demand by way of this Citizen’s Petition that as the ultimate governors of our community you will order the immediate resignation of Police Chief Robert Stafford Jr. in the light that this community has lost all faith in this Police Department and in the light that the high esteem and respect once accorded the Hillsborough Police Department has disintegrated under Chief Stafford to one of fear and lack of trust.”
Mr. Starkweather stated that the petition has 105 signatures. Selectman Elliott asked Mr. Starkweather what he saw happened. Mr. Starkweather replied that he saw nothing. Mr. Starkweather said that his complaint about the Chief, was that the Chief had said the man was probably faking. [This was in reference to an incident involving Mr. Starkweather’s father] Mr. Starkweather also stated that Officer Horner had killed a man in Deering over a traffic stop. Selectman Buker questioned Mr. Starkweather about this remark but Mr. Starkweather insisted that Officer Horner had killed a man in Deering. [This was in reference to Officer Horner having been involved with Mr. Starkweather’s father on a mutual aid call to the Town of Windsor.]
Selectman Elliott explained that what is in a newspaper is not always fact. Selectman Elliott then asked for some specific allegations. Ann Zwinge then stated that Chief Stafford did not make a call and Mr. Starkweather had a heart problem. “He did not make the right call.”
Mr. Starkweather then stated that up until his father was taken out of the car everything was okay. He said that his father had his hands on the steering wheel and that Officer Hood should have waited for backup. Selectman Elliott then told the group that there was an independent investigation being done.
Todd Starkweather and Ann Zwinge then asked why Officer Horner had not been suspended? Selectman Buker responded that we are waiting the for the results of the investigation. Some additional discussion ensued concerning Officer Horner.
Mr. Starkweather then told the Board that business owners are concerned about the police. He described stops made by the police of his tax for driving too slow. He also described the Chief as being anti-business.
Selectman Elliott summarized the discussion by stating that the petition has 105 signatures and wants the resignation of the Chief. Mr. Starkweather then said that the Chief should be suspended until the investigation is complete, at which time there should be a resignation. He said, “look at the record.” Selectman Buker stated that we must see some facts. Selectman Elliott then said that we must separate emotion from facts. He went on to say that we do not yet have the facts and he also expressed concern over the Town’s liability. During the discussion Selectman Elliott stated that he will contact Police Standards and Training and will be looking at adding to the Town’s Personnel
Policy to address this type of issue. Selectman Buker asked about finding out about the time frame for the investigation and Selectman Elliott expressed support for the Chief and the need to complete the investigation.
APPROVED AND/OR SIGNED
Payroll Voucher #s [15 & 16
b. Expense Voucher [8 & 9]
Selectmen’s Minutes of March 31, 2004
Minutes of Two Non-Public Sessions on March 24, 2004
Welfare Lien Discharge
Excavation Tax Warrant for $1,436.46
Timber Tax Warrant for $12,656.40
Timber Tax Warrant for $7,925.34
Current Use Application for D & L Mountain Top-Kimball Hill Road
Notice of Intent to Excavate from Antonio & Mary Mello
Replacement Copy of Appointment Form for James Bailey III to the ZBA, appointment was made on April 9, 2003,
Appointment of Brian Reopel as a Police Officer
Property Tax Abatement 4A-2004
Veteran’s Tax Credit for Floyd Nims
Permit # Name Location Description Est. value Recommendation
04021BP Eugenia Greff 643 Cooledge Rd. Addition $ 20,000 Approval.
04022BP Darrell Murdough, Jr.135 Bible Hill Rd. Residence $175,000 Approval subject to sewer, & PUC approval.
04023BP Kyle Graziano 64 Mary Rowe Dr. Garage $ 20,000 Approval.
04024BP Mike Greene 257 Bible Hill Road Garage & Breezeway $ 20,000 Approval.
04025BP Tammy Waniski 4 Autumn Road Residence $ 70,000 Approval.
04026BP Daryl Mundy, Sr. 35 Myrtle Street Garage Replacement $ 7,000 Approval.
04027BP James Dalton 13 Old Lantern Rd. Deck $ 9,866 Approval.
04028BP Roger Marcouillier 175 Preston St. #25 Mobile Home Replace$ 63,500 Approval.
04029BP Edward Hahn 68 Jefferson Drive Addition $ 10,800 Approval.
04030BP Brent Clark 58 Autumn Road Residence $ 70,000 Approval subject to lot merger.
04031BP Kevin Phaneuf 6 Beaver Glen Rd. Residence $136,000 Approval subject to lot merger.
A reply will be sent by the Business Administrator to June Cooper stating that there is no contract between The Town of Hillsborough and the Police Chief. The reply will also state that current State law applies, specifically RSA 105.
The Board approved a request from the Fire Department to appoint Craig Gidley to the department.
The Board briefly discussed with the Business Administrator a possible future request from H-D School District to facilitate the changing of bus routes and schedules in September.
Item in the agenda is still pending.
Appointments to ZBA, Conservation Commission, Park Board and Selectmen Serving on Various Committees, Commissions & Boards
Solution for Myrtle Street Problems (Access with Town property at the end.)
Cross-walk completion date.
Reply to Farmsteads of New England
Request For Temporary Police Wage Increase of $2.00/hour
Items in the agenda were reviewed
Meeting adjourned at 10:10 p.m.