Policy Advisory Subcommittee Meeting – March 18, 2014 Meeting Minutes

Present: Marge Wallace, Susan Kerr, Fran Parks

Fran Parks:                  Let’s start. March 18, 4:00 pm. This is Fran Parks calling the meeting to a Fire District Policy Advisory committee order. Present are Marge Wallace and Susan Kerr who are representatives at large,  There are no members from the Fire commissioners or the Water commissioners present, Fran Parks is the member  from the Prudential Committee.  I thought I would read into the record the job of the policy advisory committee, which is section 9 of the by-laws.

There should be a standing policy advisory committee. The committee shall make informal recommendations to the elected boards and committees of the Cotuit Fire District. Such recommendations may concern, but are not limited to, efficiencies in the operation of various departments in coordination of financial planning between the various departments, including the timing of capital expenditures. The policy advisory committee may also research and evaluate any potential action which might improve the quality of service provided by the Cotuit Fire Districts to its residents. The committee shall be composed of one member of the Prudential Committee, one member of the Board of Fire Commissioners, one member of the Board of Water Commissioners, and two members at large who shall be appointed by the moderator,  on an annual basis.

Set appointments are to be made each year at the time of the annual meeting , until the first meeting of each fiscal year the Prudential Committee member shall serve as chairman upon convening with committee. A chairman shall be elected by the members of the committee. The Policy Advisory Committee shall be advisory in nature. The committee shall conduct meetings at least once a quarter.

The first order of business is to elect a chair person. Would you like to be chairperson Mrs. Kerr?

Sue Kerr:                     Sure.

Fran Parks:                  Thank you very much.

Sue Kerr:                     You’re welcome.

Fran Parks:                  Feel free to nominate me as secretary.

Fran Parks:                  All those in favor of Mrs. Kerr being the chairman of the policy advisory, aye. It’s unanimous.  Fran Parks was nominated for secretary

Fran Parks:                  All those in favor?

Sue Kerr:                     Aye.

Marge Wallace:          Aye

Sue Kerr:                     Do you need a piece of paper?

Fran Parks:                  Well it’s being recorded.

Sue Kerr:                     Oh, right. The  next item I put on the agenda was policy concerns

Fran Parks:                  What do we have? What have been some of the concerns that they’ve had? Or that we need? Last year’s policy advisory committee Marge was on.

Marge Wallace:          Yes

Sue Kerr:                     Can you explain what you did last year with the press?

Marge Wallace:          I believe we were still dealing with part of Freedom Hall. We looked into a catering kitchen. Which was prohibitively expensive.  We decided that most of the catering companies now, have trucks that have stoves in them and refrigeration. The other thing was the handicapped bathroom, which is about $25,000. They’re expensive because of all the regulations. We didn’t have the money last year to do it. Hopefully it will show up in somebody’s budget this year, like Freedom Hall, to do. I think the handicapped bathroom is essential.

Sue Kerr:                     Yes, that’s more important. I would say the kitchen thing. I mean, most places if anyone is going to have an event, they’re going to cater it anyways.

Marge Wallace:          Right.

Sue Kerr:                     Catering people will come.

Marge Wallace:          Exactly. The bathroom is not just for functions, but the elections are held here.

Sue Kerr:                     Yes.

Marge Wallace:          If you have a poll worker who is handicapped, they have to be able to get to a bathroom during the day.

Sue Kerr:                     Yes.

Marge Wallace:          That was the major undertaking. Then Fran took over after she was elected and made sure the places got painted and the locks got fixed, and everything, and all the other stuff that needed doing.

Sue Kerr:                     I think you’re talking about Freedom Hall as opposed to the bathroom

Marge Wallace:          Yes, right.

Marge Wallace:          We did track from the finance department. Then, that kind of fell apart when Kristen left. There were things that we thought should be done, but it was difficult to do that at that point until we had somebody on board and saw how things were going.  Mike Daly has cleaned up all  of the backlog. At last year’s annual  meeting we could actually understand the budget and what was going on.

Sue Kerr:                     Is there somebody else in there too?

Marge Wallace:          Yes.

Sue Kerr:                     Other than Mike? Okay, so it’s double eyes on the books.

Marge Wallace:          There is  double eyes on the books. That’s right.

Sue Kerr:                     Really key important.

Marge Wallace:          Yes.

Sue Kerr:                     Just saying that we’re talking about the finance department being … I’ve been out of touch, so I haven’t heard whether or not it’s still double. Two sets of eyes on the books there.

Marge Wallace:          Yes.

Sue Kerr:                     That’s our main concern. It’s very really important to have two sets of eyes on the prize.

Marge Wallace:          The second person whose been hired is retired from, I believe it’s the Sandwich school system and is very familiar with municipal financing. That’s been a great resource and it’s working out. Her office did need to get moved because the Fire Department added two firemen and they just needed the space.

Sue Kerr:                     Yes.

Marge Wallace:          That was pretty much all we did, and we haven’t met.

Fran Parks:                  To the best of my knowledge, the only major money expenditure for the Fire Department will be the desperately needed new ambulance. The one we have is about to fall off its frame. The Water Department is just going about its normal tasks. They’re currently working on the West Street tank which needs to be repainted.

Marge Wallace:          Also, aren’t they also butting up against needing a new truck? Fire truck?

Fran Parks:                  Yes, the chief’s truck is not in very good shape either.

Marge Wallace:          I meant an another one.

Fran Parks:                  Oh, on one of the other trucks?

Marge Wallace:          I think one of the engines is almost due for replacing. I think it’s also really important not to try to do those things the same year.

Fran Parks:                  Right.

Marge Wallace:          Spread it out a little .

Fran Parks:                  Yes. Well I think the most important thing is the ambulance.

Marge Wallace:          Yes.

Fran Parks:                  Recently had to be towed, from what I understand.

Marge Wallace:          Yes.

Fran Parks:                  I thought they had the fire truck projected out another couple of years anyways. Don’t they? I think if I remember in one of the meetings.

Marge Wallace:          That would be the outside .

Fran Parks:                  Now the ambulance has probably jumped up ahead because it’s broken. Right.

Marge Wallace:          Are the issues that the Prudential Committee wants looked at specifically?

Fran Parks:                  None of the other members of the Prudential Committee mentioned any problems or concerns. I didn’t hear anything from the Fire Commissioners.

Fran Parks:                  So everybody knows, I realize we’re in violation of the bylaws because this will be our first and probably only meeting of 2014, but it was a busy year otherwise.

Marge Wallace:          I think attending the bylaws committee, subcommittee meetings. They are changing the bylaw for policy advisory committee to have it on an as needed basis. You appoint it, but then you’re not going to meet just because somebody says you have to meet four times a year.  The bylaw committee, I guess, will meet at least, will meet once a year.  Every year you don’t have to change bylaws. There are a lot they’re changing this year, so next year we’ll see what comes up.

Fran Parks:                  I think that’s a reasonable thing to do. I think a committee should have a more definite charge than certainly what’s put forward in the bylaws

Sue Kerr:     Anything else, madam chairman?

Fran Parks:                  If none of the committees  have anything, I mean none of the departments have anything that they need or anything. I can’t think of anything that we can come up with. I’m sure the fire department is going to bring up that ambulance.

Sue Kerr:                     Motion to adjourn?

Marge Wallace:          Second

Fran Parks:                  So moved.

Sue Kerr:                     Second.


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