The Rochester Board of Selectmen decided on the spot to choose the Town’s new facilities manager after two interviews during the December 23 meeting, favoring Andrew Daniel, a Rochester native living in Marion.
The board interviewed two candidates that evening, opting for Daniel, who already has his Massachusetts Construction Supervisor License, along with several other certifications and 12 years of experience in the field.
“I’m a hard worker and I take a lot of pride in what I do,” Daniel told the board. He added that his family was originally looking to buy a home in Rochester, but with immediate time constraints, they had to settle for a home off Route 105 close to the town line. Daniel commented that his current location is actually advantageous and makes him more accessible during emergencies like snow storms because his route would be plowed sooner.
The board made a unanimous decision to offer Daniel the position, subject to administrative contract negotiations.
In other matters, Wareham Water District Superintendent Michael Martin gave an overview of the plan to provide water to ABC Disposal located at the Rochester Industrial Park. This will be Wareham’s first agreement to supply potable water outside of the Wareham, since legislation was adopted in 2010 allowing Wareham to sell water to other districts.
The new water main will run along Routes 58 and 28, and down King’s Highway.
Selectman Richard Nunes had reservations on taking any action that evening, saying, “I just want to make sure we aren’t stepping on the toes of the Water Committee.”
However, as Town Administrator Richard LaCamera pointed out, the inter-municipal agreement was signed in July 2011 before the establishment of the Water Committee in 2012. He added that the Water Committee does not hold authority to enter into contracts, only the Selectmen do.
The board approved the 3,450 gallons per day allotment for the water main as permitted.
In other matters, Town Moderator Woody Hartley proposed some changes to the Town Meeting Quorum, suggesting that the Town increase the Annual Town Meeting Quorum from 75 to 100, due to growth in the Town’s population.
Hartley also proposed doing away with the quorum of 15 for Special Town Meeting money articles for less than $25,000 and simply keeping the Special Town Meeting Quorum at 50 for all articles.
Chairperson Naida Parker agreed that the Special Town Meeting Quorum of 50 would suffice, since a quorum of 15 for money articles under $25,000 was pretty much moot, stating that the Town does not normally call for Special Town Meetings for such small matters.
The board voted to have town counsel draft the appropriate wording for the bylaw amendment for the Annual Town Meeting in May 2014.
Also during the meeting, two new police cadets were appointed to the police force, pending completion of police academy.
Police Chief Paul Magee introduced Nathan Valente, effective February 3, 2014, and Jason Denham, effective March 31, 2014 as future full-time officers for the Town of Rochester.
Also discussed, LaCamera announced that budget season is almost nigh and preliminary budget letters have been sent to all department heads and boards.
LaCamera added that the Town currently has $1.1 million in Capital Improvement funding for roads and expects about another $400,000 for fiscal year 2015, totaling almost $1.5 million in available funds.
“It’s a substantial amount of money just sitting there,” LaCamera told the board. He suggested that the board look soon at the priorities in roads requiring work.
Also, LaCamera set the deadline for Annual Town Meeting articles for February 15, 2014.
Under correspondences, the board decided to invite a representative from the Buzzards Bay Coalition to explain their recent letter requesting board support for tug escorting of all single and double-hull vessels through the Cape Cod Canal.
Parker wondered aloud why the matter was of any concern to an inland community like Rochester and welcomed the BBC to the board’s next meeting on January 6.
The board will be holding a joint meeting with the Rochester Planning Board on January 14 at 8:00 pm to consider the applicant for the Town Planner position. The next Board of Selectmen meetings are scheduled for January 6, 13, and 27.
By Jean Perry