Weston Board of Selectmen Approve Bonds, Extend Health Reimbursement Arrangement
Board performs Cultural Council interviews, votes to open the annual town meeting warrant for submission of articles by petition from citizens at Monday meeting.
A light agenda awaited those in attendance at Monday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting at Weston Town Hall, with several financial matters and postings for vacant positions the main focuses of the discussion.
In the first meeting following selectman Steven Charlip's recent announcement that he will not seek a third term, Weston Finance Director and Treasurer/Collector Sarah Johnson asked the board to approve the bond and bond anticipation note (BAN) sales for pre-approved projects. Included in the BAN, a short-term note of one year, were $12.1 million for the Weston High School science lab, $2.5 million for Field School replacement and $662,400 for a boiler at WHS, among other projects.
Included in the long-term $5 million bond is "a refunding of a portion of a previous bond done in 2002," said Johnson. "That interest rate was higher previously and by refunding we lowered the interest rate and over the remaining years the town will save $528,000 in interest costs."
In a change from previous board procedure per Bond Counsel, board member Michael Harrity was required to read the full statement with all the details of the bonds, with the board ultimately voicing unanimous approval.
In another financial matter, the board was asked to extend a health reimbursement arrangement it previously approved for town employees that earmarked about $30,000 for such employees who “experienced significant out-of-pocket expenses” above the $1,200 individual or $3,800 family deductibles, said Lisa Yanakakis, assistant town manager and human resources director. In a brief presentation to the board, Yanakakis said roughly half of the funds appropriated have been used for qualifying employees, meaning there would be no additional appropriation to keep the plan in place for an additional year. The board approved without objection.
In a brief discussion, the board of voted to open the annual town meeting warrant for submission of articles by petition from citizens. The deadline for submitting articles is Feb. 24 at 5 p.m.
Another item of note was a series of short interviews the board conducted with potential Cultural Council members. Council Chair Diana Chaplin told the board the council currently has eight members and is seeking up to four additional members. In their interviews, interested members described their varying artistic experiences and interests, which board members called “impressive.”
“There are so many qualified people in Weston that (choosing candidates) can be a difficult aspect of our jobs,” said Harrity.
The board also discussed appointing one of its members as the Board of Selectmen representative for the Town Meeting Advisory Committee, an idea that was brought to the board by moderator Wendy Spector and Tom Crane at its Jan. 10 meeting. At that time, Spector told the board the goal of forming the committee is to look at potential Town Meeting rule changes to make procedures more clear, and to clarify the use and role of an assistant moderator. Pending some further consideration, Board Chair Doug Gillespie said he would serve as the board representative.
The board's next regular meeting is scheduled for Feb. 13.