TOWN COUNCIL MEETING

September 8, 2003

 

A regular meeting of the Jamestown Town Council was called to order at the Jamestown Philomenian Library, 26 North Road, at 7:04 PM by Council President Kenneth G. Littman.  The following members were present:

 

David J. Long, Vice President

Julio J. DiGiando

Guy J. Settipane

Absent:  Claire M. Ferguson

 

also present:

Maryanne Crawford, CPA, Town Administrator

William Harsch, Town Solicitor

Arlene D. Petit, Town Clerk

Christopher Powell, Conservation Chair

William Kelly, Grant Writer

Representative Bruce J. Long

 

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 

None

 

SITTING AS ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE LICENSING COMMISSION

 

None

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

It was requested that items # 1 (a), 3 (b), 5 (a) and 8 be removed from the Consent Agenda.  Councilor Settipane abstained on the following vote.  It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor DiGiando to approve the Consent Agenda as amended.  It was voted three in favor with Councilor Settipane abstaining.  The Consent Agenda consisted of the following:

 

1)         Adoption of Council minutes:

a)                   

2)                  Bills and Payroll

3)         Minutes from Boards, Commissions and Committees:

a)         Zoning Board of Review (07/22/2003)

b)        

4)         CRMC Notices:

a)                  September 2003 Calendar

b)                  Cease & Desist Order: Settipane Family Trust, 301 Seaside Dr.; undertaking unauthorized earthwork within 200 ft. of a coastal feature.  Property located at Plat 16, Lot 11; said location

5)         DEM Notices:

a)        

b)         RIPDES Program Notice re: draft of general permit for storm water discharge from small municipal separate storm sewer systems

6)                  Press Release re: Library Board of Trustees

7)                  Naval Station Newport Restoration Advisory Board Meeting minutes 07/16/2003

8)        

9)         Abatements/Addenda of Taxes

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1)         Adoption of Council minutes:

a)         08/25/2003 Regular Meeting

 

Council President Littman requested that Council members review the votes taken relating to the appointment of committee liaisons to meet with Vollmer & Associates regarding the Highway Barn Facility.  It was the consensus of the Council that the votes were recorded correctly.

 

Council President Littman indicated that the committee liaisons have not been given instructions as to what is expected of them.  Councilor Settipane mentioned that it would be up to the Council to inform them once they are selected.

 

Councilor Settipane requested that the Clerk review the tape of the meeting from August 25 to include comments that he made regarding the appointment to the Board of Canvassers. 

 

Councilor DiGiando mentioned that all applicants were not interviewed.  Ms. Ritacco and Ms. Head were scheduled, however, they were not interviewed.

 

Consideration of the minutes was continued to the September 22, 2003.

 

3)         Minutes from Boards, Commissions and Committees:

b)         Water Resources Protection Committee (06/04/2003)

 

Councilor DiGiando asked for clarification on a comment in the minutes for the Water Resources Committee.  In question was the second paragraph regarding a question on a letter from Attorney Bruce Leach and the comment regarding the Council making policy decisions.  The Town Administrator stated that she would report back to the Council with additional information.

 

5)         DEM Notices:

a)         DEM Freshwater Wetlands Program application of Andrea Colognese and Doriana Carella of 2 Watson Avenue to alter a freshwater wetland.  Property is located at Plat 16, Lot 351; Gondola Avenue

 

The Town Administrator informed the Council that there was some concern raised at todays staff meeting regarding the application of Andrea Colognese and Doriana Carella to alter a freshwater wetland.   The Town Administrator requested that this application be continued to the next Town Council meeting on September 22, 2003 to allow it to be further reviewed.

 

It was moved by Council President Littman, seconded by Councilor DiGiando that the application by Andrea Colognese and Doriana Carella to alter a freshwater wetland be continued to unfinished business at the next Town Council meeting on September 22, 2003.  So unanimously voted.

 

Christopher Powell, Conservation Chair, noted that this will be discussed at the next meeting of the Conservation Commission.

 

8)                  Training Opportunities for Municipalities Fall 2003 - Spring 2004 (reply date extended to 09/10/2003)

 

The Town Administrator noted that if any Council member wishes to attend any of the classes being offered, the Town Clerk will make the arrangements.  There is a September 10, 2003 response deadline.

 

It was moved by Councilor DiGiando, seconded by Councilor Long to accept items 3 (b) and 8 on the Consent Agenda.  So unanimously voted.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION ANNOUNCEMENT:

 

None

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

1)         Proposed Harbor Management Ordinance and Proposed Jamestown Harbor Management Plan (cont. from 09/04/2003)

 

Council President Littman opened the hearing at 7:18 PM and requested that the hearing be continued to another date.  The Town Clerk informed the Council that Thursday, October 2 was available if agreeable to the Council.  That date was found not to be acceptable, it was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long to temporarily suspend the hearing until 7:45 PM for the selection of another date.  So unanimously voted.

 

OPEN FORUM

 

1)                  Scheduled request to address

 

None

 

2)         Non-scheduled request to address

 

Representative Bruce Long reported on the following items:

 

  • Road pavement drainage analysis

Jamestown will have a student intern working on that project with the Director of Public Works

  • Cedar Lane properties

A meeting will be scheduled with the State when the Town Planner returns to work

  • Fire/rescue boat

A grant has been submitted and it is hoped that the project will be fully funded

 

William Kelly, grant writer, reported that the grant for the fire/rescue boat was submitted for an emergency response vessel by Lisa Bryer, Town Planner, for the Jamestown Volunteer Fire Department in the amount of $225,000.  Mr. Kelly reported that this grant is given through the Port Authority and is very competitive.

 

Christopher Powell, Conservation Chair, reported that the Eagle Scout project, Phase One of the Greenway, has been completed.  Mr. Powell thanked the Quononquott Garden Club for their donation of $500.00 and the Town for their donation of $500.00.  He encouraged Council members and residents to visit the sanctuary and walk the trail.

 

REPORTS OF BOARDS, COMMITTEES AND TOWN OFFICIALS

 

1)                  Town Administrator’s report (attached)

 

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Town Administrator's Report

September 8, 2003

 

The following report consists of items of general interest to the Council. I will be pleased to provide any additional clarification or information you require.

 

I have spoken with Bernard Poirier, partner with the town's auditing firm Parmlee, Poirier & Associates regarding a workshop with the Council. Mr. Poirier had another commitment for tonight and could not meet with the Council. I have re‑scheduled the workshop to take place on September 15, 2003 prior to the Water & Sewer Meeting at 6:30pm.

 

Steve Goslee has requested that Ed Summerly of GZA attend a Council meeting during the month of September. Unfortunately Mr. Summerly will not be available until the Council meeting on October 14, 2003. At that time, Mr. Surnmerly will update the council regarding the progress of the remediation plan and the anticipated timeframe to completion. If you have specific questions or concerns please let me know as soon as possible so I can forward them to GZA.

 

The International City/County Manager's Association holds its annual conference in September. Since I have completed my master's degree, I will, for the first time, be attending this conference from September 21st to 24th . My fellow mangers that have annually attended this have found it very beneficial. I am looking forward to attending the conference and anticipate coming back with new ideas and strategies to assist us in the coming years.

 

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Additional information requested by the Council:

 

Budget to Actual Report

 

Councilor DiGiando inquired if percentage of budget to actual is reflective of where we are in the budget cycle.  The Town Administrator indicated that this was not the case because certain expenses are cyclical in nature and therefore, the percent of budget could be higher or lower at any given time. 

 

2)         Planning Commission

a)         Copy of letter to the Tree Preservation and Protection Committee re: Amendments to the Tree Preservation & Protection Ordinance

 

It was the consensus of the Council that the amendments to the Tree Preservation & Protection Ordinance be put on the Council agenda for September 22, 2003 to order advertising and to set a date for hearing.

 

It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long to accept the communication from the Planning Commission.  So unanimously voted.

 

3)         Board of Canvassers

a)                  Letter from the Town Clerk re: vacancy 

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor DiGiando to accept the letter from the Town Clerk.  So unanimously voted.

 

b)                  Two (2) vacancies exist; one (1) full time member term expiring 03/01/2009, one (1) alternate member term ending 03/01/2005; all interviews complete, if favorable appoint:

i)          Dolores Christman; interviewed 03/17/2003 seeking reappointment

ii)         Linda Warner; interviewed 04/14/2003

iii)         Carol Nelson-Lee; interviewed 07/14/2003

iv)        Ann Livingston; interviewed 07/14/2003

v)         Dennis Webster; interviewed 07/21/2003

vi)        Joann Head; inte rviewed 07/21/2003

vii)        Pat Ritacco; interviewed 07/28/2003

 

Council President Littman stated that the Jamestown Charter amendment passed on November 5, 2002 relating specifically to Section 1002 (3), term limits for members of boards, commissions and committees, was interpreted by the previous Town Solicitor; however, there are still questions of whether the interpretation should be applied prospectively or retroactively.  For that reason, it was requested that our present Town Solicitor submit a written opinion.

 

The Town Solicitor presented a written opinion indicating that terms of service should begin accruing toward the three-term maximum, beginning in November 2002.  Mr. Harsch supported that opinion by referencing several Supreme Court findings. 

 

Council President Littman noted that this would not just apply to the Canvassing Authority but would apply to all boards, commissions and committees. 

 

Councilor Settipane addressed Charter Review Committee work sessions and minutes that indicate their intent to apply this retroactively and inquired if the Town Solicitor reviewed these documents. 

 

The Town Solicitor stated that he did not.  Mr. Harsch stated that the intent of the Charter Review Committee is not relevant.  What is relevant is how this was presented to the voters; how would this section be applied.  This was not clearly stated in the questions submitted to the voters.  The Town Solicitor stated that specific language should have been added if “prior terms were to be taken into account.”  Because the Charter amendments, as presented to the voters, did not contain language that was widely understood and that somehow interpreted it other than its special interpretation, the conclusion is that we respectfully differ with the previous Town Solicitor’s interpretation. 

 

Councilor Settipane asked the Town Solicitor what documents were reviewed when preparing his decision.

 

The Town Solicitor replied that he had reviewed the Charter and any documentation that was circulated prior to the election and passage of the amendment, which would indicate public awareness on any element of the various amendments that were before the public.  Mr. Harsch stated that he was looking for information as to whether some other interpretation to this language was widely known at the time of the election.

 

The Town Solicitor cited Gare v. Gannon, 819 A.2d 651 (RI 2003) which states statutes and their amendments operate prospectively, unless there is clear strong language for necessary implication intended to give the statute retroactive effect.

 

Councilor Settipane expressed his concern with the differing opinions of three solicitors and how this affects those appointments that have been made. 

 

Sav Rebecchi, former Town Charter Review Committee member, commented that when that provision Section 1002 (3) was added, the committee was unable to come up with a decision as to how to handle term limits.  The committee had intended it to be handled by the Town Council and the Town Solicitor.  The intent of that section was to motivate people to apply to boards and committees and break the lock on these boards and committees.  The committee did not decide whether it should be considered prospectively or retroactively.

 

Council President Littman stated that looking back at Section 1002, the Council did not notice that there was no language on how this section would be applied.

 

Councilor Settipane noted that the previous Town Solicitor advised that additional language was not necessary.

 

Following additional discussion, Councilor Long and Councilor DiGiando indicated that they were ready to move on to a decision regarding appointment to the Board of Canvassers.

 

It was moved by Council President Littman, seconded by Councilor DiGiando to nominate Dolores Christman for appointment to the Board of Canvassers, term ending 2009.  It was voted three in favor with Councilor Settipane abstaining.

 

It was moved by Council President Littman, seconded by Councilor Settipane to appoint Linda Warner as the alternate member of the Board of Canvassers, term ending 2004.  So unanimously voted.

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS:

 

            1)         325th Anniversary Celebration

a)                  Status update

b)         Letter from Police Chief Tighe re: approval to block off East Ferry Square to erect a large tent

 

Fred Pease gave an update on the plans for the 325th Anniversary Celebration.  Mr. Pease reported that on Friday evening there will be a ceremony at the Recreation Center of a reenactment of the signing of the Jamestown Charter.  On Saturday morning, there will be a parade at approximately 9:30 AM from the Lawn Avenue School to East Ferry.  He requested that with Council permission a tent will be erected in the parking lot at Ferry Square on Friday and will be removed on Monday or sooner if possible. 

 

Jill Anderson, West Reach Drive, expressed her concern for the businesses at East Ferry. 

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor DiGiando to approve the blocking off of East Ferry Square on September 19 through September 22.  So unanimously voted.

 

c)         Event application for the 325th Celebration at East Ferry for September 19th & 20th.   If favorable grant request subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures. 

 

It was moved by Council President Littman, seconded by Councilor Long to approve the Event Application for the 325th Celebration at East Ferry for September 19 and September 20.  So unanimously voted.

 

d)         Peddler License Application for the 325th Celebration to sell commemorative coin/key chains and programs on September 19th & 20th at East Ferry Square.  If favorable grant request and waive fee subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures. 

 

It was moved by Council President Littman, seconded by Councilor Long to approve the Peddler License for the 325th Celebration to sell commemorative coin/key chains and programs on September 19 and September 20 at the East Ferry Square and to waive the fee.  So unanimously voted.

 

2)                  Quonset Point/Davisville Management Corporation (cont. from 8/25/2003)

a)         Duties

                        b)         Advertisement for position

 

Representative Long stated that the Articles of Incorporation are vague and they do not specify duties.

 

Councilor Settipane suggested that the advertisement state that the person  appointed would be involved in arrangements for the management of the Quonset Point Industrial Park and represent the community’s interest as it may be impacted.

 

It was the consensus of the Council that the Town Clerk would advertise for the position and schedule interviews for applicants.

 

3)                  Water Restrictions (cont. from 8/25/2003)

a)         Drought restrictions/advisories on private well users

                        b)         Define needs

 

It was the consensus of the Council to refer consideration of drought restrictions/advisories on private well users to the Conservation Commission and to the Water Resources Protection Committee. 

 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

None

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

1)         One Day Entertainment License at Ft. Getty

a)      Darcy Lauzier to hold a private birthday party at the Ft. Getty Pavilion from 6:00 to 10:00 PM on September 26th.  Applicant seeks approval for a DJ and will be serving alcohol th insurance policy.  If favorable grant request subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures. 

 

It was moved by Councilor DiGiando, seconded by Councilor Littman to approve the One Day Entertainment License at Ft. Getty for Darcy Lauzier on September 26 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM; subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures.  So unanimously voted.

 

2)         Victualing License Application:

a)      Jian Sheng Ni to sell food at the Peking Garden, located at 34 Narragansett Avenue.  Establishment has changed ownership but will keep original name of restaurant.  If favorable grant request subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures.

 

It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long to approve the Victualing License for Jian Sheng Ni to sell food at the Peking Garden; subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures.  So unanimously voted.

 

3)         Sunday Sales License

a)         Ocean Essence Spa located at 123-B Narragansett Avenue seeks to sell products at spa open on Sunday.  If favorable grant request subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures.

           

It was moved by Councilor DiGiando, seconded by Council President Littman to approve the Sunday Sales License for Ocean Essence Spa; subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures.  So unanimously voted.

 

 

 

PUBLIC HEARING

 

Council President Littman opened the hearing for the Proposed Harbor Management Ordinance and Proposed Jamestown Harbor Management Plan to set the date for the hearing to be continued.

 

It was moved by Council President Littman, seconded by Councilor Long to continue the public hearing on the Proposed Harbor Management Ordinance at 7:00 PM to be immediately followed by the hearing on the Proposed Jamestown Harbor Management Plan on Thursday, October 9, 2003 at the Jamestown Philomenian Library.  So unanimously voted.

 

There being no further business before the Council, it was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Council President Littman to adjourn the meeting at 9:05 PM.  So unanimously voted.

 

Attest:

 

 

 

Arlene D. Petit

Town Clerk

 

C:         Town Council Members (5)

            Town Administrator

            Town Solicitor

            Administrative Circulation