Click Video Icon to view the entire meeting or click any video icon below to jump to that section of the meeting.

 

TOWN OF RICHMOND, RHODE ISLAND

5 Richmond Townhouse Road

Wyoming, RI  02898

(401) 539-9000  www.richmondri.com

 

 

RICHMOND TOWN COUNCIL

Agenda

Regular Town Council Meeting

Town Council Chambers

5 Richmond Townhouse Road, Wyoming, RI 02898

December 6, 2022

7:00 P.M.

 

A.        ADMINISTRATION OF OATH OF OFFICE FOR TOWN COUNCIL ELECTED NOVEMBER 8, 2022 Video Icon

 

Police Chief Elwood Johnson Jr. administered the oath of office to Town Councilors Elected on November 8, 2022, as follows: Michael Colasante, Rich Nassaney, Helen Sheehan, Mark Trimmer, and Samantha Wilcox.

 

B.        CALL TO ORDER BY THE TOWN CLERK

 

Town Clerk Liese called the meeting of the Richmond Town Council to order at 7:00 P.M. held on December 6, 2022.  This meeting was held In-Person at the Town Council Chambers, 5 Richmond Townhouse Road, Wyoming, RI as well as teleconferenced via Zoom.

 

C.        THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG

 

The pledge of allegiance was recited.

 

D.        ROLL CALL

 

Town Council Members present in Council Chambers were as follows: Michael Colasante, Rich Nassaney, Helen Sheehan, Mark Trimmer, and Samantha Wilcox. Also, present Town Solicitor Karen Ellsworth, Town Administrator Karen Pinch, Finance Director Laura Kenyon, Police Chief Elwood Johnson Jr., Town Planner Shaun Lacey, Emergency Management Director Randall Gemme, Electrical Inspector Al Vennari and Town Clerk Erin Liese.

 

E.        NOMINATION OF TOWN COUNCIL PRESIDENT Video Icon

 

Town Clerk Liese opened the floor for nominations of Council President.

 

Councilor Colasante nominated Councilor Sheehan for Council President.

 

Councilor Sheehan nominated Councilor Colasante for Council President.

 

Councilor Nassaney nominated Councilor Trimmer for Council President.

 

Town Solicitor Ellsworth advised the vote of the nominations will take place in the order they were given.

 

Town Clerk Liese stated nominations are now closed and will be conducted as the Town Solicitor suggested.

 

Town Clerk Liese conducted the vote for Councilor Sheehan for Council President.

Vote: Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Nassaney, No; Councilor Sheehan, Aye; Councilor Trimmer, No; Councilor Wilcox, No.

 

Town Clerk Liese conducted the vote for Councilor Colasante for Council President.

Vote: Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Nassaney, No; Councilor Sheehan, Aye; Councilor Trimmer, No; Councilor Wilcox, No.

 

Town Clerk Liese conducted the vote for Councilor Trimmer for Council President.

Vote: Councilor Colasante, Abstain; Councilor Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Abstain; Councilor Trimmer, Aye; Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

Town Clerk Liese announced that the motion for Mark Trimmer has passed for Council President. President Trimmer resumed the roll as Chair.

 

F.         NOMINATION OF TOWN COUNCIL VICE PRESIDENT

 

President Trimmer opened the floor for nominations of Council Vice President.

 

Councilor Colasante nominated Councilor Sheehan for Council Vice President.

 

Councilor Sheehan nominated Councilor Colasante for Council Vice President.

 

President Trimmer nominated Councilor Nassaney for Council Vice President.

 

President Trimmer conducted the vote for Councilor Sheehan for Council Vice President.

Vote: Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Nassaney, No; Councilor Sheehan, Aye; Councilor Trimmer, No; Councilor Wilcox, No.

 

President Trimmer conducted the vote for Councilor Colasante for Council Vice President.

Vote: Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Nassaney, No; Councilor Sheehan, Aye; Councilor Trimmer, No; Councilor Wilcox, No.

 

President Trimmer conducted the vote for Councilor Nassaney for Council Vice President.

Vote: Councilor Colasante, No; Councilor Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, No; Councilor Trimmer, Aye; Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

G.        CONSENT AGENDA Video Icon

Approval of the Consent Agenda shall be equivalent to approval of each item as if it had been acted upon separately; or items may be removed by the Town Council for review, discussion and/or take Action.

1)         Approval of Town Department Reports

a)         Approval of the Town Clerk’s report 10/26/2022 to 11/30/2022

b)         Approval of Tax Collector’s report for the month of November 2022

c)         Approval of Planning report for the month of November 2022

d)         Approval of the Police Department report for the month of October 2022

e)         Approval of the Finance Department report for the month of October 2022

f)         Approval of the Building Department report for the month of October 2022

 

A motion was made by Vice President Nassaney with second by Councilor Sheehan to approve Consent Agenda Items 1a-f. Vote: President Trimmer Aye; Vice President Nassaney Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye; Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

2)         Approval of Appropriations and Payment of Bills – 10/27/2022 to 11/30/2022

 

A motion was made by Councilor Colasante with second by Vice President Nassaney to approve Consent Agenda Item 2. Vote: President Trimmer, Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

H.        REPORTS Video Icon

Please Note the following items are Status Reports and Matters of Interest to the Council and are for Informational Purposes unless Indicated Otherwise and will be Acted upon in Accordance with Section 42-46-6 (b)

1)         Town Administrator’s Report: Karen D. Pinch on activities of the Town

a)         Authorization to Hire Josh Jordan as Zoning Official

 

Town Administrator Pinch advised on the vacancy and authorization to hire Josh Jordan as Zoning Official. Mr. Jordan is currently our Mechanical and Plumbing Inspector.

 

A motion was made by Vice President Nassaney with second by Councilor Sheehan to approve the hiring of Josh Jordan as Zoning Official.

 

The above motion was not voted on or rescinded.

 

Councilor Colasante questioned if Mr. Jordan was present.

 

It was determined he was not present.

 

Councilor Colasante was not familiar with him.

 

President Trimmer stated he was a current employee.

 

Town Solicitor Ellsworth advised you could continue this to the next meeting if you wish to ask him questions.

 

A motion was made by Councilor Colasante with second by Councilor Sheehan to continue to the next Council Meeting the Authorization to Hire Josh Jordan as Zoning Official. Vote: President Trimmer, Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

b)         Authorization to Hire Karen DeAngelus as Building, Zoning and Planning Clerk

 

Town Administrator Pinch explained the vacancy and request to hire Karen DeAngelus as Building, Zoning and Planning Clerk.

 

Mrs. Karen DeAngelus was present.

 

Councilor Colasante asked Mrs. DeAngelus a few questions relative to her experience.

 

A motion was made by Councilor Colasante with second by Councilor Sheehan to Authorize the Hiring of Karen DeAngelus as Building, Zoning and Planning Clerk: President Trimmer, Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

c)         Request for Consideration of ARPA Funding for water Chlorination System

 

Town Administrator Pinch advised on the need to update the water system and requested $300,000 of ARPA funds to purchase the chlorination system. She further explained that there are about 300 customers and that would be a large cost to the water users. She also advised they do not want taxpayers not utilizing the system to pay for this. That is the reasoning to utilize ARPA funds.

 

Councilor Sheehan questioned if we had bond money available for this.

 

Finance Director Kenyon advised we have bond authorization, however, have not gone out to borrow.

 

Discussion ensued on the water system, cost, and potential funding sources.

 

Councilor Colasante shared concern of utilizing ARPA funds that will only benefit those on the water system.

 

Councilor Trimmer advised the town owns the system.

 

Discussion ensued on rates, time frame, connections, and hybrid funding source.

 

A motion was made by Councilor Colasante with second by Councilor Sheehan to Authorize $150,000 of ARPA funds for the Water Chlorination System and the remaining would be funded by Bond.

 

Councilor Colasante stated concern with not having all the facts.

 

Discussion ensued on the water system and utilization of ARPA funds.

 

Councilor Colasante requested a sidebar with President Trimmer.

 

Councilor Wilcox advised sidebar conversations are not permitted.

 

Finance Director Kenyon stated bond authorization would come back before Council.

 

Back to the Vote: President Trimmer, Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

d)         Discussion of Employee Holiday Party and Authorization to Close Town Hall

 

Town Administrator advised the employees usually have a caterer and the town closes for one hour.

 

Councilor Colasante suggested that the employees be able to go to a local establishment. Town Administrator Pinch agreed but would need more than one hour.

 

Dates were reviewed.

 

A motion was made by Councilor Colasante with second by Vice President Nassaney to approve the closure of town hall for two hours for the Employee Holiday Party. Vote: President Trimmer Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

2)         Police Chief’s Report: Elwood M. Johnson, Jr. on activities of the Police Department

a)         Update on Body Worn Cameras

 

Police Chief Johnson provided an update on body worn cameras. He also advised on the Matthews Wish upcoming event of a toy drive and parade to RICAN.

 

3)         Finance Director’s Report: Laura Kenyon:

a)         Authorization of the Grant Agreement with the State Office of Healthy Aging

 

Finance Director Kenyon advised that this grant agreement, that would be a great companion to the position that the Wellness Committee recommended, which was approved to utilize ARPA funding. This would provide $6,000 additional funds.

 

Discussion ensued on the position and services provided.

 

A motion was made by Councilor Sheehan with second by Councilor Wilcox to approve authorization of the Grant Agreement with the State Office of Healthy Aging. Vote: President Trimmer, Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

I.          APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS Video Icon

Please Note in Accordance with Section 42-46-6 (b) the Council May Review, Discuss and/or take Action on the following items:

1)         Resignation of Samantha Wilcox from the Conservation Commission

 

A motion was made by Councilor Colasante with second by Vice President Nassaney to approve the Resignation of Samantha Wilcox from the Conservation Commission. Vote: President Trimmer, Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Abstain.

 

2)         Resignation of Samantha Wilcox from the Dog Park Committee

 

A motion was made by Councilor Colasante with second by Vice President Nassaney to approve the Resignation of Samantha Wilcox from the Dog Park Committee. Vote: President Trimmer, Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Abstain.

 

3)         Notice of Nancy Gronstrom Declining Re-appointment to the Land Trust

 

It was noted this was a notice and no action was required.

 

It was also noted the following appointments were reappointments.

 

4)         Request from Frank J. Rao for appointment as Town Sergeant with term expiration of December 31, 2024

 

A motion was made by Vice President Nassaney with second by Councilor Colasante to approve the Request from Frank J. Rao for re-appointment as Town Sergeant with term expiration of December 31, 2024. Vote: President Trimmer, Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

5)         Request from Richard Anderson for appointment to the Land Trust with term expiration of December 31, 2027

 

A motion was made by Vice President Nassaney with second by Councilor Wilcox to approve the Request from Richard Anderson for re-appointment to the Land Trust with term expiration of December 31, 2027. Vote: President Trimmer, Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

6)         Request from Ayla M. Fox for appointment to the Land Trust with term expiration of December 31, 2027

 

A motion was made by Councilor Colasante with second by Vice President Nassaney to approve the Request from Ayla M. Fox for re-appointment to the Land Trust with term expiration of December 31, 2027. Vote: President Trimmer, Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

7)         Request from Mark T. Reynolds for appointment as Town Moderator with term expiration of December 31, 2024

 

A motion was made by Councilor Colasante with second by Vice President Nassaney to approve the request of Mark T. Reynolds for re-appointment as Town Moderator with term expiration of December 31, 2024. Vote: President Trimmer, Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

8)         Request from Donna L. Gouveia for appointment to the Dog Park Committee with term expiration of January 31, 2025

 

A motion was made by Councilor Sheehan with second by Councilor Wilcox to approve the request of Donna L. Gouveia for re-appointment to the Dog Park Committee with term expiration of January 31, 2025. Vote: President Trimmer, Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

9)         Request from Jordan M. Gouveia for appointment to the Dog Park Committee with term expiration of January 31, 2025

 

A motion was made by Councilor Colasante with second by Councilor Sheehan to approve the request of Jordan M. Gouveia for re-appointment to the Dog Park Committee with term expiration of January 31, 2025. Vote: President Trimmer, Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Aye

 

J.         NEW BUSINESS Video Icon

Please Note in Accordance with Section 42-46-6 (b) the Council May Review, Discuss and/or take Action on the following items:

1)         Discussion and consideration of amendments to Chapter 18.52 of the Zoning Ordinance regarding Zoning Board of Review; and authorization for the Town Clerk to advertise for Public Hearing

 

Town Solicitor Ellsworth advised this update was to conform to state law.

 

A motion was made by Councilor Colasante with second by Vice President Nassaney to authorize the Town Clerk to advertise for Public Hearing amendments to Chapter 18.52 of the Zoning Ordinance. Vote: President Trimmer Aye; Vice President Nassaney Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

2)         Discussion and consideration of proposed amendment to Chapter 10.04 of the Code of Ordinances requested by Chief Johnson, regarding Speed Limits on Wood Road; and authorization for the Town Clerk to advertise for Public Hearing

 

Chief Johnson explained the speed concerns on Wood Road.

 

A motion was made by Vice President Nassaney with second by Councilor Wilcox to authorize the Town Clerk to advertise for Public Hearing amendments to Chapter 10.04 of the Code of Ordinance. Vote: President Trimmer, Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

3)         Discussion and Authorization of Emergency Management Preparedness Grant requested by Emergency Management Director Randall Gemme

 

Emergency Management Director Gemme advised on the grant opportunity provided by FEMA.

 

A motion was made by Councilor Sheehan with second by Councilor Colasante to authorize the Emergency Management Preparedness Grant requested by Emergency Management Director Randall Gemme. Vote: President Trimmer, Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

4)         Discussion and Consideration of the Request of Councilor Colasante for Amending Town Council Rules and Procedures regarding the order of Public Forum

 

Councilor Colasante explained he requested this item as a courtesy to put the public forum in the beginning of the meeting. He explained the importance of public input.

 

Council discussed the importance of public input.

 

Town Solicitor Ellsworth advised on the procedure of amending the rules and the Open Meetings Law that would govern public input.

 

A motion was made by Councilor Colasante with second by Vice President Nassaney to authorize the Town Solicitor to draft the changes to the Town Council Rules and Procedures in moving Public Forum to Item 7 with Council consideration at the next meeting. Vote: President Trimmer, Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Aye

 

5)         Discussion and Consideration of the Request of Councilor Colasante regarding an Emergency Procedures for Economic Impact on Town Tax Revenue

 

Councilor Colasante stated concern with the potential impact on tax collections with the current economic climate. He explained we should be prepared to address this.

 

Town Solicitor Ellsworth advised on the tax agreements for those that are behind to prevent tax sale.

 

Finance Director Kenyon advised that the change of the school’s payment schedule has eased this burden. She further advised many escrow their taxes and about 25 % have paid their taxes in full. She has not seen that trend but will watch it.  She also advised they do not budget with 100 % collection.

 

Councilor Sheehan stated could we use the remaining ARPA money to assist in taxes. Finance Director Kenyon advised that we would not be an approved use of funds.

 

Discussion ensued on the economy.

 

6)         Discussion and Consideration of the Town Council Meeting Schedule

a)         December 2022

 

A motion was made by Vice President Nassaney with second by Councilor Colasante to schedule the second meeting for December 20, 2022. Vote: President Trimmer, Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

b)         2023 Annual Meeting Schedule

 

Town Solicitor Ellsworth explained the requirement to set a meeting schedule. She further advised this could always be determined.

 

A motion was made by Councilor Colasante with second by Councilor Sheehan to approve the meeting Calendar for 2023 as proposed with July and August meeting to be the third week. Vote: President Trimmer, Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

K.        COMMUNICATIONS, PETITIONS, AND PROCLAMATIONS AND RESOLUTIONS FROM OTHER RHODE ISLAND CITIES AND TOWNS Video Icon

The Council may acknowledge any of the listed Communications and Proclamations and Resolutions. Should any member wish to have a conversation on any of the matters, the item will be placed on a future agenda for review, discussion and/or potential action and/or vote.

1)         Communications Received:

a)         Letter to: Richmond Town Council From: Attorney Marc A. Page Dated:

November 28, 2022

Re: Probate Judge Appointment

b)         Notice on the Town of Richmond Board/Commission Vacancies- November 17, 2022

c)         Richmond Senior Center News December 2022

 

A motion was made by Vice President Nassaney with second by Councilor Wilcox to file the Communications. Vote: President Trimmer, Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

L.        PUBLIC FORUM Video Icon

Those participating remotely, use the “raise hand” icon at the bottom right side of your screen, or, if you are using a phone, press *9. The moderator will tell you when it is your turn to speak. Note:   During the public forum, town council members may respond to a comment made by a member of the public if that matter is not on the agenda, but town council members may not initiate discussion of a matter not posted, and the town council may not vote on a matter not posted except: To refer the matter to another body or official, or when a vote is necessary to address an unanticipated situation that requires immediate action to protect the public health, safety or welfare.

 

Chief Johnson recognized Director Scott Barber and Crew for the work on the Tree Lighting Event.

 

Town Administrator Pinch also recognized Town Clerk Liese, the Recreation Commission and the Recreation Director for the work done at the Tree Lighting Event.

 

Town Clerk Liese stated it was a true team effort.

 

Laura Rieger of Richmond agreed with Chief Johnson on the work done on the tree lighting.  She also wanted to address the Ethics Violation of Vice President Nassaney. She further explained the ethics training.

She also stated concern with President Trimmer participating in the water chlorination system as a direct beneficiary. She stated concern with the limited amount of people utilizing the ARPA funds for the chlorination system. She also commented on the non reappointment of Nancy Gonstrom. She shared concern with the process of the availability in this appointment.

 

President Trimmer advised he would seek an opinion regarding Mrs. Rieger’s concern.

 

Councilor Wilcox advised she would like to make a comment. Town Solicitor Ellsworth advised against.

 

M.       ADJOURNMENT

 

A motion was made by Councilor Wilcox with second by Vice President Nassaney to adjourn at                8:35 P.M. Vote: President Trimmer, Aye; Vice President Nassaney, Aye; Councilor Colasante, Aye; Councilor Sheehan, Aye Councilor Wilcox, Aye.

 

 

Attest:

 

_______________________

 

Erin F. Liese, CMC Town Clerk

 

Published by ClerkBase
©2023 by Clerkbase. No Claim to Original Government Works.