Observing our town government in action

Members of the League of Women Voters of Marblehead, front row from left: Shari Pressman, Marta Bach, Alexa Singer, and Tom Krueger; second row from left: Judy Gates, Bonnie Grenier, Lee Mondale, Kathy Breslin, Polly Whitmore, and Mimi Hollister; and third row from left: Don Gardner, Kathy Leonardson, Nancy Powell, and Phil Blaisdell, gather in front of the Old Town House. Photo by Spenser Hasak

Hybrid Meeting
LWVM Observer: Brigitte Lagoutte
Members in attendance. Gary Amberik (Chair), John Williams, David Ross, Jennifer Jewell, Kathy Barker, and Kim Grad (via Zoom)
Director’s report:
Library was closed on Oct. 28 due to low staffing (illness)
Upcoming closures:
Nov. 22 (5 p.m.), Nov. 23 and 24 for Thanksgiving.
Nov. 25: TBD due to possible short staffing.
On Jan. 18, 2024 there will be a training for “Everyone Serves Youth.”
The library is interviewing for the head of technical services position, vacant since Oct. 11.
The temporary library is still having a problem with the boiler, Combustion Services are called at least once a month, and have been responsive when minor adjustments need to be made.
The library needs procurement for makerspace items, meeting rooms, digital signage, donor walls, memorial benches, outdoor return bins.
Decisions about the audio-visual systems need to be made soon regarding a vendor.

Reminders of additional key dates:
Jan. 24, 2024: State of the Town
Jan. 28-April 1: FinCom liaison meetings and budget hearings
May 6: Town Meeting
Outreach Programs and Website:
The library participated in the Scarecrow Stroll on Oct. 16, and Pumpkin Illumination at the Lee Mansion on Oct. 26.
As a reminder, in order to accommodate our move back to 235 Pleasant St., our last day of programs/meeting room reservations will be Saturday April 13, 2024.
October Teen highlights include getting 34 survey responses from MHS teens while they attended a Team Harmony training and volunteered separately for the MHS Day of Service. There is a great interest in movie screening and many teens would like to see Abbot Library content in the form of Instagram stories.
The new versions of the event calendar and meeting-room reservation systems went
live just before Nov. 1.

  1. Chair’s Report:
    A Trustee training is being offered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners twice a year for the new trustees; the CMBL also publishes a trustee handbook full of information regarding the “library funding and advocacy, and the major issues that impact libraries.”
    The chair also reminded that the trustees are required to take an online “Conflict of Interest” training every two years.
  2. Building Renovations Committee update:
    Renovations at the Library are on schedule.
    Outside the building, by Nov. 16 the re-paving of the parking lot will be done, lights will be installed, as well as the irrigation for the garden.
    Inside the building, drywalls will be installed in the coming weeks, as well as two new broilers, and a ceiling grid for light fixtures.
    A security vendor is being searched for camera surveillance.
  3. Friends of the Library:
    There will be a book sale in December. Date TBD.
    Next meetings: Tuesday Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. (not on a Monday like usual)
    Monday Jan. 8, 2024

Harbors and Waters Board Meeting – Nov. 6
Meeting In Person
LWVM Observer: Kathy Breslin 
Members present:  Gary Gregory, John Daub, Ken Breen, Jay Michaud, Clark Smith.   
Alternates present:  Rick Cuzner, Chris Hood, Peter Dragonas  
Commercial fisherman’s trash at State Street: Harbormaster Mark Souza reported that the Marblehead Rec and Parks Department has been emptying the trash barrels at the State Street Landing but has been finding a lot of fishermen’s trash (bait boxes, etc.) next to the barrels which they will not pick up. Jay Michaud stated that it is a longstanding issue and that they need to find the culprits and fine them as it’s not fair to the public who also use this area. It was mentioned that Rec and Parks no longer has a packer truck that could accommodate large volumes of trash. It is using a dump truck, and the workers would have to lift the large pieces of trash up high to get into the truck, which is difficult. The Board of Health posted signs regarding the litter ordinance, but they were taken down by unknown people.  The harbormaster sent a letter to the commercial fishermen. Many responded and said it was appropriate to address this problem. Large bait boxes are also being left next to the trash bin at the Commercial Street Wharf, which Rec and Parks will not pick up.  A suggestion was made for next Town Meeting to request a packer truck for Rec and Parks so that they would be better able to pick up the boxes. 
Declare the 2014 Ford Explorer surplus: This was voted on favorably. 
Discuss capital budget needs with estimated retained earnings: The town has not yet closed out the Harbors and Waters Board fiscal year 2023 budget.  It was decided to hold off on any other capital outlays until we get an amount for certified free cash from the past year.
Harbormaster’s Report: 80% of those on the mooring/ring waitlist have already paid their dues online using ACH on the new software system. The ADA-compliant ramp between Ferry Lane and the State Street Landing railings are being finalized. The gangways all were taken up on schedule. They are doing an in-water inspection before taking them out and afterward. 
New lease to Marblehead Trading Company for Cliff Street: Gary Gregory has asked Becky Curran Cutting to send him the lease for review.