Town of Greenfield
7 Sawmill Road, Greenfield, NH 03047
Thursday, June 08, 2020 – 1:00 PM
Selectboard: Chairwoman Margaret Charig Bliss, Selectwoman Karen Day, Selectman Robert Marshall
Staff: Aaron Patt, Town Administrator
1:00 PM: Virtual Meeting Open – Dial In 1+717-275-8940
The meeting was called to order at 1:07pm. Chairwoman Charig Bliss welcomed everyone to the virtual Selectboard meeting. Chairwoman Charig Bliss opened the meeting and read a statement provided by the Attorney General’s office regarding virtual meetings. “As Chair of the Selectboard, I find that due to the State of Emergency declared by the Governor as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and in accordance with the Governor’s Emergency Order #12 pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04, this public body is authorized to meet electronically.
Please note that there is no physical location to observe and listen contemporaneously to this meeting, which was authorized pursuant to the Governor’s Emergency Order. However, in accordance with the Emergency Order, I am confirming that we are providing public access to the meeting by telephone. We are currently working on providing additional access possibilities by video or other electronic means, however, we are a small town and that is not feasible for tonight’s call.
We are utilizing Freeconference.com for this electronic meeting. All members of the Board have the ability to communicate contemporaneously during this meeting through this platform, and the public has access to contemporaneously listen and, if necessary, participate in this meeting through dialing the access number posted online or by following the directions on the Meeting Instructions link from the Selectboard’s page on the website. The Website address is greenfield-nh.gov.
We previously gave notice to the public of the necessary information for accessing the meeting, including how to access the meeting telephonically. If there are problems with access, please email the Town Administrator and he will attempt to help you in real time. In the event the public is unable to access the meeting, the meeting will be adjourned and rescheduled.
Please note that all votes that are taken during this meeting shall be done by roll-call vote.
Let’s start the meeting by taking a roll-call attendance. When each member states their presence, please also state whether there is anyone in the room with you during this meeting, which is required under the Right-to-Know law. “
Each selectperson noted that they were alone. Town Administrator Patt was in his office alone.
The Chair stated: “at this point I would ask that everyone mute their phones by pressing * (star) 6 (six). If there isn’t time for your questions tonight, you can email the Town Administrator and request to be on the agenda during the next meeting. If you have technical difficulties on your end with your computer, laptop, or other electronic device email the Town Administrator if you having trouble connecting in real-time and we’ll try to be of help.
Gov. Sununu’s Emergency Order #16 prohibits gatherings greater than 10 people. We'll ask that - to the extent possible - you submit your questions/concerns/comments to the Town Administrator via email in advance so we can have answers ready. Remember to charge whatever device you are using in advance of the meeting. I can assure you everyone in your town government is doing everything in their capacity to ensure your safety, their safety and Greenfield's future. With that said, I would invite participants to bring issues before the Board.”
1:00 PM: Selectboard Business Meeting
At 1:09pm, the Selectboard took up a discussion and review of materials from a recent NHMA/Primex webinar and an interim service model document from the Town Administrator that pulls information together from the CDC, EEOC, NIH, Primex, and NHMA. The Chair outlined the purpose of the meeting, which is to discuss the interim service model document, the NHMA/PRIMEX webinar documents, and the protocols provided by NHMA as a template. Selectman Marshall noted that there are a number of recommendations that are not part of a policy, but are based around changes to municipal buildings and workplaces that should also be discussed. The Chair noted that this would be for future discussions and then outlined an important point in the discussions about the workplace. She stated that any discussion about workplace safety are to be held in general terms and that in no case shall the personal health information of any employee be shared or compromised, or speculated about, nor should any discussion be held in such a way that other people might infer that a member of staff has a specific issue that is being accommodated.
The Chair outlined the need to formalize a policy that will be used for the day-to-day operations of all municipal buildings. The webinar protocol document was examined, and it was noted that the Governor’s guidance under the Re-Open 2.0 includes stationing a staff member at the door to take a person’s temperature before allowing that employee into the building. This was discussed and found to be cumbersome given that many of the people who work in certain buildings are part-time, work in the evening hours, or on weekends, and in certain instances there are too few staff to provide for someone to screen employees. Instead the Selectboard discussed a “personal responsibility” model that includes a questionnaire and a reminder to employees to check their temperature at home before commuting to work if they have any doubt about their health. At the conclusion of the discussion the Board was of a consensus to include the questionnaire in the Covid-19 workplace policy. Selectwoman Day made the point that employees must feel comfortable that if they have any of the symptoms that are outlined in the questionnaire, they should stay home, and that the town would not penalize them for being honest.
A review of the NHMA/Primex reference material outlined the need for a document that could be shared with the public and with employees. Selectman Marshall stated that he felt that the document must be streamlined so that the self-screening can be manageable by employees on a daily basis. He suggested that the KISS principle be the guiding principle for the protocol. Keep it simple. A discussion followed on current practices and outlined the request from the EMRT that the Selectboard make masks mandatory in town buildings. When asked, Selectwoman Day stated that the EMRT does not wear masks when they meet but do keep up social distancing of 6 feet between people during their meetings. Selectman Marshall stated that once the policy is voted on everyone has to follow the guidance and everyone has to be working from the same page. Selectwoman Day stated that there may be departments where masks are not conducive to the job. At the conclusion of the discussion it was a consensus that the language about masks would include that they must be worn in the common areas if social distancing is not able to be maintained.
The Selectboard agreed to convert the Londonderry document into a policy suitable for Greenfield, Selectman Marshall stated that the next step is to ensure that the buildings are safe for employees and the public at some point (in the future). Selectman Marshall outlined several areas of interest including the installation of A/C units on the wall in certain offices so that people can have their windows open; cleaning is also very important and there is limited staff or resources to clean buildings or offices; sterilization has been suggested by the EMRT with some very expensive equipment suggested. Selectwoman Day agreed that these items should be reviewed. She suggested that there is a front staircase to the second floor and the town could look at allowing use of the staircase for the Planning Board and Conservation Commission to access their offices upstairs at the Town Office building. Other ways to look at town building spaces could be considered.
Following this discussion the Selectboard voted to adjourn.
At 2:25pm, Selectman Marshall made a motion to adjourn the meeting; the motion was seconded by the Chair. The motion carried 3-0 in a roll-call vote.