Special Meeting of the Braintree Selectboard
Emergency Health Order Hearing
Sept. 14, 2018
Megan O’Toole, Selectboard Chair Robert Simpson, Apartment Owner
Richard Bowen, Selectboard Member Heather, Mr. Simpson’s Employee
Daniel Burson, Selectboard Member Marc Nemeth, Attorney
Keegan Haupt, Selectboard Member Lindsay Haupt, Town Health Officer
Holly Jarvis, Admin. Assistant
Ms. O’Toole called the hearing to order at 5:58 PM.
Ms. O’Toole explained the hearing process, and possible outcomes of the hearing.
Ms. Haupt provided background which can be found in the Emergency Health Order as to the dates of the inspections and what was found, and explained why it was an Emergency Health Order.
Mr. Simpson started to explain what has been done so far to fix the violations. He brought up a concern about how the notice was provided to his lawyer. Apparently there had been some confusion. An attempt had been made to contact the attorney by following the instructions in a letter from Mr. Simpson. The Emergency Health Order was served to Mr. Simpson by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Mr. Nemeth stated a concern about this being an Emergency Health Order, instead of a standard Health Order. This was discussed.
It was agreed to review each violation.
Mr. Simpson indicated that he has remedied the following violations:
1.3 handrail – has been installed, 1.7 fire extinguishers – have been provided to each of the apartments, 3.10 recyclables – bin is now available on premises, 6.2 screens in windows used for ventilation – have been replaced, 8.3 & 8.4 ventilation & mildew – bathroom fan was installed, carpet in entrance way was removed, 9.4-9.6 literature has been provided to the tenant.
Mr. Simpson plans to remedy the following violations:
7.5 lighting and electricity- He advised that he is working to getting the permit to do the necessary electrical work as noted in the Electrical and Fire Inspection Reports. 8.4 mildew – the State inspector wishes to look at the hallways and other apartments more to determine the cause of the mildew. 9.3 File an EMP- he will do so, 9.7 chipping paint- apartment is vacant now, repainting as needed.
Items of other status:
3.3-3.5 water sample, says “water test should be taken by owner” Mr. Nemeth pointed out that it does not say “shall”.
At the point where 7.5 was being discussed Mr. Nemeth asked to go on record with a formal objection, indicating that he did not think that the Town has the authority to elevate these inspection results to an Emergency Health Order, because they don’t have a comply by date on them, nor an indication that the violations warrant an emergency order.
There was also a discussion regarding if Mr. Simpson will coordinate access to the remaining three apartments. He will allow the apartment of original complaint to be inspected. The person who had been living there was deemed by the court to not be a valid tenant and is no longer living there. The apartment is currently being repaired. He has no problem coordinating an inspection of the Fire Inspector, and Electrical Inspector, but he questioned if Ms. Haupt had authority to inspect the other two apartments, since the tenants have not made a complaint. The Town will contact the Town’s Attorney to determine if Ms. Haupt has authority has to inspect those apartments.
It was noted that Kevin Cyr is again covering the area, so Wayne Dunlap is no longer the contact for the Electrical Inspection. The proper contact information will be provided.
Mr. Nemeth asked if Mr. Haupt will be recusing himself from the decision, given that he and the Heath Officer are married. Ms. O’Toole advised that there is no law precluding them from serving in those offices concurrently. Mr. Haupt will decide whether or not to abstain from the vote. The decision will indicate how each board member votes.
Mr. Simpson asked to be the contact for all follow up communications.
The Board went into an executive session for deliberation.
Following the Selectboard meeting on Sept. 18th, the Board concluded the deliberative session. On motion of Mr. Burson, seconded by Mr. Bowen the Board approved the written decision (Mr. Bent was not a part of the Hearing, and Mr. Haupt recused himself.) The other three board members voted in favor of the motion.