Board of Civil Authority – July 15, 2014 Meeting Minutes

Board of Civil Authority

July 15, 2014 – Minutes

Present: Gloria Cristelli, Christine Druke, Fred Bacon, Ellen Darrow, Priscilla Cotton, Gary Katz, Mary Ann Clarkson, Greg Record, Sandra Dowley, and Michael Fitzpatrick

Absent: Todd Lawley, Richard Marek

Priscilla Cotton, Chair, called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. She turned discussion over to Mary Ann Clarkson who served as the leader of the subcommittee.

It was noted that the recommendations, if adopted, are not policies that can override any State Statute. The intent is to provide necessary assumption of election responsibilities by all BCA members.

Gary Katz moved that the BCA recommends that if the Town Clerk is in a contested race for the office of Town Clerk that she/he recuses her/himself as the presiding officer of the election. Mary Ann Clarkson seconded the motion. Discussion ensued. The motion passed unanimously.

Gary Katz moved that the BCA recommends that two uncontested election officials and the presiding officer handle early/absentee ballots both the evening before and during the day of election, using the final list handed over by the town clerk. Mary Ann Clarkson seconded the motion. Discussion ensued. The motion passed unanimously.

Gary Katz moved that the within 30 days before an election the BCA will meet to decide on specific roles and responsibilities of the BCA members for elections and ensure that there are a sufficient number of approved assistant election officials for the election.  Mary Ann Clarkson seconded the motion. Discussion ensued. The motion passed unanimously.

Gary Katz moved that the BCA accept the following recommendations for all elections by the subcommittee:

  1. It is recommended that “no campaigning” (see 17 V.S.A., Chapter 51, §2508) at the polling place have more signage, repeated announcements from the Moderator, and policing of the polling place by BCA members or other assistant election officials.
  2. The Board of Civil Authority determines the polling place.
  3. At least two sworn election officials will be at the polling place at all times on the election day.
  4. If a voter lodges any concerns about elections to the Selectboard members or any other member of the Board of Civil authority, the person lodging concerns needs to be directed to the chair of the Board of Civil Authority. If a voter lodges any complaint, the person needs to contact the Secretary of State (see 17 V.S.A., Chapter 51, §2558 as stated below.)

17 V.S.A. § 2458. Complaint procedure

The secretary of state shall adopt rules to establish a uniform and nondiscriminatory complaint procedure to be used by any person who believes that a violation of this title or any other provision of Title III of United States Public Law 107-252 has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur. For purposes of this section, “complaint” shall mean a statement in writing made by a voter stating, with particularity, the violation, notarized, and sworn or affirmed under penalty of perjury. The secretary’s rules shall provide for an informal proceeding to hear complaints for all complainants unless a formal hearing is requested. Formal complaints held pursuant to this section shall be in conformance with the rules adopted by the secretary. Any decision of the secretary may be appealed to the superior court in the county where the individual resides. (Added 2003, No. 59, § 18.)

Mary Ann Clarkson seconded the motion. Discussion ensued. The motion passed unanimously.

Mary Ann Clarkson recommended that the BCA set the pre-election meeting of the BCA. The meeting was set for August 11, 2014 at 6 p.m. in the Town Office building.

Gloria Cristelli announced that there were three tax appeals. The Board set the hearings for 6 p.m. on July 21, 2014, starting at 6 p.m. Gloria also discussed an additional request by another taxpayer that did not meet the tax appeal process requirements, asking for advice on how to respond. It was recommended that she, as receiver of the correspondence as Town Clerk, ask advice of our PACIF lawyer on how to respond and respond correspondingly.

Chris Druke moved to adjourn at 7:42 p.m. The motion was seconded by Gary Katz. The motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted by,

Gloria J. Cristelli

Board of Civil Authority Recorder