Selectboard Meeting Minutes – June 7, 2012

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Jon Mack, Gloria Cristelli, Priscilla Cotton, Chris Druke, Todd Lawley

OTHERS PRESENT: Mike Faher, Gunther Garbe, George Friend, Virginia Grabowski, Keith Richards, Caroline Eisenhood, Katy Robinson

The meeting was called to order at 5:33 p.m. by Jon Mack, Chair. A motion was made by Priscilla Cotton and seconded by Gloria Cristelli to go into Executive Session for a personnel matter. The motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Gloria Cristelli and seconded by Chris Druke to come out of Executive Session at 6:37 p.m. The motion carried unanimously.

The regular meeting of the Selectboard convened.


The minutes of May 3, 2012 were reviewed. A motion was made by Chris Druke to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Priscilla Cotton.

Discussion: The following changes were made:

–          Page 3 – “spate” should be “separate.”

–          Page 3 – The Zoning Administrator would be absent May 31, not May 21.

–          Gloria will pursue, instead of peruse.

–          There was no Administrative Assistant’s Report or Road Foreman’s Report attached.

Chris Druke accepted a friendly amendment to the motion to include the changes. The motion carried unanimously.

The minutes of May 17, 2012 were reviewed. A motion was made by Priscilla Cotton to approve the minutes. Chris Druke seconded the motion. Discussion: The following changes were made:

–          Since a motion was withdrawn, it does not have to be included in the minutes.

–          “the building” should be replaced with “the town office” for clarification purposes.

–          There was a motion to come out of Executive Session that is not reported.

Priscilla Cotton accepted a friendly amendment to the motion to include the changes. The motion carried unanimously.

*Recorder’s note: There was no motion to come out of Executive Session, therefore was not recorded.


Todd Lawley gave the Road Foreman’s Report. Report is attached.

A motion was made by Gloria Cristelli to approve the Road Foreman’s Report. The motion was seconded by Priscilla Cotton. The motion carried unanimously.


Jon Mack noted that he’d talked with Charles about Adams Hill Road with regards to culverts and material used. Discussion ensued regarding information needed for Adams Hill Road. Jon will work with Charles and Shannon on Monday.

Discussion ensued regarding signs on Dover Road. The State of Vermont reviewed signs needed on Dover Road and produced a list. Todd will review the sign ordinance.

The motion to approve the Road Foreman’s Report carried unanimously.

Gunther Garbe asked whether Lane Construction had promised to pave the parking lot. The board replied that they had not promised to do it, however Shannon had obtained a grant for the parking lot to be rehabbed.


–          Chris Triebert was not present.

–          Jen Stanchfield and Darlene Eisenhuth were not present.

–          Keith Richards and Caroline Eisenhood were present to introduce themselves as the new owners of Newfane Market.   The board welcomed them. Gloria reported that the liquor license had not come through yet.


Vermont Public Radio: Jon Mack reported that Gloria was contacted by Vermont Public Radio for an interview, which she forwarded on to Jon. He did not feel comfortable doing an interview without speaking to the board first.

Chris Druke questioned whether actions coming out of Executive Session are supposed to be public. She noted she was uncomfortable with the idea of the interview at this juncture.

Discussion ensued.

Bidding Policy:  The policy was reviewed. No changes were made. No additional policy or procedure was scheduled for review.

Unlicensed Dogs: Gloria reported that State Statute requires that the Selectboard appoint someone to compile a list of unlicensed dogs. The town clerk has compiled the list. Discussion ensued.

George Friend was present to discuss licensing as well as a dog bite incident that occurred. He noted that due to a communication issue, the response time on the incident was slow. He gave an overview of the incident.

The board scheduled a hearing on the matter for June 14, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. George will contact the parties. Shannon will warn the meeting.

The board thanked George for his work.

Conservation Commission: The board received a request from the Conservation Commission to reduce the number of members from seven to five. This would allow a quorum to be made easier.

A motion was made by Todd Lawley and seconded by Chris Druke to reduce the number of Conservation Commission members from seven to five. The motion carried unanimously.

Planning Commission: The board received a request from the Planning Commission that the Zoning Administrator’s Job Description be amended to remove the portion that indicates that the Planning Commission supervises the Zoning Administrator.

Jon Mack noted that he’d talked with VLCT and it is proper for the Selectboard to supervise the Zoning Administrator.

A motion was made by Gloria Cristelli to make the amendment. The motion was seconded by Priscilla Cotton.

Discussion: it was clarified that this amendment does not relieve the Planning Commission of having to make a recommendation to terminate. This is a statutory requirement.

The motion carried unanimously.

Job Description: Todd Lawley pointed out the Road Commissioner’s Job Description. Job Description indicates that it’s the responsibility of the Road Commissioner to supervise the Road Foreman. Discussion ensued. It was the consensus of the board that a more formal discussion was needed at a later date.


Lynch Bridge Alternative Project:

The board discussed next steps for the Lynch Bridge Alternative Project. They noted that they are committed to listening to the public and to have special meetings to inform the public through the process before any money is allocated.

Key points to be discussed:

–          If the town is not going to build a new bridge, FEMA will pay 90% of 90%, which is approximately $455,000.00, for eligible projects, other than the bridge.

–          The town is obligated to spend these funds within 18 months of the approval.

–          In order to NOT build the bridge, the town must discontinue the road. This will require a hearing process. This can be done whether the town purchases the property or not.

–          Jon Mack noted that he’d talked with the landowner and let him know that the town would like to purchase the property, contingent on voter approval.

–          FEMA documentation clearly shows what is eligible for funding and what is not. J. Mack noted that he’s been advised by VLCT to hold between one and three open hearings.

Discussion ensued regarding discontinuance of the road. It was clarified that the town has a right to discontinue the road, regardless of ownership of the property on the other side. Discontinuance is not contingent upon willingness of the owner to sell.

Chris Druke asked whether there is a time limit on building the bridge, should that be the route the Town ends up having to take. Time frame is 2 years. Discussion ensued.

The board discussed a time frame for holding hearings.  The board chose to wait to schedule hearings, pending more communication with the homeowner.

Jon Mack asked for the okay to be in contact with the Town Attorney on this matter. The board agreed. The board also agreed that public meetings are a good idea.

Priscilla Cotton will continue looking at energy efficiency in the Town Office.

Gloria will upload the informational sheet on the website, removing the commentary first.

Law Enforcement Contracts:  Jon Mack reported that Jim Barlow of VLCT clarified that the Selectboard is not bound to stay with the organization that the prior board chose to budget for, as long as that money remains with “law enforcement,” unless there was a specific article, which there was not.

A motion was made by Gloria Cristelli and seconded by Chris Druke to contract with the Windham County Sheriff’s Department for the ensuing fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2012.

Discussion: Todd Lawley suggesting adding back road patrol to the contract. After discussion, it was clarified that the contract allows for specific direction through Administrative Assistant or other specifically authorized liaison.

It was noted that Windham County Sheriff’s Department stepped up during and after Tropical Storm Irene, even without a contract. They are less money per hour than the State Police, and the town had not had a lot of positive interaction with the State Police in recent times. The State Police will still respond in emergencies.

The motion to contract with the Sheriff’s Department carried unanimously.

Jon Mack will inform the Sheriff’s Department and obtain a clean copy of the contract to sign.

Priscilla Cotton asked if Gary Katz would still be on the Citizens Advisory Board for the State Police. The board was inclined to continue this.

Emergency Operations Procedure: Discussion ensued regarding updates needed to the plan. The board will invite Dave Moore to the next meeting.

Process for Hiring Administrative Assistant:  Jon Mack noted that a Job Description had been sent to each member. Discussion ensued regarding pay range, hours needed, and deadline for applications.

The interview process was discussed. The consensus of the board was to have a two person interview team that will come forth with a recommendation of between one and three final candidates for a second interview with the full Selectboard.

The board talked about the schedule for interviews. It was noted that Shannon would be a helpful third interview team member, because she’s familiar with the skills needed. Jon Mack, Chris Druke, and Shannon Meckle will conduct the interviews.

Interviews will be conducted as soon as possible.

Treasurer’s Answers to Selectboard Questions: This discussion was tabled until the next regular meeting.

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program: Jon reported that the latest he’d heard was that HUD would be covering the remaining 25% match.

EWP: Gloria received notice that 23 Hunter Brook Road would be moving forward. No work will be able to be done until July 1, but it should be going out to bid soon.

Debris removal opportunities were discussed.

Comparative Salary/Wage Analysis: Chris Druke asked whether she should hold off on salary and wage comparisons until closer to budget time. The board felt it didn’t need to be done right away, but should avoid a crunch later on.


Rock River Shack: Gloria reported that the owners of the property came into research the property and that they indicated they’d be removing the shack. They are currently in the grievance process because the property has been damaged severely by vandals.

Act 250/DRB: Todd asked whether a letter had gone to the DRB expressing support for Cersosimo’s application for continuing the rock quarry. Gloria will check in with Shannon on Monday.

Cell Tower: Jon noted he’d been contacted by VTEL and told that they tried to install a tower above the Sheriff’s Department but that it wasn’t working out. They were seeking alternate sites in town.

Discussion ensued. Todd suggested forwarding their contact information to Stephan Morse.


A letter was received from N. Rysz regarding debris concerns. Discussion ensued. Gloria noted that some debris removal may be eligible through USDA. Gloria will look into this.

A letter was received from Gary Katz regarding the projects being considered by the town for the Lynch Bridge Alternative Projects.

A proposal was received from Marshall Glickman, Collector of Delinquent Taxes. This was for the Selectboard to consider assuming responsibility for deciding on individual adjustments to fees and penalties. He noted he would adjust his fee according to decisions made by the Board.

Discussion ensued regarding the liability of the request, and whether it would open the board up to allegations of favoritism. The board did not feel they were in a position to make those decisions. The board also discussed the fee and penalty costs in general. The town voted on the fees, but it is something they could revisit during budget season.

Jon Mack will reply to Marshall that the board is not comfortable with making these decisions on an individual basis, but will look at fees in general during budget season. Research on the statutes will be done in the meantime.


A motion was made by Gloria Cristelli to approve the Pay Orders. The motion was seconded by Priscilla Cotton. The motion carried unanimously.


A motion was made by Todd Lawley and seconded by Chris Druke to adjourn at 9:15 p.m. The motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully Submitted,

Shannon Meckle

June 7th 2012

Road Foreman’s/ Road Commissioner’s Report

1]   Roads: We have finished up the gravel on Baker Brook Road. We have been grading the roads as the weather permits us to. Most of the roads are still in good shape even with all the rain we have had. We still have a few roads that have not been graded yet this year but most have been done at least once.

2] Equipment: We have serviced the 2011 F350 at our shop. the 09 Sterling has been to L&B for rear brake work that should be covered under warranty.  Cat is coming back down to look at the stabilizer on the back hoe. The 7400 International had an exhaust leak by the turbo that was fixed in our shop as well. The 06 Sterling is at L&B to have some front spring bushing work done as well as replacing the air dyer and it also needs to have an air tank strap replaced.

3] Bridge #45 Hunter Brook: I have looked at this bridge with Mike Renaud and he said it needs a new deck. So then I had John Alexander and Mark Pickering from VTrans look at it, and they are in support of FEMA replacing the Deck. I have talked to FEMA and it sounds like they may replace the deck and guard rails.

4] Stratton Hill Slide; I have been meeting with John Alexander and Mark Pickering to see what, if anything the state or FEMA would pay for. John said that if FEMA doesn’t pay for it, the state will have to pay with a town match of I think 10%. It is a very big slide and he thinks it will be $100.00.00 plus project. We will have to get it engineered and we will have to have quite a few trees cut. I am working with Doris to try and figure out whose property it is so we can let them know what is going on. We moved Jersey barriers up to the site this morning as it is taking out some of the road.

5] I talked to Lane Construction about starting the paving project on Grimes Hill the last week in June and carrying the project into July, so that they could bill us in June for the money we have left in the budget for this years paving, and then bill us for the rest of the work in July so it uses the money in next years paving budget as well. That way we don’t have to cut down on the project. Grimes hill road needs to have a lot of shim coat put down in the wheel tracks. If we don’t do it then in a couple of years the road will be bad again. I think all the traffic it had when Rte. 30 was closed for a few weeks really did quite a bit of damage to it.

6] Adams Hill Road: There seems to be a dispute with amount of stone we used to fill in the major wash out at the bottom of the hill. FEMA needs more info that Dan and Shannon have. We should have Dan work with the town on this.

7] Harkness property: Mike Fitzpatrick is working on the Harkness property doing what we agreed to in the beginning.

Thank You

Todd Lawley/Road Foreman

Christopher Williams/Road Commissioner