The Town Moderator, Deborah Luskin called the meeting to order at the NewBrook Fire Station, #698 VT Route 30 in said Town on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, at 6:10 P.M. The start of the meeting was delayed because of a line of registered voters waiting to be checked in.
The Moderator introduced herself. She informed the meeting that there was an Informational Meeting regarding the Cannabis articles on September 6. At that meeting it was learned that Articles 1 and 2 regarding cannabis cannot be voted on from the floor. They must, by law, be voted on by Australian Ballot. An Australian Ballot vote has been scheduled for October 13, 2022 at the Town Hall from 9 AM to 7 PM. Early voting will start Wednesday, September 22, 2022, and can be done at Town Hall during the clerk’s regular business hours. Her hours have changed and she is now available Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8 AM to 6 PM, Wednesday from 8 AM to 12 PM, and Friday from 8 AM to 2 PM.
The Moderator explained that she used Robert’s Rules to determine how to deal with the 2 incorrectly warned articles on the meeting warning. The Articles will be moved, seconded, and then withdrawn.
The Moderator asked if everyone in the hall was a registered voter in Newfane. One new resident, Hannah Schafer, indicated that she was not registered and she was given a Voter Registration application to complete. The cameraman from BCTV, Austin, is not a registered voter in Newfane and will not vote. The son of a Selectboard member, Jesse, is here and he will not vote, being too young to register. The Moderator instructed the voters to wait to be recognized, stand up to speak, and give their name and where they live. They must address the Moderator.
The Moderator asked for a motion regarding Article I:
Shall the voters of the Town of Newfane Authorize Cannabis Retailers in the Town of Newfane pursuant to 7 V.S.A § 863? “Cannabis retailer” means a person licensed by the state Cannabis Control Board to sell cannabis and cannabis products to adults 21 years of age and older for off-site consumption.
Angela Sanborn, the Chair of the Selectboard, moved the motion. She read the motion. Ann Golob seconded it. Immediately Angela Sanborn withdrew the motion. Ann Golob agreed to the withdrawal.
The Moderator stated that Article 1 was withdrawn.
The Moderator asked for a motion regarding Article 2:
Shall the Town of Newfane voters authorize Retail Portions of Integrated Licensee operations in town pursuant to 7 V.S.A. § 863? “Integrated licensee” means a person licensed by the state Cannabis Control Board to engage in the activities of a cultivator, wholesaler, product manufacturer, retailer, and testing laboratory in accordance with state law.
Angela Sanborn moved the motion. She read the motion. Ann Golob seconded it. Immediately Angela Sanborn withdrew the motion. Ann Golob agreed to the withdrawal.
The Moderator stated that Article 2 was withdrawn. She told the meeting that they can discuss the pros and cons of the articles during Article 5.
The Moderator read Article 3:
Shall the voters Appropriate $250.00 to (WinDart) Windham Disaster Animal Response Team to focus on pet food distribution to food insecure pet families? (Social Appropriation missing from 2022 Town Meeting votes.)
Lynn Forrest moved the motion. Dennis Wiswall seconded.
The Moderator read the motion and indicated that it was now in motion.
The Moderator asked Lynn Forrest if she wanted to speak about the motion. She did so. The motion was also addressed by Ken Bower, Ann Golob, Neil Pelsue, Angela Sanborn, and James Russell. Deb Luskin asked a question that she thought everyone was interested in and Wannetta Powling gave an explanation.
James Lanier called the question. The Moderator explained that there needed to be a 2/3 majority vote to call the question. A voice vote was held and the question was called so discussion was ended.
The Moderator reread the Article and asked for a voice vote. The motion passed.
The Moderator read Article 4:
Shall the Town of Newfane voters appropriate the transferring surplus funds of $300,197 to cover the shortfall of taxes for the Fiscal Year 2023?
Carol Hesselbach moved the motion. Greg Record seconded it.
The Moderator read the motion and indicated that it was now in motion. Carol Hesselbach did not want to speak to the motion first. The motion was addressed by Ed Collins, Ann Golob, Ken Bower, Melissa Brown, Carol Hesselbach, Greg Record, Christine Druke, Fiona Chevalier, and Lynn Forrest. Tristram Johnson called the question.
The Moderator explained that she needed a 2/3 majority to call the question and called for a voice vote on calling the question. It was not possible to tell if 2/3 of the meeting had voted to call the question so it was necessary to count the votes. Those voting Aye stood up and were counted. Those voting Nay stood up and were counted. There were 98 votes cast and 66 needed to pass. There were 83 Ayes and 15 Nays so the motion to call the question passed. Discussion was ended.
The Moderator read Article 4. She called for a voice vote. The motion passed.
A majority of those present then left.
The Moderator read Article 5:
To transact any other business that may legally come before the Town.
Ann Landenberger asked about cannabis taxes and was told that the Town gets no tax money.
It was decided to consider other concerns first because Selectboad Member Katy Johnson-Aplin had a presentation prepared about the cannabis issues.
Carlene Pelsue asked what procedures have been put in place so that there is not an error on the tax rate again. Ann Golob explained briefly and said she would be creating a Town Policy for determining the tax rate as agreed to by those involved in the Town Office.
Jake Urato wants to have the regular annual Town Meeting as 6 PM as this one was because more people show up. The Moderator explained that a decision to change when the annual Town Meeting is held has to be made at a Town Meeting. This was addressed by Ann Golob and Ed Collins.
Katy Johnson-Aplin had a powerpoint presentation available about the cannabis laws and what the Town can and cannot do. She explained the types of licenses and what the Town can and cannot do. In addition to Katy Johnson-Aplin, the topic was addressed by Carlene Pelsue, Gloria Cristelli, Breeze Verdant, Russell Bartel, Ann Golob, Michelle Mortimer, Sandy Dadik, Jake Urato, Deb Luskin, Ed Collins, and Lynn Forrest.
Motion was made to adjourn by Neil Pelsue. Seconded by Gloria Cristelli. Meeting was adjourned at 7:45 PM.
Dated this day of September, 2022
Deborah Luskin, Moderator
Carol Hesselbach, Town Clerk