Minutes of the Selectboard Meeting of Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 6:30 PM
Members present: Stephen Flanders, Chair; Christopher Ashley; Ed Childs; Linda Cook; Keith
Moran; Neil Fulton, Town Manager; Nancy Kramer, Assistant to the Town Manager.
There were 7 people in the audience.
Also participating: Phil Dechert, Nancy Hoggson, Bonnie Munday, Doug Robinson, Nate Stearns.
Flanders opened the meeting at 6:30 pm.
1. Approval of Agenda (Action Item). After some discussion and rearranging some agenda items,
by consensus the Selectboard approved the Agenda.
2. Public Comments. Flanders welcomed members of the public and asked that people wishing
to speak would state their name and address clearly. Flanders also stated that townspeople
should consider the Town Manager the primary source of information. Cook reminded people that
the Town Memorial Day Parade would be Sunday, May 26th at noon and start at the Legion Post.
There will be a tribute to two brothers killed in World War II at the bridge by the Catholic Church.
3. Finance Committee (Discussion). Stearns, speaking as Chair of the Finance Committee, said
the Committee currently has three members and they need four for a quorum. The Committee
would like an exception to the charge granted for the Treasurer. Alternatively, they would like the
language in the charge changed to allow people who receive a stipend from the Town to be a
member of the Committee. The Committee is gearing up for community outreach in June
because of pending legislation related to education funding. Moran supports the Treasurer being
on the Committee as she is the only one with historical perspective. Flanders said that the
Selectboard was trying to address any issue regarding conflict of interest in the charge. Flanders
suggested recruiting members for the Committee from businesses in Town. The Board also
discussed the possibility of changing the number of members on the Committee. It was agreed
that this would be on the agenda for June 12th as an action item.
4. Public Hearing on Town of Norwich Subdivision Regulations Amendments
(Discussion/Possible Action Item). Ashley moved (2nd Cook) to open the first public hearing on
the Town of Norwich Subdivision Regulations Amendments. Motion passed. Dechert said that,
regarding Ashley’s previous question on grandfathering of subdivisions, the Planning Commission
has decided to let that decision be made when/or if the formula is changed. Dechert also said the
Regulations have been in effect since the public hearing was warned. After some discussion, the
Selectboard agreed by consensus to warn a second public hearing for June 12th with the option of
adopting the Regulations then if no changes were made. Childs moved (2nd Ashley) to close the
first public hearing on the Town of Norwich Subdivision Regulations Amendments. Motion
5. Town Manager’s Report (Discussion). After several meetings with representatives of a group
called the Hosers, Kearney, Hodgdon, Fulton and Mark Bergeron regarding the grade differential
at the ice rink, it has been agreed to make minor modifications to the area fully funded by
donations. Fulton said there has been a lot of discussion on the Norwich Listserv about the
solicitors in Town. The Town does have a Street Vendors Ordinance but commercial speech is
protected and you cannot prohibit door-to-door sales. The Ordinance could be extended to allow
a resident to have a no solicitation sign and Fulton has discussed with Robinson having a no
solicitation registry. The Town Manager will work on these changes if the Board is interested in
revising the Ordinance. After some discussion of after-hours solicitation, the Selectboard asked
for the Ordinance to be on the June 12th agenda. A draft of the new values in the Town-wide
reappraisal went out to taxpayers May 10th. Approximately 100 people have requested an
informal hearing. The assessment data link is up on the Town website. The change of appraisal
notices should be out by May 31st and the final Gland List lodged by July 2nd. The union election
was yesterday and they have voted to change to the New England Police Benevolent Association.
The tower process remains on track and Dechert is working on the government form for the
Historic Preservation part of the application.
6. Finance – Board to Sign Accounts Payable/Warrants (Action Item). After a couple of
questions, Ashley moved (2nd Childs) to approve Check Warrant Report #13-36 for General Fund
in the amount of $58,766.11, for Fire Apparatus Fund in the amount of $34.44, for Police Cruiser
Fund in the amount of $54.90, for Town Reappraisal Fund in the amount of $15,181.20 and for
Communications Construction Fund in the amount of $4,449 for the period from 5/9/13 to 5/22/13.
7. Selectboard Response to §248a Application for Certificate of Public Good for Radio
Communications Tower (Discussion/Action Item). Fulton said that the Norwich Planning
Commission response to the Vermont Public Service Board was included in the packet. The
Planning Commission is recommending approval of the project. Notice has been given to abutters
and a Selectboard response should be done no later than the June 12th meeting. Ashley moved
(2nd Childs) that the Town of Norwich Selectboard concurs with and supports the Planning
Commission response. After discussion regarding the Application and that the Planning
Commission response was a direct response to statutory language based on the tower design,
that the response was reviewed by a lawyer and limited the tower to a community owned and
operated (municipal) use, Ashley withdrew his motion until the next Selectboard meeting.
8. Town Records Preservation and Conservation (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Flanders
had drafted a memo for the Selectboard packet that he feels has become moot and should be put
aside for now. This is largely due to his email correspondence (provided for the Board) with
Tanya Marshall (State Archivist) and Karen Richard (Colchester Town Clerk) and conversations
with Munday. As seen on the storage report also provided to the Selectboard, Munday has made
good progress on microfilming documents so the Town is not in an emergency situation. Munday
would like to have a maintenance program rather than taking a huge conservation approach.
Munday will work with Flanders to develop a spreadsheet that shows the “big picture”. Cook
complimented Munday on what she has done so far saying it was great the way we are going.
There was discussion regarding: State best practices, fees charged for document recording,
goals, the reserve fund for record restoration and the Kofile proposal. The Board agreed to first
assess the degree of preservation needed in house. Munday thanked the Selectboard for their
time and efforts.
9. Transfer Station Sticker Policy (Discussion). Fulton had placed his proposed changes to the
Policy in the packet. The changes address some problems of the past and addressed about 80%
of the issues raised. Fulton wanted the Selectboard to have the opportunity to provide input
before he issues. There was discussion regarding: nonresidential sticker, additional people being
provided at the Transfer Station during the busy time, some information being digitized and sticker
fees. Fulton said he does not want to overregulate and that most people comply.
10. Reappoint Sharon Racusin to the Advance Transit Board of Directors (Discussion/Action
Item). Cook moved (2nd Ashley) to reappoint Sharon Racusin to the Advance Transit Board of
Directors for a term beginning June 24, 2013 and ending June 23, 2016. Motion passed.
11. Selectboard FY14 Goals (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Flanders said that goal #1 for the
Selectboard regarding strategic planning has been started and the next step is to share the
strategic ideas input form with standing Town committees. Items #2 and #4 are in process. Item
#3 was dropped by the Board at their October 24, 2012 meeting. There was some discussion of
putting it back in. Item #5 was dropped as it is a Town Manager responsibility. On item #6 Moran
requested review of the investment policy. The Town Manager will develop a process for
contractual assistance for codifying ordinances on item #7. Items #8 and #10 are completed.
After some discussion, item #9 was dropped. Flanders suggested adding the following items:
lessons learned and review of Town Manager/Selectboard roles handout for organizational
meeting. Flanders will revise the document accordingly for discussion at the June 12th meeting.
a) Approval of the Minutes of the 4/24/13 Meeting. Ashley moved (2nd Childs) to approve the
minutes of the April 24, 2013 Selectboard meeting. Motion passed.
b) Review of Next Agendas (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Items on the next agenda will
include: Second Public Hearing and possible adoption of the Subdivision Regulations,
review of Street Vendors Ordinance, Selectboard goals, review of Finance Committee
charge and possible appointment of Lindberg to the Committee, review of Selectboard
member appointments to Selectboard committees, approval of the bond package for the
July bond sale and Selectboard response to application for Certificate of Public Good.
Cook moved (2nd Ashley) to adjourn. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:14 pm.
Approved by the Selectboard on June 26, 2013.
By Nancy Kramer
Assistant to the Town Manager
Stephen N. Flanders
Next Regular Meeting – June 12, 2013 at 6:30 PM
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