Minutes of the Selectboard Meeting of Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 6:30 PM
Minutes of the Selectboard Meeting of Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 6:30 PM Members present: Ed Childs, Chair; Roger Blake; Linda Cook; Steve Flanders; Neil Fulton, Interim Town Manager; Nancy Kramer, Assistant to the Town Manager. Absent: Christopher Ashley. There were about 7 people in the audience. Also participating: Liz Blum, Jack Candon, Cheryl Lindberg, Keith Moran, Bonnie Munday, Michael Pepe. Childs opened the meeting at 6:31 pm. 1. Approval of Agenda (Action Item). After moving items #11 and #12 after item #8, the Selectboard, by consensus, approved the Agenda. 2. Public Comments. None. 3. Town Manager’s Report (Discussion). The Finance Office has collected 2.7 million dollars so far in tax payments. The Town has received its final reimbursement payment from VLCT for insurance premiums paid for the pool dam. The RFP for the Pool is being reviewed by FEMA. This year’s Town Report has gone to the printer. The Safe Routes to School project will be assigned a new project engineer once the contract for transfer of the roads to the Town of Norwich has been completed. The Town Manager has a meeting scheduled for Friday with Hodgdon and McMullan to discuss sidewalks. 4. Finance – Board to Sign Accounts Payable/Warrants (Action Item). Blake moved (2nd Flanders) to approve Check Warrant Report #12-28 for General Fund for the period from 2/1/12 to 2/8/12 in the amount of $80,980.99. Motion passed. Flanders moved (2nd Blake) to approve Check Warrant Report #12-28 for Town Reappraisal Fund for the period from 2/1/12 to 2/8/12 in the amount of $3,938.40. Motion passed. Blake moved (2nd Flanders) to approve Accounts Payable Warrant #12- 27 dated January 31, 2012 in the amount of $1,021.47. Motion passed. 6. Renewal of Application for Village Center Designation (Discussion/Action Item). Fulton said that the Town’s Village Center Designation granted in 2006 expired in 2011. Now that the new Norwich Town Plan has been reviewed by TRORC, the Planning Commission would like the Selectboard to authorize the request for renewal of the Village Center Designation. Boundaries and locations of buildings are unchanged from 2006 but a few changes have occurred in uses of the buildings. After a brief discussion, Blake moved (2nd Flanders) to authorize Neil Fulton, Interim Town Manager, to request the renewal of the Village Center Designation granted November 27, 2006 by the Vermont Downtown Program Board. Motion passed. 7. Pepe Development Agreement (Discussion/Action Item). Candon explained that the Pepes are trying to keep their 1.5 acres in the Town of Norwich from being treated as a distinct, developable parcel since they consider themselves to have a single home place which straddles a town line. The Agreement would enable the Town to be consistent in their treatment of parcels while assuring the Town’s receiving the full taxable value if the parcel is ever transferred or developed. Blum said that the Board of Listers is recommending the Town approve the Agreement. Fulton said the property is not currently on the Grand List but will be going forward. Cook spoke about not being able to support the Agreement unless all similar properties in Town are treated the same. After some discussion, Blake moved (2nd Flanders) to approve the Development Agreement and authorize the Town Manager to sign. Motion passed 3 to 1 (yes – Childs, Blake, Flanders; no - Cook). 5. Liquor Licenses (Renewals) (Action Item). Flanders moved (2nd Blake) that the Selectboard convene as the Norwich Liquor Commission. Motion passed. Munday reviewed the licenses she had for renewal and showed the Selectboard where to sign the documents. Flanders moved (2nd Blake) to approve the liquor license applications for Norwich Wines & Spirits, Norwich Inn (2), Dan & Whit’s General Store and Carpenter and Main Restaurant. Motion passed. Munday thanked the Board. Flanders moved (2nd Blake) to close the Norwich Liquor Commission session and reconvene as the Selectboard meeting. Motion passed. 8. Finance Committee Statement of Purpose (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Flanders said the ad hoc committee of two members from each of the Norwich Selectboard, Norwich School Board (NSB) and Norwich Finance Committee (NFC) to review the NFC Statement of Purpose (SOP) met three times during the summer and did not come to a meeting of the minds. Flanders has updated the SOP and circulated it to the group. The updated SOP calls for a seven member NFC appointed by the Selectboard for staggering three-year terms. The SOP has appendices describing the skill set needed, budget indicators and scoring, budget guideline reporting points, labor contract guideline development and a conflict of interest policy. When asked by the Chair, Flanders responded that the updated SOP does not include the Treasurer position to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. Moran spoke about his involvement with the ad hoc committee and said the NFC voted to not support NSB appointments. Moran is reluctant to make any major changes to the current NFC. He believes the NFC is valuable to the Town and a lot of work for the members of the NFC. Lindberg questioned the need for a separate conflict of interest for the NFC. After discussion of NFC members attending NSB and Selectboard meetings, the time commitment needed and the NFC offering opinions on the Town and School budgets, the Selectboard agreed by consensus to circulate the document to the NSB, NFC and Selectboard and ask for comments to be forwarded to the Town Manager’s Office in writing. 11. Job Descriptions for Assessor and Assessor Clerk (Discussion). 12. Request for Proposals for Contract Assessor (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Fulton said that although job descriptions are the responsibility of the Town Manager he wanted to review the descriptions with the Board. The Assessor position is a part-time position with an average of 24 hours per week. The Assessor reports to the Town Manager and is under the general supervision of the Board of Listers for assessing functions. The other approach for the Assessor is a Contract Assessor and the RFP covers that. The Assessing Clerk position is also a part-time position with an average of 20 hours per week. Fulton would like to fill this position as soon as possible. Blum spoke about the Listers working on being transparent and embarking on a real transition. Blum believes the job descriptions are flexible enough to fulfill the needs. She also wanted the Selectboard to know that the Listers email comments on the job descriptions in the packet are from Ciccotelli and do not reflect the Listers as a whole. Fulton said a plan for data collection and accountability is being worked on. There was also discussion regarding the time frame, budgeted monies, lodging the Grand List and office space. Afterwards, Cook moved (2nd Blake) to approve the Town Manager sending out the RFP for the Contract Assessor. Motion passed. 9. Selectboard and Town Manager Goals (Discussion). Fulton has put together his thoughts on goals and objectives. Also included in the packet are Flanders’ and Ashley’s suggestions. Fulton would like to have the final document approved after Town Meeting and the new Selectboard is formed. Fulton reviewed his seven Selectboard goals. After discussion, number three was changed to meet with the School Board as appropriate and reviewing the policy for appropriation requests and clarifying Town boundaries were added. The Town Administration eight goals were then discussed. It was agreed that sidewalks and the Town Pool dam would be added to these goals. Flanders Town staffing program was also discussed. Fulton said his goal was to promote from within but that this is difficult for the Town. Fulton will do a revised list for the February 22nd meeting. 10. Budget Presentation at Town Meeting (Discussion). Fulton said the Board had asked for a more formal process this year and asked what approach they favored. After some discussion, it was agreed that Fulton would do the preliminary presentation. Fulton then went over the slides. After discussion, it was agreed that Fulton would take the school part out of the Projected Tax Rates slide and just show the Town and that the Projected Tax Rate Impact slide would include the Local Agreement Rate. Fulton advised using 4.8% as the increase in the Total Town Rate for FY13. 13. Correspondence (Please go to www.norwich.vt.us, click on Town Offices bullet in left panel, scroll down to Norwich Selectboard section and click on Recent Selectboard Correspondence to view resident correspondence): a) Resident – 1) #13 a). Email from Email from Tom Luxon Re: Sidewalks. Blake moved (2nd Flanders) to receive an email from Tom Luxon re: sidewalks. Motion passed. 2) #13 b). Email from Evan Pierce Re: Resigning from Finance Committee. Blake moved (2nd Flanders) to receive an email from Evan Pierce re: resigning from the Finance Committee. Motion passed. A letter thanking Pierce for his service will be sent. After discussion, it was agreed by consensus that Pierce would remain on the Capital Facilities Committee and that the Finance Committee would be contacted to recommend someone else for the Capital Facilities Committee from their ranks. 14. Selectboard a) Review of Pending Items (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Strategic planning and Town boundaries will be dropped from pending items as they are now on goals. b) Review of Next Agenda (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Town Manager and Selectboard goals as well as the Town Meeting presentation will be on the agenda for February 22nd. Cook moved (2nd Flanders) to adjourn. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:29 pm. Approved by the Selectboard on March 14, 2012. By Nancy Kramer Assistant to the Town Manager Edwin Childs Selectboard Chair Next Regular Meeting – February 22, 2012 at 6:30 PM Pending Items: 1) Update Finance Committee Statement of Purpose 2) Strategic Planning 3) Town Boundaries PLEASE NOTE THAT CATV RECORDS ALL REGULAR MEETINGS OF THE NORWICH SELECTBOARD. FOR A MORE DETAILED TRANSCRIPTION PLEASE REFER TO THE DVD. DVDs ARE AVAILABLE ONE WEEK AFTER AIRING AT THE NORWICH PUBLIC LIBRARY.