Minutes of the Selectboard Meeting of Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 5:30 PM
Members present: Christopher Ashley, Chair; Ed Childs; Linda Cook; Steve Flanders; Keith
Moran; Neil Fulton, Interim Town Manager; Nancy Kramer, Assistant to the Town Manager.
There were 10 people in the audience.
Also participating: Dennis Kaufman, Cheryl Lindberg, Bonnie Munday, Brian Riordan.
Ashley opened the meeting at 5:30 pm.
1. Personnel – Town Manager (Executive Session May be Required). Pursuant to Title 1 VSA §
313(a)(3), Flanders moved (2nd Childs) to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of
discussing personnel and to invite Neil Fulton to join the Session for a portion of the Session.
Motion passed. The Selectboard moved into Executive Session at 5:31 pm. At 6:32 pm the
Selectboard moved into public session. No action was taken as a result of the Executive Session.
2. Approval of Agenda (Action Item). By consensus, the Selectboard approved the Agenda.
3. Public Comments. Riordan asked if the Board was going to discuss the Huntley Meadow
bike/pedestrian path and was told that Jill Niles and the Recreation Council would hold a public
forum to discuss this before it was brought to the Selectboard.
4. Town Manager’s Report (Discussion). Fulton suggested 5:30 pm April 25th for the Town
Officials photograph at Chad Finer’s. After some discussion, the Board agreed and Fulton said he
would set it up with Finer and confirm. Fulton made an offer to Darlene Cook for Assessing Clerk
and she has accepted. She will start April 23rd. FEMA has approved projects amounting to
$627,000 so far. Bridge 41 is still not resolved. We are waiting on an estimate from the engineer
for the pool. End of year projections for FY12 have been completed. Spring paving will be a topic
for discussion at the Selectboard’s April 25th meeting. The Hazard Mitigation grant for culvert
replacements on three roads was denied due to the Benefit Costs Ratio being less than one for all
three projects. Health Reimbursement Arrangements are considered to be self-insurance and
therefore all appropriations have been removed from the departments to a global account to
protect individual information. Moran asked for estimates on total expenditures for Tropical Storm
Irene and expressed concern about FEMA reimbursements. Fulton said $550,000 has been
spent to date and estimates $1.2 million as the final number. Fulton is confident the Town will be
reimbursed for 90 to 95% of expenditures.
5. Finance – Board to Sign Accounts Payable/Warrants (Action Item). After a brief discussion of
what is being done to stabilize the roads and some damage to tires, Flanders moved (2nd Childs)
to approve Check Warrant Report #12-37 for General Fund for the period from 4/5/12 to 4/11/12 in
the amount of $80,571.84. Motion passed. Childs moved (2nd Flanders) to approve Accounts
Payable Warrant #12-36 dated March 31, 2012 in the amount of $2,764.48. Motion passed.
6. Contract Assessor Contract (Discussion/Action Item). Proposals for Contract Assessor were
received from New England Municipal Consultants (NEMC), Spencer Potter and Municipal
Resources. After review and interviewing NEMC, the Board of Listers and the Town Manager
recommend that NEMC be retained to perform the functions of Contract Assessor. One of the key
factors in this decision was that NEMC will assume responsibility for assisting the Listers with
producing the April 2012 Grand List. After a brief discussion regarding reorganization of the Lister
Office and restricting access to CAMA, Flanders moved (2nd Childs) to authorize the Town
Manager to execute an agreement with New England Municipal Consultants to provide Contract
Assessor services for the Town of Norwich from April 16, 2012 through and including June 30,
2014. Motion passed.
7. Digitize Land Records for Town Clerk’s Office (Discussion/Action Item). Munday is
recommending that a contract be entered into with Cott Systems for 48 months at a cost of $225
per month for a total cost of $10,800. A scanner will also need to be purchased at an estimated
cost of $1,076. These monies are included in the FY13 budget for the Town Clerk. Tolman
reviewed the contract and had questions which Cott has responded to. Tolman has answered
back that this has addressed his concerns. Munday said that this system will allow both forward
and backward ability, that Cott will collect the fees and that this does not replace hard copies of
the documents. Kaufman spoke about the importance of digitizing the maps. Fulton said that this
is not being done at this time. After some further discussion, Flanders moved (2nd Childs) to
authorize the Town Manager to execute a 48 month agreement with Cott Systems for a Records
Management System for digitizing land records for the Town Clerk. Motion passed.
8. Town Manager Recruitment Process/Appointment (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Ashley
reviewed the background briefly and said that townspeople support appointing Fulton but also
wanted an evaluation of the Town Manager which has been done by the Selectboard. In the
interest of transparency, Ashley said the total proposed package for Fulton including benefits
would amount to $131,162. Ashley supports this as a reasonable increase. Ashley asked if there
were any further comments from the Board and received none. Ashley likewise asked if there
were any public comments and again received none. Afterwards, Flanders moved (2nd Childs) to
appoint Neil Fulton as Town Manager, effective immediately and at will, with the same
compensation and benefits now provided as Interim Town Manager with a salary increase from
$77,250 to $95,000 effective July 1, 2012. Motion passed. Fulton accepted the position and
thanked the Selectboard.
9. Recommendation for Town Health Officer (Discussion/Action Item). Ashley said the Board
needs to make a recommendation to the State as the current Town Health Officer’s term is
expiring. Cook spoke about Lawe and Munday having been Health Officer and Deputy Health
Officer for a number of years. Fulton said that Lawe has indicated his willingness to serve another
term. Afterwards, Cook moved (2nd Flanders) to recommend to the state to appoint John Lawe to
be Health Officer for a three-year term ending in March, 2015. Motion passed.
10. Finance Committee Charge (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Ashley commented that the
Selectboard has discussed the charge on a number of occasions. Flanders said that, having
received no further comments from the Selectboard or others, he incorporated the changes
discussed at the March 28th meeting. Cook questioned whether Stearns appointment would stand
under the new standards. The Board and Fulton agreed that the Town Committee application
would need to be modified for Finance Committee applicants. After discussion, Ashley asked that
the charge be on a separate page from the guidance section. Flanders moved (2nd Childs) that
the Norwich Finance Committee Charge be adopted as presented, provided that any incumbents
whose position on that Committee no longer meets the requirements of the charge be allowed to
serve until March 2013 or until a replacement member is appointed, whichever comes first.
11. 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) #11 a). Email from Craig Donnelly Re: Willey Hill Road. Childs moved (2nd Flanders) to
receive an email from Craig Donnelly re: Willey Hill Road. Motion passed. There was
a brief discussion of costs and how Fulton had responded to Pierce. The Board and
Fulton also discussed a better process for responding to correspondence. It was
agreed that this would be reviewed at the next Selectboard meeting.
2) #11 b). Email from Keith Moran Re: Resignation from Norwich Finance Committee.
Childs moved (2nd Flanders) to receive an email from Keith Moran re: resignation from
Norwich Finance Committee and to thank Moran for his service. Motion passed.
Moran abstained. Cook expressed concern about the vacancies on the Finance
Committee. It was agreed that the open positions will be updated and reposted.
a) Approval of the Minutes of the 3/28/12 Meeting. Childs moved (2nd Flanders) to approve
the minutes of the March 28, 2012 Selectboard meeting. Motion passed.
b) Review of Next Agenda (Discussion/Possible Action Item). The lack of pending items was
noted. Consulting services for the repair or reconstruction of the Pool Dam and
Recreation area, spring paving plan, classification and compensation study, a State grant
for license plate scanners for the Police Department and appointments for DRB and
Planning Commission will be agenda items for the April 25th meeting. Ashley suggested
the Board think about Fulton’s concept of having the 1st meeting of the month be mainly for
routine business and that the 2nd meeting concentrate on goals. Lindberg asked if the
Finance Committee could be copied on the monthly revenues and expenditures reports
from the Finance Office like they used to be.
Cook moved (2nd Flanders) to adjourn. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 7:32 pm.
Approved by the Selectboard on April 25, 2012.
By Nancy Kramer
Assistant to the Town Manager
Next Regular Meeting – April 25, 2012 at 6:30 PM
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