Minutes of the Selectboard Meeting of Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 6:30 PM
Members present: Christopher Ashley, Chair; Ed Childs; Linda Cook; Steve Flanders; Keith
Moran; Neil Fulton, Town Manager; Nancy Kramer, Assistant to the Town Manager.
There were 7 people in the audience.
Also participating: Chris Clapp, Tom Gray, Jill Kearney, Cheryl Lindberg, Chief Robinson, Barry
Ashley opened the meeting at 6:30 pm.
1. Approval of Agenda (Action Item). By consensus, the Selectboard added correspondence
from Jeff Goodrich and Nancy Hoggson re: selection of professional services to the agenda as
items 10 i) and j) and then approved the Agenda.
2. Public Comments. None.
3. Town Manager’s Report (Discussion). The Assessing Clerk started on April 23rd and the
Contract Assessor started work on April 16th and has assumed responsibility for the April, 2012
Grand List. The Town continues to make progress with FEMA. Bridge 41 has been resolved.
Reconsideration of Bloody Brook has been submitted to AOT. The Town has estimated
expenditures of $1,263,350 so far and the amount approved by FEMA is $1,247,581. A permit for
the project to remove debris piles on Bloody Brook and Charles Brown Brook has been issued by
ANR. The Fire District is scheduled to start work on replacement of 1200’ of water main on Main
Street on or about May 29th. The code and facilities deficiencies study is going well and Fulton
expects to have a draft report in June. The classification and compensation study has started and
employees are working on completing their position questionnaires. AOT has retained RSG to
complete the design of the Safe Routes to School sidewalk from the Congregational Church to
Carpenter. Construction on this project should start in the spring of 2013. Ashley asked the
status of the Class 1 takeover and was told the MOA is still not completed. Moran questioned the
planning project on Route 5 South involving onsite wastewater suitability research. Gray, Vice
Chair of the Planning Commission, briefly explained the project saying this is private land and the
consultant was retained through a Municipal Planning Grant and no on-site investigation is
4. Finance – Board to Sign Accounts Payable/Warrants (Action Item). Cook asked if the street
sweeping was for the entire Town. Fulton responded that all paved areas are being done. After a
brief discussion, Cook moved (2nd Childs) to approve Check Warrant Report #12-40 for General
Fund for the period from 4/26/12 to 5/9/12 in the amount of $66,345.44. Motion passed. Childs
moved (2nd Cook) to approve Check Warrant Report #12-40 for Recreation Facility &
Improvement Fund for the period from 4/26/12 to 5/9/12 in the amount of $1,300. Motion
passed. Childs moved (2nd Flanders) to approve Check Warrant Report #12-40 for Highway
Garage Fund for the period from 4/26/12 to 5/9/12 in the amount of $1,666.67. Motion passed.
Flanders moved (2nd Cook) to approve Check Warrant Report #12-40 for Police Station Fund for
the period from 4/26/12 to 5/9/12 in the amount of $1,666.66. Motion passed. Flanders moved
(2nd Childs) to approve Check Warrant Report #12-40 for Fire Station Fund for the period from
4/26/12 to 5/9/12 in the amount of $1,666.67. Motion passed. Childs moved (2nd Flanders) to
approve Accounts Payable Warrant #12-39 dated April 30, 2012 in the amount of $1,307.41.
5. Town of Norwich Open Positions Interviews/Appointments (Action Item). Clapp was present
and interviewed. Kearney spoke in support of Clapp. Ashley said that Goodrich had indicated his
interest in an email but had said he could not attend the meeting.
Cook moved (2nd Flanders) to appoint Chris Clapp to the Recreation Council for a three-year term
ending in March, 2015. Motion passed.
Flanders moved (2nd Childs) to appoint Jeff Goodrich as the TRORC voting representative for a
one-year term ending April, 2013. Motion passed.
6. Appointment with Tom Gray Re: Update on Status of Capital Planning Process (Discussion
Item). Gray provided the Selectboard with a one page summary of what information had been
provided to the Committee and the status of projects. Gray said the Committee was active
September through November and then took a break until more information was available. Moran
questioned the Committee’s support of the communications tower. Gray said the need for the
tower has been established, a grant has been received for the equipment on the tower and that
additional grants are being pursued. If these efforts are unsuccessful, the tower will have to come
before the voters as a bond vote and another public forum would be held. Cook said she was
looking for the Committee to coordinate the material with a plan and put it in a report prioritizing
projects. Gray indicated that once the dollars are finalized the Committee would work on their
report. Ashley thanked Gray and the Committee for their work and appreciates their efforts as a
critical process. The one page summary will be placed on the Town website.
7. FY12 Audit Engagement Letter (Discussion/Action Item). When the Town put out a request for
proposals for a three-year audit engagement in 2010 A.M Peisch & Company submitted the
lowest bid and their proposal was accepted. Fulton explained that if the total federal grant funds
received in any given fiscal year exceeds $500,000 the Town will be required to have a single
audit of those funds. There was some discussion regarding who requests the audit and Fulton
replied that the Town Manager is doing so. Moran questioned the proposed audit fee of $11,750
as high for what they are doing. Fulton responded that a forensic audit would run considerably
higher than $11,750. Fulton also pointed out that the Town is required to have an outside audit
due to eliminating the office of Town Auditor. After some further discussion, Cook moved (2nd
Flanders) to authorize the Town Manager to execute the Letter of Engagement with A.M Peisch &
Company for the FY12 audit including the single audit if required. Motion passed.
8. Amendment to Bargaining Unit Agreement (Discussion/Action Item). Fulton said the Building
Maintenance Custodian has petitioned to join Local 3797, AFSCME Council 93, AFL-CIO that
represents some of our Police and Public Works employees. His petition has been granted and a
MOA, negotiated by the previous town manager, has been agreed to by the Vermont AFSCME
Coordinator. After some background discussion and questions regarding portions of the MOA
which Fulton answered, Childs moved (2nd Moran) to authorize the Town Manager to execute the
Amendment to the Memorandum of Agreement between AFSCME Local 3797 and the Town of
Norwich Vermont. Motion passed.
9. License Plate Readers (Discussion Item). Fulton supplied the Board with a one-page sheet
showing the information he has gathered and listing the pluses and minuses from his perspective.
would assist an officer in locating violators and also with investigations. Minuses are: possibly
having to purchase a new unit at Town expense if the unit fails after the warranty period and
before the eight year commitment ends, LPRs collect and retain information in searchable
databases, he has not found any legislation that establishes any expectation of privacy for the
data collected and the information may be considered a public record. Flanders questioned their
usefulness. Chief Robinson responded that after research he has been told that alerts as to
violators, which include Amber alerts, average about five a day. After some further discussion,
Cook asked where the Town Manager stood. Fulton said he is leaning against it and is concerned
about privacy issues. Fulton believes there are other issues that deserve higher priority and that
the Town could look at this again when the laws have changed to protect information. Chief
Robinson repeated that he still feels this would be a great tool for his officers to have.
10. 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) #10 a), b), c), d), e), f), g) and h). Emails from Stan Williams, Mary Gorman, Ralph
Hybels, April Andrews, Lizann Peyton, Robyn Mosher, David Toomey and Len
Calandrella Re: License Plate Readers. Flanders moved (2nd Childs) to receive emails
from Stan Williams, Mary Gorman, Ralph Hybels, April Andrews, Lizann Peyton, Robyn
Mosher, David Toomey and Len Calandrella re: License Plate Readers. Motion
2) #10 i) and j). Emails from Jeff Goodrich and Nancy Hoggson Re: Selection of
Professional Services. Flanders moved (2nd Childs) to receive emails from Jeff
Goodrich and Nancy Hoggson re: selection of professional services. Motion passed.
Fulton said that he believed these two emails were addressed to him and as such he
had responded to them. Ashley thought that they should be received by the
Selectboard because the Board was copied on the emails. Ashley supports the choice
that was made as the best choice for rebuilding or replacing the Town Pool and that he
is comfortable with Fulton meeting with Goodrich and Hoggson to discuss.
a) Approval of the Minutes of the 4/25/12 Meeting. Cook asked for clarification on road width
and Fulton replied that the preferred road width is 20’ but that many existing Town roads
do not meet this criteria. Childs moved (2nd Flanders) to approve the minutes of the April
25, 2012 Selectboard meeting. Motion passed.
b) Trip Report – VLCT Selectboard Institute (Discussion). Flanders said the sessions he
attended covered: how to respond to a public records request, open meeting compliance,
internal controls, managing municipal highways and managing public records. Flanders
recommends: all Selectboard members obtain a copy of the VLCT Selectboard Handbook,
the Town Manager devise a public records form, review of email protocol among
Selectboard members, review of the State requirements for retention of records and look
into the Town’s financial holdings being in securitized accounts. Fulton said that the
current Selectboard procedures are based on the VLCT model and that Dechert has been
tasked with updating the records retention policy
c) Automatic Reply to Correspondence (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Ashley would like
to let people know when the Board received the correspondence and when it would be on
the agenda to be formally received. After some discussion, it was agreed the response
would be amended to indicate the Town Manager will communicate with the
correspondent if an additional response is needed. Flanders moved (2nd Moran) to
approve the automatic reply to correspondence as amended. Motion passed.
d) Selectboard Goals (Discussion/Action Item). Fulton has provided the Board with a chart
where they can rank the ten goals and also provided background information on the goals.
The Selectboard then ranked the goals. The first five were: adopt a capital improvement
program and review annually, review and adopt a charge for the strategic planning
committee, review Town Manager evaluation process, adopt updated Personnel Policies
and review outside agencies appropriation policy. It was agreed that the strategic
planning charge would be on the next meeting’s agenda. The capital improvement
program will need to wait for the Facilities Committee’s report in the fall. The Selectboard
also discussed the Town Manager review process and form. Fulton discussed his
morning meeting with Vital Communities Corporate Council and shared a chart on
strategic planning that came from that.
e) Review of Next Agenda (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Strategic planning and
background material prepared by the Town Manager will be on the next meeting’s agenda.
After discussion, it was agreed by consensus that the next meeting’s format would be
similar to the budget meetings held in the fall. Public comment on strategic planning will
be placed after the Board discussion.
Cook moved (2nd Moran) to adjourn. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:31 pm.
Approved by the Selectboard on June 13, 2012.
By Nancy Kramer
Assistant to the Town Manager
Next Regular Meeting – May 23, 2012 at 6:30 PM
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