Minutes of the Selectboard Meeting of Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 6:30 PM
Members present: Christopher Ashley, Chair; Ed Childs; Linda Cook; Steve Flanders; Keith
Moran; Phil Dechert, Acting Town Manager; Nancy Kramer, Assistant to the Town Manager.
Absent: Neil Fulton, Town Manager.
There were about 8 people in the audience.
Also participating: Sarah Bibeau, Dominica Borg, Jenna Borg, Debby Hall.
Ashley opened the meeting at 6:30 pm.
1. Approval of Agenda (Action Item). By consensus, the Selectboard approved the Agenda.
2. Public Comments. Dominica Borg complimented the Board on the seeming openness of Town
3. Finance – Board to Sign Accounts Payable/Warrants (Action Item). After some discussion,
Childs moved (2nd Flanders) to approve Check Warrant Report #13-11 for General Fund in the
amount of $94,284.74, for Land Management Council Fund in the amount of $494.50, for
Communications Study Fund in the amount of $230 and for the DPW Paving Fund in the amount
of $275,000 for the period from 9/26/12 to 10/10/12. Motion passed. Flanders moved (2nd
Moran) to approve Accounts Payable Warrant #13-10 dated October 2, 2012 in the amount of
$2,353.52. Motion passed.
4. Waiver under Section 6 of the Alcohol Ordinance for the Spring Gala from the Norwich
Women’s Club (Discussion/Action Item). Hall, on behalf of the Norwich Women’s Club, said that
last year’s Gala was very successful and therefore they wished to again serve wine and beer at
this year’s Spring Gala. After minimal discussion, Flanders moved (2nd Childs) to approve a
waiver in accordance with Section 6 of “An Ordinance to Regulate the Possession and
Consumption of Alcohol on Town of Norwich Property” (Ordinance) to allow the possession and
consumption of alcohol in accordance with the Ordinance at the Spring Galla to be held on
March 15, 2013 in Tracy Hall. Motion passed.
5. Interview/Appoint Mary Fowler to Finance Committee (Discussion/Action Item). Ashley said
that Fowler had let him know that she was unable to attend tonight’s meeting due to a conflicting
appointment. Fowler has fully resolved her misunderstandings and is looking forward to working
with the Finance Committee. The Selectboard briefly discussed Fowler’s status of not being a tax-
payer in Norwich. Moran said he would have preferred the opportunity to further interview Fowler
before she was appointed. After some discussion, Flanders moved (2nd Childs) to appoint Mary
Fowler to the Finance Committee for a two-year term ending in March, 2014. Motion passed 4 to
1 (yes – Ashley, Childs, Flanders and Cook; no - Moran).
6. Strategic Planning (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Ashley recounted that the Board had
decided at their September 25th meeting not to narrow the goals before soliciting input from
townspeople. Flanders favors having a public forum to help develop and validate ideas. Flanders
reviewed his draft PowerPoint presentation of proposed strategic ideas against Fulton’s listing of
the individual members focus points and summarized several omissions that could be included in
the PowerPoint presentation. These include Connecticut River access points, natural resources,
environmental stewardship and common gathering places for building community. Moran spoke
about tactical versus strategic ideas and recommended including addressing the sustainability of
growing financial costs in the strategic plan. Board members concurred that financial
considerations be included as an additional topic in the presentation. Cook recommended
including the Strategic Planning Committee charge, approved by a previous Selectboard in
7/11/07. Cook advocated that the Board guide the process by defining what kind of Town it wants
to see. The Selectboard then discussed how to proceed with getting public input. Ideas
considered were: using Town Eating Day, reaching out to other Town groups and using the
Norwich Digest. Cook went back to the charge stating she does not see a vision and wants the
Board to clarify why we are doing this and what we are looking for. After some further discussion,
Ashley appointed Flanders and Cook to an Ad-Hoc Selectboard Subcommittee on Strategic
Planning to work on the process. Dechert pointed out that other groups are already working on
some things and suggested having representatives from these groups come to Selectboard
meetings and discuss what their group is doing. Two Hanover High School students who were
present, Sarah Bibeau and Jenna Borg, asked questions regarding strategic planning and the process
and what happens to the plans once made. Ashley briefly reviewed the strategic planning process
and Cook explained that future Selectboards are not compelled to follow through with this
Selectboard’s strategies but that parts of studies done in the past have been followed. Cook
suggested that the students could bring a discussion of strategic planning topics before their class
and update the Board on what was suggested by their fellow students. The Ad-Hoc Committee
will prepare discussion documents for the next Selectboard meeting on strategic planning.
7. 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) #7 a) and b). Memo from Norwich Planning Commission Re: Communications Tower and
Email from William Lyons Resigning as an Alternate to the Development Review Board.
Childs moved (2nd Flanders) to receive a memo from the Norwich Planning Commission
re: communications tower and an email from William Lyons resigning as an Alternate to
the Development Review Board. Motion passed. Dechert reviewed the memo from the
Planning Commission saying that there is a lack of understanding on peoples part of the
financial ramifications and loss of service of delaying the communications project. The
Board would like to see the information Fulton provided them put out to the public. The
Selectboard accepted with regret Lyons resignation. The open position will be advertised.
a) Review Selectboard Town Report Submission (Discussion/Possible Action Item). After
making changes to two paragraphs the Board approved the submission as amended.
b) Approval of the Minutes of the 9/25/12 Meeting. After making sure Flanders suggested
changes had been made, Childs moved (2nd Flanders) to approve the minutes of the
September 25, 2012 Selectboard meeting. Motion passed.
c) Review of Next Agenda (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Items on the agenda for the
October 24th meeting will include strategic planning, a fact sheet from the Town Manager
on the tower and a review of Town Manager/Selectboard objectives and goals.
d) Litigation and Personnel (Executive Session may be Required). Pursuant to Title 1 VSA §
313(a)(1) and § 313(a)(3), Flanders moved (2nd Moran) to enter into Executive Session for
the purpose of discussing litigation and personnel and to invite Phil Dechert to join the
Session for the portion dealing with litigation. Motion passed. The Selectboard moved
into Executive Session at 7:43 pm.
At 8:51 pm the Selectboard moved into public session. No action was taken as a result of the
Moran moved (2nd Cook) to adjourn. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:52 pm.
Approved by the Selectboard on October 24, 2012.
By Nancy Kramer
Assistant to the Town Manager
Next Regular Meeting – October 24, 2012 at 6:30 PM
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