I just want to flag this section of last week's SB meeting:
Town Manager Evaluation Process (Discussion)//Town Manager Contract (Discussion)
Cook said that she favored a special meeting the week of July 29th to discuss the Town Manager evaluation process. Layton said that this could be a very positive exercise. Flanders said that he saw no need for a Special Meeting. Fulton said that he feels no need for a contract, but that since the subject has become a source of contention, he would be willing to discuss a contract based on the template used for Pete Webster’s contract. Layton moved (2nd Goulet) to postpose items 14(b) and 14(c) to a Special Selectboard Meeting on July 29th based on the availability of the room. Motion passed 3-2 (yes — Cook, Goulet, Layton; no—Ashley, Flanders)
Last month, the Vermont League of Citites and Towns attorneys provided a really good overview of the roles and duties of Town Manager and Selectboard under Vermont law. VLCT shared model Town Manager annual performance review forms and spoke at length about the legal significance of contracts for Town Managers. Last week, as you can read above, the SB narrowly approved a special meeting to dig into these documents more deeply.
I think I understand why this was a 3-2 vote and, given the strong feelings on all sides, I'm not going to fault anyone for voting as they did. Instead, I'd like to highlight our Town Manager's offer to negotiate a contract based on the format used with past TM's as a way to resolve this controversy. The simple fact is Vermont law governing TM contracts unexpectedly changed with the StJ case earlier this year. No one could have anticipated this change when Neil Fulton was hired so the responsible thing to do is return us to a contract relationship for everyone's protection. I hope all five SB members will embrace that offer, put aside recriminations and suspicions, and get this done for the good of the Town.