Unpacking The Selectboard Packet for 2/13
The Selectboard meets on Wednesday, February 13, the next to last meeting before Town Meeting. The full agenda is below. Here are some things I found of interest in the Selectboard packet.
2. Marion Cross School 5th Graders’ Presentation re: Recycling (Discussion)
No materials in the packet. Prior Selectboard correspondence suggests a discussion, in part, about whether the Transfer Station should begin accepting plastic bags as part of its recycling program.
4. Paper Communications Sent to All of Norwich (Discussion/Action)
In the past, Selectboard member Linda Cook has urged the Town to communicate with residents via handouts and U.S. Mail, on the premise that not everyone has a computer or reads the listserv. The letter in the packet suggests a “Selectboard Corner” in the print edition of the Norwich Times.
5. Consent Agenda (Action)
iii. Stuart Richards
Norwich Affordable Housing Inc. wants to tap the Town’s Affordable Housing Fund for engineering studies and a deposit on a property that the non-profit has identified as a site for six, possibly ten units of affordable housing. The Affordable Housing Fund was reestablished by voters in November, 2018. No guidelines have yet been set for using the Fund, although the issue has been around since August. See Affordable Housing Fund Article: Lacks Details.
9. VLCT Self Governance Pilot Project (Discussion/Action)
The Vermont League of Cities and Town (VLCT) would like to see passage of legislation that would establish a pilot program allowing some municipalities to exercise home rule authority. Vermont is a strict Dillon’s Rule state. Towns may do only what they are permitted to do by State statute. See The Switchel Philosopher, Dillon’s Rule. In contrast, under home rule, a town can do anything not prohibited by state or federal law.
10. Approve Certificate of Highway Mileage (Action)
Norwich has 94.137 miles of Class 2 and 3 and State Highways. That is the same as last year. It has no Class 1 Highways. The Certificate of Highway Mileage is used to determine the town's share of state aid for town highways.
12. Union Negotiations –possible executive session (Discussion/Action)
No materials in the packet. As of late January, the first substantive negotiating session with the union is scheduled for February 20. The union represents DPW workers and police officers. However, in the past, the Town gave the same health insurance benefits to nonunion workers, as it negotiated with the union.