Select Board Agenda and Minutes

Date:  Thursday January 12, 2017 (01/12/17)

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Select Board Agenda
Martin Memorial Hall

5259 Route 5, Ascutney, VT

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

7:00 P.M.

Special Meeting

1. Call to Order

2. Comments from Select Board and Town Manager

3. Budget Review

4. Future Meeting Agenda Items

     A. 01/16/2017

          - Aging In Place

     B. Future Agendas

          Act 148 Universal Recycling, Mary O’Brien and Ham Gillett

          Town Manager Annual Evaluation

         Hazmat Ordinance

         Transfer Station

         Quarry Road Count Compared to Other Road Counts

10. Adjourn


Select Board
Martin Memorial Hall
5259 Route 5, Ascutney VT
Thursday, January 12, 2017
7:00 PM

APPROVED 2/6/2017

Select Board Members Present: Daniel Boyer
C. Peter Cole (by telephone)
Lynn Esty
Amy Beth Main
Kelly Murphy

Select Board Members Absent:

Ed Morris, Town Manager

Others Present:
Nancy Heatley Bonnie DuPrey Charles Horton Wes Hazeltine
Cynthia Porter Wanda Gropler Colin Butler

1. Call to Order
Mr. Boyer called the meeting to order at 7:03 PM.

2. Comments from Select Board and Town Manager
Mrs. Esty said she had been notified of the library's annual Town Challenge scheduled for April 8, 2017 and asked the board if they were going to form a team for it.

3. Budget Review
Mr. Horton said that it was unfair that the town employees are slated to get a 4% raise in this budget when he himself is only getting a 0.02% cost of living raise from Social Security. He said the employees should only get a cost of living increase and no more. He said that many people in Weathersfield are living on fixed incomes and are being driven out of town by relentless tax increases.

Mr. Morris said that last year the employees received a 0% increase and were asked to contribute to their insurance premiums, so they ended up with a 2% decrease in income. The year before, they received a 1.7% increase.

Mr. Morris said the towns surrounding us and the Weathersfield school have given their employees 4-6% raises over the last two years.
There followed much discussion about employee pay raises and trying to catch up on funding for the fire departments and the reserves all at once. It was agreed that things can't be righted in one budget year, but that it will take several years to make up for spending reserves and surpluses unwisely.

Mr. Morris suggested a compromise of using some of the general fund surplus to offset the employee pay raises and putting the remainder into the reserves. The board agreed with the idea.

The board then turned to a line-byline-review of the budgets.

The board agreed to forgo their stipend increase ($100).

It was agreed to delete the website overhaul ($8500).

The consensus of the board was to leave in the 4% raise for all employees, with a 6% raise for Mr. Butler and Officer Muldoon.

No other changes were made to the general or highway funds.

The swap shop was again discussed and how it is costing an estimated $27,000 a year to keep open. However, no decision was made to close it or staff it.

At 9:00 PM, the board agreed to continue.

Motion: To continue the meeting to 9:30 PM.
Made by: Ms. Murphy Second: Mrs. Esty
Vote: Unanimous in favor

Mr. Cole left the meeting at this point.

The board reviewed the articles on the warning.

Article 6 will have to be voted on the floor because it does not involve a direct expenditure of money, even though it was felt that it would reach more voters if it was done by Australian ballot.

By 9:30 PM, discussion on the reserves was incomplete.

Motion: To continue the meeting for another 30 minutes.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: None.

The motion died for lack of a second.

It was agreed that the budget could be finalized at the next meeting.

4. Future Meeting Agenda Items

5. Adjourn
Motion: To adjourn the meeting
Made by: Ms. Main Second: Ms. Murphy
Vote: Mrs. Esty objected; all others voted in favor

The meeting adjourned at 9:35 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
deForest Bearse

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