Select Board Agenda and Minutes

Date:  Thursday January 18, 2018 (01/18/18)

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Select Board Agenda

Martin Memorial Hall

5259 Route 5

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

5:30 P.M.



1. Call to Order

2. Re-Approve General Fund Budget

  • At the meeting last Monday, we approved a General Fund (GF) Expenditure of $1,356,570 which was the GF expenditure without the library appropriation added in. The correct GF total expenditure should have been $1,485,018. The amount to be raised by taxes ($1,057,805) will not change.

3. Review and approve Annual Meeting Warning

  • The change that needs to be made is to Article # 4 correcting the GF total expenditure.

4. Adjourn

Town of Weathersfield
Select Board
Martin Memorial Hall
Route 5, Ascutney, Vermont
Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 5:30pm


Select Board Members Present: Dan Boyer, Peter Cole (by phone), Tom Leach, AmyBeth Main, and Kelly Murphy

Town Staff Present: Ed Morris, Town Manager; Darlene Kelly, Financial Director

Community Members Present: Charlie Horton, Wanda Gropler, Bonnie Duprey

Ms. Murphy called meeting to order at 5:41PM.

Ms. Murphy opened the meeting asking Mr. Morris to explain the reason for the special meeting.
Ed Morris, Town Manager, explained the need for re-approval of general fund budget because the wrong number was taken Monday night. The stated number did not include the library appropriation in the general fund. General fund total expense on tax rate calculations sheet needs to be $1,485,018.
Did not change the rate for taxes, just changed the amount to written in Article 5 of the Warning.
Mr. Cole was dialed into the meeting. Mr. Morris provided further clarification.
Motion: To approve general fund Article of $1,485,018.00, with the total to be raised by taxes to be $1,057,805.00; Made by: Dan Boyer Second: Tom Leach. Motion passed: 4-1, with Ms. Main opposing.

Mr. Morris stated that Article 2 of the warning was added, following a call from the Vermont State Grange Association seeking a property tax exemption. Motion: To approve the warning for annual town meeting to include the property tax exception Vermont State Grange, located at Map No. 07, Block No. 02, Parcel No. 53.00 for a period of five years. Made by Mr. Boyer Second: Mr. Cole. Motion passed 5-0.

Ms. Murphy received an email from Nancy Nutile-McMenemy asking why the town manager was at the library budget meeting on December 11, 2017. She wasn’t sure she’d be able to make the meeting and wanted to relay the question. Ms. Murphy encouraged Ms. Nutile-McMenemy in a reply to have the discussion with Mr. Morris, if she couldn’t attend. Ms. Murphy remains confused by the question, considering Ms. Nutille-McEnemy was present, as a library trustee, at the meeting she is questioning. Ms. Main brought the same question of his attendance to Ms. Murphy.
Mr. Morris explained that he was approached by the library director, who was hired under an agreement between the director and the library trustees, that he would do the job for two years at the lower rate of compensation, but after two years he would not continue the position for less than $45,000 per year. Mr. Morris met with Library Trustee Chair Roderick Bates, at which time they discussed finances and Mr. Morris’s draft compensation model for town employees. Mr. Morris talked with the library director to inquire if it would be acceptable to split the increase into two increases over a two year span, at which point Mr. Richards stated he could not continue unless his compensation was at the $45,000 amount. Mr. Morris returned to discussions with Mr. Bates at which time Mr. Bates requested Mr. Morris to come to the library trustees meeting.

Mr. Morris attended the December 11th library trustee meeting at which time finances were discussed. Mr. Morris’ purpose in attendance was to supply numbers, explain how insurance and heating would be impacted by the expansion, and shared the draft compensation plan he was presenting to the select board. The request for Mr. Morris’s involvement was to help the library process and how Mr. Richards could be potentially utilized for additional town purposes, such as a newsletter. The library trustees were responsible for any budgeting decisions to be presented to the select board for inclusion in the general fund budget.

Ms. Main asked how the current library director job descriptions is impacted by this inclusion of additional duties discussed as potential options. Mr. Morris explained this increases the hours worked from 32 to 40, not just the salary increases. It is at the discretion of the library trustees how the job description will change. Mr. Morris stated he would like the library director to begin attending the department head meetings, which include the police chief and highway superintendent.

Ms. Murphy stated there is an obvious breakdown in communication between the Library trustees and their Chair as to why Mr. Morris was at the meeting. Ms. Murphy referenced Library minutes that were attached to Ms. Nutile-McMenemy’s email for that meeting, and while they legally compile with State requirements, the minutes lack details explaining the budget discussions. The minutes included in last Monday’s Select Board meeting were also void of details, only detailing the actual motion. Ms. Murphy stated her own opinion that if the select board has no authority over the actual budget of the library, due to the Hartford legal outcome, then the town manager should not be advocating for library components that affect the budget. Mr. Morris stated he provided a VLTC study for the library director compensation, in which it was found that comparable library directors in the area earn around $50,000. Mr. Morris stated he was not advocating a decision one way or another, just provided his findings. Ms. Main noted these facts are not represented in any of the library minutes on December 11th.

Ms. Murphy stated there is a need for ongoing transparency in communication to the community.

Motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:06pm. Made by: Mr. Boyer Second: Mr. Leach

Respectfully submitted,
Amy Beth Main, Board Clerk

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