MINUTES

COLCHESTER SELECTBOARD MEETING

DECEMBER 9, 2014, 5:45 P.M.

MEETING HOUSE, 830 MAIN ST. COLCHESTER, VT

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1.      CALL TO ORDER 

Herbert Downing called the meeting to order at 5:45 p.m.

          

2.      ROLL CALL

SELECTBOARD: Nadine Scibek, Chair (who arrived at 6:00 p.m.); Herbert Downing; Marc Landry; Tom Mulcahy; and Jeffrey Bartley.

ADMINISTRATION: Dawn H. Francis, Town Manager; Aaron Frank, Assistant Town Manager and CFO; Kathi Walker O’Reilly, Chief Jennifer Morrison.

OTHERS IN ATTENDANCE: Jim Condon, Joey Purvis,  Maureen P. Dakin, Larry Waters, Eben Wolcott, Officer Jeremy Wyskiel, Dick Mazza, Curt Taylor, Pam Loranger, Bianca Rousseau, Moe Germaine, Sgt. James Roy, Officer Jack Lehneman, Mike Rogers, Lincoln White, Lindsey Cox, Craig Kieny, Lindsey Cox, Mike Rogers, Lincoln White.

 

3.      EXECUTIVE SESSION

At 5:46 MOTION was made by Tom Mulcahy and SECONDED by  Marc Landry to find that premature general public knowledge of the Town’s contract with CPOA would clearly place the Selectboard at a substantial disadvantage because the Selectboard risks disclosing its negotiation strategy if it discusses the proposed contract terms in public.

The MOTION carried 4-0.

 

MOTION was made by Tom Mulcahy and SECONDED by Marc Landry that the Selectboard enter into executive session to discuss the Town’s contract with CPOA under the provisions of  Title 1, Section 313(a)(1)(A) of the Vermont Statutes, Executive Sessions.  

The MOTION carried 4-0.

 

Nadine Scibek arrived at 6:00 p.m. and joined the executive session.

 

At 6:27 p.m. MOTION was made by Herbert Downing and SECONDED by Jeffrey Bartley to exit executive session.

The MOTION carried 5-0.

 

4.      PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE –

Chair Scibek led the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

5.      RECOGNITION OF COLCHESTER POLICE OFFICERS

Tom Mulcahy read the Resolutions of Appreciation for Patrol Officer Jack Lehneman and Sergeant James Roy for rescue of Colchester residents in a house fire.

MOTION was made by Tom Mulcahy and SECONDED by Jeffrey Bartley to adopt the Resolutions of Appreciation for Officer Lehneman and Sergeant Roy.

The MOTION carried 5-0

 

6.      CITIZENS TO BE HEARD –

None

 

7.      CONSENT AGENDA

a. Minutes of December 1, 2014

MOTION was made by Tom Mulcahy and SECONDED by Jeffrey Bartley to approve the Minutes of December 1, 2014.

The MOTION carried 5-0.

 

8.      JOINT MEETING WITH COLCHESTER SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD AND LEGISLATORS

a. Action: Education Reform Joint Resolution   

In addition to School Board members, Mike Rogers, Lincoln White, Lindsey Cox and Craig Kieny, State Representatives Jim Condon, Richard Mazza, Maureen Dakin and Joey Purvis were in attendance, as well as Superintendent Larry Waters. Tom Mulcahy provided background of the resolution being proposed as a result of a statewide meeting of local municipal and school officials. Representative Condon outlined a previous bill he had sponsored to address need for education finance reform.

MOTION was made by Tom Mulcahy and SECONDED by Jeffrey Bartley to adopt the Joint Resolution for Sustainable Education Funding Reform in Vermont.

The MOTION carried 5-0. The resolution had been previously approved by the Colchester School Board at a prior meeting.

 

b. Discussion of Community Priorities

Education reform, (including ideas to address the rising costs such as consolidation, changes to income sensitivity, student/teacher ratios, less mandates, etc.) property taxes, Charter changes, facility consolidation and enabling shared services were items reviewed for prioritization. Legislative priorities were listed as education funding/property taxes, health care and budget issues.

 

9.      SPECIAL BUSINESS ITEMS

a. Action-Delay or Warn Local Option Tax Public Hearing (2 options)

Town Manager Dawn Francis recommended option 1 (delay action) in order to allow more stakeholder input to refine the proposed use of the LOT as well as to gain more support of the proposal. She also expressed concern about the proposal being debated while trying to gain budget approval.

 

Herb Downing felt the issue has long been discussed and researched well by the staff and we needed to get the community’s opinion on the matter.

MOTION made by Herb Downing and SECONDED by Marc Landry to adopt Option 2 as follows:

 

OPTION 2: The Colchester Selectboard votes to warn the following proposed language for two required public hearings on January 13, 2015 and January 27, 2015, as well as an informational meeting closer to Town Meeting.

 

Shall the Town of Colchester amend its Charter to add Section 703, to allow the annual assessment of a one-percent (1%) Local Option sales, rooms, meals, and alcoholic beverages tax, the proceeds of which shall be used to pay general fund debt on voter approved bonds or notes of the Town, effective 7/1/15, pending approval of the Charter change by the Legislature?

 

Another MOTION was made by Tom Mulcahy and SECONDED by Jeffrey Bartley as follows:

OPTION 1: The Colchester Selectboard moves to delay consideration of the Local Option Tax to a possible vote in May or October of 2015 to allow the staff, a Selectboard  representative and other stakeholders to gain consensus on the use of the LOT for reducing debt as well as establishing a reserve fund to fund debt on future longer range capital projects to be approved by the voters.

 

MOTION for OPTION 2 carried 3-2, with Scibek, Downing and Landry supporting and Bartley and Mulcahy opposed. No action was taken on the Motion for Option 1.

 

b. Action: Management Presentation of FY 16 Budget and Adoption of Warning for Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Hearing

 

Town Manager Dawn Francis described the budget proposal as a no frills, no new initiatives, no added positions plan. The Department Heads and ATM/CFO were to be commended for holding the line and while they identified unmet needs, particularly staffing needs, they were willing to make do. Francis noted the department heads work long hours and the organization was under stress due to a lack of staffing. She also noted cost containment measures in IT/Communications, shared services such as dispatching and equipment, renegotiated contracts and grants to cover overhead costs and restructuring and sharing of positions had been undertaken. ATM/CFO Aaron Frank provided an overview of the budget via a power point.

MOTION was made by Tom Mulcahy and SECONDED by Herbert Downing to Warn a Public Hearing on January 13, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Meeting House on Main Street to hear comments on the Fiscal Year 2016 Municipal Budget.

The MOTION carried 5-0.

 

c.  Action: Water Quality Resolution

MOTION was made by Tom Mulcahy and SECONDED by Herbert Downing to adopt the Resolution for Watershed Protection.

The MOTION carried 5-0.

 

10.    TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT FOR NOVEMBER 2014 –

Dawn H. Francis

 

11.    NEW BUSINESS

a. Action: Disposition of Evinrude Outboard Motors  

This item was dropped and will be taken up at January 13, 2015 meeting.

 

b. Selectboard Town Report –Review of Draft

MOTION was made by Tom Mulcahy and SECONDED by Herbert Downing to approve the Selectboard Annual Town Report for 2013-2014.

The MOTION carried 5-0.

 

c.  Action: Authorize Town Manager to Pay Outstanding Bills Due End of December

MOTION was made by Tom Mulcahy and SECONDED by Marc Landry to authorize Dawn H. Francis, Town Manager, to pay outstanding bills due at the end of December, due to cancellation of the December 23, 2014 Selectboard meeting.

The MOTION carried 5-0.

 

12.    ADDITIONAL BUSINESS – Manager’s Recommendations –

None

 

13.    INFORMATIONAL ITEMS

a. Informational items for the week ending December 5, 2014

 

14.    FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS

    December 23, 2014

·         Meeting cancelled

 

January 13, 2015

·         Public hearing on FY16 proposed budget

·         First Public Hearing on proposed Local Option Tax

·         Audit Presentation and Management Discussion

 

January 27, 2015

·         Selectboard Approves and Warns Final FY16 Budget

·         Approve Warning for Town Meeting

·         Second public hearing on proposed Local Option Tax

 

15.    ANNOUNCEMENTS

1.   The Employee Holiday Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 from noon to 2 p.m.

2.   Petitions are due to the Clerk’s Office by January 26, 2015.

3.   Remax is collecting for the  Colchester Food Shelf again this year.

4.   Two new Colchester businesses: Mountain Trail Cross Fit and BIA Diagnostics (food testing).

5.   Colchester received a New Town Center renewal from the State of Vermont Downtown Board.

 

16.    APPROVAL OF WARRANTS

a.     Action: Warrants #15-16 and 15-17

MOTION was made by Tom Mulcahy and SECONDED by Marc Landry to approve Warrant #15-16 in the amount of $686,904.22 and Warrant #15-17 in the amount of $265,750.64.

 

17.    ADJOURNMENT

At 8:59 p.m. MOTION was made by Tom Mulcahy and SECONDED by Marc Landry to adjourn the meeting.

The MOTION carried 5-0.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

 

Minutes respectfully submitted by Linda Kingston, recording secretary.

 

 

 

 

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