Questions raised at Selectboard Meetings

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According to the Vermont Statutes, the elected town auditors must prepare and distribute the annual report. 24 V.S.A. §§ 1681, 1682(a). Unless the town has voted to eliminate the office of elected auditor, hiring a professional accountant will not relieve the elected auditors of their statutory responsibilities. 24 V.S.A. § 1691. However, it is rarely necessary for the elected auditors to duplicate the professional accountant’s work. Instead, the elected auditors can use the results of the professional audit in formulating their audit report to the town voters. See Annual Auditors’ Report FAQs.

The Selectboard has not changed the prescribed role of the elected Town Auditors.

No. The selectboard can choose to hire a CPA for an audit any year by its own discretion.Citizens cannot force certain authorizations on the town. The SB may grant authorization to other community bodies.

Following from the Minutes of the 10.12.22 Selectboard Meeting:

Reallocation of Funds: VT Bond Bank loan; legal fees (5 minutes)
In attending to the budgetary health of the Town a number of issues have come to light in the past weeks. The final payment of the principal on the $195K bond fund was not included in the FY2023 budget approved by residents. **The board needs to determine the source of funds for the amount owed: $19,793.28. The Vermont Bond Bank counseled that the Town may apply any balance in the fund to the final payment. Doing so would reduce funds available to cover the cost of a project approved by the voters, which also meets the terms of the Fund to $175,206.72.
ACTION: Zon moved that the SB approve the use of the bond principal to pay down the remaining amount owed on the loan, contingent on confirming that the use of the funds in this way is allowed by Vermont law. Richard seconded. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.

**In fact, $24,500 was budgeted for “transfer to Waterline Fund'' and had been for the past 10 years. However, it wasn’t until after this meeting that the professional auditors confirmed that the Waterline Fund transfer was, in fact, for paying the Vermont Bond Bank principal plus interest.

Heretofore the dots had not been connected by current or prior selectboards, finance advisory committee members, and town office staff.

Following from the Minutes of the 10.12.22 Selectboard Meeting
Appointment of Assistant Treasurer 5 minutes

Zon explained that the above discussion (related to budgets and legal fees) is indicative of a number of financial issues that Guilford has worked to resolve over the past months. He noted that Penny is retiring from both Clerk and Treasurer positions in March 2023. In consideration of her recommendation to the SB to appoint a qualified treasurer following her retirement, he stated that it’s in the best interest of the SB to consider how to act on her recommendation, and to determine how to recruit an appropriate candidate who can take on the Treasurer responsibility. Penny’s statement in the forthcoming Gazette reads: “the underlying fundamentals and challenges of municipal finances have become increasingly complex. That trend will probably continue. Guilford needs a Treasurer with expertise in municipal accounting and finances. To that end, I feel that appointing a qualified Treasurer would be the best course of action for Guilford.”   

ACTION: Richard moved to put the question of appointing a treasurer on the March 2023 Town Meeting Warrant on the ballot. Rusty seconded. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.

ACTION: Zon moved that Penny and Sheila, in consultation with VLCT, draft a Treasurer job description for Selectboard review, whereby the Town treasurer could appoint an interim treasurer. Michael seconded. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.

Best practices have been followed: Job description created, job posted repeatedly, interviews conducted, approval by Town Clerk of the process, and appointment of the Selectboard’s preferred candidate – Elly Majonen.

A resident asked for someone from the farming community to be appointed. That
information has been shared with the Chair of the Planning Commission.

$10,000,000 per incident

Please visit the Selectboard page to read current minutes.