GUILFORD SELECTBOARD MEETING
Monday, 12 December 2022, 6:30 pm, 236 School Road, Guilford, VT
SELECTBOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Zon Eastes, Chair, Michael Becker, Rusty Marine (via Zoom), Verandah Porche, Richard Wizansky
OFFICIALS/ STAFF PRESENT: Sheila Morse (Asst. Town Administrator), Dan Zumbruski (Road Commissioner)
PRESENT in person: Peter Kelleher (BCTV), Steve Lembke, JamieDurham, Kyle Parker
PRESENT via Zoom: Cynthia Clark, Anna Klein, Corey Frehsee (Stevens and Associate), Reagan Anderson, Barry Aleshnik, John Shaw, Jeff Woodward, Marty Ramsburg, Frank Larkin, Jim and Pat Haine, Shaun Murphy, Olga Peters, Rick Zamore, Sheila Adams, Jeannette Tokarz, Nancy Detra
I. Call to Order at 6:30 p.m. (Estimated Time)
II. Welcoming of Public – Community Comment Period (10 minutes)
- a. Reagan Anderson: Guilford Folk Learning Connections, a group whose goal is connecting people in the community to share skills and friendship, is hosting a Saturday 12.17 gathering and a cookie potluck at the Library from 1:30 to 4 pm to brainstorm ideas for the future. Past and ongoing initiatives include a winter penpal project for the town.
- b. John Shaw noted the Library has a program Tuesday, 12/13 from 5:30 for stargazing. People will meet at the Playscape to view the Geminid meteor showers. This is an opportunity to wonder together!
III. Changes to Agenda Order (2 minutes) NONE
IV. Approval of Minutes (2 minutes)
- a. Minutes of the regular meeting of 11.28.22 and the special meeting of 12.8.22
- a. ACTION: Michael moved and Richard seconded to approve the minutes of the meeting of 11.28.22 as written. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.
- b. ACTION: Verandah moved and Richard seconded to approve the minutes of the Special Selectboard meeting of 12.8.22. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.
V. Updates & Reports
- a. Highway (5 minutes)
- i. Dan reported that the crew handled Sunday night’s snowstorm pretty well although there was more snow than anticipated. This year they will not chase storms, but will wait as much as possible for a storm to end to do a “one and done” sweep. Will start using and re-filling sand and salt sheds. Our new hire worked a plow for the first time and was cautious and successful.
VI. Old Business
- a. Legal Issues (5 minutes)
- i. ACTION: Zon moved to vote to not reconsider Mr. Herron’s October 5, 2022 allegation as requested in his November 30, 2022 submittal, and to officially sign the response letter sent to Mr. Herron after the 12.8.22 Special Selectboard meeting. Richard seconded. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.
- ii. Zon spoke to these continuing issues:
- 1. We are anticipating increasing our legal fee budget from $2,500 in FY2022 to $5,000 in FY2023 and up to $50,000 in FY2024 . The reason for this substantial increase is that dealing with Mr. Herron’s appeal to the VT Supreme Court will incur a huge expense to the town.
- 2. We are dealing with Public Record Requests, Open Meeting Law violation allegations, and a lawsuit. None of these repetitious claims can be handled without the advice of the town’s attorneys. They come primarily from one source.
- 3. There is a remarkable amount of repetition ( “res judicata” says that once a decision has been made it will not be reconsidered”) that should be acknowledged by the community as it is being done by the SB. We are being badgered.
- 4. The Selectboard does take these issues seriously, scrutinizing each carefully with our attorneys to make sure we’re not leaving any stone unturned. There have been comments from some community members suggesting that we may not be taking these issues seriously. That is not true.
- 5. We are learning that this situation is not being addressed out of a concern for Guilford’s health, as claimed by the accuser.
- 6. Zon reminded attendees that the meeting is open to comments only during motions, not in response to remarks.
VII. New Business
- a. Housing needs, Jethro Eaton (8 minutes) – TABLED
- b. ARPA Advisory Committee report (8 minutes)
- i. Zon sincerely thanked the committee for coming together as strangers and coalescing as a group that worked extremely well together. He noted that the group consulted with Katie Buckley, Director Federal Funding Assistance Program at VLCT. Katie asked permission to use this report as a model statewide for how to work with the committee! High praise from VLCT’s ARPA Director.
- ii. Jamie outlined the three phases of the process, and the project categories and priorities in the report. She emphasized the importance of leveraging the ARPA dollars, specifically with matching grants.
- iii. ACTION: Michael moved and Verandah seconded that the SB accept the report as written. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried. The report will be posted on the website. Verandah said if there were an award for community service and working with exemplary collaboration this committee would receive it.
- iv. Next steps: SB will consider the committee recommendations and make decisions based on the report. The report does not now include any actions. Verandah moved and Rusty seconded that Michael and Richard serve as a sub-committee to thoroughly review and report back to the SB with recommendations regarding projects and expenditures.
- c. Internet Technology security (3 minutes)
- i. Sheila described the need for an IT survey and the content of the RFP.
- ii. ACTION: Richard moved and Michael seconded to approve issuing the RFP for an IT consultant. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.
- iii. The RFP will be paid for out of the Technical Support line or the general reserve fund if the website improvement contract is not paid for out of ARPA funds
VIII. Finance Warrants
a. ACTION: Verandah moved and Zon seconded to pay the following warrants. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried. (5 minutes)
|Payroll – WE 12/04/22||$7,220.97|
|Payroll – WE 12/11/22||$6,322.26|
|Expense Warrant #2211||$21,817.17|
IX. Other Business – NONE
X. Communications (2 minutes)
- a. SEVCA – letter of appreciation for Guilford’s appropriation.
- b. Guilford resident- concern regarding civility in meeting dynamics.
I. Executive Session to discuss personnel issues per 1 V.S.A. § 313 (a)(3) to discuss the appointment or employment or evaluation of a public officer or employee.
a. ACTION: Zon moved to enter executive session to discuss personnel issues per 1 V.S.A. § 313 (a)(3) to discuss the appointment or employment or evaluation of a public officer or employee and to invite Sheila Morse to participate. Michael seconded. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.
b. ACTION: Zon moved to exit Executive Session at 7:52 pm. Richard seconded. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.
c. ACTION: Zon moved to approve bonuses for staff as discussed, noting that the Board is responding to a world where there are a lot of pressures and stresses. Richard seconded. Zon, Michael, Richard, and Verandah were in favor. Rusty abstained. None were opposed. Motion carried.
d. Sheila will send notes advising staff about the bonus prior to the year’s end, as checks will not be distributed until 12.29.
II. Actions from Previous Meeting – NONE
XI. Action Taken see above
XII. Actions to be Taken
a. ACTION: Richard moved to adjourn and Michael seconded. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.
XIV. The meeting was adjourned at 7 59 p.m.
Next Selectboard Meeting: Monday, December 28, 2022 at 6:30 pm
Zon Eastes, Chair _____________________________________
Michael Becker _____________________________________
Rusty Marine _____________________________________
Verandah Porche _____________________________________
Richard Wizansky ____________________________________