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Selectboard Minutes, 12.28.2022

GUILFORD SELECTBOARD MEETING
Wednesday, 28 December 2022, 6:30 pm, 236 School Road, Guilford, VT 05301

MINUTES

SELECTBOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Zon Eastes, Chair, Michael Becker, Rusty Marine (via Zoom), Verandah Porche, Richard Wizansky

OFFICIALS/ STAFF PRESENT:  Sheila Morse (Asst. Town Administrator)

PRESENT in person: Austin Rice (BCTV),  Patty Bullock, Jethro Eaton, Dolores Clark, Jeannette Tokarz, Julie Holland
PRESENT via Zoom: Cathi Wilken, Dan Ingold, Lesley Malouin, Tammy Sargent, Anna Klein, John Shaw, Julie Beet, Kyle Parker, Jamie Durham

  1. Call to Order 6:30 pm
  1. Welcoming of Public – Community Comment Period (10 minutes)
    1. Anna Klein advised that Neighborhood Roots.ord/fedco is organizing group seed order through FEDCO at a 20% discount. Ordering closes Saturday, 12.31.22.
    2. Also, they are organizing a soup for the soul community potluck at the BBCC on February 5th. Then, on February 25, there will be a community seed swap, also at the BBCC 
    3. John Shaw reminded people to sign up on the Library website – guilfordfreelibraryvt.org – to participate in Community Penpals. This endeavor connects people across town to exchange notes and letters through the winter. 
    4. Cathi Wilken spoke on behalf of Guilford Gazette. She thanked the Selectboard and residents for their donations in the past few months, and reminded candidates running for elected positions to please send a brief bio by 1/7/23 for inclusion in the forthcoming issue which will come out prior to Town Meeting. She also asked for volunteers to please come to help prepare the mailing. Lots of information at: https://guilfordvt.gov/discover-guilford/guilford-gazette/ 
  2. Changes to Agenda Order – move appointment of EMD to before Updates and Reports
  3. Approval of Minutes (2 minutes)
  4. Regular Meeting – date
    1. ACTION:-Richard  moved to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of 12.12.22 as written. Verandah seconded. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.
    2. ACTION: Richard moved to approve the minutes of the special meeting of 12.21.22 as written. Michael seconded. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.
  5. Appointment of EMD
    1. ACTION: Richard moved and Michael seconded to appoint Dan Ingold as Emergency Management Director.  All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried. Dan described his extensive background in this area, which can be viewed on the meeting video. The Selectboard expressed their deep appreciation to Dan for stepping up to take on this role.
  6. Updates & Reports
    1. Highway ( 5 minutes)
      1. Dan was unable to attend the meeting but reported that winter work is underway; the crew is cutting some trees on Sweet Pond Road.
  7. Old Business
    1. Opening an account on Indeed.com to post job openings (2 minutes)
      1. ACTION: Richard moved that we open an indeed.com account at cost of $51 per application, Michael seconded All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried. 
      2. Sheila noted that there is a 72-hour window to review applications to determine if they are appropriate. We are not charged for applications that are rejected within that window. Richard suggested that we also post job openings in local newspapers, for which we have a budget.
    2. Report on Review of ARPA Advisory Committee Recommendations (15 minutes)
      1. Richard moved and Zon seconded that the SB accept the report of the Subcommittee on ARPA dollar expenditures. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.
      2. Variations between the ARPA committee report and the Selectboard review were noted.
      3. Each of the recommendations is an actionable item that will be coordinated through the Town Administrator who will account for each recommendation as a separate project and track fund expenditures as well as attempt to assess any future impact on taxpayers.. 
  8. New Business
    1. Dates and arrangements for pre-Town Meeting and Town Meeting (2 minutes) –
      1. Pre-Town meeting, hosted by the Broad Brook Grange and the Selectboard, will be held at the BBCC on Thursday, February 23rd at 6:30 p.m.
      2. Town Meeting will convene at the Guilford Central School on Tuesday, March 7th, at 10 a.m.
      3. The Selectboard agreed to work with the BCA and Penny to determine the polling place, feeling that it’s most efficient to have polling and Town Meeting take place in the same location.
    2. Appointment of EMD (5 minutes) moved to head of meeting, see above 
    3. Housing needs, Jethro Eaton (8 minutes)
      1. Jethro recently attended a workshop dealing with the critical issue of housing needs in Windham County and throughout Vermont. There was a large turnout of municipal officials throughout the county and beyond. There’s a huge demand not just for low income and senior housing but also for the “missing middle”–those who cannot find adequate housing in the area where they work.. Adequate housing supply is just not being built. As far as Guilford is concerned, Algiers Village, where we have sewer and water, and public transportation, would be a prime location for new housing. The cost of wells and septic systems in new homes creates financial burdens on homeowners.  Grants for ADUs (accessory dwelling units) are available to homeowners.
      2. This is a need that’s been neglected for far too long. The Winston Prouty campus is working to create housing; there are community members in other towns trying to work on this critical issue. The fact that Guilford does not have zoning may make it easier to create more housing options.
    4. Planning Commission Strategic Plan contract recommendation (10 minutes)
      1. Jeannette Tokarznoted that the Planning Commission serves as stewards of the present and guide to the future. Vermont is unique in that municipalities, not a centralized government agency, own their planning processes and most often volunteers attempt to execute tasks generally taken on by professionals. Chris Campany, Executive Director of Windham Regional Commission, noted at a recent meeting that “available futures are not those that we passively forecast, but those we actively create” and Guilford is seeking to be proactive in planning for its future.
      2. To that end the PC issued an RFP to hire a Strategic Planning consultant. Twelve firms responded, seven of whom are VT-based. Of the two firms invited to make in-depth presentations to the PC, they recommend that the Selectboard approve DuBois and King who are focused on community engagement through different types of events to assess vision and needs. Their cost estimate was in line with others. 
      3. ACTION: Zon moved that the SB accept the Planning Commission’s recommendation to hire DuBois and King as strategic planning consultants for the Town to work with the Planning Commission and the Selectboard. Michael seconded. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.
      4. The cost of the DuBois and King consultant contract is $37,570.00. The cost of the project will be paid from ARPA funds.
    5. Report on Funds (20 minutes)
      1. Sheila provided an in depth explanation of the accounting for the proposed Library Expansion project, none of which affected the Capital Fund. She also briefly reviewed the difference between an operating budget and a Fund, reviewed bookkeeping transfers between accounts (see below), and provided up-to-date balances on a number of the Town’s key funds.
      2. ACTION: Zon moved and Richard seconded that the Selectboard approve the following fund transfers. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.
        1. General Reserve Fund to Guilford Center Bike and Ped Study Fund ($7,432.02: town match of 8% of study expenses, after receipt of grant, to bring fund balance to -0-)
        2. General Reserve Fund to Guilford Free Library Fund ($52,732.26 to bring fund balance to -0-. Because the expansion vote failed on re-vote, expenses need to be covered from the General Reserve Fund. They can’t come from the Capital Fund.)
        3. General Reserve Fund to VCDP Grant for Guilford Free Library ($24,000.36 = expenses in excess of grant receipts. Again, these expenses cannot be capitalized due to re-vote decision.)
        4. General Reserve Fund to Emergency Response Fund ($5,700 to bring ERF to -0-. This fund had been carried at a negative balance for several years. I don’t know why.)
        5. Algiers Waterline Fund to General Reserve Fund ($11,110.71 = excess in the Waterline Fund which is no longer required to cover principle or interest payments on the VT Bond Bank waterline fund.)
  9. Finance
    • Warrants (5 minutes)
    • ACTION Verandah moved to pay finance warrants as read.   Richard seconded. All were in favor. None were opposed. None abstained. Motion carried.
  10. Other Business – NONE
  11. Communications – 
    1. Thank you letters for appropriations.
  12. 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.
    1. ACTION: Zon moved and Richard seconded to enter into 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 the Assistant Town Administrator to join. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.
    2. The Selectboard entered Executive Session at 8:16 p.m.
    3. ACTION: Zon moved andVerandah seconded to exit Executive Session at 8:40 p.m..  All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried. 
    4. ACTION: Zon moved and Richard seconded that the Selectboard accept Peder Rude’s resignation and authorize Zon to sign the appropriate papers. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried. The Selectboard expressed its appreciation for Peder’s service to the Town and wished him the best and better health.
    5. ACTION:  Verandah moved to appoint Sheila Interim Town Administrator and Zon seconded. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried. 
  13. Action Summary from Previous Meeting: None
  14. Actions Taken (see above)
  15. Actions to be Taken: None
  16. Adjournment
    • ACTION: Richard moved to adjourn. Verandah seconded. All were in favor. None were opposed. None abstained. Motion carried. Meeting was adjourned at 8:44

Meeting video – https://www.brattleborotv.org/guilford-selectboard/guilford-sb-mtg-122822

Next Selectboard Meeting: Monday, January 9, 2023 at 6:30 p.m.  

Zon Eastes, Chair _____________________________________

Michael Becker _____________________________________

Rusty Marine _____________________________________

Verandah Porche _____________________________________

Richard Wizansky ____________________________________