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Wednesday, October 03, 2018 8:00 am to Thursday, October 04, 2018 4:30 pm
Event Location: 
DoubleTree by Hilton (formerly Sheraton)
870 Williston Rd
05403 South Burlington , VT
See below.
Registration Deadline: 
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

 Why Should You Attend Town Fair? 
Town Fair, VLCT's annual trade show and conference, has something for everyone this year. Knowing that many municipal officials serve in multiple roles and have a variety of responsibilities, Town Fair 2019 features twenty different training sessions that have been developed to specifically address topics that VLCT members have identified as being of interest to them. In addition to an agenda packed with training sessions provided by expert speakers, Town Fair also features an exhibit hall filled with miss your chance to connect with them and learn about how they can help support your important work. Last but certainly not least,Town Fair is a great time to meet with your counter parts from other towns, people who face similar day-to-day challenges. Share ideas, talk about common issues and celebrate each other's successes. We hope to see you on October 3rd and 4th at the DoubleTree by Hilton in South Burlington.

To learn more about exhibiting and register for a booth visit

or email Lisa Goodell at

Town Fair Agenda

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

7:45-9:00       Wednesday Registration
Location: Emerald Foyer (upstairs)         

 8:00-9:00      Breakfast and Networking
Location: Emerald III

 9:00-11:00     Planning Ahead: Strategies to Meet Your Future Staffing Needs
Location: Emerald III

If your municipality has difficulty filling vacant positions or struggles to retain employees after their training period ends, you should attend this session. In the first hour, HR and benefits expert Michael Kilfoyle will share steps that municipalities can take to plan ahead for turnover and what prospective employees want from an employer. (Hint: it may not be what you think.) Following Mr. Kilfoyle’s presentation, attendees will hear from Department of Labor Economic and Labor Market Information representatives who will go over employer resources detailing Vermont’s labor market. Lastly, attendees will discuss these challenges with representatives from several municipalities who will speak about their strategies to plan ahead for retirements and regular employee turnover – what worked and what didn’t. This will be an informative and interactive training that provides takeaways for the long and short term. Speakers: Michael Kilfoyle, Principal/Senior Vice President, Hickok and Boardman; Jeremy Delisle, Assistant Public Works Director and Operations Manager, Town of Hartford; Suzanne Ellis, Director of Human Resources, City of Rutland; Julie Hulburd, Human Resources Manager, City of Winooski; Representatives, Labor Market Information Division, Vermont Department of Labor

 12:30-4:30     VLCT, PACIF, VERB Annual Meetings and Adoption of the 2019-2020 VLCT Municipal Policy
Location: Emerald III
This portion of Town Fair is free to attend.                   

4:00-7:00      Networking Reception
Location: Foyer

The reception will begin immediately following the annual meetings. Join your friends and colleagues for a fun evening featuring live entertainment and refreshments. A cash bar will be available. This event is paid for by our generous sponsors.


Thursday, October 4, 2018

 8:00-11:00     Registration
Location: Exhibit Hall Foyer (downstairs)

 8:00-11:00     Breakfast and Coffee
Location: Exhibit Hall
Enjoy a continental breakfast sponsored by People’s United Bank.

 8:00-3:30      Visit the Exhibitor Booths
Location: Exhibit Hall



 8:30             Best Practices for Municipal Records
Location: Amphitheater
This session is also offered at 3:15.

This workshop will provide a broad understanding of records management. Attendees will learn the importance of proper records and information management, the fundamentals of a good records management system, and its benefits. The session will update you on the Vermont Local Records Program and provide resources on record-keeping requirements, a listing of steps to conduct a record inventory, and a primer on writing your records management policy and procedures.Speakers: Megan Wheaton-Book, Records and Information Management Specialist, and Nicholas Connizzo, Records and Information Management Specialist, Vermont State Archives and Records Administration

8:30             Rental Housing Inspections – New Legal Requirements
Location: Diamond I
Co- sponsored by the Vermont Department of Health

In this session, you will learn about the new requirements for rental housing health code inspections and enforcement. These changes affect not only town health officers but also selectboards (which serve as the local boards of health in many municipalities), building inspectors, and code enforcement officials. Our speaker will review the new compliance requirements and discuss what the new responsibilities mean for municipal officials. Speaker: Meg McCarthy, Compliance and Enforcement Advisor, Environmental Health Division, Vermont Department of Health

8:30             Update – Vermont Clean Water Act Requirements
Location: Diamond II
Co-sponsored by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation

The deadline for municipalities to institute several Vermont Clean Water Act requirements either has passed or is rapidly approaching. In this session, Municipal Roads General Permit timelines and fees will be reviewed, as well as the reissuance process for those municipalities subject to the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) General Permit. Attendees will also hear a report on the status of the general permit required for existing impervious surfaces of three or more acres and learn how municipalities are meeting these requirements. Speaker: Jim Ryan, Municipal Roads General Permit Coordinator, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation

8:30             Board of Civil Authority Appeals and Beyond
Location: Emerald I
Co-sponsored by the Vermont Department of Taxes, Division of Property Valuation and Review

Vermont law allows for either the selectboard or a taxpayer to appeal Board of Civil Authority decisions. There are two possible avenues for appeals – either the state appraiser or Superior Court. In this session, staff from the Vermont Department of Taxes’ Division of Property Valuation and Review will go over the process and legal requirements as well as best practices for applying for reimbursement under Title 32 Section 5412. Speakers: Cy Bailey, Senior Appraiser, and Christie Wright, District Advisor Supervisor, Vermont Department of Taxes

8:30             Mitigating Bias – A Quick Primer
Location: Emerald II

 Attendees to this session will receive an overview of explicit and implicit bias, and a primer on how to mitigate the effects of bias in discretionary decision-making. Different bias training methods will be discussed, along with how elements from the fields of developmental psychology, neurological research, and social identity approaches are used to create an effective bias training program. Attendees will then learn about strategies that they can use to implement bias training at their organization. Speaker: Curtiss Reed, Jr., Executive Director, Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity

9:45             Keynote: Building Great Communities
Location: Emerald III

Daniel Gilmartin is the Executive Director and CEO of the Michigan Municpal League and is contributing author to The Economics of Place: The Value of Building Communities Around People and Economics of Place: the Art of Building Great Communities. Through his work with communities throughout the country, Mr. Gilmartin is recognized as a leader in the fields of urban revitalization, placemaking, local government reform, and transportation policy. He services on the Placemaking Leadership Council and previously served on the Michigan Future, Inc. Leadership Council and the board of directors of the National League of Cities. Prior to his current position as executive director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League Mr. Gilmartin served for four years as the lead advocate for Michigan's communities in Lansing and in Washington, where he concentrated on key issues that included transportation, land use, and urban redevelopment.
Speaker: Daniel Gilmartin, Executive Director & CEO, Michigan Municipal League



10:30           Police Chiefs’ Annual Meeting
Location: Diamond I
Followed by training at 11:00, see below.

 11:00            Managing Difficult Situations
Location: Amphitheater

Municipal officials and staff often face challenging situations that necessitate difficult conversations. Knowing how to positively manage and promote discussion in conflict-driven situations can help promote engagement, understanding, and positive outcomes. In this session, presenter Paul Dickin will focus on the skills and strategies needed to manage difficult situations and keep relationships from deteriorating. Speaker: Paul Dickin, MEd, CEO and Senior Consultant, COPE & Associates, Inc.

 11:00            The Importance of Wastewater Allocations in Economic Development Conversations
Location: Emerald II

The water distributed by your municipal water system and the flow of wastewater into your wastewater treatment facility are limited and must be managed. Distributing and tracking allocations to your water and wastewater service connections is necessary to ensure your treatment facility does not exceed capacity and there is sufficient reserve capacity to accommodate residential, commercial, and industrial growth within the service area. In this session, learn why managing water and wastewater allocations are important and what can happen if systems are mismanaged. The Department of Environmental Conservation’s Pretreatment Program will be reviewed, particularly how it can help prevent adverse impact, interference, or pass-through at wastewater treatment plants and collection systems by regulating connections that discharge high-strength material. Speakers: Joe Duncan, Director of Projects & Programs, and Chief Engineer, Champlain Water District; Nick Giannetti, Environmental Analyst, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation

11:00            An Overview of PTSD Prevention and Mental Health for Law Enforcement Agencies
Location: Diamond I

This session will address the psychological dangers of policing, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It will include a discussion of PTSD prevention strategies, the importance of maintaining psychological fitness, and the role that peer support and mental health counseling plays in maintaining that health.  The presenters will offer thoughtful takeaways for what attendees can do to help prevent PTSD and maintain the mental health of their officers. Speakers: Sergeant Brian Casey, Employee Assistance Program Director, St. Paul Minnesota Police; Victoria A. Marini, Licensed Psychologist-Doctorate, Clinician, EAPFirst

11:00            Creating an Emergency Management Team
Location: Diamond II

This session will focus on the roles, responsibilities, and key products produced by a municipality as it prepares for responding to an emergency. Speakers will highlight the skills needed for planning, collaboration, and stakeholder team building in all phases of local emergency management. Speakers: Emily Harris, Northeast Regional Coordinator, and Max Kennedy, Northwest Regional Coordinator, Vermont Emergency Management

11:00            How to Make Public Engagement Vibrant, Constructive and Positive
Location: Emerald I

Every local official knows that involving the whole community in decisions is important, but why is it often so hard? In this session, attendees will learn how to make community participation civil and productive, and discover the building blocks for stronger systems of engagement. Attendees will come away with specific tools to successfully engage residents in the activities and initiatives underway where they live. Speaker: Susan Clark, Author, Slow Democracy


12:20            Lunch
Location: Emerald Ballroom                           

1:20             Dessert
Location: Exhibit Hall



1:45             We’re All In This Together: Division of Powers and Effective Collaboration Between Public Library Trustees and Selectboard Members
Location: Amphitheater

This session will focus on the division of powers created by Vermont Title 22 (Libraries, History, and Information Technology) between selectboard members and public library trustees in both municipal and non-profit incorporated public libraries. Speakers will also discuss how libraries benefit communities and how the selectboard and library trustees can collaborate effectively for their community. Speakers: Lara Keenan, State Library Consultant, Governance and Management, Vermont Department of Libraries; Jenny Prosser, General Counsel and Director of Municipal Assistance, Vermont Secretary of State’s Office

 1:45              Preparing for and Handling Confrontation for Safe Municipal Workplaces
Location: Diamond I

Preparing for violence in the workplace is an unavoidable necessity in the 21st century. This workshop will give local officials the tools to understand the concept of vulnerability and threat assessments in municipal workplaces. Chief Facos will go over what to consider when developing safety plans designed to prevent, mitigate, and prepare for confrontation and conflict so as to survive potentially deadly encounters in municipal facilities. Speaker: Tony Facos, Police Chief, Montpelier Police Department

1:45              Minimizing Online Security Threats in your Municipality 
Location: Diamond II

Municipalities face an increasingly complex security landscape with new technology, emerging threats, and a responsibility to protect information. In this session, we will discuss some steps you can take to lessen your risk of an attack and keep your municipality and employees safe. Speaker: Joe Howland, Chief Information Security Officer, VC3, Inc.

 1:45              Grand List Matters: The Role of Listers and Assessors in Local Government
Location: Emerald I
In partnership with the Vermont Assessors and Listers Association

Listers and assessors play a key role in municipal government by making sure the grand list is accurate and property taxes are fair and equitable. By carrying out their statutory duties, listers and assessors perform work that is integral to many municipal operations. This session will review the roles of listers and assessors and highlight opportunities to work with town clerks, treasurers, selectboard members, town managers and others municipal officials to achieve town goals. Speakers: John Fike and Penny Allyn, Listers, Town of Reading

1:45              Vermont Hub Communities
Location: Emerald III

Does your municipality serve as a hub community for neighboring municipalities? Is your city or town a destination for employment opportunities, shopping, accessing state or non-profit services, visiting the hospital, or running other errands? This session offers municipal leaders from Vermont hub communities an opportunity to meet, talk about what it means to serve as a hub community, and discuss resources that would help support communities that are popular and essential destinations for Vermonters living and working in different parts of the state.

1:45             RiseVT: Building Local Partnerships to Improve Vermont Communities
Location: Emerald II

This session will demonstrate innovative ways that RiseVT, a community-wide initiative to embrace healthy lifestyles, partners with municipalities to improve the health of Vermonters. Speakers will provide examples of how local RiseVT efforts can guide and support policy changes that promote health and wellbeing. Participants will learn how RiseVT is rolling out statewide and understand opportunities to engage with local campaigns to promote healthy lifestyles. Speakers: Marissa Parisi, Executive Director, and Emmy Wollenburg, Statewide Program Manager, RiseVT

3:00             Raffles and Prizes
Location: Exhibit Hall



3:15              Open Meeting Law and Social Media
Location: Emerald II

Is it possible for municipal officials to use group email without violating the Open Meeting Law? Can selectboard members post to Front Porch Forum? Who should be able to post to the town’s Facebook page? These questions and more will be addressed in this session on the use of social media within the legal constraints imposed by Vermont’s Open Meeting Law. Speaker: Garrett Baxter, Senior Staff Attorney, VLCT Municipal Assistance Center

3:15              Employment Practices “Dos and Don’ts”
Location: Diamond II

Managing employees can be both rewarding and challenging. Employment practices claims – such as unlawful termination, harassment, or discrimination – can be extremely expensive. In this session, learn the “dos and don’ts” of employment practices from attorneys specializing in the field. While names and identifying details will remain confidential, you will nonetheless reap an insider’s view of real Vermont municipal employment practice scenarios that will help you manage and reduce your legal risks. Speakers: John Klesch, Attorney, Stitzel, Page & Fletcher, PC; Brian Monaghan, Attorney, Monaghan, Safer & Ducham, PLLC. Moderator: Jill Muhr, Human Resources Consultant, Vermont League of Cities and Towns

3:15              Managing Conflicts of Interest
Location: Emerald I

Conflicts of interest - real or perceived - are inevitable, especially in small towns. To help elected and appointed municipal officials manage these conflicts, VLCT’s Municipal Assistance Center developed a Model Conflict of Interest Policy. In this session, we will summarize the model policy and touch upon the legalities and best practices for managing conflicts of interest when they arise. We will also highlight how the state’s new ethics law affects municipalities.  Speaker: Carl Andeer, Staff Attorney II, Vermont League of Cities and Towns

3:15              Marijuana Legalization: Next Steps
Location: Diamond I

On July 1 of this year, Act 86 legalized the recreational use of marijuana in Vermont. By December 15, the Governor’s Marijuana Advisory Commission will make recommendations to the governor on how Vermont can implement and operate a comprehensive regulatory and revenue system for a taxed and regulated marijuana market. What will a fully taxed and regulated market mean for municipalities? How much authority will municipalities have over marijuana establishments? How should towns and cities prepare? Speaker: Gwynn Zakov, Municipal Policy Advocate, Vermont League of Cities and Towns

3:15              Best Practices for Municipal Records
Location: Amphitheater
This session is also offered at 8:30 a.m.

This workshop will provide a broad understanding of records management. Attendees will learn the importance of records and information management and the fundamentals and benefits of proper records management. The session will update you on the Vermont Local Records Program and provide resources on record-keeping requirements, a listing of steps to conduct a record inventory, and a primer on writing your records management policy and procedures. Speakers: Megan Wheaton-Book, Records and Information Management Specialist, and Nicholas Connizzo, Records and Information Management Specialist, Vermont State Archives and Records Administration

4:15             Conclusion