MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
VLCT EMPLOYMENT RESOURCE AND BENEFITS (VERB) TRUST, INC.
DECEMBER 16, 2021
VIA ZOOM MEETING
Directors present: Bill Shepeluk, Joel Cope, Charles Safford, Kathleen Ramsay, Carrie Johnson, Chris Hoyt and Todd Odit
VLCT staff present: Joe Damiata, Ted Brady, Seth Abbene and Kelley Avery
The meeting was called to order at 10:01 a.m.
Upon motion (Ramsay/Safford), duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to approve the agenda.
Upon motion (Safford/Johnson), duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the October 21, 2021 meeting.
Joe Damiata provided a brief organizational update to the board including the following items:
- Ted Brady and the Leadership Team have been working on a VLCT Strategic Plan which Mr. Brady will be presenting to the VLCT Board for feedback on today.
- Staff is discussing options with the City Center landlord for reducing VLCT’s office footprint to save money.
- There are two national conferences next year in March and May – AGRiP and NLC-RISC - which board members may find of interest. Mr. Damiata asked board members to let him know as soon as possible if they wish to attend.
Upon motion (Safford/Ramsay), duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to accept the staff organizational update.
Seth Abbene reviewed the unaudited financial statements through September 30, 2021. Q3 ended with a 4.9% increase to net position over year-end 2020. Total liabilities are down 66.9% from the end of Q3 last year, largely due to decreased claims costs. Total revenue is down 6.6% from last year due to loss of commissions which were transferred over to VLCT for 2021. Operating expenses for Q3 are also down 33% compared to last year and 10.3% under budget.
Upon motion (Safford/Ramsay), duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to accept the third quarter financial reports.
Kelley Avery reviewed the third quarter unemployment claims reports. Total claims costs were down 95% compared to third quarter of last year and 28% compared to Q2 of this year, net of the 75% federal reimbursement, which ended September 4th. Claims frequency was also down 27% compared to Q2 of this year and close to 95% compared to Q3 of last year. Q3 yielded the lowest unemployment claims costs the Trust has seen since the start of the pandemic, and claims continue to normalize closer to pre-pandemic levels.
Ms. Avery also noted the 2022 UI Program renewal went smoothly with all 209 members renewing for the new year at an average 4.2% rate reduction. Several underwriting adjustments were made to smooth the rates for members so there were no substantial increases or decreases in contributions.
Upon motion (Safford/Cope), duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to accept the third quarter unemployment claims reports.
Joe Damiata briefly reviewed the 2022 Addendum to the VLCT Administrative Services Contract. Language has been added to the addendum regarding the Trust paying their portion of VLCT’s pension obligations should the VT Municipal Employees’ Retirement System ever call on it. The addendum was modified for 2022 based on the VLCT budget adopted in September, which included a 2% staff salary increase. However, Ted Brady is approaching the VLCT Board later today to discuss approving another 1.25% increase to staff salaries for 2022. Staff is requesting the board approve the addendum with the understanding these administrative costs will increase by approximately $2,055 based on what the VLCT Board approves today for salary increases.
Upon motion (Safford/Cope), duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to approve the 2022 VLCT Administrative Services Contract Addendum as adjusted by the anticipated VLCT Board 2022 budget changes and authorized the Board President to sign it.
Joe Damiata reviewed the VLCT Proposed Budget. This budget was reviewed at the last board meeting, and there have been no substantial changes since that time. Staff is asking for the board to accept the proposed budget with the understanding that the administrative expenses will change slightly, as previously discussed, with the anticipated salary increases approved by the VLCT Board at their meeting later today.
Upon motion (Safford/Ramsay), duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to accept the 2022 VERB Proposed Budget as adjusted by anticipated VLCT Board budget changes.
Mr. Damiata presented the 2022 Proposed Board Meeting schedule, including board meetings and the meetings of the Joint Investment and Budget Advisory Committees. The Board had no objections to the scheduled dates.
Upon motion (Safford/Ramsay), duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to accept the proposed 2022 Draft Board Meeting Schedule as presented.
Under board governance, the Board elected its officers for 2022.
Upon motion (Odit/Johnson), duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to elect officers as slated for 2022 as follows:
- President, Bill Shepeluk
- Vice President, Carrie Johnson
- Secretary/Treasurer, Chris Hoyt
- Executive Secretary, Ted Brady
- Assistant Secretary, Kelley Avery
- Assistant Treasurer, Joe Damiata
In other business, President Shepeluk and the board wished Joel Cope well and thanked him for his many years of service. This will be Director Cope’s final meeting due to his resignation from the board.
President Shepeluk also noted he will be retiring as Municipal Manager in Waterbury at the end of next year, so next year will be his final year of service on the board.
Upon motion (Cope/Safford), duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to adjourn the meeting (10:43 a.m.).