VERMONT LEAGUE OF CITIES AND TOWNS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
Thursday, January 20, 2022
VLCT Board Members Present (by zoom): President Jessie Baker and Members: Bill Fraser, Mary Ann Goulette, Julie Hance, Charlie Hancock, Lucas Herring, Delsie Hoyt, Ken Linsley, Joe Major, George Putnam, Miro Weinberger, Georgette Wolf-Ludwig, and Lucrecia Wonsor.
VLCT Staff Present (by zoom): Executive Director Ted Brady, Kelley Avery, Katie Buckley, Joe Damiata, Abby Friedman, Jessi Hill, Karen Horn, Linda Mahns, and Gwynn Zakov.
Visitors (by zoom): PACIF President Carl Rogers, and PACIF board members David Atherton, Jared Cadwell, Judy Frazier, Rob Gaiotti, Stuart Hurd, Erik Wells, and Bryan Young. VERB President Bill Shepeluk, and VERB members Carrie Johnson, and Charles Safford. Governor Phil Scott and Equity consultants Nikki Fuller and Wanda Heading-Grant.
Agenda Item #1: Call to order by the President
President Jessie Baker called the meeting to order at 12:21 p.m.
Agenda Item #2: Additions and Deletions to the Agenda
George Putnam asked for the draft Investment Policy be moved to Other Business for discussion. Lucas Herring moved to accept the agenda as amended. Lucrecia Wonsor seconded the motion. The agenda was adopted unanimously.
Agenda Item #3: Consent Agenda Items
Lucrecia Wonsor moved to accept the consent agenda as amended, including approval of the December 16, 2021, meeting minutes, acceptance of the personnel report and organizational update, which included a draft of the VLCT Return to Work Plan incorporating Vaccination Policy, and a status report of the VLCT 2021/2022 Work Plan. The motion was seconded by Mayor Miro Weinberger. The consent agenda was adopted unanimously.
Agenda Item #4: Discussion with Governor Scott
Governor Phil Scott provided a general review of the Legislative session and took questions from the Board members and staff on subjects including workforce needs, universal mailing of ballots, and investments in local businesses as well as the ARPA monies to be used for housing, wastewater, broadband, and other infrastructure needs. Questions were raised on TIFs, pensions, and pandemic-related issues with the Governor.
Agenda Item #5: VLCT, PACIF, and VERB Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Training
Equity consultants Wanda Heading-Grant and Nikki Fuller provided a comprehensive introduction and training on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging for the boards as part of the VCF grant scope of work.
Agenda Item #6: Break
Members took a 7-minute break.
Agenda Item #7: Legislative Update
Karen Horn began with an abridged version of the Legislative update speaking about things that have not been covered in the Q&A and review with the Governor. Topics included: Gov Ops S172 passed, S222 and S223 passed for Town Meeting via Australian ballot as well as remote meetings and waives the requirement that candidates require signatures, S181 in review to let towns adopt local options taxes, H518 – House and Energy committee legislation, Qualified immunity S254, Expungement of criminal records and municipal tickets after 2 years, Rental housing bill S179 stalled, S210 potentially similar bill to S79 and addresses Governors’ concerns in the new bill, and the Governor’s 2023/2024 Budget. The Advocacy team sent a request in to expand ARPA program to include infrastructure, jobs act, climate action and Build Back Better. The upcoming Advocacy Chat has been scheduled for Monday, January 24th at 11 am. Some questions came to the Advocacy team on cannabis legislation and local options tax, and pupil waiting task force report – cost equity model update from 2019. Ted Brady asked the Board members on what the Governor proposed on the property tax rebate which will rely heavily on clerks and heard back from several members with comments. Ted Brady also asked members whether the Governor’s characterization that VLCT opposes universal mail in balloting for municipal elections was accurate. The Board shared various opinions, but generally the board did not feel that VLCT was on record either way – but had concerns that universal mail in ballots for municipal elections would threaten in-person town meetings. In addition, several Board members questions whether the state would pay for the municipal mail-in ballots beyond the pandemic.
Agenda Item #8: Other Business
Jessie Baker brought up the draft Investment Policy for discussion and an announcement of a Special VLCT Board meeting scheduled for January 25, 2022, at 8:45 am.
George Putnam suggested that the newly drafted Section VIII of the investment policy be removed, and instead be inserted in section XII (12) to only reflect necessary board involvement in investment decisions if VLCT were to invest in a Vermont based non-profit organization investment vehicle. Ted Brady confirmed giving the meaning George Putnam spoke to.
- Action item: George Putnam offered to add the verbiage to the policy for future review.
Ken Linsley made a motion to set a special meeting on January 25, 2022, beginning at 8:45 a.m. to have a discussion with Speaker Jill Krowinski and Senate Pro Tem Becca Balint. Ted Brady was instructed to invite PACIF and VERB Board members as guests. Mayor Miro Weinberger seconded. Approved unanimously.
Agenda Item #9: Adjourn
President Jessie Baker called to adjourn the meeting. Ken Linsley made a motion to adjourn. Lucrecia Wonsor seconded this motion. The meeting adjourned at 3:24 pm.
Executive Administrative Assistant