Vermont League of Cities and Towns
Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Members Present: President Cadwell, Vice President Louras and Members Shepeluk, Beckett, Pinsonault, Ramsay, Richard, Safford, Simmons, Weinberger, White and Whittaker.
Others Present: Transportation Secretary Chris Cole and Gina Campoli, Environmental Policy Manager for AOT, Department of Environmental Conservation Watershed Division Director Pete LaFlamme and Kari Dolan, VT Clean Water Initiative Program Manager, State Treasurer Beth Pearce, Deputy Treasurer Michael Clasen, and Tim Leuders-Dumont, Andrew Stein from the Tax Department and VLCT staff members Karen Horn, Gwynn Zakov and Milly Archer.
Agenda Item #1: Call to order by the President
President Cadwell called the meeting to order at 12:20 pm.
Agenda Item #2: Additions and Deletions to the Agenda
On motion duly made by Member Shepeluk and seconded by Member Pinsonault, the Board unanimously adopted the agenda
Agenda Item #3: Consent Agenda Items
On motion duly made by Member Pinsonault and seconded by Member Safford, the Board took the following actions on consent agenda items:
Unanimously approved the minutes of the August 11, 2016 Board meeting, and unanimously accepted the Personnel Report.
Agenda Item #4: Nominating Committee Report
Member Shepeluk, chair of the Nominating Committee presented the report of the Committee to the Board. On motion duly made Member Pinsonault and seconded by Vice President Louras, the Board accepted the Report and voted to have Rebecca White, Selectperson of Hartford fill the existing Board vacancy. In addition, Member Shepeluk reported that the Committee will continue to consider the vacancy created by the resignation of Member Paul Monette on September 5 and will make a recommendation at a later Board meeting. Staff will send out an additional request for nominations and include the nominations received during the summer as part of their deliberations.
Member White entered the meeting and provided a brief background, including that she is a 7th generation Vermonter and a 4th generation Hartford resident. She expressed her enthusiasm for local government and for serving on the VLCT Board.
Agenda Item #5: Clean Water Fund
Treasurer Beth Pearce, Transportation Secretary Chris Cole, Department of Environmental Conservation Watershed Division Director Pete LaFlamme and Kari Dolan, VT Clean Water Initiative Program Manager and Andrew Stein of the Tax Department, all made presentations to the Board about the process used to determine recommendations to the legislature about revenue sources to be used for the Clean Water Fund. They also discussed the gap between available short-term revenues and the funds that will be needed to implement the Vermont Clean Water Act and Lake Champlain Phosphorous Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). State officials asked Board members to weigh in on specific sources, and particularly to review and rank the charted revenue sources and proposed evaluation criteria that was distributed at the meeting.
Agenda Item #6 Legislative Policy Update
Led by Karen Horn and Gwynn Zakov the Board reviewed and discussed the suggested amendments to the policies developed by the five municipal policy committees and adopted by the Board. The following sections were amended by the Board: Section 1.02, Section 1.04, Section 2.01, Section 2.02, Section 2.05, Section 2.06, Section 4.01 and Section 4.03. On motion made by Member Safford and seconded by Member Shepeluk, the Board voted to amend Section 1.02, Vermont Tax Structure Overhaul, paragraph 1 to read: VLCT supports legislation to reform Vermont’s income, sales and property tax
es structure, Section 1.04, State Payments in Lieu of Taxes Programs, removing any reference to the year 2016, Section 2.02, Additional Funding Priorities, Paragraph 6 to read: ensuring that town highways and bridges are adequately engineered to mitigate the impacts of any future weather-related disaster and Section 2.05, Multi-Modal Transportation, to remove paragraph 1 and renumber the remaining paragraphs.
On motion made by Member Shepeluk and seconded by Member Ramsay, the Board voted to amend Section 2.06, Rail, paragraph 4 to read: working with railroad companies to
prohibit speeding regulate the speed of trains in downtown areas.
Finally, on motion made by Member Shepeluk and seconded by Member Pinsonault, the Board voted to change Section 4.01, Housing, paragraph 3 and Section 4.03, Growth and Local Land Use, to read the same: allocating property transfer tax funds to cities and towns for municipal planning purposes at the rate established in Act 200, before appropriating any of this revenue to new uses and programs.
By consensus, the Board requested that the Transportation Policy Committee study the issue of municipalities directly matching federal dollars for transportation projects in the event that VTrans fails to match available federal dollars.
Agenda Item #7 Summer Legislative Studies
Karen Horn and Gwynn Zakov reported on the progress of various study committees that have met during the summer and will continue to meet throughout the fall, focusing on dispatch issues and police decertification discussions.
Agenda Item #8 Update on Board Activity at Town Fair
Maura Carroll updated the Board on Town Fair preparations and specifically asked for Board assistance with thanking exhibitors who participate in Town Fair and as part of the project to gather local officials’ statements about the value of VLCT and how it helps them to do their work locally. Staff will prepare some talking points or a script, as needed.
Agenda Item #9 Other Business
Referring back to Item #5, Member Weinberger asked that staff prepare a letter to state officials expressing concerns about the underestimation of costs associated with Act 64 compliance and the appropriateness of the State taking on a substantial share of the costs and exploring local option revenues for cities and towns to pay the share of municipal compliance costs.
On motion duly made by Member Beckett and seconded by Vice President Louras, the Board unanimously adopted a motion to adjourn the meeting at 3:07 p.m.
Maura Carroll, Executive Director