Vermont League of Cities and Towns
Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Members Present: President Cadwell, and Members Shepeluk, Beckett, Cloud, Hurd, Pinsonault, Richard, Safford, Simmons, White and Whittaker. Vice President Louras attended via telephone.
Others Present: VLCT staff members Karen Horn, Gwynn Zakov, Jessica Hill, Joe Damiata and Maura Carroll.
Agenda Item #1: Call to order by the President
President Cadwell called the meeting to order at 12:25 p.m. and identified Board members and staff present for Vice President Louras. He congratulated Joe Damiata on his promotion to Interim Director of Risk Management Services.
Agenda Item #2: Additions and Deletions to the Agenda
On motion duly made by Member Simmons and seconded by Member Safford, the Board unanimously voted to add items to the agenda relative to an update on the most recent Joint Investment Committee meeting and information relative to Sanctuary Cities. Vice President Louras stated that no update on the issue of Sanctuary Cities was available but that he would serving on a committee addressing immigration issues on behalf of the Mayors’ Coalition.
Agenda Item #3: Consent Agenda Items
On motion duly made by Member Simmons and seconded by Member Pinsonault, the Board unanimously approved the Personnel Report and the amended minutes of the January 5, 2016 Board meeting. The amendment included a correction that, although not listed, Member Beckett attended the last meeting, correction of a spelling error under Agenda Item #6 from “has” to “had” and correction of the language in Section I of Article X in the Bylaws to read:
SECTION 1: VERMONT MUNICIPAL POLICY. – The broad outline of policies to be supported by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns during the ensuing legislative session will be developed by the legislative committees; reviewed, amended as needed and approved by the Board of Directors and adopted at an annual or special meeting. Suggested policy amendments may also be presented by full members in writing prior to the meeting, or on the floor at the meeting. The draft policy shall be presented at a duly warned meeting of the membership and shall become the legislative policy of VLCT if approved by a majority of votes cast at the meeting.
Agenda Item #4: Policy Update
Jessica Hill provided an update to the Board about changes to the VLCT Inclement Weather Policy and the Personnel Policy resulting from statutory changes made to eligibility for and use of accrued sick leave. On motion duly made by Member Hurd and seconded by Member Beckett, the Board unanimously accepted the report and suggested that further updates to policies for reasons of compliance with statutory changes be discussion items on Board agendas.
Agenda Item #5: Legislative Update
Karen Horn and Gwynn Zakov provided updates about legislative session activity and the Water Quality Committee meeting held just prior to the Board meeting. The Board had a lively discussion and agreed that water quality is a statewide problem and that any revenue source should be collected at the state level with municipalities then implementing the clean-up processes once the revenues are distributed to them. The Board also agreed that stormwater utilities should be enabled, not mandated, and that state agencies should be disciplined in following Tactical Basin Plans.
Staff presented several other legislative issues, including education funding, the Governor’s budget, appointment of municipal clerks and treasurers, energy siting and mandatory police coverage in municipalities.
Vice President Louras exited the meeting at 1:30 p.m.
Agenda Item #7 Other Business
Members Whittaker and Shepeluk provided an update about the last Joint Investment Committee meeting held on January 27, and encouraged Board members to closely watch financial markets and ask for updates and pose queries to the representatives of the Board who are members of the Joint Investment Committee.
Karen Horn provided an update about Local Government Day, to be held on February 15, and asked Board members to participate and testify at legislative committees that day.
Member White raised the issue of a member of the Hartford Selectboard’s involvement with a racially charged email and stated that she would like VLCT to offer implicit bias training and suggested that such training be an item of discussion at a future Board meeting.
On motion duly made by Member Whittaker and seconded by Member Beckett, the Board unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 2:40 p.m.
Maura Carroll, Executive Director