Vermont League of Cities and Towns
Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Members Present: President Cloud, Vice President Weinberger, and Members Beckett, Cadwell, Elwell, Goulette, Pinsonault, Safford, Simmons, White, Whittaker and Wonsor.
Others Present: Guests: Commissioner Kaj Samsom, Douglas Farnham and Jill Remick from the Tax Department; Diane Bothfelder from the Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets; Karen Richard, Colchester Town Clerk/Treasurer and Deputy Town Clerk/Treasurer Julie Graeter; Patrick Moreland, Assistant Town Manager, Brattleboro; Brunswick Town Clerk Sharon Graham and Lister Michael Tetreault ;and Katie Glover and Laura Macuga from the Johnson Lambert auditing firm.
VLCT staff members: Karen Horn, Gwynn Zakov, Mike Gilbar, Jessica Hill, Abigail Friedman and Maura Carroll.
Agenda Item #1: Call to order by the President. President Cloud called the meeting to order at 12:23 p.m. and welcomed all to the meeting. The visitors from Brunswick and Brattleboro were introduced by Board members. Everyone else introduced themselves.
Agenda Item #2: Additions and Deletions to the Agenda. Member Whittaker asked if he could bring an item to the Board under Member Initiatives. On motion duly made by Member Pinsonault and seconded by Member Elwell, the Board unanimously voted to approve the agenda as amended.
Agenda Item #3: Consent Agenda Items. On motion duly made by Member Safford and seconded by Member Pinsonault, the Board unanimously voted to approve the consent agenda items.
Agenda Item #4: Discussion with Commissioner Samsom and Douglas Farnham.
Commissioner Samsom made a few introductory remarks and he, Mr. Farnham and Ms. Remick from the Tax Department, as well as Ms. Bothfeld from the Department of Agriculture, responded to questions from the Board, providing general information about the Tax Department’s operations and challenges and some of the details of the current use program. The Board and state officials committed to continuing to work together to address some of the challenges and legislation affecting municipal government. The Board thanked the officials for their time and for the information presented.
Agenda Item #5: Organizational Update. Maura Carroll offered updates about the continued progress of the migration to the cloud, efforts through NLC Mutual to design a data collection system that can be useful for all risk pools and state leagues, revision of VLCT’s emergency plan and continued planning for the listening sessions in the spring. She also advised the Board that, since there are no direct NLC member cities in Vermont, no one is eligible to serve on an NLC policy committee.
Agenda Item #6: SAS Compliance Report from the Auditors (Johnson Lambert). Katie Glover and Laura Macuga were present to discuss the 2018 VLCT audit, its purposes and expectations and asked the Board for feedback about any potential problems of which they were aware. Staff left the meeting when that discussion occurred. The auditors expect to present the VLCT audit at the July Board meeting. The Board requested staff to inquire about whether other state municipal leagues use different auditing firms for different divisions of their organizations.
Agenda Item #7: 2017 Third Quarter Financials. Mike Gilbar presented the third quarter financial report to the Board. On motion duly made by Member Cadwell and seconded by Member Simmons, the Board unanimously voted to accept the report.
Agenda Item #8: Capital Budget. Mike Gilbar presented the 2018 VLCT capital budget and responded to questions from the Board. On motion duly made by Member Weinberger and seconded by Member Pinsonault, the Board unanimously voted to approve the capital budget items.
Agenda Item #9: Adoption of the 2018 VLCT Compensation Plan, Personnel Policy Changes and Health Insurance Addendum. Jessica Hill presented the documents related to the 2018 compensation plan, changes to the personnel policy and the health insurance addendum. On motion duly made by Member Pinsonault and seconded by Member White, the Board unanimously voted to approve the 2018 VLCT Compensation Plan as presented. On motion duly made by Member Simmons and seconded by Member Elwell, the Board unanimously voted to approve the VLCT Personnel Policy changes as presented. On motion duly made by Member Elwell and seconded by Member Safford, the Board unanimously voted to approve the 2018 VLCT Health Insurance Addendum as presented.
Agenda Item #10: Agreements between VLCT and PACIF and between VLCT and VERB. Mike Gilbar presented the substance of the agreements between VLCT entities, as well as the financial updates included in the agreements’ addenda. He responded to Board inquiries. Staff also informed the Board that members of the VERB Board, who met earlier in the day, would like to have a joint meeting of all Boards to discuss the agreements and the budget decisions affecting the detail of those agreements. On motion duly made by Member Safford and seconded by Member Goulette, the Board unanimously voted to approve the execution of the agreements by the executive director.
Agenda Item #11: Preview of Legislative Session. Karen Horn and Gwynn Zakov provided the Board with the updated municipal priorities brochure and Legislative Preview newsletter. Discussion ensued about the 2018 legislative session outlook and Karen and Gwynn responded to questions from the Board.
Agenda Item #12: Other
b. Member Initiatives Member Whittaker brought up the need to address the lack of accessibility around the state with regard to internet service and the State’s reliance on electronic communication, creating a hardship for many small communities. He also raised the issue of municipal involvement in the customer service database upgrade and discussion ensued. Finally, he asked staff to follow the litigation regarding non-residents being allowed to vote in Vermont municipalities and keep the Board apprised.
d. Staff Initiatives Staff asked the Board to sign the Conflict of Interest Policy forms for 2018.
On motion duly made by Member Beckett and seconded by Member Cadwell, the Board unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 3:15 p.m.