Vermont League of Cities and Towns
Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, January 17, 2019
VLCT Offices, Montpelier, Vermont
Members Present: President Dominic Cloud, Vice President Miro Weinberger and Members Jessie Baker, Deb Beckett, Jared Cadwell, Peter Elwell, Bill Fraser, Mary Ann Goulette, Ken Linsley, Sandy Pinsonault, George Putnam, Charles Safford, and Lucrecia Wonsor.
Others Present: VLCT staff: Karen Horn, Gwynn Zakov, Jessica Hill, Abigail Friedman, Mike Gilbar, Jeremiah Breer, Dean Mudgett, Jim Burke and Maura Carroll.
Agenda Item #1: Call to order by the President. President Cloud called the meeting to order at 12:25 p.m. and welcomed all to the meeting.
Agenda Item #2: Additions and Deletions to the Agenda. On motion duly made by Member Pinsonault and seconded by Member Safford, the Board unanimously voted to approve the agenda as amended to include a request to add one items to Other Business to appoint members to a dues formula committee.
Agenda Item #3: Consent Agenda Items. On motion duly made by Member Elwell and seconded by Member Safford, the Board unanimously voted to approve the consent agenda.
Agenda Item #4: Tax Department RFP for Grand List Software and Other Related Items. Jill Remick, Director of Property Valuation and Review at the Vermont Department of Taxation, and Casey O’Hara, who is working on the project, discussed the RFP the department plans to issue for grand list software. They reported that they have discussed this project with a number of other states and hope to issue the RFP in February with the goal of choosing a vendor by midsummer. The Department would like a VLCT representative on the selection committee. They responded to questions from Board members. Subsequently, the Board had a robust discussion about the role of VLCT in this RFP process and beyond. On motion duly made by Member Cadwell and seconded by Member Elwell, the Board unanimously voted to send a small group representing VLCT to meet with representatives of the Tax Department. There will be additional discussions at future Board meetings.
Agenda Item #5: Organizational Update. Maura Carroll provided an overview of the 2019 VLCT program priorities. The leadership team will provide more detail on those priorities at the February meeting, including timelines and any work plans that have been developed.
Also, the Board discussed dates for the 2020 Town Fair, since the usual dates are not available at the DoubleTree in South Burlington. September 30 and October 1 are available (the week before Town Fair is usually scheduled) and October 6 and 7 are available. The Board concluded that earlier dates are more appropriate. On motion duly made by Member Pinsonault and seconded by Member Fraser, the Board voted to host the 2020 Town Fair on September 30 and October 1 in South Burlington.
Agenda Item #6: Audit RFP. Jeremiah Breer provided a memorandum that included a synopsis of the Committee process and discussion held by the Audit Committee to determine whether VLCT, VERB and PACIF should remain with Johnson Lambert or offer a contract to a new audit firm. The Committee recommended that all three entities remain with Johnson Lambert. On motion duly made by Member Safford and seconded by Member Elwell, the Board unanimously voted to accept the Committee recommendation and stay with the auditing form of Johnson Lambert.
Agenda Item #7: Legislative Outlook. Karen Horn and Gwynn Zakov offered the Board an initial look at legislative activities, committee work and legislation important to municipalities. They reported that Milly Archer, VLCT’s Water Quality Control Coordinator, and an intern, William Northrup, from Vermont Law School, will be assisting them at the State House throughout the legislative session. Kelley Avery will be following legislation for the trusts. The report items included education funding, self-governance, utility legislation mandating town activity, local option taxes and a marijuana sales tax. On motion duly made by Member Elwell and seconded by Member Safford, the Board unanimously voted to support a local option tax on the sale of marijuana of 5% of what the state adopts as a marijuana sales tax, with the typical 70%/30% split that is required of other local option sales taxes.
Agenda Item #8: Elimination of HR Committee. On motion duly made by Member Safford and seconded by Member Goulette, the Board voted to eliminate the HR Committee, which is no longer needed since the position is currently housed only in PACIF. Member Pinsonault abstained from the vote.
Agenda Item #9: Other Business.
(b) President’s Initiatives. President Cloud asked for volunteers to serve on the dues formula committee. President Cloud and Member Pinsonault will serve on that committee.
(e) Informational Materials. Maura Carroll indicated that staff has received calls from the press about attending VLCT trainings free of charge. The response has been that trainings are a VLCT member benefit, so only member officials and employees are eligible to attend.
On motion duly made by Member Beckett and seconded by Member Pinsonault, the Board unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 3:10 p.m.
Maura Carroll, Executive Director