Vermont League of Cities and Towns
Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Members Present: President Dominic Cloud and Members Jessie Baker, Deb Beckett, Bill Fraser, Mary Ann Goulette, Ken Linsley, Sandy Pinsonault, George Putnam, Charles Safford and Lucrecia Wonsor.
Others Present: VLCT staff: Elena Esteban, Karen Horn, Abigail Friedman, Joe Damiata, Mike Gilbar 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. He asked that all those present observe a moment of silence in remembrance of Phil Swanson, long-time town manager in Woodstock, who passed away on Wednesday evening, July 17. Maura Carroll introduced VLCT’s new Communications and Marketing Director, Elena Esteban, describing her more than 20 years of experience in the field, including website design, branding, graphic design, business development and general communications and marketing. Elena made a few comments and the Board welcomed her to the VLCT team.
Agenda Item #2: Additions and Deletions to the Agenda. On motion duly made by Member Beckett and seconded by Member Pinsonault, the Board unanimously voted to approve the agenda as presented.
Agenda Item #3: Consent Agenda Items. On motion duly made by Member Wonsor and seconded by Member Beckett, the Board unanimously voted to approve the consent agenda.
Agenda Item #4: Financial Update. Mike Gilbar provided the Board with an update of the 2018 financials pre-audit, as he received information from the Vermont Municipal Retirement System just prior to the meeting. With the VMERS information, the 2018 audit can be completed and will be presented to the Board at the September 5 meeting. Mr. Gilbar responded to inquiries from the Board.
Agenda Item #5: Organizational Update. Maura Carroll offered an update on issues of importance to the Board and projects underway at VLCT, including the extended absence of the receptionist, the status of the CRM project, the 2020 budget, discussions at the National League of Cities summer leadership meeting and VLCT’s intent to follow NLC’s lead with a “Love My Community” campaign in Vermont. Finally, Jill Remick provided an update on the status of grand list RFP, and that information was shared with the Board.
Agenda Item #6: Efficiency Projects in Municipal Buildings. Staff met with representatives of the Department of Buildings and General Services subsequent to the June Board meeting to discuss in greater detail the potential collaboration between VLCT and the State. At this point, a September meeting with VLITE is anticipated to determine whether that entity is willing to fund efforts to collaborate on energy efficiency projects at the local level. Further updates will be provided after that meeting.
Agenda Item #7: Town Fair Update and Board Registration for Town Fair. Maura Carroll reported that Town Fair planning is on track and a keynote speaker has been engaged. Morgan Wright, a national expert on cybersecurity, will discuss hacking and ransomware, as well as practical tips for local officials and employees to keep data as secure as possible. The deadline for Board registration for Town Fair and lodging is August 30. Member Fraser made a suggestion that the League consider Peter Kageyama as a future Town Fair keynote speaker.
Agenda Item #8: Legislative Update. Karen Horn reported that she and Gwynn Zakov are working on developing strategies for the 2020 legislative session, particularly those focused on the issue of self-governance, the Tax Structure Commission and education funding. A committee will be meeting in August to further brainstorm about how to approach self-governance during the next legislative session. Members of the Board, Steve Jeffrey and other local officials will be testifying before the Tax Structure Commission on July 24. The advocacy team will also be attending several selectboard meetings in the coming weeks to discuss legislative issues, with an emphasis on self-governance efforts.
Agenda Item #9: Other Business. No other business was brought forward.
On motion duly made by Member Beckett and seconded by Member Safford, the Board unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 1:40 p.m.