Vermont League of Cities and Towns
Board of Directors Meeting
Killington Grand Hotel
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Members Present: President Dominic Cloud (9:50), 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.
VLCT PACIF Board Members Present: President Carl Rogers (10:23), Vice President Jackie Higgins (10:34), and Members John Lawe and Patrick Moreland.
VLCT VERB Board Members Present: President William Shepeluk (9:35), Vice President Carrie Johnson (9:43), and Members Christopher Hoyt and Charles Safford (also a member of the VLCT Board).
Others Present: VLCT staff: Mike Gilbar, Jeremiah Breer, Karen Horn, Gwynn Zakov, Abigail Friedman, Jessica Hill, Elena Esteban, Joe Damiata and Maura Carroll.
Agenda Item #1: Call to order by the President. Vice President Weinberger called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. and welcomed all to the meeting.
Agenda Item #2: Additions and Deletions to the Agenda. On motion duly made by Member Safford and seconded by Member Cadwell, the Board unanimously voted to approve the agenda as presented.
Agenda Item #3: Consent Agenda Items. On motion duly made by Member Elwell and seconded by Member Wonsor, the Board unanimously voted to approve the consent agenda.
Agenda Item #4: 2020 Budget. Mike Gilbar presented the 2020 budget details to the Board members present and reviewed the memorandum that was provided to Board members. Jeremiah Breer explained how the League determines the costs of health care benefits for staff. Maura Carroll discussed staffing issues and the reduction in staff in the budget, as well as the intent to focus on increasing sponsorship revenue in 2020 and creating a corporate/business partnership program. Staff responded to questions from Board members. On motion duly made by Member Safford and seconded by Member Beckett, the Board unanimously voted to approve the 2020 VLCT budget as presented and commended the finance staff for a job well done.
Agenda Item #5: Capital Improvement Plan. Mike Gilbar provided the Board with an explanation of the 2020 CIP and responded to questions. On motion duly made by Member Pinsonault and seconded by Member Beckett, the Board unanimously voted to approve the 2020 VLCT Capital Improvement Plan as presented.
Agenda Item #6: Organizational Update. Maura Carroll offered an update on issues being addressed and projects underway at VLCT, including the ongoing CRM project, the 2020 budget, Town Fair preparations, fall training programs and planning for 2020 trainings and the hosting of an informational session on opioid litigation. She also reported that staff participated in a three hour facilitated session designed to elicit thoughts, ideas and opinions about VLCT, as a follow-up to the Listening Sessions held for member officials last year. In a separate meeting, staff was given a heads-up about the draft budget prior to the time it was sent to the full boards.
Agenda Item #7: Efficiency Projects in Municipal Buildings. Although not formally notified, staff learned that the VLITE Board approved funding to support a program assisting municipalities with energy efficiency projects. Maura Carroll expressed concern about the role VLCT is being asked to play: hiring and overseeing project managers who will in turn see that construction projects are completed. It seems to be beyond the scope and resource capacity of the League and would require significant staff time to get the program up and running. She suggested that VLCT should play a role but that further discussion with representatives of the state agencies is in order. The Board took no specific action but was supportive of further discussion with state agency representatives.
Agenda Item #8: Town Fair Update. Maura Carroll asked the Board to thank exhibitors for their participation at Town Fair again this year and provided each Board member with a list of exhibitors to visit. She also distributed “Love My Community” stickers to wear throughout Town Fair.
Agenda Item #9: Legislative Update. Karen Horn and Gwynn Zakov discussed the memorandum that was prepared and included with the agenda materials for the Annual Meeting. There was lively discussion among all three Boards about the issue of self-governance. Member Pinsonault moved, seconded by Member Wonsor, to formalize the discussion at the Annual Meeting to receive input and direction from the membership about self-governance from which tactical decisions about further strategy would be made by the VLCT Board. The motion was later withdrawn.
Karen Horn indicated that other items would be presented at the Annual Meeting, including clean water, workforce housing, marijuana taxation and regulation and cybersecurity, and that the marijuana proposal drafted by Gwynn Zakov would be on the agenda for the November Board meeting.
Agenda Item #10: Other Business. As Jared Cadwell and Deb Beckett step down from the VLCT Board, Maura Carroll thanked them for their service to VLCT, their support of programs and staff at the league and the commitment they have made to local government. She said they will be missed.
On motion duly made by Member Beckett and seconded by Member Elwell, the Board unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 11:30 a.m.