Vermont League of Cities and Towns
Virtual Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, June 11, 2020
Members Present: President Weinberger, Vice President Peter Elwell and Members Jessie Baker, Dominic Cloud, Bill Fraser, Mary Ann Goulette, Elaine Haney, Delsie Hoyt, Ken Linsley, Sandy Pinsonault, George Putnam, Charles Safford and Lucrecia Wonsor.
Others Present: VLCT staff members Karen Horn, Gwynn Zakov, Elena Esteban, Jessica Hill, Lisa Goodell, and Maura Carroll.
All attended via GoToMeeting or by telephone.
Agenda Item #1: Call to order by the President. President Weinberger called the meeting to order at 12:22 p.m. and welcomed all to the meeting.
Agenda Item #2: Additions and Deletions to the Agenda. Vice President Elwell requested that an executive session be added to the agenda in “other business”. Maura Carroll requested that 2 items be added to the agenda: the renewal of the contract with VC3 for cloud-based computer services and the appointment of two members to the ad hoc budget committee. On motion duly made by Vice President Elwell and seconded by Member Baker, 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.
Agenda Item #4: Organizational Update. Maura Carroll offered an update to the Board, including that VLCT dues invoices will be sent the week of June 15; COVID-19 messaging will be cut back to once a week; webinars are being offered, most recently on the Open Meeting Law and the property tax assessment training series, sponsored by Property Valuation and Review; 2021 budget discussions have begun; work is ongoing on revamping the sponsorship program; annual report development is underway; and staff is taking advantage of sessions developed for state leagues about fiscal recovery and the new ways leagues are planning events and serving members.
Agenda Item #5 Plan for Annual Meetings. Maura Carroll presented a framework for the organization’s Annual Meetings and 2020 Town Fair prepared by the Communications Team. On motion duly made by Member Fraser and seconded by Member Cloud, the Board unanimously voted to approve the format as presented.
Agenda Item #6: Nominating Committee. On motion duly made by Member Safford and seconded by Member Fraser, the Board unanimously approved appointing Members Goulette, Pinsonault and Haney to the Nominating Committee, chaired by Member Cloud.
Agenda Item #7: Legislative Update. Karen Horn and Gwynn Zakov discussed legislation of interest to local government related to the COVID-19 response, including H.951 that would allow the Treasurer’s Office to pay interest on short-term municipal borrowing to cover education property tax shortfalls; H.349 providing $14 million in aid to municipalities for expenses related to COVID-19; the need to address the consequences to municipalities of the Governor lifting the emergency order, since operational flexibility was given in the context of the emergency. Board members posed questions about Act 250 legislation and tax increment financing legislation and had a lively discussion about the issue of filing campaign finance reporting when providing information related to bond votes.
Agenda Item #8: Other Business.
- VC3 Contract. Staff presented the outline of the pending contract renewal with VC3 and reported that there is a reduction in costs amounting to roughly $18,000-$20,000 per year starting with the first year of the renewal, with the same terms as the existing contract. On motion duly made by Member Fraser and seconded by Member Baker, the Board unanimously voted to authorize the executive director to negotiate a contract with VC3 at or below current pricing, sign the contract and provide a copy to the Board when it is available.
- Ad Hoc VLCT Budget Committee. Staff asked the Board to appoint two members to the ad hoc VLCT budget committee. On motion duly made by Member Safford and seconded by Member Pinsonault, the Board unanimously voted to reappoint Member Cloud and Member Elwell to serve on the committee.
- Executive Session. On motion duly made by Member Haney and seconded by Member Baker, the Board unanimously voted that there was a need to go into executive session in accordance with V.S.A. Title 1, Section 313 (3) relating to the appointment or employment of an employee. Following that, on motion duly made by Member Elwell and seconded by Member Goulette, the Board unanimously voted to enter executive session at 1:37 p.m. and invited the executive director to join them in executive session. The Board returned to public session at 2:19 p.m. No further action was taken.
The meeting adjourned at 2:20 p.m.