Vermont League of Cities and Towns
Virtual Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, September 3, 2020
Members Present: President Miro Weinberger, Vice President Peter Elwell and Members Jessie Baker, 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 Mike Gilbar, Karen Horn, Gwynn Zakov, Jessica Hill, Elena Esteban, Abigail Friedman, Lisa Goodell, Joe Damiata 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 12:23 p.m. and welcomed all to the meeting.
Agenda Item #2: Additions and Deletions to the Agenda. On motion duly made by Member Baker and seconded by Member Pinsonault, the Board unanimously voted to approve the agenda with one addition – a report of the Search Committee during Other Business.
Agenda Item #3: Consent Agenda Items. On motion duly made by Member Safford and seconded by Member Baker, the Board unanimously voted to approve the consent agenda.
Agenda Item #4: 2019 Audit SAS Compliance Report and 2020 Audit. Magali Welch, Laura Macuga, and Troy Dane of the auditing firm, Johnson Lambert, presented the 2019 audit to the Board and responded to questions posed by Board members. They also presented the plan for the 2020 audit, with preparations already underway. They responded to questions on that process as well. On motion duly made by Member Safford and seconded by Member Linsley, the Board unanimously voted to accept the 2019 audit as presented
Agenda Item #5 Second Quarter Financials. Mike Gilbar presented the VLCT second quarter financials and responded to questions from the Board. On motion duly made by Member Safford and seconded by Member Pinsonault the Board unanimously voted to approve the second quarter financial report and commended Mike and the finance staff for a job well done.
Agenda Item #6: Organizational Update. Maura Carroll offered an update to the Board, including: the Finance Department has updating software over the summer months; more staff members are starting to work in the office periodically and protocols have been put in place to ensure that staff are safe; work is ongoing on the Business Alliance program and a formal presentation will be given at the September 30 to all three Boards; assistance was provided to Board members for the press conference outlining the Board’s police reform policy; MAC training is on-going and well-attended; staff is working with the legislature which reconvened on August 25.
Agenda Item #7: Contractual Partnership with Hickok and Boardman HR Intelligence (HBHRIQ). Maura Carroll presented a proposal to move programs currently housed in VERB to VLCT to increase non-dues revenues for VLCT and return VERB to an unemployment insurance program. The proposal was approved by the VERB Board at its August 13 Board meeting. On motion duly made by Member Putnam and seconded by Member Baker, the Board unanimously voted to approve the proposal as presented.
Agenda Item #8: Town Fair Update. Maura Carroll and Lisa Goodell updated the Board about Town Fair activities and the roles the Board will play during Town Fair, including attendance at the Municipal Policy Conference on September 23 to present the policies of the committees on which they served and attendance at the Annual Meetings of all VLCT entities. Staff responded to inquiries from the Board.
Agenda Item #9: Nominating Committee Report. Nominating Committee member, Sandy Pinsonault, presented the report of the Nominating Committee and described the process used to choose a slate of candidates for the VLCT Board of Directors. She indicated that there is a good pool of future candidates for the Board, based on applications received this year.
Agenda Item #10: Work on Racial Equity. The Board discussed potential next steps in the process of educating themselves and assisting VLCT members to address issues of racial equity, inclusion and diversity. The consensus was that it is appropriate for VLCT to be a clearinghouse for identifying and developing resources for the membership on an on-going basis.
Agenda Item #11: Amendment to Board Per Diem Policy. Prior to the onset of COVID-19, teleconference or virtual meetings of the Board were not eligible for per diem reimbursement. The Board asked staff to revise the policy and bring it back to the Board for review. The revised policy states that Board members are eligible for the per diem reimbursement if the teleconference or virtual meeting is a regular Board meeting or one that is of at least 60 minutes duration. On motion duly made by Member Safford and seconded by Member Linsley the Board unanimously voted to approve the revised Board policy as presented. Board members will be eligible for reimbursement beginning with this September Board meeting.
Agenda Item #12: Legislative Update. Karen Horn and Gwynn Zakov discussed legislation that is being considered during the reconvened session of the legislature. This includes legislation to address the 2021 Town Meetings, TIF district extensions for incurring debt, cannabis, law enforcement, zoning and housing, Act 250 and the permanent ability to move to virtual processes when municipalities face emergency situations. They responded to questions posed by Board members. There was also discussion about eligibility for reimbursement of funds expended for public safety and other municipal employees through the CARES Act and other federal and state sources.
Agenda Item #13: Other Business. (c.) The VLCT Search Committee, chaired by Member Jessie Baker, reported on the progress of the search for a new executive director, including the issuance of the RFP and the timeline for hiring and on-boarding a new director during the early part of 2021.
There was no other business to come before the Board.
On motion duly made by Member Safford and seconded by Member Fraser, the Board unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 2:27 p.m.