VERMONT LEAGUE OF CITIES AND TOWNS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
Thursday, January 19, 2023
VLCT Board Members Present (in person): President Jessie Baker, Bill Fraser, Lucrecia Wonsor, (via Zoom): David Allaire, Mary Ann Goulette (multiple interruptions), Julie Hance, Charlie Hancock, Delsie Hoyt, Ann Lawless (stepped out at about 2 p.m. for 15 minutes), Ken Linsley, Joe Major, and Georgette Wolf-Ludwig
VLCT Staff Present (in person): Executive Director Ted Brady, Seth Abbene, Jessi Hill, Karen Horn, Gwynn Zakov, (via Zoom): Katie Buckley, and Abby Friedman.
Others Present (in person): Richard Cate, UVM
Agenda Item #1: Call to order by the President
President Jessie Baker called the meeting to order at 12:23 p.m. Board members online were unable to hear the audio of those in the room. No business occurred until the audio was restored at 12:37 p.m.
Agenda Item #2: Additions and Deletions to the Agenda
Bill Fraser moved to adopt the agenda as presented. Lucrecia Wonsor seconded. The
motion was approved unanimously.
Agenda Item #3: Consent Agenda
Lucrecia Wonsor moved to adopt the consent agenda, including the minutes from December 15th and the January Personnel Report. The motion was seconded by Ann Lawless. The motion was approved unanimously.
Agenda Item #4: Visit from UVM Vice President for Finance and Administration Richard Cate
Richard shared that he is making visits to multiple stakeholder meetings to better understand the needs of the community. He asked Board members to share the concerns of municipalities with him. Board members shared stories about the need for more housing and issues around workforce development. Several board members and staff highlighted the need for more capacity in rural communities, and recognized the help college interns have provided towns. Bill Fraser said he’d like to see a stronger connection with the UVM Masters in Public Administration Program. Richard offered to set up a meeting with the MPA Program faculty and Board members. Richard shared that several units of UVM that do outreach to communities will be consolidated into the new Institute for Rural Partnerships.
Agenda Item #5: Organizational Update
Ted Brady provided updates on the office space sublease discussions, the progress of the new AMS rollout and web refresh, VMERS defined contribution changes, an Act 250 case involving Northeast Kingdom Human Services that impacts the definition of development for municipalities, and two high profile cases related to civic engagement that the ACLU is championing. Ted also highlighted several statistics from the December 2022 marketing report that show better than average member engagement with VLCT digital content.
Agenda Item #6: VLCT Finance Update
Seth Abbene shared the 2021 audit with the Board. David Allaire motioned to accept the 2021 audit. Mary Ann Goulette seconded the motion. The motion was adopted unanimously.
Seth Abbene shared the 2022 audit plan with the Board. Mary Ann Goulette motioned to accept the 2022 audit plan. Lucrecia Wonsor seconded the motion. The motion was adopted unanimously.
Seth Abbene shared the 2022 Town Fair profit and loss statement. Jessie Baker noted the financial success of Town Fair, and acknowledged the financial impact of the staff time required to make the event a success. No action was taken on the Town Fair report.
Agenda Item #7: 2023 Work Plan
Ted Brady shared the 2023 proposed work plan with the Board. Jessie Baker recommended that in addition to the work contained in the work plan, staff should engage with Board members and other municipal officials in “ride alongs” and tours to stay up to speed on municipal needs. Bill Fraser recalled how Karen had previously invited Montpelier to present how they put together their budget to help educate staff on municipal practices.
Bill Fraser moved to adopt the 2023 VLCT Work Plan. Lucrecia Wonsor seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.
Agenda Item #8: Break
A break occurred..
Agenda Item #9: 2022 Member Survey
Ted Brady shared the results of the 2022 VLCT Member Survey. No action was taken.
Agenda Item #10: Equity Committee Appointments
Bill Fraser moved to accept the recommended nominations to the VLCT Equity Committee as included in the Equity Committee Nominating Committee minutes of January 9th, 2023. Georgette Wolf-Ludwig seconded the motion. Joe Major abstained from the vote. The motion was adopted unanimously otherwise.
The 2023 Equity Committee appointments include: Al Voegele of St. Albans Town; Waterbury Selectboard Member Alyssa Johnson; Former Windsor Selectboard Member Amanda Smith; Shelburne Selectboard Member Cate Cross; Brattleboro Assistant Fire Chief Charles Keir; Bellows Falls Village President Deborah Wright; Winooski City Manager Elaine Wang; Barre City Diversity and Equity Committee member Ellen Kaye; Hinesburg Assistant Town Manager Joy Dubin Grossman; Middlebury Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay; Killington Town Clerk Lucrecia Wonsor; Essex Town Deputy Manager Marguerite Ladd; Plainfield Selectboard Member Sasha Thayer; Richmond Selectboard Member Jay Furr; Hartford Town Treasurer Joe Major.
Agenda Item #11: Discussion About State Proposals to Build Capacity in Rural Communities
Ted Brady, Karen Horn and Gwynn Zakov shared updates with the Board about several Administration backed proposals and legislative proposals to build capacity in rural communities. Several members of the Board expressed general support for the concepts included in all proposals, but cautioned staff from creating situations that pitted rural areas versus larger communities. No action was taken.
Agenda Item #12 Legislative Update
Karen Horn and Gwynn Zakov shared updates on housing legislation and the recently passed legislation to extend pandemic-related open meeting law changes and Town Meeting Day changes. Both staff shared that both House and Senate Government Operations committees have seen major turnover, and that committee members seem to appreciate VLCT being in the room.
There was no other business and no need for an executive session.
Lucrecia Wonsor motioned to adjourn the meeting. David Allaire seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned at 3:07 p.m.