VERMONT LEAGUE OF CITIES AND TOWNS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
Thursday, May 18, 2022
VLCT Board Members Present (in person): President Jessie Baker, David Allaire, Bill Fraser, Ann Lawless, Miro Weinberger. (via zoom) Mary Ann Goulette, Julie Hance, Charlie Hancock, Delsie Hoyt, Ken Linsley, George Putnam, Georgette Wolf-Ludwig,
VLCT Staff Present (in person): Executive Director Ted Brady, Karen Horn, (via zoom) Katie Buckley, Elena Esteban, Abby Friedman, Jessi Hill, Linda Mahns, and Gwynn Zakov.
Agenda Item #1: Call to order by the President
President Jessie Baker called the meeting to order at 12:22 p.m.
Agenda Item #2: Additions and Deletions to the Agenda
Jessie Baker asked if there were additions or deletions or a motion to approve the agenda as is. Ted Brady stated Agenda Item #7 be tabled to next month. David Allaire made a motion to accept the agenda as amended. Bill Fraser seconded the motion. The agenda was adopted unanimously.
Agenda Item #3: Consent Agenda
The consent agenda, including the minutes from April 21, 2022 and the Personnel Report for May was motioned to approve by George Putnam and seconded by Mary Ann Goulette. Approved unanimously.
Agenda Item #4: Organizational Update
Ted Brady gave an overview of the Organization Update including the 2021 Audit, 2022 Q1 Financials, Association Management System, Office Space Update, Internship Program, and a follow up on the Clerk and Treasurer discussion that occurred previous with the Board. Ted updated the Board with updates from the Municipal Assistance Center, Risk Management Services, IT, and the Town Meeting updates that have occurred in the database.
Agenda Item #5: Adopt VLCT Three Year Justice, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Plan
Ted Brady went through the nine pillars and subsequent goals, actions, and timeframe that the Equity Committee worked on. Jessie Baker asked for a motion to adopt the Justice, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging strategic plan as recommended by the Equity Committee. Bill Fraser made the motion and Mary Ann Goulette seconded. Roll call for Ayes: Jessie Baker, Miro Weinberger, David Allaire, Ann Lawless, Julie Hance, Mary Ann Goulette, Georgette Wolf-Ludwig, Bill Fraser, Charlie Hancock, and Delsie Hoyt. Roll call for Nays: George Putnam.
Agenda Item #6: Consider 2022 Equity Funding Budget
Ted Brady provided a summary of the equity funding budget and answered questions that were asked on stipends and consultants. An end-of-year evaluation was recommended to show necessary feedback on the effectiveness of spending. Charlie Hancock recommended that should VLCT offer equity consulting services to members similar to how we offer legal services, that VLCT provide a legal disclaimer that the consultant services are not the recommendations of VLCT. Jessie Baker asked the Board for a motion to approve the equity funding budget for 2022 including $7,875 for stipends to policy committee and equity committee members, $50,000 to provide equity consultant services to municipalities, $82,125 to create an equity cohort, and $10,000 to support marketing and communications work this coming year.Bill Fraser made the motion and David Allaire seconded. This was approved unanimously.
Agenda Item #7: Welcome New Municipal Assistance Center Staff
This item has been tabled for June.
Agenda Item #8: Break
A break occurred from 1:46 – 1:59 pm.
Agenda Item #9: Policy Committee Charge Discussion
Ted Brady introduced this item having 4 goals for today’s discussion: goals are to get policy committees to come together to review policies, recruitment help for serving on these committees, charge the committees with specific solutions to present to the Legislature, and to have the policy committees show up during Legislative sessions to help testify. Karen Horn took over the discussion asking for the Board’s recommendations for chairs for the five Policy Committees and to ask for any changes to the charges or titles of these committees.
The Finance, Administration and Intergovernmental Relations (FAIR) Policy Committee is responsible for governance; taxation including education funding, open meeting and public records; clerk-treasurer issues; economic development. Bill Fraser volunteered to continue serving as chair for this committee.
The Public Safety Policy Committee is responsible for fair and impartial policing including federal immigration law and Act 5; authority, information, and funding to combat drug-related crime; Department of Corrections’ policy; training and funding to support fire safety volunteers and professionals, emergency medical technicians, and law enforcement officials; dispatch; highway safety; marijuana legalization. Miro Weinberger volunteered to serve as chair for this committee. Jessie Baker, David Allaire, and Julie Hance volunteered to serve on this committee.
The Quality of Life and Housing Policy Committee (formerly Quality of Life and Environment) is responsible for land use planning, development, and regulation; housing; Act 250; economic development; telecommunications; health care; related quality of life matters. Mary Ann Goulette volunteered to serve as chair of this committee.
The Transportation Policy Committee is responsible for funding for municipal highway aid and water quality related to highways; communication among state, federal, and local officials on transportation issues; efficiency and effectiveness in transportation construction programs; trucks and oversized vehicles on municipal highways; policy related to rail. Delsie Hoyt volunteered to serve as chair of this committee.
The Environment Policy Committee (formerly Water Quality Committee) is responsible for conservation, climate, energy, water quality, and wastewater management matters; implementation of the federal and state Clean Water Acts; stormwater management; integrated planning for water quality; total maximum daily loads and basin planning. Charlie Hancock volunteered to serve as chair of this committee.
Bill Fraser made a motion to accept the names for these Policy Committees as written above. Miro Weinberger seconded. Approved unanimously.
The Board then discussed approving the charges provided by Karen Horn in the “Memo to Policy Committees”. Bill Fraser asked if policy statements could be written by each committee and ask each committee to recommend their top 2-3 issues to focus on for each biennium. Julie Hance asked about EMS training to be on par with Police and Fire training in the Public Safety Committee. Miro Weinberger asked that the charge to the Public Safety Committee more prominently feature policy recommendations around recruitment and retention of law enforcement officers. David Allaire made a motion to approve the charges as defined above. Miro Weinberger seconded. Approved unanimously.
Agenda Item #10: Legislative Session Recap
Ted Brady introduced the legislative session wrap up by saying the session was particularly good to municipal government, and thanked the members that showed up to help advocate with VLCT. Karen Horn and Gwynn Zakov led a discussion on the Legislative Session results as it has wrapped up for the season. Highlights included: $90 million dedicated to housing appropriations for S.226, S210, and H.740; funding to help municipalities save on heating costs and fight climate change. H.518 includes $36 million in grants and H.740 appropriates $206 million; modest expansion of municipal authorities (S.181); Appropriations to fund mandated programs; a new environmental justice program (S.148) was established and the Vermont Office of Racial Equity will launch the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Action, Leadership (IDEAL) Program in the summer/fall; tax reform and stabilized cost of living initiated with H.737; Acts 77, 78, and 79 authorized alternative arrangements for 2022 town meetings, elections for local office, and fully remote public meetings if circumstances warrant; H.96 established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, S.254 mandated a study on qualified immunity, S.250 required collection of specific law enforcement data, and H.740 appropriated $11 million to develop regional dispatch; modest easing of Act 250 in designated areas, S.226 expanded the number of priority housing units in communities of less than 3,000, S.234 expanded on Act 250 jurisdictions (forest blocks); funding for water and wastewater projects including H.737 ($55 million) and H.740 ($109 million.)
Agenda Item #11: Other Business
Jessie Baker asked if there was any other business to discussion. There was none.
Agenda Item #12: Adjourn
Jessie Baker asked for a motion to adjourn. David Allaire made the motion and Delsie Hoyt seconded. The meeting adjourned at 3:15 pm
Executive Administrative Assistant