Thetford Selectboard Meeting Minutes - Final -
December 14, 2009
Present: Tig Tillinghast, John Bacon, Cathee Clement, and Andrew Toler
Guests: Donn Downey, Resident (7:18 pm); Janet Cavanagh, Landscape Architect (7:37 pm);
Bob Walker, Energy Committee (7:49 pm); Jim Masland and Margaret Cheney (8:00 pm); Doug
Stone, Road Foreman (8:34 pm); Budget Committee Members: Mike Pomeroy, Terry Longo,
and Penny Sirjane (9:06 pm)
Call to order and Agenda Review
Consideration of Selectboard Appointee Nominations
Freeman Residence Fence Proposal
Energy Committee Update
Jim Masland and Margaret Cheney Visit
Road Foreman Update and Grader Discussion
- Break -
All-Budget Change Review
Old Business, Including
- Possible Signing of New Financial Policies
Other Business, including
- Distribution of Special Town Meeting Minutes
Call to Order, 7pm
Tig Tillinghast called the meeting to order at 7 pm.
Minutes, 7:05 pm
The Selectboard reviewed/revised draft meeting minutes for the November 27rd meeting.
Cathee Clement made a motion to accept the November 23rd meeting minutes as revised. John
Bacon seconded the motion. All members approved.
Andrew Toler informed Selectboard members that the recent re-appointment of Health Officer,
Al Stone in the November 30, Final Draft meeting minutes did not reflect the term of the
appointment. It is noted that Al Stone was re-elected by Selectboard members on November 30,
2009 as Health Officer for another 2 year term.
Consideration of Selectboard Appointee Nominations, 7:18 pm
At 7:18 pm, Donn Downey came before the Selectboard to discuss the current Selectboard
member opening. Tig Tillinghast stated that the nominations are being considered through
December 21, 2009. At which time, the Selectboard will interview candidates for the position.
Mr. Downey stated his interest in the position and asked for more information regarding duties
and the time involved in being a Selectboard member. Tig Tillinghast and Selectboard members
provided Mr. Downey with an overview of the Selectboard member’s roles and responsibilities.
Freeman Residence Fence Proposal, 7:37 pm
Janet Cavanagh, Landscape Architect for John and Jeanette Freeman stopped by to meet with the
Selectboard to seek approval to place 6 ft board fence on the property line, out of the right of
way from the lake to the end of the garage, along Rte 244. The total length of fence will be 120 ft
+/-, not counting the turn-in runs, along the drive. The existing 3 ft split rail fence will remain as
outlined on the Tax Lot proposal distributed to Selectboard members. Ms. Cavanagh spoke with
Doug Stone, Road Foreman, regarding this issue and Mr. Stone gave his approval of the 6ft
fence, along with replacement and repair of the existing split rail fence stating that there was no
visibility issue on the corner with the split rail fence. Richard Blacklow, Zoning Administrator,
suggested Ms. Cavanagh seek approval from the Selectboard. Andrew Toler moved to resolve
that the Selectboard has no objection to John and Jeanette Freeman’s fence plan as presented by
Janet Cavanagh. John Bacon seconded. All members approved.
Energy Committee Update, 7:49 pm
Bob Walker, Energy Committee, stopped in to deliver a request for a Single Year Appropriation
from the Sustainable Energy Resource Group (SERG) for 2010. Mr. Walker mentioned recently
submitting two Energy grants and stated that he would like to discuss how to effectively sit as
the Energy Committee Chair as well as represent SERG. Cathee Clement stated that having Mr.
Walker represent both the Energy Committee Chair and SERG, could present a conflict of
interest. Tig Tillinghast stated that anytime SERG submits a proposal, Mr. Walker needs to
recuse himself from the selection process. Mr. Walker also asked if there was a decision on
moving the $578 from within the Energy Committees budget to another line item. Tig
Tillinghast stated that moving money which was appropriated for a specific project, cannot be
moved to another line item and the rest of the board agreed.
Jim Masland and Margaret Cheney Visit, 8:00 pm
Jim Masland and Margaret Cheney stopped by with their annual visit to update the Selectboard with a
Legislative update. The following was discussed:
- Jim Masland stated that there will budget and funding issues again this year as the budget
shortfall is worse than last year. There were lots of cuts last year and not much left to cut this
- Andrew Toler asked about Road cuts. Jim Masland stated that the House and Senate have
differences of opinion and discussed possible issues with the Transportation bill as well as the
new Chair in the House of Transportation.
- Margaret Cheney discussed possible issues with the Teachers Retirement fund and
Unemployment funds as there is an increased demand, decreased revenue.
- Jim Masland discussed the Vermont League of City & Towns (VLCT) Newsletter stating that
it is a great way to find out about current issues, but to filter those issues as reporting is at
times inaccurate. Jim Masland and Margaret Cheney stated they are happy to come in to visit
with the Selectboard at any time to discuss the town’s concerns. Margaret Cheney stated that
she will contact Pete Webster, Norwich, and suggests getting together with surrounding
towns regarding Route 132, equipment, bridges and road issues.
- Jim Masland stated that having the surrounding four towns come together and represent a
common voice is a great alternative to VLCT alone. Margaret Cheney agreed to help
facilitate those meetings.
- John Bacon asked about School Tax funding this year. Margaret Cheney stated that she
would like it to be based on income revenue and not property tax. Unfortunately, there is no
political will or energy to bring up at the caucus level.
Tig Tillinghast asked that Jim Masland and Margaret Cheney keep the Selectboard informed as issues
arise and will be happy to make time for them on the agenda.
Road Foreman Update & Grader Discussion, 8:34 pm
Doug Stone, Road Foreman stopped by with a Roads update for the Selectboard:
- The amount of sand and salt used to date is less than the amount used in the last 5 years.
- Equipment breakdowns are minor: mirrors, chains, etc.
- More grading done this year, due to warm weather.
- CVPS tree contractor contacted him today to take down trees. No advanced notice this was
going to happen.
- Discussed unauthorized road improvement project on Jackson Brook Road.
- The loan for the new truck was approved.
- Received grant from the state for $150,000 for road repairs.
- Tig Tillinghast asked about Grader Equipment. Doug Stone feels that the current 1996 Road
Grader can make it through another year, but to remember that repairs equal downtime.
- Tig Tillinghast and Andrew Toler will meet with Doug Stone and Jill Graff next Thursday to
discuss/review the Capital equipment fund for 2010.
- Tilden replaced the electric meter at Post Mills Fire Department shed (which was ripped off
when backing vehicle out of building). There is also an issue with the overhead door. Tig
Tillinghast suggested checking with Jill Graff, Town Treasurer to see if there should be a
claim with insurance to cover the cost of door replacement.
- There was a roadway issue regarding a Houghton Hill residence. Need to hear back from Jim
Lanctot, Police Chief regarding resolution.
Doug Stone asked if the Selectboard approved increasing the Training line item in the road budget to
include Grader training in 2010. Andrew Toler acknowledged that the line item was increased $1,000 to
cover the Grader training.
All-Budget Change Review, 9:06
Mike Pomeroy, Terry Longo and Penny Sirjane joined Selectboard members to review the All-Budget
change review. Tig Tillinghast suggested that instead of talking about individual line items policy, they
confirm/discuss line item increases/decreases as reflected in past budget review meetings.
At 9:40 pm, Walter Malmquist stopped by to update the Selectboard with progress on demolition of the
Malmquist buildings on the Post Mills property. Mr. Malmquist thanked Cathee Clement for her follow-
up phone call and stated that Mark McMahon, Senior and Affordable Housing Committee, was very
helpful in providing him with demolition vendor information. Mr. Malmquist is expecting six bids to
come in on demolition and waste removal by next Wednesday, at which time he will award the bid. Mr.
Malmquist stated that he intends to have the buildings down by the end of January. Mr. Malmquist stated
that he received the okay from Two Rivers to go ahead with demolition of the building and move forward
with phase two of the process. All hazards are reasonable and can be dealt with prior to the demolition.
At 9:45 pm, Andrew Toler stated that a decision on health benefits for 2010 need to be made. Tig
Tillinghast will add to next weeks agenda at which time there will be a vote to switch providers.
Old Business, 10:40 pm
Possible Signing of New Financial Policies: Tig Tillinghast made a motion to accept the
following financial policies:
- Auditing and Financial Reporting Policy
- Purchasing Policy
- Cash Receipts, Petty Cash and Returned Check Policy
- Debt Management Policy
- Investment Policy
- Fraud Prevention Policy
Cathee Clement seconded. All members approved.
Warrants, 10:46 pm
Cathee Clement made motion to accept the following warrants. Andrew Toler seconded. All members
Other Business, 10:44
Minutes: Andrew Toler requested that the full names of Selectboard members be used in the Selectboard
Meeting minutes instead of just last names. All members agreed.
Town Clerk Job Description: Cathee Clement asked that the Town Clerk and Selectboard Job
Description split be added to next weeks agenda for further discussion,
Fava Letter: Cathee Clement asked that the Selectboard take time to follow-up with the Favas regarding
the recent letter from their legal counsel. Tig Tillinghast agreed that a Selectboard member should sit
down and discuss their concerns with them and follow up with a written reply. Tig Tillinghast agreed to
meet with the Fava’s.
At 10:58 pm, Andrew Toler asked that the Selectboard convene an executive session to discuss a possible
real estate transaction. All members agreed. Members came out of executive session at 11:05 pm. No
decisions were made.
Selectboard members then discussed the Senator Leahy earmark project that may allow the town to build
a sidewalk on Thetford Hill. It appears that VTrans may have issues with the plans that might be hard to
square with the desires of the village residents. The Selectboard will be talking to federal highway people
about working through those issues.
Selectboard members talked about the Town Report and a process whereby the town could, on an ad hoc
basis, allow some committees a little extra space in that document over our new space restrictions.
At 11:20 pm, John Bacon made a motion to adjourn. The vote passed unanimously.
Cheryl Ulz, Recording Clerk, Thetford Selectboard