TOWN OF WILLIAMSTOWN
MEMBERS: Larry Hebert – Chair, Bill Ashe – Vice Chair, Rodney Graham, Francis Covey, Art Stone
MANAGER – Jacqueline Higgins
L. Hebert called to order the Selectboard meeting at 7:00pm.
L. Hebert announced there would be an executive session for personnel reasons.
2nd Public hearing of proposed charter change
L. Hebert stated that he would not be reading the entire copy like he did at the last meeting, but that a copy would be included in with the town report. The changes made after the last hearing were to add a school board member and auditor to the hiring committee.
Selectboard Comments - R. Graham & J. Higgins commented about the Brattleboro Treasurer position. Their system is very different than ours. They have a CFO, assistant CFO, 3 other faculty members along with the Treasurer.
Public Input – A. Kramer noted that Brattleboro has 9000 residents and that they have 3 districts, and each district has a representative, and that’s who does the voting.
R. Cleaves noted that most of the places that have appointed Treasurers are in bigger cities and not in smaller town. He stated that we list 9 in our information letter and there are 251 towns in VT. L. Hebert responded with that they didn’t survey each town, just had a list of the ones they knew immediately. R. Cleaves asked what the pay would be, and L. Hebert said it would depend on their duties and qualifications. R. Graham said that given the current duties and 2 days a week 15k-20k.
A. Kramer stated that he felt that we should not have the Auditor on the committee has it might present a conflict of interest. The Board agreed, and switched it from the Town Auditor to a CPA or equivalent, not currently working for the town. A. Kramer would like a notation reference in subsection (d) listing the specific state statute that it is referring to. The Board agreed to put it in.
C. Peloquin asked if we could legally make changes now because it has been warned. The Board answered that yes, minor changes could be made. He also asked if the Board had discussed this position in depth. They answered that they have not gotten into every detail yet because, if passed, the change would not go into effect for over a year.
J. Taylor asked for clarification regarding the wording Governance Charter.
End of Public hearing at 7:30 p.m.
Changes to agenda – Add executive session for personnel reasons.
Visitor’s Comments: (maximum of 3 minutes per person, per topic)
J. Taylor asked about the Library budget. He was told by a librarian that it was cut $2000 by the Town. J. Higgins responded that the Library budget did not change from what they submitted except to apply the proper amounts for insurance based on the price quotes the Town received.
Review & Approval:
Reports – Manager Report
M. Sprano asked why there wasn’t a Town Meeting article to deal with the surplus highway funds. The Selectboard said that they did not, as by state statutes highway funds are earmarked for highway only. R. Cleaves said that he does like it and that he feels the voters should have a say in what happens. C. Peloquin said that he agrees with the Selectboard but also believes the voters should have a say. R. Graham said it is not the intent of the Board to roll over the funds and use frivolously. It was an oversight and it is too late to change the articles now.
T. Bailey asked about the grant for the culvert on Flint Road. J. Higgins reported that they extended the deadline and we won’t be getting any answers until probably March.
Around the Table:
R. Graham – Crystal Whitcomb said she had nothing by praise for the work done on Young Road.
F. Covey – nothing
L. Hebert - Asked everyone to be extra vigilant. There have been more break-ins in town. Sunday the Moose Lodge was broken into.
J. Higgins announced that there will be an open house for retiring Fire Chief Ed Eaton, Saturday, February 11, 2012 from 12-4 at the Fire Station.
F. Covey made the motion to enter into executive session at 8:10 p.m. to discuss personnel issues, seconded by R. Graham and so voted.
R. Graham made a motion to come out of executive session at 9:25, seconded by F. Covey, and so voted. No action taken.
R. Graham made a motion to adjourn at 9:26 p.m., seconded F. Covey, and so voted.