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Selectboard Regular Meeting 3/12/24

Selectboard Regular Meeting
March 12, 2024

Page 1 of 4
Selectboard: Sheila Duranleau Chair, AJ Galfetti, Robert Blanchard outgoing member, Josh Bell new
Town officers: Scott Blanchard treasurer/delinquent tax collector, Lois Deberville town clerk, Peter
Carbee assistant town clerk, Ben Tiefenthaler FEMA admin/moderator, Leona Grearson auditor, Susan
Davis lister, Billy Donovan lister
Visitors: Alice Poulin, Reginald Poulin, Rob Dupuis, Ethan Pratt, Sarah Teel, Clifton Long, Maria Royle,
Rob Perdue
Zoom: Kara Williams planning, Ryan Bresette Fire Chief, Nick Bresette, Becky Austin, Jenny Wolfe,
Bruce Bock, Cheri, AJF

  1. Chair called meeting to order at 6:43 p.m. She thanked and welcomed the new officials. She also
    acknowledged the years of service from outgoing selectboard member Robert (Fred) Blanchard
    who donated much of his personal time to the town.
  2. AJ made motion to approve minutes from the February 6, 2024, regular meeting, 2 nd by Fred, ayes
  3. Adjustments to agenda: Susan Davis asked to add the listers, was added to 6.6. Scott Blanchard
    asked to speak on widening Turnpike Road Class 4 area, added to 7.7
  4. Public comment: none
  5. Visitors: Billy read his draft proposal ordinance regulating solid waste and outdoor storage of
    junk vehicles. The selectboard will review the current junk vehicle ordinance, Josh will take
  6. Updates/Reports:
    6.1 Delinquent tax collector: Scott sent mailings to 33 people who are still delinquent, stating this
    would be their last contact. Approximately $46,000 still delinquent. Approximately $110,000 has been
    6.2 Treasurer Scott gave a report for budget vs actual, also a balance sheet showing most of the
    town’s assets (less rec dept/cemetery), grant money of $54,000 for McDonald Road came in.
    6.3 Road commissioner: no report
    6.4 Town clerk: Lois said there is a statute whereby she has to appoint an assistant clerk. After
    discussing with Peter Carbee and Harry, Lois appointed Peter as the new assistant town clerk until Harry
    is either ready to return or chooses not to.
    A resident has asked about smoothing out his muddy roads with his tractor, AJ already has addressed it.
    Susan then asked about the process for Lois hiring an assistant clerk i.e.; posting for applicants, and she
    wanted to know the statute. Lois replied there is no process other than hiring the assistant.

Page 2 of 4
(town clerk continued)
The town meeting minutes have to be approved by two of either selectboard members, the moderator or
Justices of the Peace. She asked not to submit them tonight due to wanting Ben to review parts that were
unclear on the recording.

David Martineau said all the ballasts may need to be replaced because the current bulbs in them
aren’t correct. There is a chance he may be able to provide us with the correct ones.

Peter said the Local Emergency Management plan (LEMP) has to be updated and renewed by
May 1.

Fred will remain our emergency management director. HMGP Grant would allow for upsizing
bridges and culverts, waterproofing municipal buildings, generators for fire station and/or the emergency
station. 75% FEMA, currently we are at 12.5% local match. With our overall emergency plan, we have
checked off 4 out of the 5 possibilities for the 12.5%. The 5 th one is the local water corridors which would
kick us up to 17.5% from the state, 7.5% local match. Geomorphic assessment may have been done by the
state already on Jail Branch, if so, there would be no expense for us to have it done. Peter will follow up.

6.5 FEMA administrator: Ben worked with FEMA rep in January to get our first project through,
submitted January 19, 2024. FEMA is a two-chamber operation more like an audit process, FEMA wants
all the records for example: how long did we work with Poulin Lumber and do we know that our rate
there is reasonable, every time a truck hauls 17 tons of stone to a roadway, FEMA wants to know the
dimension of the hole, % of compression.

Washington is a sub-recipient of the FEMA funds; they go to the state first then disbursement to the town.
(authorized February 8)

There has been a big backlog, Ben finally got a reply on March 6 which stated that there are only 2 people
working on this for the entire state of Vermont. Washington is in the queue, working up.

6.6 Listers: Susan had met with Diane Donovan on basic overview and deadlines. She and Billy will
be signing up for classes. They do not want to share a computer with others. They request keys to the
town hall for evening or weekend hours of meetings. She asked what the process is, Sheila said right now
there is no process and the new security system installer recommended that the least amount of people
possible have access. Sheila said she will think about it, the office is opened during normal business hours
and most officials come in during those. Sheila said she’s not prepared to make an on-the-spot decision
without giving it some thought.

Susan asked if those currently holding keys have gone through a background check.
Sheila said she thinks we should have a policy, again will need to think about it. She asked Lois
to check with listserv and check other towns’ policies. She asked the listers to ask the people they are
meeting with to use the town hall during the open business hours.

Billy asked if Scott and Peter and Lois have keys. (yes) Susan questioned if those with keys are
going to turn theirs in before a policy is written. Peter noted that that would mean no town clerk.

A Zoom comment was made that the key policy has already been answered and there’s no reason
to be argumentative.

Page 3 of 4

  1. Business
    7.1 Town budget: the board discussed their next steps, thinks the non-binding vote was confusing.
    There has to be a special meeting called to vote again. Budget isn’t needed until July 1. This gives time to
    rework the budget and have a public information meeting before July 1. Discussion on amendments and
    votes. Nick Bresette suggested talking to Harry Roush (former moderator) about frivolous amendments.
    7.2 Schedule ATV ordinance vote: Sheila said we are working with two different statutes. We have to
    warn at least 30 days but not more than 40 days for the special meeting. This has to be a floor vote, will
    check on availability for the school on Saturday, April 20, 2024, at 2 p.m. Unless we have in the past used
    an Australian vote system for a petition, the upcoming vote has to be a floor vote. To change future
    petition votes from floor vote to Australian vote, it has to be an article at a town meeting. Motion by AJ to
    set the ATV ordinance vote on April 20, 2024, dependent on if the school is available, 2 nd by Josh, ayes
    7.3 Road conditions: Sheila acknowledged the road crew as they worked during this mud season.
    Trash trucks are allowed back onto the roads this week. Rob Dupuis said truck drivers are mindful of the
    road conditions and will call to see if roads should be travelled by trash trucks. AJ made a motion to
    appoint Josh as point person between town and trash companies, 2 nd by Sheila, ayes carried.
    7.4 Peter Carbee was reappointed to the Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District board of
    supervisors by a motion made by Josh, 2 nd by AJ, ayes carried.
    7.5 AJ will do a site visit regarding Jack O’Conner’s request to throw up TH47. There is a long
    process including a 30-day notice to other landowners, given to planning commission, town clerk and a
    newspaper, certified notification.
    7.6 Town attorney consult on harassing emails: Sheila has about 50 emails from one person and she
    told this person she would no longer respond, and the Vermont League of Cities and Towns suggested she
    notify the town attorney. She asked for the board’s support.
    Susan said she had asked both Lois and Sheila about who the town attorney is and was told we
    didn’t know, but Sheila has since found out the town usually uses Mike Monte.
    AJ made motion to allow Sheila to contact the attorney, 2 nd by Josh, ayes carried.
    Billy Donovan said he’s the person in question, it’s unfair to bring it up here, to which Sheila
    responded she had needed a board vote to contact the attorney. He read from a state statute about
    permissive referendum. He said it was required for her to give contact information which she did.
    Someone on Zoom interjected that this was not the place for his personal thing that is going on.
    Peter said he had two more minutes, Billy said he wanted to talk for however long he needed. He read
    from some of his emails. He asked why there was no vote on his petition, and Sheila said at the time there
    was no petition to vote on, she reiterated there’s no vote if there’s no petition. He claimed nothing (in his
    emails) was harassing, and Sheila said the town attorney can decide.
    Sarah Teel spoke to power in-balance.

Page 4 of 4

Billy went out of order by not addressing the subject at hand of Sheila feeling harassed.
Sarah didn’t think it’s right to hire an attorney to ‘take away people’s rights’.

Sheila reiterated that she has just received support from the board and is acting on the advice of
the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.

Comment from a Zoom viewer that this issue was presented (by Sheila) with no names mentioned
and this person (Billy) decided to bring it into the public’s eye and she believes it should be left to the
recommendation of consulting with a lawyer.

7.7 Turnpike widening: Scott Blanchard intends to build at the end of Turnpike Road. At the last
100/150 feet of the road there are 4 or 5 trees that narrow the road. He’d like to widen the road by 2 feet
on his side, he’ll pay for it all, the road will be better than it was. This is a safety issue for when meeting
cars. All of this is his property. AJ said he and Elwin can meet with Scott some morning fairly soon.
Next scheduled meeting is April 2, would be an organizational meeting. AJ won’t be here that
week, Sheila can join electronically. The next meeting will now be May 7, 2024.

Billy asked to read some more emails, but Sheila said they are adjourning the meeting. AJ made
motion to adjourn, 2 nd by Josh, meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Lois Deberville, Town Clerk
Approved 3/28/2024

Zoom playback: (Zoom was a little on edge that night, but most of the meeting is here)

Passcode: %hQ!8+gG


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