Minutes of the Selectboard Meeting of Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 6:30 PM
Members present: Ed Childs, Chair; Roger Blake; Linda Cook; Steve Flanders; Neil Fulton, Interim
Town Manager; Nancy Kramer, Assistant to the Town Manager. Absent: Christopher Ashley.
There were about 7 people in the audience.
Also participating: Liz Blum, Jack Candon, Cheryl Lindberg, Keith Moran, Bonnie Munday, Michael
Childs opened the meeting at 6:31 pm.
1. Approval of Agenda (Action Item). After moving items #11 and #12 after item #8, the Selectboard,
by consensus, approved the Agenda.
2. Public Comments. None.
3. Town Manager’s Report (Discussion). The Finance Office has collected 2.7 million dollars so far in
tax payments. The Town has received its final reimbursement payment from VLCT for insurance
premiums paid for the pool dam. The RFP for the Pool is being reviewed by FEMA. This year’s Town
Report has gone to the printer. The Safe Routes to School project will be assigned a new project
engineer once the contract for transfer of the roads to the Town of Norwich has been completed. The
Town Manager has a meeting scheduled for Friday with Hodgdon and McMullan to discuss sidewalks.
4. Finance – Board to Sign Accounts Payable/Warrants (Action Item). Blake moved (2nd Flanders) to
approve Check Warrant Report #12-28 for General Fund for the period from 2/1/12 to 2/8/12 in the
amount of $80,980.99. Motion passed. Flanders moved (2nd Blake) to approve Check Warrant
Report #12-28 for Town Reappraisal Fund for the period from 2/1/12 to 2/8/12 in the amount of
$3,938.40. Motion passed. Blake moved (2nd Flanders) to approve Accounts Payable Warrant #12-
27 dated January 31, 2012 in the amount of $1,021.47. Motion passed.
6. Renewal of Application for Village Center Designation (Discussion/Action Item). Fulton said that
the Town’s Village Center Designation granted in 2006 expired in 2011. Now that the new Norwich
Town Plan has been reviewed by TRORC, the Planning Commission would like the Selectboard to
authorize the request for renewal of the Village Center Designation. Boundaries and locations of
buildings are unchanged from 2006 but a few changes have occurred in uses of the buildings. After a
brief discussion, Blake moved (2nd Flanders) to authorize Neil Fulton, Interim Town Manager, to
request the renewal of the Village Center Designation granted November 27, 2006 by the Vermont
Downtown Program Board. Motion passed.
7. Pepe Development Agreement (Discussion/Action Item). Candon explained that the Pepes are
trying to keep their 1.5 acres in the Town of Norwich from being treated as a distinct, developable
parcel since they consider themselves to have a single home place which straddles a town line. The
Agreement would enable the Town to be consistent in their treatment of parcels while assuring the
Town’s receiving the full taxable value if the parcel is ever transferred or developed. Blum said that
the Board of Listers is recommending the Town approve the Agreement. Fulton said the property is
not currently on the Grand List but will be going forward. Cook spoke about not being able to support
the Agreement unless all similar properties in Town are treated the same. After some discussion,
Blake moved (2nd Flanders) to approve the Development Agreement and authorize the Town Manager
to sign. Motion passed 3 to 1 (yes – Childs, Blake, Flanders; no - Cook).
5. Liquor Licenses (Renewals) (Action Item). Flanders moved (2nd Blake) that the Selectboard
convene as the Norwich Liquor Commission. Motion passed. Munday reviewed the licenses she
had for renewal and showed the Selectboard where to sign the documents. Flanders moved (2nd
Blake) to approve the liquor license applications for Norwich Wines & Spirits, Norwich Inn (2), Dan &
Whit’s General Store and Carpenter and Main Restaurant. Motion passed. Munday thanked the
Board. Flanders moved (2nd Blake) to close the Norwich Liquor Commission session and reconvene
as the Selectboard meeting. Motion passed.
8. Finance Committee Statement of Purpose (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Flanders said the ad
hoc committee of two members from each of the Norwich Selectboard, Norwich School Board (NSB)
and Norwich Finance Committee (NFC) to review the NFC Statement of Purpose (SOP) met three
times during the summer and did not come to a meeting of the minds. Flanders has updated the SOP
and circulated it to the group. The updated SOP calls for a seven member NFC appointed by the
Selectboard for staggering three-year terms. The SOP has appendices describing the skill set
needed, budget indicators and scoring, budget guideline reporting points, labor contract guideline
development and a conflict of interest policy. When asked by the Chair, Flanders responded that the
updated SOP does not include the Treasurer position to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Moran spoke about his involvement with the ad hoc committee and said the NFC voted to not support
NSB appointments. Moran is reluctant to make any major changes to the current NFC. He believes
the NFC is valuable to the Town and a lot of work for the members of the NFC. Lindberg questioned
the need for a separate conflict of interest for the NFC. After discussion of NFC members attending
NSB and Selectboard meetings, the time commitment needed and the NFC offering opinions on the
Town and School budgets, the Selectboard agreed by consensus to circulate the document to the
NSB, NFC and Selectboard and ask for comments to be forwarded to the Town Manager’s Office in
11. Job Descriptions for Assessor and Assessor Clerk (Discussion). 12. Request for Proposals for
Contract Assessor (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Fulton said that although job descriptions are
the responsibility of the Town Manager he wanted to review the descriptions with the Board. The
Assessor position is a part-time position with an average of 24 hours per week. The Assessor reports
to the Town Manager and is under the general supervision of the Board of Listers for assessing
functions. The other approach for the Assessor is a Contract Assessor and the RFP covers that. The
Assessing Clerk position is also a part-time position with an average of 20 hours per week. Fulton
would like to fill this position as soon as possible. Blum spoke about the Listers working on being
transparent and embarking on a real transition. Blum believes the job descriptions are flexible enough
to fulfill the needs. She also wanted the Selectboard to know that the Listers email comments on the
job descriptions in the packet are from Ciccotelli and do not reflect the Listers as a whole. Fulton said
a plan for data collection and accountability is being worked on. There was also discussion regarding
the time frame, budgeted monies, lodging the Grand List and office space. Afterwards, Cook moved
(2nd Blake) to approve the Town Manager sending out the RFP for the Contract Assessor. Motion
9. Selectboard and Town Manager Goals (Discussion). Fulton has put together his thoughts on goals
and objectives. Also included in the packet are Flanders’ and Ashley’s suggestions. Fulton would like
to have the final document approved after Town Meeting and the new Selectboard is formed. Fulton
reviewed his seven Selectboard goals. After discussion, number three was changed to meet with the
School Board as appropriate and reviewing the policy for appropriation requests and clarifying Town
boundaries were added. The Town Administration eight goals were then discussed. It was agreed
that sidewalks and the Town Pool dam would be added to these goals. Flanders Town staffing
program was also discussed. Fulton said his goal was to promote from within but that this is difficult
for the Town. Fulton will do a revised list for the February 22nd meeting.
10. Budget Presentation at Town Meeting (Discussion). Fulton said the Board had asked for a more
formal process this year and asked what approach they favored. After some discussion, it was agreed
that Fulton would do the preliminary presentation. Fulton then went over the slides. After discussion,
it was agreed that Fulton would take the school part out of the Projected Tax Rates slide and just show
the Town and that the Projected Tax Rate Impact slide would include the Local Agreement Rate.
Fulton advised using 4.8% as the increase in the Total Town Rate for FY13.
13. Correspondence (Please go to www.norwich.vt.us, click on Town Offices bullet in left panel, scroll
down to Norwich Selectboard section and click on Recent Selectboard Correspondence to view
a) Resident –
1) #13 a). Email from Email from Tom Luxon Re: Sidewalks. Blake moved (2nd Flanders) to
receive an email from Tom Luxon re: sidewalks. Motion passed.
2) #13 b). Email from Evan Pierce Re: Resigning from Finance Committee. Blake moved (2nd
Flanders) to receive an email from Evan Pierce re: resigning from the Finance Committee.
Motion passed. A letter thanking Pierce for his service will be sent. After discussion, it
was agreed by consensus that Pierce would remain on the Capital Facilities Committee and
that the Finance Committee would be contacted to recommend someone else for the
Capital Facilities Committee from their ranks.
a) Review of Pending Items (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Strategic planning and Town
boundaries will be dropped from pending items as they are now on goals.
b) Review of Next Agenda (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Town Manager and Selectboard
goals as well as the Town Meeting presentation will be on the agenda for February 22nd.
Cook moved (2nd Flanders) to adjourn. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:29 pm.
Approved by the Selectboard on March 14, 2012.
By Nancy Kramer
Assistant to the Town Manager
Next Regular Meeting – February 22, 2012 at 6:30 PM
1) Update Finance Committee Statement of Purpose
2) Strategic Planning
3) Town Boundaries
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