John Hammer, Contributing Editor
A one hour-work session to review the Palmer Method factor scoring for the Town Administrator and Clerk/Treasurer’s positions took place Jan. 9. It turned out that one hour was insufficient to resolve the issue of the scoring and discussion was postponed until a special meeting at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 17. The plan to resolve Mary Mead’s pay was set forth in a change to the Salary Administration Policy at the last meeting. It calls for a delay in the review until after the next Selectboard has been elected at the Town Meeting 2017.
The board went on to conduct a final review of the Town Budget for the Year 2017-18. A final decision will be made at the regular Selectboard meeting Jan. 23. There were only limited changes to amounts decided over the past three months. Revenues posed no real questions. A few issues were raised about expenses particularly in larger percentage growth lines which included: engineering for septic reviews, town hall equipment/computer upgrades, cemetery maintenance and donations. The latter came under attack with a question on why public funds were programmed for support of charitable organizations. Discussion of this is planned for the floor of Town Meeting. The Conservation Reserve Fund input was cut to zero for this year. Another major decision reduced the Fire and Rescue Reserve Fund to an amount to be determined later. This had originally been considered for part of the purchase of a replacement for the 1980 pumper.
The budget review was followed by a review of the warnings for Town Meeting. Articles 1-4, 6, 8, 10 and 11 were unchanged. Article 5 was modified to better explain the Town Charter’s effect on the voting procedure and 7 was stricken to be replaced by an article discussing a $40,000 bond for completing the Town Link Trail. The funds mentioned in the deleted Article 7 were rolled into an expanded Article 12 which calls for the complete bonding for the 1980 pumper replacement. It has an estimated cost of $625,000 plus $5,000 associated legal costs. Article 9 was stricken as the question is not legally considered appropriate for voting by Australian ballot.
Among the administrative actions taken were authorizing the closure of Roscoe Road between Prindle Road and the Jimerson Farm south of the Sequin Bridge from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Jan 22. This will allow parking and access to a neighborhood celebration of the reconstruction of the bridge. The public is invited.
An application to the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission was authorized in anticipation that full funding for a review identifying methods to improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclers and motorists will be granted.
It was decided to await developments regarding the Kessler Superior Court appeal relative to a certificate of occupancy for a two-family dwelling at 1687 Church Hill Road.
Finally, ten 20-year leases for Thompson’s Point properties were approved. An eleventh lease for 1/3 of Lot 133 was added at the meeting.
The next Selectboard meetings will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 17 and at the regular time on Jan. 23.