Gail Callahan, Contributor

The Town of Charlotte, VT

The Jan. 8 Selectboard meeting saw an array of issues discussed, including the next step in jumpstarting the search for a new Zoning Administrator.

Board members reviewed a job description contained in their packets, which was written after receiving input from a Planning Commissioner and a representative from the Zoning Board. Following a review by the board, a new employment description was refined. Former Zoning Administrator Joe Rheaume left his position about a month ago for a new job at Norwich University. Just over a year ago, the Selectboard voted to increase Rheaume’s hours from 25 to 28. In October 2016, Rheaume was appointed health officer by the board.  Then, Cali Griswold became the deputy health officer.

Rheaume was hired by the town nearly two years ago. He and Daryl Benoit filled positions formerly held by Jeanine McCrumb. She left in early 2016 to pursue other employment opportunities, she said at the time.

The Planning Commission entered into an executive or private session during its Dec. 7, 2017, meeting to “discuss personnel matters.” According to minutes from that gathering, the talk involved zoning administrator applicants. The Commission decided to hold the discussion in secret session since “premature knowledge (of the matter) might place the town at a disadvantage.”  The talk last nearly 10 minutes and the regular Planning Commission hearing resumed, according to the Dec. 7, 2017, minutes.

As the Selectboard reviewed the job description, members discussed the composition of the search committee. Following the meeting, Selectboard member Carrie Spear said salary and hours for the position are slated to be based on experience.

A committee comprised of Five Planning Commissioners, two zoning board members and Town Administrator Dean Bloch, is expected to help search for a new Charlotte zoning administrator.

Applications for the position are due at the end of January. Because the search committee contains a quorum of Planning Commission members,  the full seven-member body won’t be required to recommend a candidate to the Selectboard, Bloch added.

The Selectboard will hire a candidate to fill the position. The job is slated to be advertised in the local media as well as on the town web site.

In other business the Selectboard also discussed:

The Selectboard hopes to finalize the proposed FY 2019 municipal budget during its Jan. 16 meeting.  At the same time, town officials also hope to finalize the town warning for March Town Meeting.

Bloch told the board that the proposal includes an anticipated cost of living is that is projected to rise 1.9 percent. The budgeting process started in early fall.

During Town Meeting, Charlotte residents will gather to discuss an array of issues. Town races and the proposed Champlain Valley unified School District budget are also slated to be considered by voters using Australian balloting at March Town Meeting. This is the first time the towns that comprise the new school region will vote on a school- spending plan.

The proposed FY 2019 municipal budget is slated to be voted on by Australian ballot in April, according to Charlotte Assistant Town Clerk and Assistant Treasurer Christina Booher.