January 27, 2020
Members Present: Keith Squires, Cynthia Browning, Daniel Harvey, Tim Williams, Matthew Bykowski
Also Present: Jack McDonough-GNAT-TV, Luke Nathan – Manchester Journal, Todd Wilkins, Don Keelan
The meeting was called to order at 7:02pm by Chairman, Keith Squires
Public Comments: None
Minutes of the Meeting of January 13, 2020: Mr. Harvey made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of the meeting of January 13, 2020. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed.
New Business: None
Old Business: Budget: Mr. Squires gave the Board some revised figures for the proposed 2020 Budget that shows there is an increase of $143,767 from 2019, which includes $50,000 for the Town Administrator position, and increase in the Library appropriation of $2,000, and increase of expenses for each of the departments and sinking funds. This would increase homeowner’s tax bills by $46 for every $100,000 in value of property. The new budget should be complete and ready to be signed by the Board by the end of the week or early next week.
Town Administrator Position: There was a lengthy discussion between the Board and Mr. Wilkins and Mr. Keelan about the failure of being able to find a qualified person who was willing to work part time as a Town Administrator, and what that means going forward. Mr. Bykowski, also a member of the Search Committee, continues to feel there is enough work to warrant a full-time position, and that the Town lost out on good candidates by not creating a full-time position. It was discussed that this should be a salaried position, not hourly, to acquire a quality individual, and offer some type of benefit package, but that in the job description there could be requirements of how many hours the employee would need to be available to the public, as well as attending meetings and training workshops. The position is already in the budget for $50,000, but it was talked about that it would take between $70,000-$80,000 to cover a full-time position, including some benefits. Mr. Harvey, also a member of the Search Committee, says he feels it’s possible to use the $50,000 already in the budget, to cover the salary in the beginning and then have the whole full-time salary in next year’s budget. Ms. Browning said she is concerned about the jump in salary that is needed for full time, and wishes to be deliberate and careful in what she asks the voters to handle. Mr. Squires said the Board needs to get a direction to give to the Committee, and asked that the Board and the Search Committee meet to discuss the next steps that need to be taken to continue the search for a qualified candidate.
Highways: Mr. Squires talked to the Board about there being some problems with the latest thaw, but that when you look at the 23-24 miles of dirt road the Town owns and maintains, we are doing well. Some towns had to shut down some of their roads because of the thawing issues. The highway crew has needed to use a lot of sand in recent days, as well as purchasing a lot of stone for problem areas.
Water Department: Mr. Squires explained again about the major generator repairs that have taken place, with the bill being paid in this warrant, but how that will ensure the generator will continue to run for many, many years, and saved on the cost to buy a new generator. Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve Warrant WD#2, from the Operating Account, in the amount of $7,472.68, which includes the $5,571.75 for generator repairs. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed.
Warrants and Orders: Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve Warrant #2, from the Operating Account, in the amount of $14,858.35. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.
All Other Business: It was discussed that the 7A Sidewalk construction will not begin until 2021, but there had been some discussion about the Farmers Market possibly moving to the Green across from Town Hall this summer.
Ms. Browning spoke to the Board about her recent time in Montpelier, concerning the Family Leave Act and minimum wage increase, and a study about the State possibly legalizing prostitution to make it licensed and regulated that could help the victims.
Mr. Harvey made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:50PM
Executive Session: None
Janet Barry, Recording Secretary
Cc: files, Town Clerk