OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
TOWN OF HALIFAX, VERMONT
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
September 5, 2023
6:00 PM AT THE HALIFAX TOWN OFFICE
CALL TO ORDER
Pete Silverberg called meeting to order at 6:00pm on September 5th, 2023. Selectboard member present Tristan Roberts, Karen Christofferson, Edee Edwards, Patrick McAllister. In person or remote persons were Captain Paul Samataro WC, Sheriff Mark Anderson, David Jones, Cara Cheyette and Alison Crossley.
CHANGES AND ADDITIONS TO THE AGENDA
- Add Vaughn Road contracting services regarding flooding event bid(s)
- Speak to Sheriff Mark Anderson first since visitor is present
- Timing of employee wage increases
- Cross off – Criteria for residents to utilize DV Fiber affordability funding (Tristan)
APPROVAL PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES
– August 8th Meeting Minutes: Edee Edwards made motion to approve minutes previously changed in August 15th selectboard meeting. Pete Silverberg second. Passed 4 – 0 – 1 abstain.
– August 15th Meeting Minutes: Edee Edwards made motion to approve minutes with one change – VLCT Conference is September 26th. Karen Christofferson seconds. 4-0-1 abstain.
- Appointment of Auditor Position (Patrick) (~Minute 55)
- Patrick McAllister made motion to appoint Lee Todd II and Erin Lovern as Town Auditors until the next town meeting in 2024. Tristan Roberts seconds. Passed 5-0.
- Road Commissioner and Highway Supervisor Position Descriptions (~Minute 60)
- Discussion regarding updates to position descriptions for road commissioner and highway supervisor
- Action Item: Selectboard will review and edit, send to Karen once Edee confirms culminating comments is in compliance with open meeting law
- Action Item: Tristan will draft “In the event…” section for job descriptions
- Hazard Mitigation Plan status and timeline
- Hazard mitigation plan is being internally reviewed by Edee Edwards, Paul Blais, Stephen Chait, Karen Christofferson, Pete Silverberg, and potentially more. All revisions must be sent by September 14th to Mike McConnell, who will incorporate changes and will assign a process for public comment.
- Recycling bins discussion (Pete)
- Discussion regarding recycling bin violators has proven to be void problem as Casella Recycling services confirmed that they are not charging for contaminated bins. Cameras will be removed.
- Action Item: Alison to add topic of contracting clean-up service around recycling bins during budget review season.
- FEMA road repair assistance (Pete)
- Discussion had regarding kick off meeting with FEMA assessment including FEMA inspector walked two project sites and documented with photos of Vaughn Road and Pike Road
- MERP Update (Tristan)
- Completing paperwork for a $4,000 mini grant – Selectboard to decide at a later date how to spend for energy resiliency within Halifax.
- Must expend mini grant by the end of calendar 2026.
- No decision was made.
- Timing of employee wage increases
- Discussion was had regarding December 4th 2023 as specific date confirmed with Patty Dow and discussed with Mike Fournier.
- Tristan Roberts made motion to confirm December 4th 2023 for road crew wage increase. Pete Silverberg seconds. Passed 5-0
- Vaughn Road contracting services regarding flooding event bid(s)
- ONLY BID from: Saladino Property Management
- Scope of Work TOTAL: $123,609.97
- Address of Saladino: PO 72 Jacksonville VT 05342
- Tristan Roberts made motion to accept Saladino Property Maintenance bid for Vaughn Road contracting services. Edee Edwards seconds. Passed 5-0.
- Windham County Sheriff contract hours review (~Minute 2)
- Discussion was had regarding unused patrol hours in FY23 representing 78 unused patrol hours, approximately $4,078.
- Mark Anderson, Sheriff, stated will need to give refund for hours not worked FY23
- Resident Note: Entering into cars is not illegal, what is illegal is person taking items from car.
- Residents of Halifax have issue or need for police support, they can call 24/7 dispatch
- Andy Rice, constable, has direct line to Sheriff’s department and can be a resource with resident complaints
- Contact numbers:
- Windham County Sheriff non-emergency: 802-365-4942
- Windham County Sheriff emergency: 802-365-4949
- Andy Rice, Halifax Constable:
- Edee Edwards made motion for Halifax to be refunded hours not used in FY23. Pete Silverberg seconds. Passed 5-0.
- Action items – Alison to post on town website contact information for Constable & Windham County Sheriff numbers.
- Action Item – Selectboard needs to identify liaison between Windham County Sheriff and Halifax selectboard or constable
- Action Item: Alison to connect Mark Anderson with Community Club Coffee hour for potential “Coffee with a Cop”
- Town Fair attendance and voting delegate
- Tristan nominated himself to be Halifax Town delegate at Town Fair. September 26 & 27th.
- Edee Edwards made motion for Tristan Roberts to be the voting town delegate for Halifax. Patrick McAllister seconds. Passed 4-0-1 abstain.
- Conflict of interest discussion with Cara Cheyette [Remainder of notes provided by Edee Edwards] (1:48 video mark)
- Cheyette came before the board to suggest the Halifax conflict of interest policy had not been followed at least in spirit during the hiring of the administrative assistant to the Selectboard.
- Cheyette prefaced her comments stating that she was not suggesting the board undo their actions, but rather audit their actions and review the policy for future better adherence.
- It was noted that Roberts had recused himself.
- Cheyette was thanked for bringing her concerns forward.
- Further robust discussion on the events and conflicts of interest in general was at times difficult and of a personal nature. This transcriber chooses not to attempt to paraphrase the full exchange.
- Next meeting agenda item: review of conflict of interest policy (2:29 video)
OTHER BUSINESS (none)
HEARING OF VISITORS (none)
- Decision not to read in detail or general: road crew hours vacation, etc.
- Selectboard order read in: total $42,001.54
- Road equipment order: $751.93
ADJOURNMENT at 8:38 pm
YOUTUBE LINK: https://youtu.be/5qHb9EX29oA