February 20, 2024




Pete Silverberg called the Regular Meeting of the Selectboard to order at 6:01 PM on February 20, 2024. Selectboard members present in person were Pete Silverberg, Edee Edwards, and Karen Christofferson. Patrick McAllister also participated remotely.  Others present in person or remote included Mike Fournier, Stephan Chait, Mary Brewster, Doug and Marilou Parkhurst, Linda Lyon, Sue Kelly, and Cara Cheyette. Blake Janovsky arrived at 7 pm.


Edwards requested to add an email under Correspondence. Executive Session for an Exit Interview will be held around 7 pm.


  • February 12, 2024 Selectboard Special Meeting Minutes
  • Edwards moved to approve as written. Christofferson seconded. Approved 4-0
  • February 7, 2024 Selectboard Emergency Meeting Minutes
  • Edwards moved to approve as written. Christofferson seconded, Approved 4-0. It was noted that there is no recording for this meeting.
  • February 6, 2024 Selectboard Special Meeting Minutes
  • Edwards moved to approve as written. Christofferson seconded, Approved 4-0
  • February 2, 2024 Selectboard Regular Meeting Minutes
  • With a date in the header needing to be updated to February, Christofferson moved to approve as amended. Edwards seconded. Approved 3-0-1 with McAllister abstaining.
  • December 19, 2023 Selectboard Special Meeting Minutes
  • Edwards moved to approve with the addition of a heading ”Communications during Emergencies” to the New Business. Christofferson seconded. Approved 3-0-1 with McAllister abstaining. It was noted that there are 3 recordings for this meeting.
  • December 2, 2023 Selectboard Special Meeting Minutes
  • Edwards moved to approve with corrections as follows:
    • Selectboard members present amended.
    • Under 7615. Excavator—clarified wording that VLCT said we would need separate article to finance this for longer finance request. Capitalize “Town”
    • Equipment schedule needs to be updated “with pricing for” Grader/Excavator
    • Under equipment, Capitalized “Windows,” left docking stations plural.
    • 7340 Building Repairs and Maintenance. If getting MERP grant, not INTO.
    • Next to last page, capitalized road names and added note that both are supposed to be yields…Need to discuss separately to change designation.
    • Additional update for Patty to be capitalized
    • Interest on truck financing added to account number 7695
    • Under hearing of visitors Dennis Annear, changed to $1200 for Starlink. Equipment is in FY24, not FY25
    • 6650 History: Need service for pain control and seizure control; only 1 Halifax ff is certified.
    • 6640 (Equipment and Gear added). Changed grammar.
    • Added recording link.
  • Silverberg seconded, Approved 4-0.
  • November 28, 2023 Selectboard Special Meeting Minutes
  • Edwards moved to approve with correcting:
    • Objectives for budget not, just the meeting.
    • Clarifed wording of Needle Movers.
    • Clarified wording of gross crew upcoming wage increase, calculated for 52 weeks, the FY25 is a 5% based on new wages; FY24 budget did not include the full year’s wage increase. Added note: Selectboard had delayed wage increase to keep within budget year
    • Updated resurfacing grant date last received to FY22
    • Added bullet point for discussion on how much paving and where.
    • Clarified where Reserve fund would be.
    • Added 7696 trucks financing account number.
    • Added “overall” to clarify, and recording link
    • Silverberg seconded. Approved 4-0.
  • November 21, 2023 Selectboard Regular Meeting Minutes
  • Edwards moved to approve with the addition of 11,661.68 for order total read in. McAllister seconded. Approved 4-0.

Edwards thanked Cara Cheyette for helping with the processing of recordings; there are more to update. We can record to the cloud again now.


  • Legislative bill H629 (tax sales & tax abatement)

Christofferson asked for this for follow up from last meeting. Roberts, while not present, had sent an “FYI” prior to the meeting, saying that he understood the current issues, is not in favor of it as written, and is willing to keep tracking the issue. Edwards noted that there were a number of concerns and the VLCT’s Advocacy group had testified on this. The board has not done a lot as a group for legislative advocacy in the history. McAllister noted again that Roberts was willing to track this. Brewster, Delinquent Tax Collector, is also happy to follow up on this as it would be a big impact on our town. She does not currently propose a tax sale until after 2 years, but with the new law, she would have to act more quickly or it would take 5-6 years for the town to recoup money. She will follow this as well. [Note: at the end of the meeting, new email correspondence from Roberts was read that stated a number of changes had been made in committee, and the latest revisions were less problematic in his view.]

  • 2023 Equalization Study, Grand List and Reappraisal
  • The State’s annual review of our grand list showed that the Common Level of Appraisal (CLA) was 71.46%, and the Coefficient of Dispersion (COD) is 22.57%. Both numbers are intended to make sure that the grand list is tracking to current market and is fairly representative of tax property values. Both values are off the mark enough that we are require to do a reappraisal. Brewster and Tina Blais as listers are applying for a statistical reappraisal.
  • Cheyette asked if our town’s Grand List could be made publicly available. Brewster agreed that maybe it should be online; she will follow up. People can also request it via email.
  • VTrans Annual Spring Grant Program
  • Christofferson noted an email she forwarded to all, where the annual grant materials for Highway is now on the Google Drive. This is all due in April 15, and it should be a priority for the new Selectboard at an early March meeting.
  • A separate discussion was had about using the bridge reserve fund for Pike Road repairs for which we hope to get FEMA, but we could also use an existing structures grant there, or shift that to another project if the FEMA grant comes forward.
  • Pete Silverberg knowledge transfer
  • Need to ensure we cover Road Commissioner duties whereas Pete was Highway Liaison.
  • ARPA coverage > backup Karen
  • FEMA > Patty is the primary contact, Alison and Mike have been involved
  • McAllister noted we need to broadly look at this with the new board

Old Business

  • Animal Control Ordinance request
  • Subsequent to the last meeting, several people looked for state statues referencing where there is a requirement for dogs to be on their own property or under control. They could not find one.
  • McAllister noted that he was happy with where we landed last time, with using the animal control officer to assist with these issues.
  • Lyon spoke up saying that there is no means for enforcement with no legal or regulatory basis. It is difficult to call for all circumstances.
  • Christofferson noted another incident yesterday.
  • Edwards suggested that we continue with the plan to report incidents to Andy Rice in the meantime.
  • McAllister expressed concern about how we would find time to write an ordinance.
  • Cheyette said Subsection 3549 grants towns the authority to issue ordinances, but also noted that the bite issue at the time our ordinance was rescinded was the town was left without recourse. She said town counsel at the time said they were going to fast track draft a replacement. She also reported issues. Cheyette offered to help/assist with a new ordinance.
  • Lyon also offered to assist, and noted that Sue Kelly and Andy Rice would be helpful as well. Linda Heubner was also mentioned as a resource.
  • Edwards offered to send the model ordinance, and Christofferson said getting input from other towns was also helpful if that was the approach from the citizen group. Silverberg and McAllister agreed.


  • Silverberg noted that Blake Janovsky was in the room, and at approximately 7:15pm Edwards suggested the board enter Executive Session as noted earlier to discuss a couple of personnel matters. Silverberg also wanted to discuss a real estate matter. The remainder of the participants dropped off the Zoom call, with one requesting a call back after the executive session was over. Edwards made a motion to consider going into executive session pertaining to 1 VSA 313 Section 1 subsection A, where premature general knowledge might place the public body at a substantial disadvantage. Silverberg seconded the motion. Carried 4-0. Edwards made a motion to go into executive session for that matter and personnel matters. Silverberg seconded. Vote 4-0.  There were no participants on the Zoom call and recording was stopped at 7:19.
  • Silverberg noted the board came out of executive session at 8:22. No decisions were made in executive session. Chait was called to let him know we were out of executive session.
  • Edwards noted that she was pleased we have a candidate who was willing to be on call only during snow storms, and she wanted to offer to the candidate, Craig Stone, $25 an hour for the on call time. Mike will decide. Craig was thanked for stepping up; Edwards noted that he was helpful during Irene, and with his CDL and knowledge of the roads and other crew members. Silverberg will convey that to Mike Fournier.
  • Edwards asked that Silverberg follow up on the other personnel issue to understand availability.

OLD BUSINESS (continued)

  • Informational session
    • Meeting has not yet been warned due to uncertainty about a virtual option. The postcards have gone out without the dial in information. Paul Blais ran the technology last year. Christofferson suggested Edwards follow up with Blais, and then Edwards will post this.
    • $64,974: Silverberg and Christofferson confirmed that the money, according to the Treasurer and chain of discussions she’d had, can properly be used to offset the tax under-collection. The money back cross fiscal years.
    • $25,000 for rent to the school. As far as we know the school is not planning to try to recalculate their budget. Silverberg will follow up with Chum Sumner to ensure he will be prepared help explain this increase in rent.
    • Handouts: Edwards may still try to have information for the website and handouts on Animal Control if time permits. She also wanted to have a summary of how much the tax raise and appropriate amount varies from the previous year, but was unable to articulate the prior work. She will try to follow up with Christofferson.
    • Edwards asked about who would pick up town report. She will check with Patty Dow.




There was none.



Nothing further from Chait.



Edwards had reached out to ARPA grantees with an unofficial update about the warning articles and possible need for additional report. She received back information about the Halifax Fire Company’s acceptance for the official record. Edwards had a phone conversation with Annear and wanted to get back to him that it was ok for him to proceed with his equipment order; the board should be able to pay invoices after Town Meeting Day.

During the course of the meeting, Tristan Roberts emailed an update that a number of changes had been made in committee to H629, and the latest revisions were less problematic in his view. Christofferson will forward the email to Mary Brewster.

Patrick McAllister had to sign off at this point, around 8:50 pm.


Silverberg read the order into record, including the largest item of $47,625 to A.S. Clark as a 25% deposit for the Pike Road culvert project mentioned earlier. This will be paid from a bridge reserve fund. The total added to: $51,038.62. There was a note from Patty Dow, Treasurer, that the cash balance was adequate to cover this.

Edwards asked whether a report has been received for the landfill monitoring, which was another invoice received. Silverberg said he would find and forward the results. Edwards noted that there was no detect at the town garage this round, and that the Rafus well was tested again and was again a non-detect. More complete discussion should be on a future agenda.

Generator repair was also discussed as an outgrowth of that being on the order.

Road orders were also reviewed and additional signatures though not required according to our procedures, were collected.


Edwards moved we adjourn at 8:58 pm, Silverberg seconded. The motion carried 3-0.


Respectfully submitted,

Edee Edwards, secretary pro tempore

Meeting Recording: