March 11, 2024 Selectboard Meeting Minutes




March 11, 2024



The meeting was called to order at 9:00AM by Edee Edwards who attended remotely.

Selectboard members present were Tristan Roberts, Rhonda Ashcraft and Karen Christofferson. Edee Edwards attended by telephone. Also present in person was Mike Fournier.  There were no other remote participants.

Due to technical difficulties related to the ability to log into the account, the recording could not be turned on.  Christofferson & Edwards agreed to work together to correct log in issue as quickly as possible.


Roberts moved to nominate Edwards as interim Chairperson for this Special Meeting of the Selectboard. Christofferson Seconded.  Passed 3-0-1 abstain.

Edwards noted that the purpose of this meeting is to interview candidates for the Highway Roadcrew opening.  Edwards further noted that the candidate scheduled to meet with the Selectboard at 10:30AM is ill and will be unable to attend the meeting.




Christofferson moved that we enter into Executive Session for the purpose of interviewing a candidate for the open Road Crew position.  Roberts Seconded the motion which carried unanimously 4-0.

9:10AM – The Selectboard entered Executive Session

9:36AM – Edwards announced that the Selectboard returned from Executive Session with no decisions made.

Edwards noted that the Selectboard would confer after the 4:00pm about rescheduling the 10:30AM with the candidate.  Edwards further suggested that the Special Meeting be recessed to a time and place certain at 4:00PM in Town Hall for the purposes of Hearing Visitors (if any), interviewing a candidate for the Road Crew opening and discussing Highway Job Openings under Old Business.

Edwards and Christofferson agreed to try and solve the ZOOM login problem prior to 4:00PM.



Roberts Moved to recess the meeting until 4:00PM. Christofferson Seconded. The Motion carried unanimously 4-0.


3:59PM Recording in Progress

At 4:00PM Edwards reconvened the Special Meeting of the Selectboard that went into recess at 9:36AM.   Selectboard members present were Edwards, Ashcraft and Christofferson.  Also in attendance was Mike Fournier.




Christofferson Moved to go into Executive Session for the purpose of interviewing a candidate for the Road Crew open position.  Ashcraft Seconded. The motion carried unanimously, 3-0.

4:01PM – The Selectboard entered Executive Session. (Recording paused)

4:39PM – Edwards announced that the Selectboard returned from Executive Session with no decisions made.

Edwards noted that the Selectboard has interviewed four candidates over the last couple of weeks as time permitted and resumes came in.  We have been fortunate to have as many candidates as we did who were interested in the position and who we were interested in having a discussion with.

Edwards asked the Selectboard members present to think about entertaining making an offer for the permanent full-time position. Edwards further noted that the Town’s need to cover a temporary/short term medical outage has been deferred and noted that we had been interviewing candidates for both positions.

Edwards asked if we were ready to make an offer to fill the full time position, what might that offer be and what candidate should receive the offer. Edwards further noted that Roberts (who attended the morning session) had to move a medical appointment and as a result was unable to join the afternoon session. Edwards reported that Roberts notes we should still have a quorum and he had a couple of comments.  His email went to Edwards and Christofferson.  Roberts did not have an email address for Ashcraft.  Christofferson logged in to review Roberts’ email and to share the information with Ashcraft who also shared her email contact information.

Christofferson noted that we had good candidates.  She noted we received information from six candidates and interviewed four of them.  Christofferson noted that she thought two candidates were outstanding. Christofferson turned conversation back to Edwards as candidates had not previously been named in a public forum.

Edwards noted that Roberts reported he had taken references on two of the candidates we interviewed.

Edwards noted that from her perspective there is one candidate in particular that would not only be able to do the job in the trucks but also has mechanical abilities and welding abilities that would be a benefit to the team and the Town’s continued and future needs.  She described the candidate as very well qualified, a team player who took initiative during the process.  Edwards further noted that she thought the interview conversation went well.  Edwards said her preferred candidate to offer a full time position is Daniel Hutchins.  Edwards noted that Hutchins was one of the candidates referenced by Roberts and that the references came back very positively, describing Hutchins as being reliable, a hard worker and able to explain things to others. Both references indicated they would hire Hutchins again.

Edwards noted her expectation that Hutchins would be the best long term fit for the Town.

Christofferson noted that Roberts concurred and thought the position should be offered to Hutchins with the part time position offered to the other candidate, but as we are deferring the 4-6 week part time discussion.  Christofferson noted that Roberts also took references for David saying he works hard and is willing to help from neighbors versus work references.

Edwards noted that Roberts was not able to join the 4:00PM session with the most recent interviewee, Brad Hurlburt.  Edwards noted she was impressed with Brad who has direct experience on a road crew in the past and has a Class A CDL as does Hutchins. Edwards noted Hurlburt is an excellent candidate that we might consider in the future.

Christofferson noted Hurlburts Class A CDL and that he was a Highway Supervisor in Warwick from 2000-2005 and started the Highway Department.  Christofferson noted he seemed to understand small town Highway Departments, seemed confident in his abilities and ability to fit into the team. Christofferson noted he gave us references before we came out of Executive Session that we have not had an opportunity to contact.

Christofferson noted that this is a really hard decision.  She noted she is struggling between Hutchins and Hurlbert as they are both qualified, experienced.  Christofferson noted that she thought both candidates hit the right buttons.  Hurlbert didn’t have any misfires, he just hit the buttons in a different way. Christofferson didn’t want to hold up the process to check references as an offer could be made subject to references.

Christofferson posed the decision as which candidate do we believe is the best long term fit for the Town and the taxpayers.

Ashcraft noted that Hutchins had specific welding experience.

Edwards noted that we had very good candidates and we should be thinking about the future. Edwards noted Hutchins would bring a fresh perspective and we need to think about mechanical abilities going forward and his abilities in that area pushed his ability to teach others was a decisive point. Christofferson concurred. A discussion ensued.

Fournier encouraged the Selectboard to take a vote.

Ashcraft also noted that both candidates under discussion were very good. Ashcraft also specifically noted Hutchins welding abilities as an important differentiator.

Edwards noted that the offer we made for a prior candidate is a good place to start but this may be a different situation.  Edwards noted the need to understand the budget differential to the new candidate and the current candidate if an offer is made.  Edwards, Fournier and Christofferson noted the need to be cognizant of the budget implications.  A discussion ensued about wage ranges and qualifications and the need to pay qualified candidates a market rate.  Edwards noted that the prior offer, that was not accepted, was for $25/hour. Edwards also noted the timing to bringing candidates on and the timeline to being considered for a raise.  A discussion ensued regarding the current team and relative skills, CDLs.  The $25 offer under consideration is less than Keith and Christofferson expressed support for that and noted that Keith has been “at the pointy end of the spear” with Mike for a long time.

A discussion ensued regarding the value of the Town’s Benefit Package.

Edwards Moved that we offer the permanent full-time position to Daniel Hutchins at the rate of $25/hour plus benefits and that we make the offer in short order. Christofferson Seconded.

Edwards and Christofferson expressed their support for Fournier and his work with the road crew team.  Edwards thanked Fournier for his patience while we worked through the process.  Christofferson expressed the Selectboard’s interest in working with Fournier to build a team that he has confidence in and who are able to get things done in a way that doesn’t require Fournier to think about it for 36 hours out of every 24 hours. Ashcraft expressed her gratitude for the great job Fournier and team do as well.

The Motion carried unanimously 3-0

Edwards will obtain offer letter from prior Chairman.  Edwards noted the need to contact candidates who did not receive the offer and to hopefully be able to keep them in mind for the temporary

Fournier forwarded the offer letter to Edwards as he was cc’d in the prior process.


Fournier asked about the January 20th Special Meeting amounts allocated to the Highway Department.  Edwards checked prior minutes and Christofferson checked the ARPA Funding Calculation used during the budgeting process and confirmed that the amount allocated to the Highway Department is $90,456.46 as the remainder after allocating $15,000 to the Community Hall, $15,600 to the Fire Department and $15,000 to the Historical Society.

Edwards invited Fournier to come to a future Selectboard meeting to discuss

Fournier expressed his opinion that rather than investing in that the funds be used for a couple of Box Blades for behind the grader and loader.  They are $6k each so $12k.  Fournier thinks that the $78K balance could be used for lease payments or other purposes to help get us out of the financial hole we are in and offset taxes rather than investing in a back hoe right now.

A discussion ensued regarding the pending conversation Christofferson is looking to have with Katie Buckley.

Fournier suggested using the balance to offset the cost of the new Ford 550.

A further discussion ensued regarding the pending conversation with VLCT (Katie Buckley) and the relevant reporting that the grantees of these funds need to provide to the town versus the reporting that is required for the US Treasury needs for documentation.

Christofferson promised to call VLCT and confirm the protocol for the recipients.

Edwards told Fournier that if he needs box blades they are within his spending authority. Christofferson noted this is an amount that is available to spend now as part of the General Fund. Edwards concurred that this can be spent now.  Fournier noted his spending authority is $25k and this is $12k. Fournier expressed his interest in having a Capital Account if that is possible and reduce the amount of interest we pay every year.

Edwards noted that we can not use the money in a “rainy day fund”.

Christofferson believes we will learn that the money is spent as it was put into the General Fund. We will need to understand what the US Treasury .  The question will be to learn what the capital account for the highway is versus a “rainy day fund”.


Ashcraft Moved to adjourn the meeting. Christofferson Seconded. Motion carried 3-0.

5:24PM Meeting adjourned and recording turned off.

Respectfully submitted,

Karen Christofferson, Secretary Pro Tempore

Meeting Recording: