Town of Halifax, Vermont
June 09, 2014

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 8:00 am. Selectboard members in attendance were Lewis Sumner, Edee Edwards, and Earl Holtz. Also present were Robbin Gabriel, Brad Rafus, Keith Stone, Michael Fournier, and Benjamin Barnett.

New Business

Review Personnel Policy with Town Employees
Edwards handed out copies of the 20-page Personnel Policy along with a sheet listing the specific revisions made. The policy was adopted by the Board at their June 3 meeting and will take effect on June 17th. Edwards gave a verbal overview of the listed changes, after which the Board members took turns reading the complete policy section by section and inviting comments and discussion on each item.

Specific topics received extended discussion, including gratuities, tobacco use, and the employee evaluation schedule. The Board asked Rafus to create a document outlining situations in which the town provided residents with material without charge—what Holtz termed reverse gratuities. Some examples: Making sand available in winter for private driveways, and providing residents with material cleaned from ditches when requested. Stone noted that this latter practice was cost-effective for the town in that the highway crew leaves the material in convenient locations rather than expending time and dollars hauling it back to the town garage where it has no further use. As a side note Rafus and Stone both asked that—for both efficiency and cost savings—every effort be made to permit the highway department to stock winter sand during the summer months.

The tobacco use prohibition clause has been extended to cover smokeless products such as chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes. Discussion included the possibility of creating a designated area, grandfathering current users, and/or finding assistance for those wishing to stop. Holtz acknowledged the difficulty involved in stopping long-term tobacco use and intends to research the subject further.

Stone spoke in favor of having two performance evaluations a year to promote consistent communication between the highway department and the Board. To that end, Rafus suggested the road crew have regular meetings with the Selectboard once a quarter, and also that specific dates be set for the performance reviews. The Board agreed to discuss raises and meeting schedules at their June 17 meeting, and will put performance evaluations on the agenda for July 7th.

Edwards will correct the various small typographical errors which came to light during the reading of the policy, insert the agreed-upon June 17 implementation date, and print new copies to be distributed after the document has been signed by Board members. Sumner will meet with Travis Briggs, who was not present at this meeting, to review the policy. Employees will then sign the Personnel Acknowledgment form. Edwards will talk with Patty Dow about the possibility of using controlled copies.

Road Commissioner’s Orders
The Road Commissioner’s orders were reviewed and signed.

Other Business

School Roof Purchase Order
The Board resolved a numbering question from Edwards relating to the Kandu Construction purchase order for the roof work on the town office portion of the school building. She will complete and sign the order.

Co-EMD Pager
Edwards said that Ross Barnett has notified VY of his resignation and will be returning the pager to them this week for reprogramming.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:53 am.

Respectfully submitted,
Robbin Gabriel
Selectboard Secretary