Chelsea Selectboard Meeting Minutes -Draft
November 21, 2023 – Chelsea Town Hall
Present: Kevin Marshia, Kelly Lyford, Leyna Hoyt, Jesse Kay, Bill Lyon
Others present: Karen Lathrop, Gayle Durkee, Rick Ackerman, Lieutenant Gerry Partin VSP, Captain Leonidas Zenonos, OCSD (online), Heidi Chapman, David Leggio, Patty Shwan, Amos Doyle, Brian Anderson, Max Quayle, Kyle Deschamps, Wendy Forbes, Erich Golscheider, Lee Stender, Jen McCullough, Devin Hayward, Mark MacDonald Susan Elder, Marianne McCann, Helen Heslop, Carrie Caouette-Delallo, Kana Johnson, Becky Hook, Linda Ingold, Linda Kuban, Alan Lyford, Emily Newman, Cheryl MacNeill, Carolyn Boothroyd, Shawn Twing, Ed Coburn, Pat Ladd, Amy Jordan, John Upham, Rick Allen, Chintana Herrin, Greg Herrin, Seth Chambers, Paul Libby, Millie Knudsen, Gloria Bowin, Jen Doyle, Phyllis Civitello, Rebecca McCullough, Susan Ladd, Randy Edwards.
Online: Jan Puibello, Charlotte Mullen, Chase Ackerman, Kym Anderson, Marty Gratz, Rhett Bannish, Noah Brick, Jessica Allen, Darren Marcy. If you attended online and were not listed, please contact the Town Clerk.
- Kevin called the meeting to order at 6:30
- Additions to the Agenda -none
- Conflict of Interest Disclosure -none
- Public Comments- none
- Law Enforcement – Kevin stated the Board wanted to open a conversation with the entities invited to see what resources they could recommend going forward with procuring law enforcement for the Town. Questions from the Board to both VSP and OCSD were what our current coverage was? If additional funds were available could there be more coverage and what would those resources be? Were there programs the Town could access? Were there any best practices the Town or Residents should be aware of? Kevin stated everyone would get a chance to speak but asked that they be brief as it was their regular Selectboard meeting and there were other agenda items. The board also asked people to come up to the table to speak as people were watching this online and needed to hear the questions.
Both Lieutenant Partin and Captain Zenonos introduced themselves. Captain Zenonos stated Sheriff Contois requested he come to the meeting. He also noted that OCSD was not the Town’s primary law enforcement agency. VSP was the primary, though OCSD works with them. Lieutenant Partin stated Royalton Barracks was only half staffed at this point and covered 20 towns with 3 troopers for each shift. They were down dispatchers as well. The Captain noted OCSD were very short staffed as well. He reported that OCSD tries to be pro-active, though not much that can be effectively done with 3.5 hours of service a week per the contract, but he had conversations with the Board about increasing the contract.
There was a 2-hour conversation between Board members, residents, Lieutenant Partin, VSP and Captain Zenonos , OCSD. Senator Mark MacDonald was also present for the conversation.
The following items were part of the conversation:
VSP- due to attrition down to 40% staffing. Not taking new contracts, only presence in Town when working a case. Cases would be triaged, with emergent cases taking precedent.
OCSD – current contract includes up to 7 hours/week due to earlier staff shortage. Normal paid coverage is 3.5 hours/week. Daytime presence only, after 4 pm Barre Police covers for OCSD.
Increasing crime in Town due to no police presence at night.
Creation of a committee or neighborhood watch.
What the process was for reporting suspicious activity, who to call.
Committing to increase law enforcement tax dollars
Reaching out to other communities or entities by the Board
Better communications between law enforcement agencies
Were Fish and Game Wardens or DMV being utilized to help in the shortage
The legislature sending tax dollars money to hire more Troopers, yes/no
Courts stop turning out criminals with past histories.
Individuals protecting themselves on their own property.
For additional details go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etO5v6YGb0E. Both Law Enforcement Entities agreed that better communication was vital. Call it in instead of posting it on social media. It might take them some time, but they would investigate it. If persons saw something to report it, be willing to sign an affidavit that would help the law enforcement down the road. They could help with neighborhood watch. They said if people felt threatened, they could defend themselves but like any other case, an investigation would be held. They stated people should not put themselves in danger. They said to look at the larger picture of where the laws were enacted. Law enforcement was just one aspect of curing the problem that had been growing for years. VSP’s analogy was it was a cancer and the VSP was ibuprofen, a short-term answer, but there needed to be a long-term solution which needed broader scrutiny with harder questions asked of those in charge. Senator MacDonald said he was there to gain information as the legislature would not meet until January.
The Board thanked Lieutenant Partin, Captain Zenonos and everyone for their input and that this was just the start of the conversation, and the Board would be exploring more avenues before deciding what to do. There will be a discussion about Town Property Security at the next meeting.
- Town Treasurer
- Budget Preparation- Biggest item is insurance. Gayle stated the Town has used MVP Health Insurance for a few years. They were comparable with Blue Cross. There was a slight difference in numbers. MVP – $13,138 and BC – $13, 531. Board decision necessary. Kelly asked if there was any employee feedback. Gayle noted only two employees receive the insurance and they seemed happy with it.
Leyna moved to continue the contract with MVP for our employees. Bill seconded the motion. No Discussion. Motion passed.
Gayle stated VMERS- rates go up every year and the Board will need take that into account when budgeting this year. The Board asked how to move forward budgeting. Gayle said budgets should be submitted to her, she would input them into the budget for the Board to go through at their meeting. Liaisons to tell their departments to send budgets to Gayle by December 15th, but highway has until the 19th. The board asked Gayle to put together a 3-year spread for them to look at. Discussion on having executive session for salaries at a meeting. Leyna and Kelly said they needed to discuss the cost of living. Gayle gave the Board information on how bonuses were decided. Kevin thought Dec 5th should be mostly budget items.
- Line of Credit – Not ready, will be on the next meeting agenda. Currently delinquent taxes are at$90,000.00. Most bills paid, Galfetti still to be paid. Discussion on total spent. Board discussion on hours worked by everyone for FEMA hours. Gayle noted if the Town went over 700,00.00. The Board will have to budget for a single audit.
- Town Highway 57 – Scadin Road. The state sent a letter stating it is a class three and was not being maintained as a class 3 road. Rick’s opinion was to downgrade the road. Leyna felt the Board should go look at it first. The board tasked Rick to look at the road and give the Board an assessment of what it would take to keep it a Class 3.
- Flood Update- Rick reported the work on Edwards Road sites 4 & 5 was not what he expected. He said the length was off and some of the bottom should have come out, but it is not a steep place. Leyna stated the end result was not what was wanted. Not enough material. The contractor was given dimensions and numbers, but he made decisions, and, in the future, there will need to be site visits before the contractor leaves. Board discussion on future contracts and what their approach would be. Rick reported the quantity was not what was given but about half. Guard rail still to be done and two culverts, one on Pepper Road and one on Doyle Road. Leyna spoke about stockpiling gravel for mud season and costs. Rick- talking 1500 yards. Maybe work out a bill with McCullough’s. Bill mentioned McCulloughs had run short on product this summer and was in favor of procuring it. Leyna said they were going to put it on the slope by the sandpile. Board to discuss placing gravel at the old sand pile in the flood plain at Dec 5 meeting. Rick reported E Randolph Road shoulder work done.
- FEMA Update- Kevin stated Kasey was entering the next phase of entering details.
- Transfer Station- Kelly reported Jesse was working with the vendor on the mockups which should be a go by January 1st. Kevin stated there should be a motion on it to put in the record.
Leyna moved to approve the punch card and stickers at the Transfer Station starting January 1, 2024. Bill seconded the motion. Board felt everyone at the last meeting was on Board with it. Motion passed.
- Digitization of Records- Karen gave a report, to be sent to the Board.
- Town Report – Kevin had a discussion with Kasey about sending notices about items for the 15th. Board discussion about how the report is formatted. Kasey to send an email to the printer to see what they need for formatting. Have a conversation with the Spotlight for cover.
- Approve Minutes -10.17.2023- Leyna moved to approve minutes Bill seconded motion. Passed
- Approve Minutes – 11.07.2023- tabled to next meeting.
- Approve Orders – Leyna moved to approve orders. Bill seconded the motion. No discussion, motion passed.
- Admin Position- Kelly reported she had a comprehensive draft, to go out next week and run it for a month. Cover letters should be sent as an introduction. Resume to follow.
15.Executive Session- none
16.Adjourn – Leyna moved to adjourn. Bill seconded the motion. No discussion, motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:53 PM.