Braintree Selectboard Meeting
December 1, 2020 at 6:00 pm
“In accordance with the recent amendments to Vermont’s open meeting law, and in light of the ongoing public health crisis, this meeting will be held via conference call. You can access the meeting at the scheduled time by calling 802-210-4472.”
Present via Remote Conference Calling:
Megan O’Toole, Selectboard Chairperson Charles McMeekin, Selectboard Member
Keegan Haupt, Selectboard Member Jackson Evans, Lister Chair
Timothy Caulfield, Emergency Management Director
Present at Town Office:
Loren Bent, Selectboard Member
Janice Russell, Administrative Assistant
Mr. Burson was unable to attend the meeting.
Ms. O’Toole called the meeting to order at 6:03pm. Due to the ongoing COVID crisis in Orange County the Braintree Selectboard has transitioned back to an all call-in meeting format. A roll call was conducted to confirm what Selectboard Members, Committee Chairpersons and guests were in attendance via teleconferencing.
The Board reviewed the agenda with no comments or additions being made.
On motion of Mr. Bent, seconded by Mr. McMeekin, the Board unanimously approved the minutes from the Regular Selectboard Meeting on November 17th.
- Citizen’s comments limited to 3 minutes per person with a 15 minute maximum – No citizen comments.
- Highway Report – Mr. Pratt, through a provided a written report, informed the Selectboard that he is still in the process of contacting contractors for the Spring 2021 Peth Road Project. Pratt has also ordered the Public Access Sign for the Old Stagecoach Road Town Trail. Mr. McMeekin has been diligently checking and removing the Posting Signs on the Old Stagecoach Road Town Trail Access Gate.
- Zoning Administrator – Mr. Blatz supplied a brief written report to the Selectboard. A verbal report will need to be provided at a future Selectboard Meeting.
- Old business
- COVID-19 Follow-up
- Restructuring Office For Safety – No update at this time.
- RAMAN update from Tim Caulfield – RAMAN are continuing to meet and are brainstorming ways to continue to get the word out for the need to keep wearing masks, social distancing and washing hands. Governor Scott is requesting that a fourteen day quarantine be done for any travel from out of state and to limit travel within the state.
- Town’s options for a potential location of sand needed to replenish the 2022-2023 Stockpile Follow-up – Mr. Haupt stated no updates at this time; that he is continuing to follow-up with American Consulting and Engineering and R.E. Tucker to set up a meeting at the potential gravel pit site.
- Possible Changes to Town Meeting Date and Australian Ballot Voting Due to COVID-19 – A discussion ensued regarding what options are available to the Town of Braintree for holding Town Meeting. O’Toole pointed out that some of the options discussed at the November 17, 2020 Selectboard Meeting are not viable based on a FAQ that VLCT has published on their website regarding ACT 162. A Town Meeting cannot be conducted remotely via electronic means although the Informational Hearing prior to an Australian Ballot Voting is considered a Selectboard Meeting and can be held remotely. Several local Towns, according to information provided in The Herald, are moving to Australian Ballot. An option to move the Town Meeting to later in the year so it could be held outside, or inside if a vaccine is being widely distributed, is still available. This option would require the Selectboard to send out a Warning that on Town Meeting Day only the Selectboard Members and Moderator would be in attendance to open the meeting and then vote to move the meeting to a later date and then close the meeting. Before making a final decision the Selectboard would like to consult with the town’s attorney regarding the date that Australian Ballot Voting can be held.
- New business
- Highway Crew Member Applications – Messr. Bent and Burson have reviewed the applications and plan to hold interviews on Wednesday and Thursday, December 2nd and 3rd.
- Lister Position Appointment – Lewis (Luke) R. Fisher – A brief discussion regarding Mr. Fisher’s interest and capabilities to perform the duty of a Lister until Town Meeting Day 2021.
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Bent, the Board unanimously approved the appointment of Mr. Lewis Fisher to the Lister Position.
- Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter pursuant to 1 V.S.A. Section 313(a)(3).
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Bent, the Board unanimously voted to enter into an Executive Session at 6:49 P.M. for a discussion on a personnel matter pursuant to 1 V.S.A. Section 313 (a)(3).
Executive Session –The Board returned from Executive Session at 6:57 PM with no decision being made on the personnel matter
- Payment orders – Mr. Bent, as the sole Selectboard Member in attendance at the Town Office, reviewed the Payment Orders.
On motion of Mr. Bent, seconded by Ms. O’Toole, the Board unanimously approved the payment orders.
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. McMeekin, the Board unanimously adjourned the meeting at 6:57 p.m.