May 072020

Unapproved Minutes

Braintree Selectboard Meeting

Tuesday, May 5, 2020 


“In accordance with the recent amendments to Vermont’s open meeting law, and in light of the ongoing public health crisis, this meeting was held via conference call. You can access the meeting at the scheduled time by calling 802-210-4472.”


Present via Remote Conference Calling:

Charles McMeekin, Selectboard Member          Tim Caulfield, Emergency Management Director

Keegan Haupt, Selectboard Member          Joan Richmond-Hall, Planning Commission Co-Chair 

Gary Blatz, Braintree Citizen          


Present at Town Office:

Megan O’Toole, Selectboard Chairperson         Jessica Brassard, Town Clerk/Treasurer

Loren Bent, Selectboard Member                 Jeff Masterson, Highway Foreman

Janice R. Russell, Administrative Assistant                                 Paul Rea, Citizen 


Ms. O’Toole called the meeting to order by phone at 6pm.  A roll call was done to confirm what Selectboard members and citizens were in attendance via teleconferencing.  


The Board Reviewed the agenda with no changes made. 


On motion of Mr. Haupt, seconded by Mr. McMeekin, the Board unanimously approved the minutes from the Regular Selectboard Meeting on April 21, 2020.

Citizen’s comments are limited to 3 minutes per person with a 15 minute maximum – No citizens attended.


  • Reports
  • Highway Report- The Selectboard reviewed the Highway Report and discussed the following with Mr. Masterson.
    • COVID-19 operations – All the Road Crew Members are VOSHA Certified.  Ms. O’Toole is going to research having a COVID-19 Plan in place for all town employees.  
    • Roadside spraying – The Town is in the process of getting a permit for roadside spraying in the same areas as last year although some areas may not need to be sprayed.  


Mr. Haupt has had contact from a resident on Riford Brook and Thayer Brook Roads who was concerned that only parts of the roads had been graded   Mr. Masterson stated it was due to the weather.    


Several Riford Brook Road residents also felt that the Beavers located at the Pond on their road should be left alone because lack of food for the beavers will make them leave and the road has never flooded.    Mr. Masterson goes to that specified location every day or every other day to clean out the debris from the culvert so the road does not flood.  It has been close to flooding a couple of times before it was cleaned out.


A discussion ensued between Mr. Masterson, Ms. Brassard, Mr. Caulfield and the Selectboard members regarding the 2020 Green–up Day, which has been moved to May 30th.  It was decided that the Town will get a dumpster as usual and will keep the price of tires the same as last year at $3.00 per tire.  The tires do need to be rimless. 


  • RAMAN update – Mr. Caulfield reported that Postcards went out to all residents.  A Sub-committee is looking at how to safely open local businesses and the economy in the region. Ms. O’Toole has been in a discussion with Mr. Nate Cleveland about shifting the focus of the Working Communities Grant to assisting the towns in recovering from the public health crisis.   


  • Old business
  • COVID-19 Follow-up
    • Office Closure To Public – Ms. O’Toole proposed that we continue to keep the office closed until May 19th, even though the Stay Home Stay Safe Order ends Friday, May 15th.    Ms. Brassard initiated a discussion regarding rearranging the Town Office for safety purposes before re-opening to the public.  Ms. Brassard would like to change the current counter and include a new see-through barrier.   The Selectboard agreed that there is money in the Capital Budget for the safety upgrades to the work areas in the Town Office and Garage.  Mr. McMeekin volunteered to meet with the Town Office employees and Mr. Masterson to plan how to reorganize all work areas for safety purposes.   
    • Remote Working – The process of remote working is going fine and the new computer hardware is working wonderful.


  • New business
  • Properties With Trash Problems – Ms. Brassard reported she has received two complaints on properties with a trash problem.  The Town of Braintree does not have a By-law or Ordinance regarding properties with excessive trash but can send a letter to the property owners requesting a cleanup of said property be done.  Ms. O’Toole and M. Burson will do further research on who has jurisdiction to send the letter and also on creating an Ordinance for future problems.  They will report their findings at the next Selectboard Meeting.  Mr.’s McMeekin and Haupt wanted to know why an Ordinance was not created last year when there were similar issues but no answer could be provided. 
  • Zoning 


  • Zoning Administrator Appointment – Gary Blatz was on the phone to express his interest in the Zoning Administrator position.  Mr. Blatz and Ms. Richmond-Hall have spoken; Mr. Blatz printed off and has started reading the ByLaws and Ms. Richmond-Hall suggested he review the last several years of Zoning Permits.  Ms. Richmond-Hall also suggested that Mr. Blatz start with the two easy permit applications that were recently the Town of Braintree.  



On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Bent, the Board unanimously approved the appointment of Mr. Blatz as Zoning Administrator.  


    • Consideration of Zoning application for subdivision- After a lengthy discussion on why Paul Rea’s Sub-division Zoning Permit had not been completed last year by The Town and Mr. Rea.   Mr. Rea explained the need to reconfigure two adjoining parcels to make all parcels two acres and he then resubmitted a new permit application in January which was directed to the Development Review Board by then Zoning Administrator, Holly Jarvis. The changes are very minor from last year to this year’s permit application and Ms.’s Brassard and Richmond-Hall believe that the Selectboard should grant Mr. Rea a waiver requiring the need to go before the Development Review Board and allow the submission of a new mylar of the design.   


On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. McMeekin, the Board unanimously approved Mr. Rea’s application for zoning and issued him a permit. Mylar will be submitted and signed by the appropriate town officials.   


  • Executive Session
    • Personnel matter – 

On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Haupt, the Board unanimously voted to enter into an Executive Session at 7:05 P.M. for a personnel matter.   


At 7:19 P.M. The Selectboard came out of the Executive Session with no decision made.


  • Payment orders – Ms. O’Toole and Mr. Bent reviewed the Payment Orders.


On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Bent, the Board unanimously approved the payment orders.


On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Bent the Board unanimously adjourned the meeting at 7:18 p.m.