Aug 212020

Minutes Regular Meeting

Braintree Selectboard

Tuesday, August 18, 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:

Timothy Caulfield, Emergency Management Director


Present at Town Office:

Daniel Burson, Selectboard Member                               Charles McMeekin, Selectboard Member

Loren Bent, Selectboard Member                                               Jeff Masterson, Highway Foreman

Keegan Haupt, Selectboard Member                                 Janice Russell, Administrative Assistant

Megan O’Toole, Selectboard Chairperson, was unable to attend the meeting.


Mr. Burson chaired the meeting in Ms. O’Toole’s absence calling the meeting to order at 6:02pm.  A roll call was done to confirm what Committee Chairpersons and guests might be in attendance via teleconferencing.


The Board Reviewed the agenda with changes made.  Mr. Burson added under New Business an Application for Access from Joseph Melkonian, a discussion on a letter received from the Department of Public Safety/Vermont State Police requesting the Town’s participation in shaping the approach to policing across Vermont and in the Town of Braintree and a discussion on a Local Government Expense Reimbursement (LGER) Grant.  As there was no material available for the New Town Plan, this topic was removed from the New Business Section.  Mr. Burson added an Executive Session for a Personnel Matter.


On motion of Mr. Haupt, seconded by Mr. McMeekin, the Board unanimously approved the minutes from the Regular Selectboard Meeting on August 4, 2020. 


  • Citizen’s comments limited to 3 minutes per person with a 15 minute maximum – No citizen comments.


  • Reports
  • Highway Report – Mr. Masterson stated the Sand Pile work will be started next week. There was no flooding from the Tropical Storm Isaias.  He briefly described the work being done on the ditch work on the Town’s roads to mitigate possible road and private property flooding issues.


  • Old business
  • COVID-19 Follow-up
  • Office Closure To Public – The Town Office will continue to be closed to the Public unless an appointment by phone or e-mail is made with the Town Clerk or Administrative Assistant to enter the building. There is a drop-off box in the front of the building to leave any correspondence that does not need an immediate response.
  • Restructuring Office For Safety – Michael Iddings has completed the framework for the new counter shield and door into the Town Clerk’s work space. Portland Glass will be returning to take new measurements of the area and then will have Mr. Iddings assist in placing the plexiglass into the frame.   A search for a door has not been successful and may require the building of one to Ms. Brassard’s specifications.
  • RAMAN – Mr. Caulfield provided an update.  There have been two new cases in Orange County in the past two weeks but does not appear to be an outbreak situation. The State of Vermont has an excellent contact tracing protocol to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  Orange County has no towns that have over 5 infected people.  The Town has received 300 Facial Masks to be distributed freely on a first come first serve basis to Braintree residents.
  • Trashy Neighbors Research Follow-up – Review of New Trash Ordinance – A brief discussion ensued regarding the final version of the new ordinance.


On motion of Mr. Bent, seconded by Mr. Mr. Burson, the Board unanimously approved passage of the Trash Ordinance. 


  • Road Foreman Open Position Follow-up – The Open Position ad was run again in The Herald, The Times Argus, The Valley News and on Front Porch Forum and the VT Roads website, the Town’s Website and Facebook page but still have had only one application. There are many towns in the State also looking for highway foreman and crew members without success.
  • Town’s options for a potential location of sand needed to replenish the 2021-2022 Stockpile.  A discussion of options between Mr. Masterson and the Selectboard Members was held. A review will be conducted of the potential quarry sites presented in the reports from Vermont Testing Consulting Corporation and American Consulting Engineers and Surveyors the Town had commissioned in 2016.  Other Town locations and Vermont Businesses that supply gravel were deliberated.  Burson, Bent and Masterson will contact the landowners and current gravel suppliers for a review of the prospective sites and prices.
  • Review of Gene Bianco’s Revised Right-of-Way Permit Application – After reviewing Mr. Bianco revised permit application the board decided the work to be done does follow the required guidelines.


On motion of Mr. Bent, seconded by Mr. Burson, the Board unanimously approved passage of Gene Bianco’s Right-of-Way Permit Application. 


  • New business
  • Local Government Expense Reimbursement (LGER) Grant – Ms. Russell and Mr. McMeekin will coordinate the materials and application submission for this grant.
  • VLCT Virtual Town Fair 2020 – Ms. Russell will locate further information on this event and forward it to the Selectboard Members who then will individually decide to attend all or partial events of the Town Fair.
  • Review of Joseph Melkonian’s Right-of-Way Permit Application. The Selectboard evaluated Mr. Melkonian’s application to add an access driveway off Bent Hill Road and found everything to be in order.


On motion of Mr. Burson, seconded by Mr. Haupt, the Board unanimously approved passage of Joseph Melkonian’s Right-of-Way Permit Application. 


  • Letter from Department of Public Safety/Vermont State Police requesting the Town’s participation in shaping the approach to policing across Vermont and in the Town of Braintree. After a brief discussion on how to accommodate the response to this request it was decided that that the following warning requesting input from Braintree Residents will be added to the September 1, 2020 Selectboard Meeting agenda and posted at other sites.  “The Vermont State Police are responding to calls for a re-examining of the role police should play, and how police should evolve to meet challenges raised by George Floyd’s murder and systemic racism.  If you are a Braintree resident and would like to respond, you may either write down your comments and forward them to Janice Russell at the Braintree Town office, at 932 VT RT 12A or email to for presenting at our September 1 selectboard meeting, which begins at 6:00.  This item will be first on our agenda under Old Business for the evening. You can call in to the meeting at 802-210-4472.  All input received will be forwarded to the Vermont State Police.
  • Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter pursuant to 1 V.S.A. Section 313(a)(3).


On motion of Mr. Burson, seconded by Mr. Bent, the Board unanimously voted to enter into an Executive Session at 6:54 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 7:06 PM with no decision being made on the personnel matter.


  • Payment orders – The Selectboard reviewed the Payment Orders.


On motion of Mr. Burson, seconded by Mr. Haupt, the Board unanimously approved the payment orders.


  • Adjournment


On motion of Mr. Burson, seconded by Mr. Bent the Board unanimously adjourned the meeting at 7:07 p.m.