Thetford Select Board Meeting


March 7, 2005


John Bacon and Doug Stone were sworn into office by Town Clerk, Tracy Borst.


Present: Mary Spata, Mike Brown John Bacon, Doug Stone, Mark McMahon, Marilyn Cook (clerk)

Guests: Jill Graff, Town Treasurer, Allison Rogers, Connecticut Valley Spectator


The meeting was called to order at 6:41 pm.


Treasurer distributed new budgets.


Selectboard signed a renewal of the Line of Credit and bank forms for the Treasurer to receive Town of Thetford bank statements that currently go to other community members.


Ms. Graff left the meeting at 6:50 pm.


Motion to utilize Robert's Rules of Order 10th Edition for Parliamentary Procedures, particularly as it applies to small boards. (Brown) Unanimous.


Mark McMahon was unanimously elected as Chairman of the Selectboard.


Motion to designate The Valley News as the town's local paper. (Spata) Unanimous.


Move that the start time of selectboard meetings will be at 7:00 pm. (Brown) Unanimous.


Selectboard reviewed town positions to be appointed:

Mike Brown nominates Elmer Brown as Tree Warden. (Unanimous)


Mike Brown moves to appoint Ruth Dwyer Kent as Pound Keeper. (Unanimous)


Selectboard members will contact residents to fill open committee positions.


Members of the community joined the meeting between 6:45 and 7:00 pm, including Ehrhard Frost, Barbara DeFelice, Liora Alschuler, Stuart Blood, Penny Sirjane, Mariah Capurso, Jacob Zorn, Hugh O'Donnell, Doug Miller, Rick Barrows, Joel Teenyanoff, Ginger Wallis, Debra Kraemer, Bob Walker, Andy Boyce, Pam Kneisel, Jill Graff, Todd Protzman


Police Chief, Joseph Anthony, joined the meeting at 7:00 pm. A public discussion addressed concerns about Chief Anthony's conduct at Town Meeting. Concerns included Chief Anthony's behavior at a Public Forum and Town Meeting, being described by some as intimidating and bullying; inappropriate interaction at Town Meeting with Reporter, Allison Rogers, (leaving the podium and entering the audience and the use of intimidation that may cause mistrust by women in this community); and misrepresenting the budget increase that voters approved, by omitting information about proposed pay increases for police officers totaling $4000.


Others offered that while the chief has been in this position for two and a half months, he has needed to learn his position, integrate into the community and prepare a budget. Also noted was the chief's passion and desire to do his job. Some residents who have become acquainted with the chief recognize that different communication styles are a factor.


Chief Anthony felt that his interaction with Ms. Rogers was not inappropriate. The Chief was unaware that it was inappropriate to leave the podium at town meeting. Some felt that the moderator was also responsible for overseeing this. The chief responded to the lack of line item information about the budget increase and stated that although he was prepared to provide line-by-line information, he was asked not to do this and the direction of the meeting changed.


The Chief accepted the feedback and apologized for offending people. He invited people to meet with him in his office, to discuss further concerns or to ask specific questions that may not have been answered at Town Meeting or this evening. He expressed interest in meeting with the community on a regular basis. The chief meets with the selectboard on the first Monday of each month at 7:00 pm and the community is welcome to attend. Stuart Blood suggests the Police Chief and Selectboard use the Thetford List Serve as a way to communicate with the community. The selectboard will contact the Secretary of State's office to gather more information about the voters' approval of the police budget increase.



March 7, 2005



Community members left the meeting at 7:55 pm.


The Chief has ordered a new police cruiser for $18,336, as approved at Town Meeting.

Chief Anthony left at 8:00 pm.


Tracy Borst, Town Clerk, joined the meeting at 8:00 pm.


Selectboard Chair, Mark McMahon, signed Excess Weight Permits for David Langford, Ken Reney Trucking, WB & RL Martin Inc, Blaktop Inc, McCullough Crushing Inc, and Arthur Whitcomb.


Motion to approve and accept Liquor License Applications for Wings Supermarket, Huggett's Mobil Service Inc, Thetford Center Village Store and Bakers Store (Bacon, McMahon) Unanimous. Selectboard signed applications.


Road Foreman, Doug Stone updated about highway department. Road crew has trucked in more sand. Gravel needs to be stockpiled. The new truck will be delivered the week of May 16. Mr. Stone is getting a price for extending air compression lines. They discussed the need to get a computer in the garage. Road crew is going to flagging school.


Motion to appoint Roberta Howard as Town Service Officer. (Brown/Stone) Unanimous.

Selectboard will ask Ms. Howard to update them on the food shelf at a future meeting.

Ellis Paige and Don Fifield Jr were appointed fire warden key men by Jeff Sirjane, Fire Warden.


Mary Spata will talk to the Thetford Historical Society for suggestions to appoint a Town Historian.


The animal rabies clinic and town registration will take place on Sat March 12 from 10-12.


Liaisons for town departments were determined:

Mary Spata - Police Department

Mike Brown - Recycling Committee

Mark McMahon - Highway Department

John Bacon - Planning & Zoning

Doug Stone - Treasure Island


Motion to approve Check Warrant Reports:

#7.1 (general) $1,983.26

#6.1 (general) $4,459.14

#4.4 (payroll) $11,015.25

#6.2 (highway) $1,957.41 (Spata/Bacon) Unanimous


Selectboard signed a Bridge Inspection Report, provided by the VT Agency of Transportation.


Selectboard received a written request from purchaser of a tax sale property, to forgive penalties for late tax payment. Mark McMahon will contact requester to get more specific information.


An amendment added to Article 18 by the community at Town Meeting (Australian Ballot to adopt or amend town municipal plan) made the article invalid. By state statute, a community vote must be done by Australian Ballot. Therefore, the selectboard maintains authority to pass the town plan.


Mike Brown provided clarification by the Secretary of State's Office regarding the increase in the police budget approved at town meeting. If the budget request adds a new line item in the budget, the vote becomes invalid. Mr. Brown will contact VLCT to get further clarification.


Selectboard needs to draft a contract for the Police Chief, as well as complete the background check.


March 7, 2005


Move to authorize some money from contracted services to proceed with background check of the police chief. (Brown/Bacon) Unanimous.


Computer passwords are used to access town records that are maintained on computers. The town of Thetford is entitled to maintain employee passwords and hold them in a confidential location. The Police Chief initially refused a written request given to all employees, stating confidentiality concerns. Mr. McMahon will make a second request. VLCT recommends including computer policies to the employee handbook and will send a model policy.


Motion to adjourn at 9:30 pm (Spata) Unanimous.THETFORD SELECTBOARD MINUTES

March 7, 2005

Last Modified 8/2005 by Bill Weyrick