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Town Meeting 2018 Minutes

 

Town of Sheffield, Vermont

2018 Annual Town Meeting Minutes

Sheffield Town Hall

March 6, 2018, 9:00 AM

Not approved until signed.

 

Forty-eight (48) legal voters of Sheffield assembled at the Sheffield Town Hall. Patrick Ham called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM. The people in attendance stood and spoke the Pledge of Allegiance. The preamble of the 2017 warning was read with the following business being transacted.

 

Article 1. To elect a moderator for the ensuing year.

The gavel was turned over to William St. Peter as Town Clerk to proceed with the election of a Town Moderator for the ensuing year. Brian Mahoney nominated Patrick Ham for Moderator, seconded by Harman Clark. Hearing no further nominations, Walter Smith made the motion that nominations cease and one ballot be cast for Patrick Ham by the clerk, seconded by Bobbi Bristol. Patrick Ham was elected Moderator.

 

Patrick Ham spoke about the honor of seeing democracy in action by attending and participating in Town Meeting.

 

Article 2. To elect other town officers necessary to fill any vacancies, including the following:

a. Selectman for a term of three (3) years.

Walter Smith nominated Max Aldrich for a three year term for Selectman, seconded by Al Robertson. Hearing no further nominations, Harman Clark made the motion that nominations cease and one ballot be cast by the clerk for Max Aldrich. Seconded by Walter Smith. Motion passed. Max Aldrich was elected to the Select Board for a three year term.

 

c. Lister for a term of three (3) years.

William St. Peter nominated Ed Jewell for Lister, seconded by Al Robertson. Hearing no further nominations, Max Aldrich made the motion that nominations cease and one ballot be cast by the clerk for Ed Jewell. Seconded by Rod Dwyer. Motion passed. Ed Jewell was elected as Lister for a three year term.

           

d. Auditor for a term of three (3) years.

Walter Smith nominated Gretchen Bristol for auditor, who declined the nomination. Max Aldrich nominated David Bristol, who declined the nomination. Suzanne Bartlett nominated Ed Richardson, seconded by Max Aldrich. Hearing no further nominations, Max Aldrich made the motion that nominations cease and one ballot be cast by the clerk for Ed Richardson, seconded by Walter Smith. Motion passed. Ed Richardson was elected as Auditor for a three year term.

 

e. Constable for the ensuing year.

Ed Richardson nominated Ed Jewell for Constable, seconded by Al Robertson. Hearing no further nominations, voice vote was taken. Ed Jewell was elected as Constable for a one year term.

 

f. Delinquent Tax collector for the ensuing year.

Maureen Aldrich nominated Cheryl Chesley for Delinquent Tax Collector, seconded by Ken Vos. Hearing no further nominations, voice vote was taken. Cheryl Chesley was elected as Delinquent Tax Collector for a one year term.

 

g. Grand juror for the ensuing year.

William St. Peter nominated Harman Clark for Grand Juror, seconded by Al Robertson. Hearing no further nominations, a voice vote was taken. Harman Clark was elected Grand Juror for a one year term.

 

h. Town agent for the ensuing year.

Max Aldrich nominated William St. Peter as Town Agent, seconded by Walter Smith. Hearing no further nominations, a voice vote was taken. William St. Peter was elected as the Town Agent for a one year term.

 

i. Agent to convey real estate for the ensuing year.

Ed Jewell nominated the Select Board as the agent to convey real estate, seconded by Audrey Hearne. Hearing no further nominations, a voice vote was taken. The Select Board was elected as the agent to convey real estate for a one year term.

 

j. Trustee of public funds for the ensuing year.

Audrey Hearne nominated the Select Board as the trustee of public funds, seconded by Beverly Frost. Hearing no further nominations, a voice vote was taken. The Select Board was elected as the trustee of public funds for a one year term.

 

k. School Director for Miller’s Run School District for the remainder of the district term.

William St. Peter nominated Brian Mahoney for School Director, seconded by Walter Smith. Hearing no further nominations, a voice vote was taken. Brian Mahoney was elected as School Director for the remainder of the District term.

 

l. Sexton for the ensuing year.

Sally Wood-Simons nominated Charles Gilman for Sexton, seconded by Al Robertson. Hearing no further nominations, a voice vote was taken. Charles Gilman was elected as Sexton for a one year term.

 

m. Three (3) Planning Commissioners for a term of three (3) years.

Al Robertson nominated Keith Ballek, who declined the nomination. Al Robertson nominated Leslie Ham, who declined the nomination. Rodney Dwyer nominated Bobbi Bristol, seconded by Walter Smith. Hearing no further nominations, Bobbi Bristol was elected by voice vote for a three year term.

Al Robertson nominated Ed Richardson, who declined the nomination. Al Robertson nominated Brenda Ham, who declined the nomination. Max Aldrich nominated Chad McLean, seconded by Al Robertson. Hearing no further nominations, Chad McLean was elected by voice vote.

Al Robertson nominated Rod Dwyer, seconded by Linda Lyman. Hearing no further nominations, Rod Dwyer was elected by voice vote.

 

Article 3. To see if the Town will accept the reports of the several Town officers.

Al Robertson made the motion to accept the reports of the Town Officers, seconded by Rod Dwyer. Discussion ensued.

 

William St. Peter outlined the omissions and errors in the Town Report that were discovered after printing and distribution. Copies of corrected replacement pages were available to the voters.

Ray Berry had a question about the Field Day Report. He was interested in the income from Field Day. He asked that an accounting of Field Day income and expenses be included in next year’s Town Report.

Kathy Newland asked if the Wind Farm money was put into the investment account immediately upon receipt of the money. William St. Peter reported that the money was not transferred quarterly in 2017. Now, with new accounting procedures at Vermont Wind, a physical check is received by the town and deposited directly into the investment account the next banking day.

Cheryl Chesley asked what the percentage gain was on the Wind Farm investment account for 2017. That information is not readily available. This will be addressed in 2018.

Jim Fox asked if the new copier had saved the Town money in printing costs. William St. Peter noted that the cost of printing the Town Report was $400.00 versus $1,009.00 cost by an outside printing company in 2017.

Brian Mahoney wanted clarification on the beginning and ending balances of the Vermont Wind Account. Al Robertson noted the report should include accounts receivable for the two truck loans being paid back from the town.

The question was called by Harmon Clark, seconded by William St. Peter. Motion was amended to include the Town Report Supplement regarding omissions and errors by Brian Mahoney, seconded by Al Robertson. Question was called by voice vote. Motion passed. The reports were accepted as supplemented.

 

Article 4. To see if the Town will appropriate the sum of $63,989.82 to help support the following organizations:

 

a. American Red Cross

250.00

b. Caledonia Home Health Care and Hospice

1,100.00

c. Cobleigh Public Library

 600.00

d. Community Restorative Justice Center

500.00

e. Darling Inn Senior Meal Site

250.00

f. Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium

703.00

g. Green-Up Vermont

50.00

h. H.O.P.E.

500.00

i. Lyndon Rescue Assessment

28,076.82

j. Lyndonville Youth Baseball/Softball

250.00

k. NEK Council on Aging

330.00

l. Northeast Kingdom Human Services

738.00

m. Northeast Kingdom Learning Services

100.00

n. Northeast Kingdom Youth Services

300.00

o. Northeastern Vermont Development Association

527.00

p. Rural Community Transportation

1,000.00

q. Sheffield Wheelock Fire Department- Operations

17,000.00

r. Sheffield Wheelock Fire Department- Truck

9,700.00

s. Sheffield Food Pantry

360.00

t. Umbrella

500.00

u. Vermont Center for Independent Living

55.00

v. VT Rural Fire Protection Task Force

100.00

w. Village Improvement Society/Powers Park

1,000.00

 

 

Total

$63,989.82

 

 

Terry Lacillade made the motion to consider each appropriation, line by line. Seconded by Jim Fox.  Motion passed. Terry Lacillade outlined the requests year by year, noting the increase in the number of requests and the increase in the overall dollar amounts.

Suzanne Bartlett asked whether organizations needed to produce annual petitions for inclusion in the warning. Organizations who have ongoing requests have not submitted annual petitions.

Walter Smith explained the mission of the Community Restorative Justice Center. Walter Smith commented on the practice at Lyndon Rescue of carrying over earned time from year to year. He felt the Select Board should write a letter to Lyndon Rescue, with copies to towns in the catchment area about carrying over earned time. Cheryl Chesley agreed with Walter Smith on the earned time and also wondered why the payroll tax and bank fees had gone up so much for Lyndon Rescue.

She noted that the increases were likely due to increased emergency management and EMT responsibilities.

 

Noting the arrival of Vicki Strong, Sheffield’s representative to the Vermont House, the moderator opened the floor to Ms. Strong and the voters. Ms. Strong spoke about the Governor’s position on fiscal conservatism. He will not sign a bill into law that raises taxes and fees. She is on the General Housing and Military Affairs Committee. The committee is addressing three areas:

1.) Offering free tuition to National Guard members at State Colleges and Universities

2.) Recognition and streamlining of certifications earned in the military which transfer to job opportunities in civilian life.

3.) Vermont has accepted the Honor and Remember flag acknowledging the service of all Vermonters who died in all wars or conflicts.

Ms. Strong is also working in the legislature to increase opportunities to help the homeless.

 

Walter Smith asked about the formula for funding schools as it relates to income tax. Ms. Strong replied that the proposed way education is funded in Vermont is undergoing change, even as recent as last week.

 

Brian Mahoney asked repaving Route 122. Ms. Strong said that Sheffield is on the list for road repair.

 

Bob Blodgett asked about efforts to keep young people from leaving Vermont. Governor Scott has held an initiative to make Vermont friendly to businesses in an effort to create jobs.

 

Beverly Frost asked about treatment possibilities for the mentally ill. There are homes for people in mental health crisis.

 

Ms. Strong was thanked for her time and insight.

 

The meeting then resumed with continued discussion of Article 4.

a.) Brian Mahoney made the motion to appropriate $250.00 to the American Red Cross, seconded by Erik Lavallee. Motion passed by voice vote.

b.) Kathy Newland made the motion to appropriate $1,100.00 to Caledonia Home Health Care and Hospice. Seconded by Audrey Hearne. Suzanne Bartlett made a motion to amend the amount to $500.00. Seconded by Jim Fox. Ed Richardson called the question. Motion to amend failed on voice vote. Leslie Newland called the question on the original motion. Motion passed on voice vote.

c.) Frances Hersey made the motion to appropriate Cobleigh Public Library $600.00. Seconded by Brian Mahoney. Motion passed by voice vote.

d.) Frances Hersey made the motion to appropriate Community Restorative Justice Center $500.00. Seconded by Bobbi Bristol. Bobbi Bristol spoke to the mission and works of the Center. Ed Richardson called the question. Voice vote was inconclusive. Vote by show of voter cards resulted in eighteen yes votes and 30 no votes. The motion was defeated.

e.) Terry Lacillade made the motion to appropriate $250.00 to the Darling Inn Senior Meal Site. Seconded by Brian Mahoney. Passed by voice vote.

f.) Brain Mahoney made the motion to appropriate $703.00 to the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium. Seconded by Rosemary Kinerson. Passed by voice vote.

g.) Max Aldrich made the motion to appropriate $50.00 to Green-Up Vermont. Seconded by Al Robertson. Tires picked up on the road side can be brought to NEKWMD in Lyndonville. The town will be billed. Passed by voice vote.

h.) Rosemary Kinerson made the motion to appropriate $500.00 to H.O.P.E. Seconded by Linda Lyman. Passed by voice vote.

i.) Brian Mahoney made the motion to appropriate $15,632.00 to Lyndon Rescue, Inc. Seconded by Terry Lacillade. Leslie Newland made the motion to amend the amount to $20,568.57. Seconded by Leslie Ham. The question was asked if the Town would receive service from Lyndon Rescue if the full amount was not paid. The by-laws of Lyndon Rescue were read. Ed Richardson called the question. Voice vote inconclusive. Vote by show of voter cards resulted in twenty-one (21) yes votes and twenty-five (25) no votes. Amendment failed. Jim Fox called the question. Voice vote on the original motion was inconclusive. Vote by show of voter cards resulted in seventeen (17) yes votes and thirty (30) no votes. Motion defeated. Bob Blodgett made the motion to reconsider due to voter confusion. Seconded by Bobbi Bristol. Reconsideration motion passed by voice vote.

Bob Blodgett made the motion to appropriate $28,076. 82 to Lyndon Rescue, Inc. Seconded by Walter Smith. Walter Smith called the question. Seconded by Bob Blodgett and supported by voice vote.  Motion passed as written by voice vote.

j.) Rosemary Kinerson made the motion to appropriate $250.00 to Lyndonville Youth Baseball and Softball. Seconded by Erika Lavallee. Passed by voice vote.

k.) Ed Richardson made the motion to appropriate $350.00 to NEK Council on Aging. Seconded by Rosemary Kinerson. Passed by voice vote

l.) Brian Mahoney made the motion to appropriate $738.00 to Northeast Kingdom Human Services. Seconded by Rosemary Kinerson. Passed by voice vote.

m.) Brian Mahoney made the motion to appropriate $100.00 to Northeast Kingdom Learning Services. Seconded by Erika Lavallee. Passed by voice vote.

n.) Brian Mahoney made the motion to appropriate $300.00 to Northeast Kingdom Youth Services. Seconded by Erika Lavallee. Passed by voice vote,

o.) Linda Lyman made the motion to appropriate $527.00 to Northeastern Vermont Development Association. Seconded by Al Robertson. Passed by voice vote.

p.) Rosemary Kinerson made the motion to appropriate $1,000.00 to Rural Community Transportation. Seconded by Brian Mahoney. Passed by voice vote.

q.) Brian Mahoney made the motion to appropriate $17,000.00 to the Sheffield/ Wheelock Fire Department for Operations. Seconded by William St. Peter. Passed by voice vote.

r.) Brian Mahoney made the motion to appropriate $9,700.00 to the Sheffield/ Wheelock Fire Department Truck Fund. Seconded by Rosemary Kinerson. Passed by voice vote.

s.) Brian Mahoney made the motion to appropriate $360.00 to the Sheffield Food Pantry. Seconded by Walter Smith. Passed by voice vote.

t.) Rod Dwyer made the motion to appropriate $500.00 to Umbrella. Seconded by Al Robertson. Passed by voice vote.

u.) Erika Lavallee made the motion to appropriate $55.00 to Vermont Center for Independent Living, Seconded by Deb Russell. Passed by voice vote.

v.) Max Aldrich made the motion to appropriate $100.00 to the Vermont Rural Protection Task Force. Seconded by Rod Dwyer. Passed by voice vote.

w.) Terry Lacillade made the motion to appropriate $500.00 to Village Improvement Society/ Powers Park. Seconded by Jim Fox. Bob Blodgett made the motion to amend the amount to $1,000.00. Seconded by Deb Russell. Question on the amendment was called by Brian Mahoney. Motion to amend passed. Vote on the amended motion of $1,000.00 passed by voice vote.

 

The meeting was suspended from 12:00 to 12:45 PM for lunch.

 

The meeting was brought back to order at 12:45 PM by Patrick Ham.

 

Article 5. Shall the voters authorize the Northeast Kingdom Waste Management District to appropriate and expend a budget of $760,519.00? (Australian ballot)

 

Motion was made by Ed Richardson to pass over Article 5. Seconded by Rod Dwyer. Passed by

voice vote.

 

Article 6.  a. Shall the Town apply a portion of the supplemental payments received in 2018 from Vermont Wind, LLC, as calculated in the Vermont Wind, LLC Supplemental Payment Information page included in this Report, to pay the Town's general and highway expenses thereby reducing the property tax rate for taxpayers of               the Town?

 

Al Robertson made the motion to use a portion of supplemental payments referred to in Article 6. a. as written. Seconded by Ed Jewell. Passed by voice vote.

 

b. If the vote on Article 6.a. is affirmative, what shall the amount of such portion be, with the remainder being deposited into the Vermont Wind, LLC Fund, which was established at the 2012 Town Meeting?

 

Al Robertson made the motion to use fifty percent (50%) of the noted funds to reduce tax and fifty percent (50%) be put into the investment fund, Seconded by Brian Mahoney. Al Robertson spoke to the fact that the fund is on track towards the goal of the fund to be self-sustaining. Passed by voice vote.

 

Article 7. To see if the Town will authorize the Select Board to apply any surplus accumulated during the year 2017 in the general checking account to defray Town general expenses during 2018.

 

William St. Peter made the motion to authorize the Select Board as noted in the article. Seconded by Al Robertson. Passed by voice vote.

 

Article 8. To see if the Town will authorize the Select Board to apply any surplus accumulated during the year 2017 in the highway checking account to defray Town highway expenses during 2018.

 

William St. Peter made the motion to authorize the Select Board as noted in the article. Seconded by Al Robertson. Passed by voice vote.

 

Article 9. To see if the Town will approve the proposed general and highway budgets for 2018 in the combined amount of $ 484005.00 for General use and maintenance of Town Highways.

 

Motion made by Brian Mahoney to approve the combined amount of $564,207.88 to account for the omitted equipment loan re-payments and appropriations as voted. Seconded by Al Robertson. Passed by voice vote.

 

Article 10. To see if the Town will have real and personal property taxes paid to the Treasurer and set the due date of Friday, November 2, 2018.

 

William St. Peter made the motion on Article 10 as written. Seconded by Walter Smith. Passed by voice vote.

 

Article 11. To transact any other business that may properly come before this meeting.

 

Kingdom East vote on April 10, 2018. Information meeting on Thursday, April 5, 2018 at 6:15PM at Miller’s Run School.

Al Robertson invited everyone to the Annual Walk in the Woods, Saturday, August 25, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Cheryl Chesley had questions about promoting Holbrook State Forest.

William St. Peter announced the Rabies vaccination clinic in town at the Fire Station on March 24, 2018 from 10 to 11 am. Dogs need to be licensed and have a current rabies vaccination certificate by April 1, 2018.

The voters considered the option of having a Facebook page for the Town to update on road conditions, school closings, etc.

Audrey Richardson announced the Field Day Organizational Meeting on March 15, 2018 at 7:00 PM. She and Ed are retiring from actively managing the Field Day.

Leslie Newland asked about whether information regarding the cemeteries is on the computer. Frances Hersey said that Norma Williams has done a lot of work of mapping the cemeteries and putting the results on the computer. Frances called for more volunteers for the Historical Society

 

Article 12. To adjourn.

Max Aldrich made the motion to adjourn this year’s Town Meeting. Seconded by Walter Smith. Article passed by voice vote. The 2018 Sheffield Town Meeting adjourned at 1:34 PM.

 

Dated at Sheffield, Caledonia County, Vermont this 6th day of March, 2018

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

____________________

Wendy Scofield

Assistant Town Clerk and Assistant Treasurer

 

____________________

Patrick Ham

Moderator

 

____________________

Ed Richardson

Justice of the Peace

 

 

 

   

 Note that all documents, minutes, notices, statements, etc. appearing on this web site have been duly signed and/or witnessed, as appropriate, whether said original signature(s) appears or not. Contact Mr. William St. Peter, Sheffield Town Clerk at (802) 626-8862 (Tel) or (802) 626-0424 (Fax) or townclerk@sheffieldvt.org regarding access to the aforementioned documents, minutes, notices, statements, etc.

Disclaimer: The information posted here is accurate at the time of posting. As always, changes may occur and will be posted as soon as possible.