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TOWN OF GUILDHALL

ANNUAL TOWN MEETING

March 2, 2010

Draft Minutes
Present on the panel, from left to right:
Eileen Thietten, Justice of the Peace, Tom Dubreiul, Selectboard Clerk, Ed Clark,
Selectboard Vice-Chair, Barbara Peaslee Smith, Selectboard Chair, Laura Wilson, Town
Clerk-Treasurer, Allen Hodgdon, Moderator, Melissa Barney, School Board Director,
Matthew Smith, School Board Director, Pat Rogers, Justice of the Peace. (Note that Patty
Brown, School Board Chair, did not attend.)

Moderator Allen Hodgdon called the meeting to order at 7:04pm. He noted that this was
the 225th Annual Guildhall Town Meeting. He introduced the panel members. Teri
Anderson asked the Moderator to speak; she thanked Laura Wilson for her years of
service as Town Clerk and presented a gift certificate on the behalf of the Town.
Edward Clark also asked the Moderator to speak; he thanked Barbara Peaslee Smith for
her years of service on the Selectboard and in other capacities. There was a round of
applause for both Wilson and Peaslee.

The Moderator then proceeded to explain that this meeting was would be conducted in
accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, and he explained the guidelines for
participation in debate, motions and voting. He also noted that there would be no room
for personal attacks or questioning the motives of others, and that all matters raised must
be germane.

He then asked that anyone in the house who was not a registered voter in the Town of
Guildhall to identify themselves, and explained that those persons may speak only with
permission of the assembly. The only person in the house to so identify himself was
Superintendent Steve Sanborn.

The Moderator then asked everyone to stand for a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Subsequently, he called for a motion of silence for those who had passed away in
Guildhall during 2009. (See 2009 Town Report for names)

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1) To hear and act on the reports of Town Officers; to accept the Guildhall
Annual 2009 Town Report. On a motion by Patricia Rogers, seconded by
Richard “Stretch” Martin and with no discussion, it was
Voted: to hear and act on the reports of Town Officers.
And
On a motion by George Blakeslee, seconded by Laura Wilson and with no
discussion, it was
Voted: to accept the Guildhall Annual 2009 Town Report.

At this time, according to long-time Guildhall Town tradition, the Moderator called for a
motion to recess the Town portion of the meeting, in order to convene the School District
portion of the Meeting. On a motion by Richard “Stretch” Martin, seconded by Melissa
Barney and with no discussion, it was
Voted: to recess the Town portion of the meeting, in order to convene the School
portion of the Meeting.

At this time, the Moderator called for a motion to convene the Annual Meeting of the
Guildhall School District. On a motion by Richard “Stretch” Martin, seconded by Gil
Rainault, and with no discussion, it was
Voted: to convene the Guildhall School District Annual Meeting.

1) To elect a School Moderator for the term of one (1) year.


Richard “Stretch” Martin nominated Allen Hodgdon for Moderator. There were
no other nominations. Being none, the Moderator called for a motion to instruct
the Town Clerk to cast one vote for Allen Hodgdon. On a motion by Alfred
McVetty and seconded by Richard “Stretch” Martin, with no discussion, it was
Voted: to instruct Town Clerk Laura Wilson to case one vote for Allen
Hodgdon as Moderator.
This vote was duly cast.

2). To Elect A School Director for a Term of Three (3) Years


Barbara Peaslee Smith nominated Sharal Plumley. The ayes carried the voice
vote and Sharal Plumley was elected as School Director.

3). Shall the voters authorize the School Directors to borrow money if
necessary. On a motion by Richard “Stretch” Martin, seconded by George
Blakeslee, and with no discussion, it was
Voted: to authorize the School Directors to borrow money if necessary.

4) Shall the voters authorize the School Directors to place unencumbered


funds in the Reserve Fund for the purpose of unanticipated Secondary
Tuition and Capital Improvements to the school facility, under the control
and direction of the School Directors of the Guildhall School District? On a
motion by Laura Wilson, seconded by Melissa Barney, and with no discussion, it
was

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Voted: to authorize the School Directors to place unencumbered funds in the
Reserve Fund for the purpose of unanticipated Secondary Tuition and
Capital Improvements to the school facility under the control and direction
of the School Directors of the Guildhall School District.

In anticipation of the following Article, the Moderator noted that Steven Sanborn,
Superintendent of the Essex-Caledonia Supervisory Union was in the house and the
voters may want to hear from him regarding the upcoming Article. The Moderator
called for a motion. On a motion by Gil Rainault, seconded by Richard “Stretch”
Martin, and with no discussion, it was
Voted: to permit Superintendent Sanborn to speak.

5). Shall the voters of the Guildhall School District appropriate $625,192.00
necessary for the support of its school for the school year beginning July 1,
2010? Teri Anderson asked the School Director if they anticipate an increase in
pupil attendance in the coming year. Matt Smith explained that there are three
kids who will be entering the school this year. There will be 21 students in
attendance. George Blakeslee asked what the reason is for the increase is in
school spending projected for this year. Superintendent Sanborn explained that
there has been a drop in revenue and an increase in special needs services. Gil
Rainault asked about the increase in special needs professional services.
Superintendent Sanborn explained that there are more special needs students, but
their identities and their needs could not be discussed due to confidentiality. On a
motion by Richard “Stretch” Martin, seconded by Melissa Barney and with no
further discussion, it was
Voted: to appropriate $625,192.00 necessary for the support of the
Guildhall school for the school year beginning July 1, 2010.

At this time, the Moderator called for a motion to adjourn the School District portion
of the meeting. On a motion by Richard “Stretch” Martin, seconded b y Laura
Wilson, and with no discussion, it was
Voted: to adjourn the School District meeting, at approximately 7:23pm.

At this time, the Moderator called for a motion to reconvene the Town portion of the
Meeting. On a motion by Alfred McVetty, seconded by Patricia Rogers, and with no
discussion, it was
Voted to reconvene the Town Meeting, at approximately 7:24pm.

2) Shall the Town vote to collect its 2010 taxes up to and including October 15,
2010 by the Town Treasurer? On a motion by Richard “Stretch” Martin,
seconded by Alfred McVetty and with no discussion, it was
Voted: to collect the Town’s 2010 taxes up to and including October 15, 2010
by the Town Treasurer.

3) Shall the Town vote to authorize its auditors to print in the Town Report the
names of delinquent taxpayers with the amounts and years owed? On a

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motion by Patricia Rogers, seconded by Richard “Stretch” Martin, and with no
discussion, it was
Voted: to authorize the auditors to print in the Town Report the names of
delinquent taxpayers with the amounts and years owed.

4) Shall the Town authorize its Selectboard to incur debts for temporary loans,
in anticipation of taxes for the year? On a motion by Richard “Stretch” Martin,
seconded by George Blakeslee, and with no discussion, it was
Voted: to authorize the Selectboard to incur debts for temporary loans, in
anticipation of taxes for the year.

5) Shall the Town vote to use the 2009 General Fund surplus to pay expenses
until 2010 tax monies become available? On a motion by George Blakeslee,
seconded by Alfred McVetty and with no discussion, it was
Voted: to use the 2009 General Fund surplus to pay expenses until 2010 tax
monies become available.

6) Shall the Town vote to appropriate the sum of $200.00 to Umbrella, an


organization that helps victims of domestic violence throughout Essex
County and the Northeast Kingdom? On a motion by Alfred McVetty and
seconded by Jill Rogers, the floor was opened for discussion. Gil Rainault
clarified for the assembly that there is also another organization that does similar
work as Umbrella in Essex County. Town Clerk Laura Wilson reported that a
small but indeterminate number of individuals/families had been served by
Umbrella in 2009. With no further discussion, it was
Voted: to appropriate the sum of $200 to Umbrella, an organization that
helps victims of domestic violence throughout Essex County and the
Northeast Kingdom.

7) Shall the Town vote to appropriate the sum of $75.00 to the Vermont Center
for Independent Living, an organization that provides services to the
disabled in Essex County and the Northeast Kingdom? On a motion by
George Blakeslee and seconded by Jill Rogers, the floor was opened for
discussion. Town Clerk Laura Wilson noted that 1 citizen of Guildhall had been
served by this organization in 2009. With no further discussion, it was
Voted: to appropriate the sum of $75.00 to the Vermont Center for
Independent Living.

8) Shall the Town vote to appropriate the sum of $400.00 to the Area Agency on
Aging of Northern Vermont, for services to the elderly? On a motion by
Richard “Stretch” Martin and seconded by George Blakeslee, the floor was
opened for discussion. Town Clerk Laura Wilson noted that 7 citizens had been
served by this organization in 2009. With no further discussion, it was
Voted: to appropriate the sum of $400.00 to the Area Agency on Aging of
Northern Vermont, for services to the elderly.

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9) Shall the Town vote to appropriate the sum of $50 to Northeast Kingdom
Learning Services, an adult basic education center? On a motion by Alfred
McVetty, seconded by Richard “Stretch” Martin, and with no discussion, it was
Voted: to appropriate the sum of $50 to Northeast Kingdom Learning
Services.

10) Shall the Town vote to appropriate a sum of $250 to the Red Cross’ Northern
Vermont Chapter for services in the event of disaster? On a motion by Alfred
McVetty, seconded by Richard “Stretch” Martin, and with no discussion, it was
Voted: to appropriate the sum of $250 to the Red Cross’ Northern Vermont
Chapter.

11) Shall the Town vote to appropriate a sum of money for law enforcement
services, not to exceed $2,500.00. On a motion by Richard “Stretch” Martin and
seconded by George Blakeslee, the floor was opened for discussion. George
Blakeslee asked if there was a report on the issue. Selectboard Chair Barbara
Peaslee Smith noted that the Selectboard felt that it should be up for discussion
whether or not the money would go to our Constable or some other recipient
besides the Essex County Sheriff’s Department. Richard Carlson asked what the
projected training costs would be for the Constable. Peaslee Smith noted that
those figures are not available as yet. Lj Holland asked why the Essex County
Sheriff Steve Gadapee was not here tonight. Gil Rainault—who is an Essex
County Deputy Sheriff-- responded that he was there to relay concerns or
questions to Steve Gadapee and that Gadapee had not been “invited.” Rainault
asked if the Town was really saying that it did not want to provide any payment
for law enforcement services listed in the letter that Gadapee sent to the town.
Selectboard Vice-Chair Edward Clark asked Gil Rainault if Rainault was saying
that if the voters did not vote to specifically give a fixed amount of money to the
ECSD, would the Sheriff’s department actually refuse to provide services? Gil
Rainault replied that the ECSD was not obligated to provide services at all.
George Blakeslee noted that he felt that in light of increased needs for law
enforcement, he wanted to amend the total amount to $5,000. Selectboard Vice-
Chair Edward Clark proposed that Blakeslee’s amendment in turn be amended to
say that the voters would appropriate the sum of $2,500 to the ECSD but also
appropriate an additional sum of $2,500 for law enforcement services to be given
at the discretion of the Selectboard to other law enforcement services or
organizations as needed. Blakeslee agreed to amend his motion accordingly. On
a motion by George Blakeslee, seconded by Melissa Barney, and with no further
discussion, it was
Voted: to amend the motion to state that the voters will appropriate the sum
of $2,500 to the Essex County Sheriff’s Department and to further
appropriate an additional sum of $2,500 to be distributed at the discretion of
the Selectboard for additional law enforcement services.
The Moderator called for a vote on the main Article. On a motion by Richard
“Stretch” Martin, seconded by Patricia Rogers, and with no discussion, it was

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Voted: to appropriate the sum of $2,500 to the Essex County Sheriff’s
Department and to further appropriate the sum of $2,500 to be distributed at
the discretion of the Selectboard for additional law enforcement services.

At this time, the Moderator recognized Representative Janice Peaslee and invited
her to speak, particularly about the proposed closing/consolidation of the Essex
County and Grand Isle County courts. Peaslee stated that nothing has been voted
yet on this bill. The Moderator further asked if she knew where things stood in
general in the Legislature with respect to this proposal. Peaslee answered that
honestly she did not know where it stood. Selectboard Vice-Chair Edward Clark
then provided some details of the proposed court closing plan; he stated that he
has spoken with the Speaker of the House and the Chair of the Judiciary
Committee. He explained that a lot of people were putting into effort into either
killing the bill or changing it significantly. He noted that the Essex County
Democrats and Republicans have joined together in opposing this bill. He noted
that it’s an uphill battle with the low population densities in Essex and Grand Isle,
but now it’s a statewide issue. He stated that he thinks we can be assured that the
bill that was introduced is not going to be the bill that comes out of the judiciary.
Will do our best to weaken it. Peaslee thanked EC for his update.
Peaslee noticed that there is an upcoming hearing on consolidation of school
districts and supervisory unions.
Moderator asked Peaslee about her position on the sale of the John Boylan
Airport in Island Pond, to provide space to the new pellet plant proposed for the
region. Peaslee responded that of course, she supports jobs, but that she believes
there are other spaces that the plant could utilize and that the airport should be
kept as important infrastructure.

12) Shall the Town appropriate the sum of $300.00 to Colonel Town Recreation,
for the purposes of subsidizing Guildhall residents’ pool pass access? On a
motion by Richard “Stretch” Martin and seconded by Dawn Rogers, the floor was
opened for discussion. There were various questions clarifying the privileges and
the types of individuals that would be covered, which SB Chair Barbara Peaslee
Smith addressed. Laura Wilson stated that she was opposed to the article,
arguing that taxpayer appropriations should be reserved for widely used municipal
services like roads, garbage collection, library services, and even for services to
the elderly, disabled and victims of domestic violence, but that pool pass access
amounted to subsidizing personal recreational interests and was not appropriate.
Richard “Stretch” Martin stated that he believed Guildhall residents contributed a
lot to Lancaster town and in turn Lancaster should give something back. With no
further discussion, it was
Voted: to. appropriate the sum of $300 to Colonel Town Recreation, for the
purposes of subsidizing Guildhall residents’ pool pass access

13) Shall the Town require that all organizations requesting appropriated funds
must, as a condition of receiving such funds, submit an annual financial
statement to the Town? On a motion by Alfred McVetty and seconded by George

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Blakeslee, the floor was opened for discussion. Gil Rainault asked the purpose of
this. Town Clerk-Treasurer Laura Wilson explained that both she and the Selectboard
felt that it was important to hold all organizations that the town subsidizes
accountable for taxpayer dollars. Eileen Thietten asked about the extent of the
financial statement required. Wilson pointed out that there’s a range of the extent of
the financial statement, with some organizations providing long and complicated
statements to others who have provided one page summaries. Wilson also noted that
almost all organizations have already provided financial statements. Roger Brisson
stated he would like to know what part of the town appropriation goes to overhead
and what part to actual services. Dawn Rogers noted that if the voters say that money
should go to an organization, it should go, no matter what. SB Vice-Chair Edward
Clark responded that no, this Article was about asking the voters to make receiving
appropriated funds conditional upon getting the financial statement. Dawn Rogers
then asked what would happen to the appropriated money if an organization didn’t
provide the financial statement; SB Vice-Chair Edward Clark replied that it would go
into the surplus. With no further discussion, it was
Voted: to require that all organizations requesting appropriated funds, must, as
a condition of receiving such funds, submit an annual financial statement to the
Town.

14) Shall the Town vote to appropriate the sum of $5,000.00 to support the
Guildhall Public Library? On a motion by Dawn Rogers and seconded by
Melissa Barney, the floor was opened for discussion. Laura Wilson noted that she
was pleased with the progress the Library had made since last Town Meeting, but
was concerned about the cancellation of weekend hours, and asked the Library
Trustees about their intentions regarding future Library hours. Library Trustee
Dennis Bacon replied that they had decided to cancel Saturday hours due to lack
of attendance, but would revisit this during the summer. Teri Anderson then
moved to amend the Article, to state that $1500 would go to Weeks Memorial
Library in Lancaster, NH for library and high-speed internet access service, and
that the remaining $2,500 would go to the Guildhall Public Library. In response,
the Moderator ruled that this amendment was not germane, because it involved
appropriations to another entity that had not been warned and therefore could not
be considered. At this time, Vice-Chair Edward Clark stated that he appreciated
the changes in the Library; he noted that although the Library was an important
and significant building, that it would probably never realistically be a full-service
library, and that therefore, next year, the Selectboard would introduce an Article
to appropriate money toward subsidizing Guildhall residents’ use of Weeks
Memorial Library. With no further discussion, it was
Voted: to appropriate the sum of $5,000 to support the Guildhall Public
Library.

15) Shall the Town appropriate a sum not to exceed $3,000 for the design,
creation and maintenance of a town website? On a motion by Alfred McVetty
and George and seconded by Richard “Stretch” Martin, the floor was opened for
discussion. Melissa Barney asked why we needed a website. Laura Wilson stood

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and stated that the Town may need and want a website because it would provide a
more efficient way of delivering services to residents, property owners and
taxpayers. She read a list of potential uses for a Town website, including:
publication of the Annual Town Report, Annual Town Meeting minutes,
Selectboard Minutes, Voter Registration Information, Warnings and Ballots,
Zoning Bylaws, Zoning Permit Applications, Information on Dog Licensing,
Information on Rubbish and Recycling, a searchable Grand List database, and
links to local businesses. George Blakeslee added that the Town Office was open
for only 12 hours a week and that in the modern world, a municipality needed a
website in order to provide services more efficiently and inexpensively. Matt
Smith stated that a Town website would save money by allowing the Town to
save money on the cost of printing the Town Report. With no further discussion,
it was
Voted: to appropriate a sum of money not to exceed $3,000 for the design,
creation and maintenance of a Town website.

16) Shall the Town vote to approve a budget of $266,397.59, plus any amounts
warned and passed in articles #6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13,14, 15 and 16 of this
warning, and set a tax rate in accordance with that budget? On a motion by
Alfred McVetty and seconded by Richard “Stretch” Martin, the floor was opened
for discussion. In light of the outcome of all warned articles, Town Treasurer
Laura Wilson provided a revised budget figure of. $280,872.59 On a motion by
Alfred McVetty, seconded by Melissa Barney, and with no discussion, it was
Voted: to amend Article #16 to state: Shall the Town vote to approve a
budget of $280,872.59 and to set a tax rate in accordance with that budget.
On a motion by Laura Wilson, seconded by Richard “Stretch” Martin, and with
no discussion, it was
Voted: to approve a budget of $280,872.59 and to set a tax rate in
accordance with that budget.

17) Shall the Town vote to continue to hold Town Meeting in the evening,
starting at 7pm? On a motion by Laura Wilson and seconded by Arthur
McGrath, the floor was opened for discussion. Jill Rogers asked if Town Meeting
ever had happened during the day. Patricia Rogers informed the assembly that
until 1970, Town Meeting started at 10am, broke for lunch, and went until 3pm.
In 1970, it was voted to have an evening town meeting because of residents’ work
schedules. With no further discussion, it was
Voted: to continue to hold Town Meeting in the evening, starting at 7pm.

18) To conduct any other business that may legally come before the Town. On a
motion by Alfred McVetty and seconded by Melissa Barney, the floor was
opened for discussion. At this time, the Moderator noted that the only business
that could legally come before the Town would be a motion to adjourn. On a
motion by Dennis Bacon, seconded by Alfred McVetty, and with no further
discussion, it was

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Voted: to adjourn the Annual Town Meeting, at approximately 9:01pm.

Minutes recorded and prepared by:


Laura Wilson
Town Clerk

Approved by:
____________________________
Edward Clark, Selectboard Vice-Chair

____________________________
Allen Hodgdon, Moderator