"Show Me the Money!"
12/22/20 Trustee Meeting
by Ken Signorello & Irene Wrenner
December 22, 2020
The final Village Trustee meeting of the year, held December 22nd, was spending-centric.
In order to double the annual Trustee Stipend to $1,000, a question to fund that extra $2,500 per year would need to go on the April ballot for voter approval.
Providing a $50 per-meeting stipend to all appointed committee members, however, would not require voter permission, outside of approving a larger overall budget. The Trustees plan to discuss this topic further at an upcoming meeting.
The Town / Village Manager was asked to come back with numbers. The Retorter knows its readers would prefer not to wait.
Per the Village website, 33 members are appointed to six Village committees. Actual meetings held in 2020 were 23. Had this policy been in effect in calendar year 2020, the payout would have been $7,050. If all committees had met as frequently as their charters specify, the total cost would have been $23,450 for Village committees alone.
If the Village and the Town budgets are merged in FY22, this policy would likely be extended to volunteers on nine Town committees / commissions. Although several of the 15 Village and Town committees might be combined, their workload would not decrease, resulting in potentially more meetings or more members.
Those nine Town committees currently include 50 members. In 2020 they met 90 times. Assuming the proposed Village policy, this would have resulted in $27,850 in stipends. If all chartered meetings had occured in 2020, a total of $41,450 would have been paid to committee members on behalf of the Town.
With more folks walking during the pandemic, should sidewalks on both sides of each Class 3 road be plowed in the Village?
Currently, just one side is plowed, except for class 2 roads. Budgetary impact would need to be determined.
Although not on the Agenda at this meeting, George Tyler requested to put funding of the pocket park at 1 Main St (in front of Firebird Cafe) on a future agenda. He hopes to get approval to use a combination of Economic Development funds, currently at $354K, and Land Acquisition funds, currently at $82K, to finish the project next year.
The Village has applied to VTRANS for a stormwater construction grant of $23,671 to fix an outfall off Rosewood Lane. Because a 20% match from the Village is required, a commitment to meet that $3,945 match was approved by the Trustees.
Annie Cooper was appointed to the Bike/Walk Advisory Committee.
Village President Andrew Brown floated a trial balloon:
Disclaimer: Stock photo, not Park Terrace (yet)
Two frustrated long-time Village residents complained at the start of the meeting about the impact of ongoing construction adjacent to Park Terrace.
It’s been a “living hell” for folks who live nearby. In addition to loud noises all day, machinery is revving up before the allowed start time of 7 am.
Calls to police and Community Development Director Robin Pierce, and pleas to on-site workers about vehicle obstructions have resulted in warnings at best and indifference and ridicule at the worst.
The Unified Manager promised to talk to the Police Chief and ask his department to begin ticketing violations.
The public was reminded that Christmas Trees will be picked up between January 4th and January 8th. All ornaments, lights and tinsel must be removed. Two ornaments rescued from prior years are apparently still residing in the Village Office.