OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
Joint Informational Meeting
February 25, 2014
The Selectboard attended the Informational Meeting and Meet the Candidates on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 7:00pm at the Halifax multipurpose room. Selectboard members in attendance were Edee Edwards, Earl Holtz, and Lewis Sumner. School directors present were Homer “Chum” Sumner and Paul Blais. A number of interested citizens were also present.
The town moderator, Patricia Pusey, called the meeting to order at 7:05pm.
The following candidates were present:
Patricia Pusey- Town Moderator/ School Moderator
Lewis Sumner- Selectboard member (3 year term)
Kimberly Tefft- School Director (1 year term)
Paul Blais- School Director (3 year term)
The candidates introduced themselves and there was a period of question/answer.
The School Directors answered questions regarding the school budget, tuition income, consolidation and cost per pupil. The school directors were asked to provide an estimated cost per pupil at town meeting.
Patricia Pusey answered questions about Robert’s Rules of Order.
Several discussions followed which were directed to the Selectboard as a whole. The Selectboard reviewed the budget for FY15 paying close attention to some of the line items which show a large increase over the prior year such as bridges and gravel.
Mitch Green at the Informational Meeting found a formula error in the Municipal Subtotal. This error requires a reduction of $34,136 in the Selectboard budget. We are asking the listers to do their re-evaluation project over 2 fiscal years, and that additional amount was accidentally left in the warning.
The Selectboard is proposing removing the cost of an external audit this year, for a savings of $15,000. They do not think another audit will be required for federal reimbursement of Irene work, or for seeking a municipal bond to address other infrastructure needs.
The Selectboard is proposing to reduce the Highway Repairs & Maintenance by $30,000. This was the estimated amount of replacing a dump truck body, but with revisions to the equipment schedule, we now recommend an earlier replacement of that truck by leasing, and can avoid this cost.
This would be the proposed amendment:
ARTICLE 7: To see if the Town will vote to approve Selectboard and Highway expenditures of $1,285,139 of which $1,087,139 shall be raised by taxes and $198,000 by non-tax revenues to care for the expenses and liabilities of the Town for the 2015 fiscal year.
The Selectboard led a discussion concerning a 5 person board due to the increasing burden of work. This would also allow two members of the Selectboard to mentor each other or discuss workload, without the need for calling a meeting. They also discussed the need for and administrative assistant and discussed some of his/her potential duties. The Selectboard discussed the potential options for dealing with a budget surplus due to the timing of Irene payments including a possible reserve fund to help manage unexpected costs.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:10pm.
Halifax Selectboard Secretary
Selectboard Budget Revised
Highway Budget Revised