OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES
August 6, 2014
The special meeting commenced at 6:30 PM at the Readsboro Town Offices, 301 Phelps Lane, Readsboro, VT. Board members in attendance were Lewis Sumner, Earl Holtz and Edee Edwards. Also in attendance were Patricia Dow (Halifax Town Clerk/Town Treasurer), and Jeff Deforest (Halifax Cemetery Commissioner). The purpose of the meeting was training on the revisions to the Open Meeting Law, hosted by the Readsboro Selectboard, and given by VLCT Staff Attorneys Garrett Baxter and Gwynn Zakov. Other local elected and appointed officials in attendance included: Mark Shea, Readsboro Town Administrator; David Marchegiani, Readsboro Selectboard Chair; Debbie Calnan, Readsboro Selectman’s Clerk; Eunice Crowell, Readsboro Assistant Town Clerk; Karen Boisvert, Readsboro School Board; Larry Hopkins, Readboro; Teddy Hopkins, Readsboro; Rod Salamone, Readsboro; Forrest Hicks, Readsboro; Katie Buckley, Guilford Town Administrator; Karen Murphy, Conservation Commission, Guilford; Penny Marine, Guilford Town Clerk/Treasurer; Pieter van Loon, Marlboro Selectboard; Marcia Hamilton, Marlboro SB Administrator; Mike Andreotta, Marlboro Energy Coordinator; and Gig Zboray, Whitingham Selectboard Office.
VLCT offered an Open Meeting Law Primer, highlighting new and unchanged portions of the Open Meeting Law. They offered legal definitions of “public body”; “meeting”, and “quorum.” Also covered was:
- Public Notice for the 3 types of meetings
- Electronic participation, including the need for roll call votes
- Agendas, including a recommendation to put additions or deletions at the start of each agenda
- Public comment; including this being subject to reasonable ground rules. When tied to agenda requirements, it may be advisable to limit this to specified agenda items.
- Minutes; including discussion about allowing joint minutes if two or more boards are meeting, and running the minutes past 1 board member prior to finalizing the draft.
- Exemptions to Open Meeting Law: Deliberative & Executive Sessions (including 2-vote procedure to enter executive session for some instances of the latter)
- Penalties and Enforcement
Hearing of Visitors
After the official training was over, Jeff Deforest broached the idea of holding a cemetery commissioner’s meeting to discuss possible projects and/or grants. Edwards and Holtz offered support if needed for open meeting law logistics. Patricia Dow obtained some clarity on questions about lister and auditor administrative duties versus “meetings.”
Note that Edwards and Holtz carpooled to and from the training; Deforest and Sumner did also. No town business was discussed.
The meeting ended at approximately 9:00 PM.
Edee Edwards, Selectboard Member