OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES
August 13, 2013
Call to Order
The Selectboard attended the regular meeting of the Town of Halifax Planning Commission. The meeting was called to order at approximately 7:15 PM. Present were Selectboard members Earl Holtz and Edee Edwards. Lewis Sumner was absent. Present were Planning Commission members Linda Smith, Brian McNeice, Bill Pusey, Sirean LaFlamme, and John Brimmer, and Planning Commission Secretary Phyllis Evanuk.
Public Hearing Preparation
The Planning Commission discussed the upcoming Public Hearing on the Town Plan, and noted that there was only a little feedback to consider incorporating from the neighboring towns and agencies which had been sent copies of the draft plan.
Planning Commission (PC) and Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) Membership
Edwards read a letter of resignation from Steve Towne, which was noted to be effective immediately. That means that there are presently two vacancies, and with the previous notice of Linda Smith’s planned resignation as of September 1, 2013, this means there could be as many as three vacancies, requiring all remaining board members to be present at every meeting until the positions were filled.
The PC board members present said they fully anticipate having a quorum for the Public Hearing on Saturday.
The issue of reducing the board size to 5 members from 7 had been discussed at the August 6th Selectboard meeting, but since not all of the Selectboard members were present, no action was taken. Edwards asked whether the PC/ZBA members had concerns about trying to fulfill their duties with a smaller board. In the case of the ZBA, it may be possible to have alternates if there is a conflict of interest which precludes someone from participating in a hearing or other discussion.
The PC/ZBA board members present felt that going to a five person board would be more effective.
Edwards and Holtz noted that finding willing and qualified individuals to serve has been challenging. Was getting assistance and budgeting for help with the Town Plan effective in helping the board achieve its goals? Smith and McNeice in particular noted that help with grant writing would be beneficial.
The length of term appointments was discussed, with agreement that 3 year terms might prove less intimidating.
McNeice suggested that having a job description, or manual of activities and functions that the boards could refer to, might be helpful for both old and new members. Since many issues are only dealt with on an occasional basis, it is hard to remember the proper sequence of tasks, or who can help with given issues.
Edwards thanked everyone for their input and noted that the Selectboard will put a resolution to reduce the size and change board term lengths on the agenda for the August 20, 2013 Selectboard meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 8:15 pm