Thetford Select Board Meeting
THETFORD SELECTBOARD MEETING
April 28, 2003
PRESENT: Mary Spata, Mark McMahon, Rick Barrows, Sara Ferguson (arrived
AGENDA: Police Department, TCCA, Town Clerk, Highway Department,
Warrants, Personnel Policy
Guests: Phil Call, Police Chief; Susan Rump, TCCA; Tracy Borst, Town
Clerk; Ellis Paige
Called to order at 6:35.
Police Department: Chief Phil Call in to discuss recent activities of
our police department. There were two recent traffic accidents, each
involving personal injury. The Board discussed our hiring policy for
part-time officers. The Selectboard will approve all hires and ads will
be placed for all open positions. This position was advertised.
The Selectboard reported to the Chief some feedback we'd received
concerning interactions between a member of our police department and
town residents. The Chief will see that suitable procedures are
followed at all times.
The Board discussed with the Chief a letter the Town received from the
State of Vermont concerning reporting requirements and grant funding for
a two-year period ending 12/31/02. Chief Call will work with the
Treasurer to research and respond to this issue.
The department's new computer has arrived, and a technician from the
State will be in this week to set up systems. The Selectboard
authorized purchase of a new laser printer for the department, if the
old one continues to perform poorly. The Chief will arrange for an
independent fax machine operating off the department's main phone line.
The ABS system in our cruiser is not operating properly and will need
further repairs. The Chief mentioned the availability of a used car as
a second vehicle. The Board will discuss this further before any
decision can be made.
New Part-Time Officer Steve Morse is working weekend shifts now.
Rick Barrows will finalize the Chief's evaluation report and add to his
TCCA: Susan Rump, Thetford Center Community Association in to discuss
plans for SpringFest, Saturday, May 24. The TCCA is hoping to use the
Hughes property for activities and parking. The board, while
enthusiastic about having the activities on the field, decided that
parking on the Hughes lot is not the best use of the property and
encouraged the TCCA to find other parking nearby.
Susan Rump inquired as to the future of the TCCA building as our polling
place once the Town Hall is renovated. The Board believes our new
building will be adequate for holding elections. Sara Ferguson joined
Town Clerk Tracy Borst joined the meeting. Ms. Borst had information
regarding grant funding available for towns to purchase voting machines
to help disabled voters cast their votes independently.
Ms. Borst inquired about the availability of a member of the highway
department and a vehicle for the several hours on "Touch A Truck" day
to be held for pre-schoolers. The Board approved this, pending a final
decision by RC Frank Thurston depending on work schedules and availability.
A new copier has been ordered for the town office. The Town Treasurer
has a new desktop computer. A new Valley Quest quest was created last
week for a potluck supper held by Valley Quest, and the treasure box is
sitting in between the Town Hall and the Methodist Church. Can this
quest box remain? It's okay with the Town, but we need to determine if
the box is actually on Church property.
Ellis Paige in to discuss his recent correspondence with the Town, where
he inquired about potholes, damage and abuse to Town equipment, and
repairs to Sayer Bridge. The Board agreed with Ellis that plowing snow
through the bridge is not appropriate. Mr. Paige pointed out that the
bridge was not now currently posted for a weight limit.
Mr. Paige reported on damage to the Hughes Property (which he mows and
hays) as a result of the two events which allowed parking there &endash; the
memorial dedication last February, and the recent auction held on a
rainy day. While some clean-up has been done by the auction company,
there was more to do to allow Mr. Paige to do his mowing. Sara Ferguson
will discuss the possibility of repairs with the American Legion, who
hosted the February event.
Mr. McMahon announced that the Sayer Bridge has been selected as one of
four bridges to be renovated by the State and Federal government in year
The Board reviewed Highway Warrants and noted that 100 tons of salt had
been delivered with ten days, starting March 31. Given that this is the
end of the winter, that amount seemed excessive, and renewed concerns
that the Board has concerning the salt/sand mix and the density of
coverage when our trucks are sanding the roads.
Highway Department: The Board reviewed work schedules and actual work
accomplished. There was a positive comment from a resident, praising
the crew for their prompt response to a complaint.
Otherwise, the crew appears to remain focused on a single issue, rather
than viewing the road as a system &endash; blocked culverts are ignored if they
are sent to repair a pothole; jersey barriers are finally retrieved but
other debris remains, surface grading is done which does not address
the underlying issues and problems quickly return. The Board notes
the enthusiasm and ingenuity which resulted in a modification to the
York rake to allow it to help with grading. The Board regrets that the
additional weight on the York rake caused the hydraulic system to falter.
Treasurer Martha Howard submitted warrants. The board would still like
to review payroll records. Rick Barrows will review with Chief Call the
numbers listed to the Police Department. The Board unanimously approved
(Spata/Ferguson) warrants number 17.1 ($43, 689.20) for the town, and
number 17.2 ($23,721.45) for the highway department.
The minutes of 4/14/03 were approved unanimously as amended
(Spata/Ferguson, with Rick Barrows abstaining).
Personnel Policy: The Board is proposing some changes, effective July 1
in our paid time off calculations. The board wants to use an "Earned
Time Off" system where employees "earn" a certain amount of leave for
all sick/personal/vacation time. This does not include holiday time,
and unpaid leave will still be available with permission of the
supervisor. Unused time at year-end will be compensated, without
accumulation. This will prevent the town from inheriting an "unfunded"
accrued leave time liability with each new budget year.
The proposal is to credit employees with 4 hours paid leave for each
full-time two-week pay period (13 days per year) for the first three
years of employment. At four years, the credit will become 6 hours paid
leave per FT two-week period (19.5 days per year), and the credit will
increase to 8 hours per FT two-week period (26 days per year) after 10
years of employment. This compares with our current policy of 7 days
personal/sick leave plus vacation time 6 days per year (first two
years), 12 days (three to six years), 18 days per year after six years,
and 24 days per year after twelve years of employment.
The board will work with our employees who have accumulated leave time
to reach a fair and equitable manner of closing out their leave accounts
by year end.
Meeting adjourned at 11:05 pm (Spata/McMahon)
Submitted by Rick Barrows