From: Michael S. Batcher
Subject: February 4, 2015 SWIP Planning Meeting Minutes
Date: February 9, 2015
Town Representatives: Keith Squires (Arlington), Stu Hurd (Bennington), Rob Gaiotti (Dorset), Sandy Gaszek (Searsburg), Mitch Race (Shaftsbury), Dave Kiernan (Shaftsbury), Nancy Bushika (Stamford), Steve Bendix (Sunderland), Bette Charette and Mike Charette (Woodford)
Not in Attendance: Ricky Harrington (Glastenbury), John O’Keefe (Manchester), Megan Randall (Pownal), Mark Lourie (Rupert), Suzie dePeyster (Sandgate)
BCRC Staff: Michael S. Batcher
Public: None in attendance
Location and Time: Arlington Town Hall – 4:00 to 6:00 PM
Introductions: Everyone has gotten to know one another, so we skipped introductions.
Joint Municipal Study Committee: The group chose Keith Squires to serve as chair and Mike Charette as vice chair. Michael Batcher will continue as note taker.
Draft Pay‐as‐You‐Throw Ordinance Discussion: Sandy suggested we use “hauler or facility” instead of “service provider.” The group discussed the language in the Solid Waste Alliance Communities version under penalties, but decided it was overly complicated and the current language would suffice.
Michael asked to add the language back in on reporting by haulers. While VT ANR is allowing us to use ReTrac primarily, he thought it likely that we will be asked to provide more detail in future years as the solid waste districts have reporting requirements in place now. Stu agreed to look over the ordinance again as Bennington has more ordinances than any other municipality. Nancy asked if she could get help integrating this into their existing ordinance.
The group agreed to look at a new draft and respond via email. Michael agreed to resend the draft registration forms as well. Over the next month, members will bring the ordinance to their select boards for consideration and, hopefully, adoption.
Draft Alliance Agreement: Michael explained that he made some minor changes in the document and some Stu had suggested and those were highlighted in the January 21, 2015 version. Sandy was concerned about the quorum requirements and that the voting would be based on a majority of the quorum or seven towns. Michael explained that this had been suggested by the other Alliances as that encouraged participation. The group agreed that a majority vote should be seven towns and not a majority of the quorum. For a two‐thirds majority, nine towns would have to vote for or against an action and not two‐thirds of a quorum of seven.
Sandy also expressed concern about the number of votes given to towns in that, in the current version, Bennington and Manchester could stop an action. Members agreed that Bennington had the largest population and would be contributing the most funding and should have a majority of vote. Sandy agreed to propose a different allocation of votes for the group to review.
Stu requested some changes to clarify the Open Meetings Law requirements and some editorial changes.
Steve Bendix asked if the Alliance would be providing any compensation for the time board members would spend serving as it is difficult for small towns to get volunteers. Michael reported that he had asked other organizations about this, and no alliances or districts paid their board members. The group agreed that a town could do so, but the Alliance would not. Most likely, a select board member or town manager would be representing their towns.
The group agreed to review Sandy’s suggestions and move forward on an agreement following deliberations on these final points via email. Any agreement would need to be adopted by the individual town select boards. Once the alliance is in place, the alliance would adopt the SWIP, which has received preliminary approval from VT ANR.
Next Meeting: The next meeting was scheduled for April 14, 2015 from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at the Arlington Town Hall or possibly the Sunderland Town Hall.