Meeting Minutes : Select Board

Town of Pittsford

Select Board Meeting

March 4, 2015  

The meeting was called to order at 6:30PM by John Haverstock, Town Manager.


Select Board members present:  Jane Cornell, David Trombley, Thomas Hooker, W. Joseph Gagnon, and Thomas “Hank” Pelkey.  Also present:   Shawn Erickson, John Eugair (6:39 PM), John Haverstock, and Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.


  1. Haverstock indicated that this was the Select Board Re-Organizational Meeting.


Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by J. Cornell to nominate T. Pelkey as Chairman.  Motion passed 4 – 0 – 1 (Pelkey abstained)


  1. Trombley nominated T. Hooker as Vice Chairman. J. Gagnon nominated himself. Hooker had 3 votes (Hooker, Cornell and Trombley) while Gagnon had 1 vote (Gagnon).  Chairman Pelkey abstained.


  1. Haverstock indicated that John Eugair requested Executive Session for Personnel Concerns. D. Trombley requested Executive Session for Personnel Concerns without the Town Manager present. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by T. Hooker to enter into Executive Session for 2 Personnel Concern.  Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.


Motion by D. Trombley and seconded by T. Hooker to amend the agenda to include one Old Business item concerning the Police Department purchasing an iPhone.   Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.


The Select Board appointed the following unanimously 5 – 0:


  • Recording Clerk – Linda Drummond
  • Official Newspaper – (The Reporter)
  • Adoption of the Select Board Meeting Schedule of the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month
  • Animal Control Officers – J. Michael Warfle; Cody Hesse
  • Delinquent Tax Collector – John Haverstock
  • Emergency Management Coordinator – VACANT
  • Enhanced 9-1-1 – Shawn Hendee; VACANT
  • Fence Viewers – W. Joseph Gagnon; John C. Fox; VACANT
  • Fuel Coordinator – John Haverstock
  • Town Service Officer – John Haverstock
  • Zoning Board of Adjustment – (2018) – John Mitchell; Jack Orvis; VACANT (alternate)
  • Planning Commission – (2018) – Kathryn Brown; Cristina Kumka; David Soulia
  • Rutland County  Solid Waste Representatives – VACANT; Alternate – VACANT
  • Rutland Regional Planning Commission – Patricia Lewis
  • Rutland Regional Transportation Council – Margaret “Peg” Flory; John Haverstock (alternate)
  • Recreation Committee (2018) – Bill Crossmon; Robert Ketcham
  • Surveyor of Wood – Kenneth Gagnon
  • Pound Keepers (2) – Edward Fox; VACANT
  • Tree Warden/Assistant – Randal S. Adams
  • Tree Warden – Shawn Erickson
  • Water & Sewer Commission (2018) – Ernest Clerihew; Clarence Greeno; Robert Harnish; Helen McKinlay; David Pearson
  • Rutland Regional Ambulance Service (2018) – Betsy Morgan



The minutes from the February 18, 2015 Select Board meeting; February 18, 2015 Liquor Board meeting; February 25, 2015 Public Hearing; February 25, 2015 Dog Hearing; and  March 2, 2015 Special Select Board meeting were signed, with no corrections.



The orders, in the amount $56,756.21 and $10,424.17 (Payroll) were approved, with the following discussion:


  1. Cornell inquired about the expense for sludge removal to Rutland City. J. Haverstock explained that the expense was for dumping fees at the Rutland City facility.


  1. Gagnon inquired about the expense for Valcour host. J. Haverstock explained that this is the Police Department “link-up” for communications.



  1. Haverstock reported on the following:
  • Congratulations to Selectmen Trombley and Hooker in their re-election; John Eugair as Lister; Jim Carvey as Moderator; Sue Markowski as School Board Member. The Otter Valley Union High School budget passed.  A complete list of election results were included in the packets for review
  • Grant funding was received from VTrans in the amount of $93,000 for the support beam sanding and painting work that was done at the Iron Master bridge and the Depot Hill covered bridge.  This money was not budgeted.
  • Highway Foreman Shawn Erickson has begun to give thought to replacing the backhoe and is gathering spec’s.
  • Credit and debit card transactions are now available at the Town Clerk’s office.  Any fees for these transactions will be borne by to the card user.
  • Casella’s has placed an overflow box at the Transfer Station to be used in the event that the recycling compactor becomes filled. This should eliminate the combining recyclables into the garbage.
  • Pittsford was “edged out” by Proctor in the Town Meeting Day Food Challenge. However, there is still time to participate in the Feinstein Food Challenge, which ends on April 30.
  • The roads will be posted on March 9.
  • John Weeden has resigned as the representative to the Rutland County Solid Waste District and the Town seeks a volunteer to replace him..



None presented at this time.



Review of Proposed Hiring Policy:

There have been concerns raised that applications were recently accepted and reviewed after the job posting cut off date.


The Select Board reviewed 3 policies, which were drafted by T. Pelkey, J. Haverstock and D. Trombley.


  1. Pelkey recommended accepting applications until the evening prior to the interviews. D. Trombley recommended not accepting applications following the closing date to allow fairness to those who meet the deadlines.


Motion by D. Trombley and seconded by J. Gagnon to accept the policy as written by D. Trombley, which reads: “In the event that the Town of Pittsford has a need to post for the hiring of any Town employee, the  Town Manager will post with a closing date, for accepting applications for hire.


After the closing date has lapsed, no applications for hire will be accepted.  Closing date will be posted at a minimum of seven working days  before interviews of candidates for hire.


The Town Manager and Select Board for the Town of Pittsford reserves the right to accept or reject any or all applications for hire.”  Following discussion concerning probationary periods, the motion passed 3 – 2 (Pelkey and Cornell opposed).


Review of Winter Highway Operations:

Shawn Erickson was present to discuss the Winter Highway Operations.  The Select Board received a copy of the Winter Maintenance Policy and memoranda from John Haverstock and Shawn Erickson in the packets.


  1. Cornell stated that Josh Towne has been doing a great job on the roads and T. Pelkey stated that at the last two Town Meetings, residents have applauded the work of the Highway Department staff.


  1. Erickson explained that the drivers are assigned to a specific truck. Therefore, it is safer for these people to operate these trucks, as the driver is familiar with the vehicle. The drivers are instructed to take breaks as necessary.  Currently, the Highway Department has Shawn Hendee and Bruce Babcock available to work a snow storm, if necessary.  S. Erickson has spoken with other towns regarding their procedures in the event of prolonged storms and most work 14 – 18 hours and take a 4 – 5 hour break for sleep.  A recap of the findings was distributed by Shawn Erickson.


There was discussion concerning the response to Fire Department needs in the event that the Highway Department staff was not on the roads.  S. Erickson stated that Bruce Babcock or Shawn Hendee could respond with the plow/sander ahead of the fire trucks to clear roadways to ensure access.  Firefighter Darren Laughlin is also trained to operate Town trucks.


  1. Hooker stated that during a “big event” storm, residents complain about the staff not being on the roads. T. Pelkey stated that he checked with other towns and none that he checked with had plow drivers on the road from midnight until 4:00 AM.


Discuss Plans to Consider Proposed Amendments to Zoning Ordinance:

The Select Board held 2 required Public Hearings with regard to the Proposed Amendment to the Zoning Ordinance.  The Select Board will hold a Deliberative Session on March 11 to discuss the document and the results of the Public Hearings.


Police Cell Phone Discussion:

  1. Trombley inquired if the purchase of an iPhone for the Police Chief could be approved. T. Pelkey stated that it is the Chief’s responsibility for the usage of his budget. J. Haverstock has also spoken with Chief Warfle and the purchase has been approved.



Appointment(s) to Fill Elected Office(s) left unfilled by Election if needed:

Margaret “Peg” Flory has agreed to be appointed Town Agent.  Peter Cady has agreed to be appointed Grand Juror.  Robert Howland has agreed to be appointed as a Trustee of Public Funds.  Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by D. Trombley to make these appointments.  Motion passed 5-0.


Appointment(s) to Fill Vacancies among Officials, Board Members and Commissioners, if needed:

The required forms were signed to approve the appointments of John Haverstock as Town Service Officer and Betsy Morgan as the Representative to the Regional Ambulance.  Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by T. Hooker to sign the forms.  Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.


Discussion of Planned Town-Wide Re-Assessment:

John Eugair was present to discuss the planned Town-wide re-assessment.  Currently, the Listers’ are in the preparation stage and are hoping to have more information available at the March 18, 2015 meeting.


  1. Eugair asked for guidance from the Select Board as to whether a bid process is necessary for the hiring of a contractor. Mr. Eugair stated that the software company, Vision, would do a good job as they developed the software.


  1. Trombley inquired what triggers the need for a re-appraisal. Mr. Eugair explained that the property sales are 10 – 12% below assessed value and the last appraisal was held in 2006.


Mr. Eugair will present more information at the March 18, 2015 meeting.


Discussion of Listers’ Compensation:

This topic was deferred to Executive Session.


Consider Membership in Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce:

Information was included in the packets for review and this topic was tabled.



The fiscal year is two-thirds complete.  J.  Haverstock reported that the General Fund expenses are at 71.66% of budget and the Highway Fund expenses are at 89.64% of budget.  However, when the unexpected $93,000 VTrans grant funds are added, the actual expenses are at 81% of budget.



None presented at this time.



  1. Pelkey made a motion and seconded by T. Hooker to go into Executive Session for personnel where premature knowledge would be damaging to the Town, and may be jeopardized by public disclosure.


In accordance with 1 VSA 312 (b), where premature general public knowledge would clearly place the Municipality or person involved at a substantial disadvantage, the Board unanimously agreed to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of Personnel at 7:55 PM. Mr. Eugair and the Town Manager were invited to remain for Executive Session.


Mr. Eugair and the Town Manager exited Executive Session at 8:05 PM.


The Select Board exited Executive Session at 8:32 PM, with no action taken.


The meeting adjourned at 8:35 PM.


The next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held on March 18, 2015.


Respectfully Submitted,



Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary






Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chairman



Thomas Hooker, Vice Chairman



Jane Cornell, Selectman



  1. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman



David Trombley, Selectman