Meeting Minutes : Select Board

Members Present – Thomas Hooker, Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, David Trombley, and W. Joseph Gagnon.
ABSENT:  Alicia Malay.
Others Present:  Colleen Maxham, Stephanie Jerome, Monica Keith, Linda Fox, Heide Fox, Bob Harnish, Sean Heffernan, Ethan Heffernan, Justin Grassano, Cole Roberge, Michelle Rawls, Patrick Rawls, Tharon Malay, John Haverstock – Town Manager, Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.


The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM by Chairman Hooker.

J. Haverstock reported that there was a need for Executive Session to discuss Union contract negotiations (Contracts) and the Burditt Fund (Legal).   D. Trombley and J. Gagnon stated that they had Personnel issues to discuss in Executive Session (Transfer Station and Loose Dogs – respectively). Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by D. Trombley to enter into Executive Session.  Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.

J. Haverstock reported that there was a need to amend the agenda to remove the presentation of a plaque to Fire Warden and to vote on a Union Contract Proposal.  Motion by D. Trombley and seconded by T. Pelkey to adopt the agenda, as amended.  Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.



The minutes of the July 11, 2018 regular Select Board meeting were signed, with no changes.



The orders in the amount of $7,614.47 (FY’18); $13,154.17 (FY’19) and Payroll in the amount of $15,769.75 were signed with the no discussion.


Town Manger’s Report:

J. Haverstock reported the following:

  • A check in the amount of $5,000 has been received from Rick Reed for the snow plow that was stored at the Transfer Station.
  • A tentative Union Agreement was reached on July 24.  The agreement is still in need of Union approval.  There will be more discussion of this topic in Executive Session.
  • The Dollar General permit was passed unanimously by the Zoning Board of Adjustment. However, any court appeals and Act 250 hearings would have to be concluded before any construction can begin.
  • The box culvert project on Fire Hill Road – west of the Troy Minerals drive – will have a portion of the road closed for 2 weeks.  There will be advance signage posted so residents can make alternative arrangements.
  • The Town Manager and Highway Foreman met with OMYA officials to discuss the possible improvements to the intersection of Kendall Hill Road and West Creek Road.  OMYA officials granted permission to widen West Creek Road along their footage.
  • The hedges at the Municipal Offices have been dying.  Al Roberge was consulted and has been in contact with the Town Manager and Groundskeeper Bradley Keith.  The price to replace with bushes and other plants and smaller trees is $1,700.  The Highway Department staff will assist with this project during the week of August 13.
  • The Trustees of Public Funds have retained counsel and feel that the use of Burditt Fund money should require an unanimous vote of the Pittsford Select Board and the Pittsford members of the Unified School Board. However, the Otter Valley Unified Board feels that any request for funding should require the unanimous vote of the entire School Board.  The Will is being reviewed by a Probate Court judge.  Therefore, for the time being, the sidewalk project that has qualified for State grant funding is on hold.  D. Trombley stated that he is withdrawing his support for the sidewalk project.  Mr. Trombley stated that he has spoken with voters who are displeased with 2 members of the Select Board serving as Trustees of Public Funds.  T. Hooker stated that there is no conflict as no other residents would run for the seat and that the Secretary of State’s office was consulted and it was found that the Trustees have no influence on initiating projects.    The sidewalks are a safety issue and classifies as eligible for Burditt Fund support.  J. Gagnon stated that he agrees that the sidewalks are in poor condition, as they have been for over 50 years.  However, he feels that the State controls Route 7 and the sidewalks that run along that road.  J. Gagnon withholds support until the court ruling is final.


Public Comment:

None presented at this time.



Proposal for Coin Drop Fund-Raiser:
Bob Harnish was present to request permission for the library to hold a coin drop on Route 7 in the vicinity of the school on October 6 from 9 AM – Noon.  The library has retained a rider from their insurance company as well as the VTrans application.  Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by J. Gagnon to approve the request as presented.  D. Trombley expressed concern over safety during the coin drop events and was also concerned with this incurring overtime for the Police Department staff.  J. Haverstock stated that the schedule could be modified to accommodate this request.  The motion was passed unanimously 4 – 0.


Discuss Status of “Village Center” Designation Map and Its Potential Amendment:
J. Haverstock stated that the Town’s Village Center designation was approved on June 25 in Montpelier and that, thereafter, Winning Image Graphics had contacted the State to request inclusion, along with Bar Harbor Bank & Trust.  Motion by D. Trombley and seconded by T. Pelkey to sign the request to amend the map to include these 2 properties.  D. Trombley stated that the map was different from the one in the Town Plan and suggested that the old Pittsford Mills and the Kelly property be added to the approved map.  There are two properties along Route 3 that were originally included in the Village Center but J. Haverstock stated that the State had excluded these two parcels as they no longer met the eligibility criteria.  Following discussion, the vote revealed 2 – 2, on whether to request the addition of the Winning Image and Bar Harbor Bank parcels foiled by a vote of 2-2 (Trombley and Gagnon opposed).  Therefore, no action was taken.


Pittsford Day Update:
J. Haverstock read the Schedule of Events for Pittsford Day, which will be held on August 18.  D. Trombley inquired if the fireworks show had gone out to bid.  J. Haverstock stated that C & C Fireworks was chosen by the Pittsford Day Committee with their bid of $3,000, compared to Northstar Fireworks prior bids of $5,000.


Continued Discussion of Proposed Highway Winter Maintenance Policy Regarding Extended Storm Events:
This topic was tabled until a full board is present.



Presentation of Plaque Recognizing Service of Fire Warden:
This topic was tabled until a future meeting.


Remarks from State House Candidate Stephanie Jerome:
Stephanie Jerome, candidate for Vermont State House, representing Pittsford and Brandon was present to introduce herself and to invite residents to a Meet & Greet at the MacLure Library on August 2 at 6:00 PM.

S. Jerome and M. Keith exited at 7:15 PM.


Remarks from New Owners of Salvage Yard and Consider Approving Application to Continue Operations:
Sean Heffernan, Ethan Heffernan, Justin Grassano, and Cole Roberge, new owners of the Salvage Yard were present to introduce themselves and request approval to continue operations, which is needed for bank financing.   T. Hooker inquired if one of the improvements would include painting of the building.  Mr. Grassano stated that that would be a project, as well as moving everything behind the fence and cleaning the area.  Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by J. Gagnon to approve the request to operate for 3 years, subject to possible future renewal.  Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.

S. Heffernan, E. Heffernan, J. Grassano and C. Roberge exited at 7:22 PM.


Remarks from Heide Fox Regarding Animal Ordinance and Dog Bite Response Protocol:
Ms. Fox stated that she was bit twice by a leashed dog on her property on April 13.  The bites were on her hand and inner thigh.  Ms. Fox was treated at RRMC Emergency Department, who told her that they would be contacting the Health Officer and the State.  Ms. Fox stated that she has spoken with Bruce Babcock, Health Officer. However, there has been no follow-up with the owners of the dog and she is not sure if the confinement protocols were met.  Ms. Fox stated that this dog was not licensed at the time of the attack.  Ms. Fox stated that she sent an email to Cody Hesse, Animal Control Officer, with no return contact.  Ms. Fox stated that she was advised to call Chief Warfle, for which she left a message with no return contact.  Ms. Fox stated that she emailed the Town Manager and has been doing her own investigation.  Ms. Fox is inquiring why the Carter dog bite case followed protocol, as stated in the Ordinance and hers did not.  Ms. Fox read from the protocol.   J. Haverstock stated that he spoke with Mr. Hesse, who stated that he had been in contact with Mr. Babcock after receiving Ms. Fox’s email.  J. Haverstock reported that Bruce Babcock stated that he did receive a call from the hospital, however, once he has advised the owner to quarantine the animal, he does not usually follow up with the victim.  Ms. Fox stated that she does not want to pursue a dog hearing at the Town level.  However, she has been in contact with Vermont State Police and the Rutland County Sheriff’s Office.  Linda Fox inquired why Mr. Babcock did not contact the victim.  D. Trombley stated that the “loopholes” need to be closed.  J. Haverstock stated that he has had discussions with Bruce Babcock regarding this incident.  L. Fox stated that the dog and owner still walk past H. Fox’s property.  J. Haverstock will be following up with Bruce, Cody and Mike.

H. Fox, L. Fox, M. Rawls and P. Rawls exited at 7:40 PM.


Discuss Possibility of Ordinance Regulating or Prohibiting Peddlers and Food Trucks:
J. Haverstock stated that the Rutland Town Ordinance was included in the packets for review as Jeff Biasuzzi, Zoning Administrator recommends review and discussion of this topic.  J. Gagnon recommended that VLCT be contacted.  This topic will be discussed at a future meeting.


Discussion of Local Impacts of Legalized Recreational Marijuana and the Possibility of Future Retail Sales:
J. Haverstock explained that this was discussed at a prior meeting and that he included the Newport Ordinance banning retail sales in the packet for review.  D. Trombley stated that there is currently nothing in the Legislation concerning sales, however, this is a topic to be discussed.  Following discussion, it was decided to do a questionnaire and get the residents thoughts on this topic.


Vote on Union Contract Proposal:
This topic was tabled to a future meeting and was discussed in Executive Session



T. Pelkey made the motion and seconded by D. Trombley to go into Executive Session for contracts, legal and 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 contracts, legal and personnel at 7:55 PM.  Town Manager Haverstock was invited to remain for Executive Session.

The Select Board exited Executive Session at 8:23 PM with no action taken.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:23 PM.


The next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held on August 15, 2018.

Respectfully Submitted



Kelly Giard

Recording Secretary


Thomas Hooker, Chairman


Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Vice Chairman


Alicia Malay, Selectman


W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman


David Trombley, Selectman