SEPTEMBER 19, 2008

The meeting was called to order at 9:05 a.m. by President Galen Mudgett.
The first order of business was to elect a new president.  Pat French nominated Galen Mudgett.  It was seconded by Paul Wildasen.  Galen was re-elected by a unanimous vote.

The Treasurer’s report was read by Louise as follows, and accepted as read.

Balance Forward 7/1/2007 General Fund                                     $ 3,596.71
Dues Received                                     $ 1,875.00

Food/Refreshments                             $     49.19
Plaques                                                  $   113.63
Postage                                                  $   148.54
VTC – Annual Meeting                      $1,030.50

Ending Balance 6/30/2008 General Fund                                      $ 4079.85

Education Fund
IAAO Course
Registration                          $10,800.00

                Book – (A/R)                        $       40.00
Instructor                              $  3,500.00
Postage – (A/R)                   $       33.97
Site Rental                             $     300.00
IAAO Materials                   $  6,000.00
Total IAAO Expenses                           $9,873.97

Balance 6/30/2008                                $   926.03
Accounts Receivables        $     73.97
Total Education Funds                        $1,000.00

Balance in Checking Account 6/30/2008                                      $ 5005.88

Note: The A/R’s were paid in the next fiscal year

Louise pointed out that there was now $1,000 in the Education fund and Listers that needed it should apply.


Tom Vickery – Current Use Advisory Board
Tom attended the meeting -proposed cap on reimbursement – It has been put into the report and the study group will look at the contribution the State makes and a cap on the per acre value covered.

John Vickery – Education
John asked for ideas for the workshops at TOEC. He also would like some volunteers to give the workshops.

There was also a discussion regarding PVR and VALA working together to develop designated levels of listers and an education schedule to match. The levels would be based on education and experience.

Chris Miele and Frank Partsch gave an update on the progress being made with NEMRC and Microsolve CAMA.  Chris urged the users to move to the latest versions of the software as now you can down load changes to Microsolve in the same way as with NEMRC.

The Michael P Cyprian Lister of the Year Award was presented by last year’s recipient Terry Knight.  This year the award went to Ruth Grandy from Westminster. .  Terry prefaced the presentation with a brief overview of Ruth’s many years serving as Lister.   (A copy of her remarks is included at the end of the minutes)
Congratulations, Ruth.

The next order of business was a discussion of the By-Law changes proposal as adopted at the March 19, 2008 meeting.

After some discussion on Section 1: Vermont Assessment Policy, Tom Vickery made the motion to accept as written except in sentence three to change the word appointed to approved : it now reads,  reviewed and amended as needed and approved by the Board of Directors.

Section 2: Specific Legislation:  was accepted as written.

Section 3: Policy Changes was shortened and changed to Policy Proposals: The Board of Directors may from time to time during the legislative session adopt VALA proposals consistent with VALA policies.

John Fike made the motion to accept, seconded by Paul Wildasin.  It passed unanimously.

Next a discussion ensured regarding some policies the Board of Directors discussed at the July and September meeting of VALA and felt should be pursued

A.      Redefine a parcel.  Tom Vickery proposed “a parcel is defined by its highest and best use and what is legally permissible”  there was no second.
A motion was made to have further discussion on the present definition so as to “solve problems with subdivisions and financial communities” Motion passed – discussion tabled.

B.       Legislature has defined that all CAMA data is public information – electronic only Grand List.
Randy Viens moved and Todd Leblanc seconded to remove and have further discussion.  Motion passed with one dissenting vote.

C.       Encourage the Legislature to explore options other than property tax to fund education – Motion made by Tom Vickery and seconded by Lisa Truchon to strike the item. Passed unanimously. (This is being addressed by VLCT – see below)

D.      There was  a discussion regarding the taxation of travel trailers.  A motioned was made by Bruce Fields and seconded by John Vickery to strike.  The motion was passed with one dissenting vote.

E.       Encourage the Legislature to reexamine how utilities are assessed: Make a proposal to the Legislature to have the State change to net book value for Transmission and Distribution.
Louise Ferris-Burt made the motion and Helen Barrett seconded.

F.       Methodology for Current Use Values
Motion made by Al Jerard and second by Louise Ferris-Burt – “We encourage the legislature to reexamine the Current Use Program to address the escalating current use cost burden to the Vermont tax payers. The research should include but not be limited to assessment value caps.”  The motion passed unanimously.

G.       Proposal re the Pilot program and State owned properties  – motioned made by John Wexler and seconded by John Fike – passed with one dissenting vote.

H.      Camilla Roberts asked that an additional item be added to the list of proposed policies:
Encourage the legislature to re-examine how covenant non-rental housing is valued and taxed, with the result that the full value of such property (not the restricted resale price) is the basis for the municipal taxes, and the restricted resale price difference become a special exemption applied to the state education tax in the way that the subsidized rental housing is taxed.
Randy Viens made the motion – Tom Vickery seconded – it passed unanimously.

Steve Jeffries gave a short talk.  The Town Fair will be in Killington on October 2nd.  There will be a vote on VLCT’s recommendation to the legislature
“The State should assume full responsibility for funding Vermont’s education system. Municipal government should no longer be responsible for trying to administer a state education property tax.  The state must bill, collect and administer all education taxes.”

With no other business to conduct the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Pauline Moore for Carol Hammond


Attendance of the meeting as follows:

Name                                                      Town                                                                      County
Al Jerard                                                Brattleboro                                                            Windham
Gary Carrier                                           Brattleboro                                                            Windham
Bill Johnson                                          PV&R
Camilla Roberts                                    Rockingham                                                          Windham
Carlton Domey                                     Cabot                                                                     Washington
Charles McArthur                                Morristown                                                           Lamoille
Carolyn Kinney                                    Poultney                                                                                Rutland
Charles Mason
Chris Miele                                            NEMRC
Ed Clodfelter                                         Calais                                                                     Washington
Frank Partsch                                        PV&R
Galen Mudgett, Jr                                Sharon                                                                   Windsor
Howard Burgess                                  Rutland Town                                                       Rutland
John Antognioni                                  Bennington                                                           Bennington
John Fike                                               Reading                                                                 Windsor
John Vickery                                         Burlington                                                             Chittenden
John Wetzel                                          Fairlee                                                                    Orange
Joyce Scribner                                      Manchester                                                           Bennington
Louise Ferris-Burt                                Bethel                                                                     Windsor
Lisa Truchon                                        Lincoln                                                                   Addison
Mark Paulsen                                        PV&R
Noel Walker                                          Fairlee                                                                    Orange
Pat French                                             Randolph                                                               Orange
Paul Wildasin                                       Woodstock                                                           Windsor
Carol Wood                                          Woodstock                                                           Windsor
Pauline Moore                                      Manchester                                                           Bennington
Penny Allyn                                          Reading                                                                 Windsor
Perry Green                                           Manchester                                                           Bennington
Peter Rimsa                                           Proctor                                                                   Rutland
Peter Whitney                                      St Johnsbury                                                        Caledonia
Phyllis Newton                                     Vernon                                                                   Windham
Randy Viens                                         Essex                                                                      Chittenden
Randy Mulligan                                   Colchester                                                             Chittenden
Babetta Lynde                                      Westminster                                                         Windham
Ruth Grandy                                         Westminster                                                         Windham
Steve Jeffrey                                         VLCT
Todd LeBlanc                                       S. Burlington                                                         Chittenden
Tom Vickery                                          Stowe                                                                     Lamoille
Vicki Graves                                          Burke                                                                      Caledonia
Cheryl Noyes                                        Burke                                                                      Caledonia
Sandi Capponcelli                                Athens                                                                   Windham
Lois Sippel                                            Athens                                                                   Windham
John Trombley                                     Topsham                                                               Orange
Lisa Enright                                           Pomfret                                                                  Windsor
Lyn Leavitt                                            Pomfret                                                                  Windsor
Denise Adams                                      Thetford                                                                                Orange
Diane Osgood                                      Thetford                                                                                Orange
Joan Cooke                                           Dover                                                                     Windham
Christen McLean                                 Dover                                                                     Windham
Alice Veraguth                                     Dover                                                                     Windham
Diane Mott                                            Goshen                                                                  Addison
Barb Walsh                                           Goshen                                                                  Addison
Mimi Burstein                                       Bethel                                                                     Windsor
Margaret Brady                                    Woodstock                                                           Windsor
Helen Barrett                                         Sharon                                                                   Windsor
Ken Wright                                           Sharon                                                                   Windsor
Jean Newell                                           Dummerston                                                         Windham
Beverly Knapp                                     Dummerston                                                         Windham
Doug Hamilton                                     Dummerston                                                         Windham
Terry Knight                                         Williamstown                                                        Orange
Phil Dodd                                              VPOR Editor
Norman Buchanan                               Pomfret                                                                  Windsor
Don Sweetser                                       Randolph                                                               Orange
Bruce Shields                                        Eden                                                                       Lamoille
Robert Gibney                                      Dorset                                                                    Bennington
Peter Tertari                                          Dorset                                                                    Bennington
Cheryl Tudhope                                   Orwell                                                                     Addison
Harold French                                       Roxbury                                                                 Washington


ADDISON                                                                                                             BENNINGTON
Director:  Lisa Truchon                                                                                       Director:  John Antognioni
62 Quaker St                                                                                                       205 South St.
Lincoln, Vt. 05443                                                                                              Bennington, Vt. 05201
802-453-2980                                                                                                      802-442-1042                                                                       

Alternate: Cheryl Tudhope                                                                                                Alternate: Joyce Scribner
6039 Main St
Manchester, Vt.  052555

CALEDONIA                                                                                                        CHITTENDEN
Director:  Peter Whitney                                                                                     Director:   Todd LeBlanc
1187 Main St                                                                                                        575 Dorset St
St. Johnsbury, Vt.  05819                                                                                   So. Burlington, Vt.  05403
802-748-4272                                                                                                        802-846-4103                                                                                         

Alternate:  Vicki Graves                                                                                      Alternate:  Randy Mulligan
212 School St
W. Burke, Vt.  05871

ESSEX:  NONE                                                                                                     FRANKLIN:  NONE

GRAND ISLE:  NONE                                                                                          LAMOILLE:
Director:  Tom Vickery
PO Box 1183
Stowe, Vt.  05672

Alternate:  Charles McArthur
PO Box 748  Morrisville, Vt, 05661
Director:    John Wetzel                                                                                       RUTLAND
PO Box 95                                                                                        Director:  Carolyn Kinney
Fairlee, Vt.  05045                                                                                             9 Main St.  Suite 2
802-333-9829                                                                                                      Poultney, Vt.  05764                                                                                        802-287-5111

Alternate:  Noel Walker
PO Box 95                                                                                        Alternate:  Charles Mason
Fairlee, Vt.  05045

WASHINGTON                                                                                                   WINDHAM
Director:  Ed Clodfelter                                                                                        Director:  Al Jerard
921 Old West Church Rd.                                                                                230 Main St.
Adamant, Vt.  05640                                                                                          Brattleboro, Vt.  05301                                                                                 802-251-8119

Alternate: Carlton Domey                                                                                   Alternate:  Carol Hammond
567 Governor Hunt Rd.
WINDHAM                                                                                                                              Vernon, Vt.  05354
Director:  Al Jerard                                                                                                                    802-257-0292
230 Main St.                                                                                                
Brattleboro, Vt  05301
802-254-4541                                                         Second Alternate:  Camilla Roberts

Director:  John Fike
PO Box 72
Reading, Vt.  05062

Alternate:  Paul Wildasin
31 The Green
Woodstock, Vt. 05091

Michael P. Cyprian Award

I am so very happy I could be here to make the Lister of the Year presentation this year.  I’m pleased not only because as a VALA member it was event I always looked forward to, but because this year’s presentation has a special meaning for me.

The recipient this year epitomizes the finest in small town government.  The dedicated volunteer who serves, sometimes without reward for many years to make our communities work.

I first met our award winner when we served on a committee together.  It was back in 1994 and PVR was looking at a new CAMA system.  Charlene Lathrop got a group together to serve on a selection committee.  I don’t remember our first few meetings, but I seem to remember the ever present red felt, wide brimmed hat.  Then I remember the one field trip where I spied a handgun in the belt too.   As a constable that was allowed and boy was I ever impressed.

When I really got to know our recipient was just about 2 years later when she again served on a committee for PVR.  This time it was to be involved in the interviewing process for the Chief of Operation.   I like to think that she feels she did a good job on that committee and that I did not fail in my duties.

I’m speaking of course of a past president of VALA and long time public servant, Ruth Grandy.  Ruth, please come join me for this presentation.

Ruth began her public service as a lister in 1976.  In addition, she served as assistant zoning officer and health officer.  She was a member of the town volunteer fire department and collected stray dogs and cats as assistant constable.  She was appointed tax assessor and recently resigned that position to go back to what I suspect is her first love, listing.   I remember her spunk and vinegar during the 5 critical years as VALA president when everyone was feeling the frustration of legislative changes.

Handling adversity was not just a challenge for Ruth but it was a cause for triumphing over that adversity.  During the past dozen years Ruth nursed and lost two beloved husbands.  A lesser person would succumb under the strain, but she did not.  The smile was always there and if you asked she was feeling great.   I suspect her burden was eased by her 3 children and her 6 beloved grandchildren.

In appreciation for her many years of service to the town she was recently honored with a recognition dinner.  I was pleased to be invited to witness the outpouring of affection towards this remarkable woman.

Ruth, the Lister of the Year for 2008 could go to no better recipient.  Thank you for all you’ve done for your town, for VALA and for me.

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