MINUTES OF THE VALA ANNUAL MEETING
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
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)
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.
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
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
Director: Lisa Truchon Director: John Antognioni
62 Quaker St 205 South St.
Lincoln, Vt. 05443 Bennington, Vt. 05201
Alternate: Cheryl Tudhope Alternate: Joyce Scribner
6039 Main St
Manchester, Vt. 052555
Director: Peter Whitney Director: Todd LeBlanc
1187 Main St 575 Dorset St
St. Johnsbury, Vt. 05819 So. Burlington, Vt. 05403
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
Alternate: Noel Walker
PO Box 95 Alternate: Charles Mason
Fairlee, Vt. 05045
Director: Ed Clodfelter Director: Al Jerard
921 Old West Church Rd. 230 Main St.
Adamant, Vt. 05640 Brattleboro, Vt. 05301
Alternate: Carlton Domey Alternate: Carol Hammond
567 Governor Hunt Rd.
WINDHAM Vernon, Vt. 05354
Director: Al Jerard 802-257-0292
230 Main St. firstname.lastname@example.org
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.