The meeting was called to order at 9:07 a.m. by President John Fike. Twenty five towns and ten counties were represented.
The Secretary’s report was accepted on a motion by Pauline Moore. The motion was seconded and passed.
Financial Report—Don Sweetser has a written report available and commented on proposed budget. The Treasurers report was accepted on a motion by Ed Clodfelter. The motion was seconded and passed.
The President’s Report included but is not limited to the following topics:
- One of John’s goals was for VALA to be “above the radar”……it is
- There is a change in the law as to how to value exempt buildings—could use insurance value
- Tax Commissioner extended to October the time limit for filing homesteads
- For towns with appeals that straddle town boundaries, the result of the appeals will affect both towns.
- 274,000 homestead declarations were anticipated, to date, 270,000 have been actually filed
- There have been 12,000 Lister responses
- Annual meeting will be a busy day—tight schedule
- Elizabeth Hunt—new current use forms
- New England IAAO representative will be present
- Bill Johnson & Michelle Wilson—new certifications awards for eligible Listers
- Speakers: Ben Vicere, Forester and Attorney Charles Merriman
- Election of directors and alternates
- Election of officers
Nominating Committee: The slate of officers to be offered at the Annual Meeting is”
President—John Fike: Vice President—Todd LeBlanc; Secretary—Carol Hammond; Treasurer—Pauline Moore
Louise Ferris-Burt made a motion to accept the slate of officers as nominated. The motion was seconded and passed.
It was noted that motions for nominations can also be made from the floor at the Annual Meeting.
Auditing Committee: The report was read by Lisa Truchon. Recommendations read by Robin Chapman. Both documents are attached.
Lister of the Year: This year we were dependent on letters—most of the candidates are unknown to the committee. The recipient will be present at the meeting. A thank you letter will be sent to all those who nominated a candidate.
Joyce from Manchester sent letters to towns in Bennington County with information regarding VALA.
It was noted that many new members signing up with VALA are from the Northeast Kingdom towns.
There followed discussion as to the cost of the dues—whether they are too high or not; is there resistance to the price, and what can people expect as services from VALA in return for the dues. The need for a prudent reserve was expressed especially looking forward to a time when stipends may have to be paid to individuals for work done that is currently being accomplished by volunteers.
A suggestion was made to send out a survey to see what towns don’t join because of the cost.
Penny stated that there are 58 towns who are VALA members—the most that we have ever had.
Babs made a motion to increase membership to $4500 with a budget of $7450 to be presented at the Annual Meeting. The motion was seconded and passed.
The issue of mileage was discussed and that many towns do not allow Listers mileage to attend meetings. Because of this issue,
Todd suggested having county meetings on perhaps the other month to accommodate Listers who can’t or don’t attend the regular bi-monthly meetings.
Lisa suggested that rather than charging Listers to try to convince their Selectboard, that VALA create a document to present directly to Selectboard showing the value of VALA to their respective towns.
Penny suggested that each VALA member bring another Lister from their county to the VALA Annual Meeting in order for them to see what VALA is all about.
The meeting adjourned at 10:00 a.m.
Carol Hammond, Secretary