VALA Director’s Meeting
January 7th, 2015
President John Fike opened the Director’s Meeting by taking a count of Board Members and County Delegates for a quorum. After having satisfied that a quorum was met the meeting proceeded to discuss if the VALA Meeting should be changed to begin the calendar year from January to the month of February. A questionnaire will be sent out to members for feedback.
Secretary’s minutes from the November 12th meeting were distributed. Reiterated the minutes are now on the web site to download. Minutes were approved with no changes. 1st motion for approval was made by Phyllis Scribner from the town of Manchester and 2nd motion for approval was made by Charles Mason from Town of Pawlet.
It was announced that the Secretary Mimi Burstein is not running for re-election as a Lister in March. She and her husband have taken on new endeavors.
Treasurer Pauline Moore provided an update on monies $1280.00 received to date from Ratio Study Class—all but one class attendee has paid class fee. Lister Lois Trenn will be sent a reminder of payment due. Membership revenues are currently $12,780.34. Also $50.00 has been paid in advance for next year by town of Putney. 1st motion for approval was made by Louise Ferris-Burt from Bethel and the 2nd motion for approval was made by Phyllis Scribner from Manchester.
President John Fike announced that Vice President Todd LeBlanc was not able to attend the Bi-Monthly Meeting due to passing of assistant’s family member.
Education Committee John Vickery announced that the Fundamentals of Ratio Studies Class had good feedback on the quality of the course content and the instructor. Course expenses and revenues for this one-day course balanced out. Next class will be an Excel Computer Class for Assessors. Cost has been determined for a one-day class with a central Vermont location. Attendees will need a lap top. A notice with additional information will be sent out. This course will take things a couple of steps further than previous IAAO Excel Class and attendees will be able to take their work back to their office. This is a very good course and a reasonable value. Unlike the previous Excel class that did not meet expectations and the presenter was not from the area. Formulas for this Excel Class are the same as in Apple computer program, however format may be different. Attendees need to be familiar with Excel and formulas.
This year’s TOEC will have similar locations as last year and some of the items on this year’s agenda will be Solar Valuations, Electronic Records, and PV&R. There will be an Open Meeting Law speaker, a Work Shop on Land Grading or possibly setting up land tables. Listers/Clerks on Forum panel will answer questions.
President John Fike discussed development of new marketing brochures, new registration forms and a new invoice document for renewal memberships.
A few membership emails are being kicked back as undeliverable. Possibly inbox full, and/or emails targeted as spam?
TOEC exhibit at Killington and Lake Fairly will be manned by John Fike and Penny Allyn, Membership Chair. The third TOEC location will be manned by John Vickery, however he still needs a second person to help during this exhibit. The cost for this year’s exhibit will be $300. A vote was taken by members on cost and location. 1st motion for approval was made by Louise Ferris-Burt from Bethel and 2nd motion was made by John Vickery from Burlington.
Colchester Lister Robert Vickery introduced Tracy Paquette who will fill a newly created position as Property Tax Specialist.
Education Committee John Vickery discussed The State Equalization Study and new Excel Class. Need to determine what level to teach excels class and attendees would be better helped if they are familiar with Ratio Studies. Better if those attending have eyes wide open. Consider this to be a more advanced class. Possibly look at sending email with spreadsheet that can be saved on a thumb drive for those towns that have policies not allowing downloading of anything.
President John Fike PV&R classes for 2015 not yet available on the State web site.
Legistlative Committee Randy Viens deferred discussing legislative updates until the General Meeting.
President John Fike discussed State-Wide Parcel Mapping, the surveys that were sent out with section for comments and the amount of feedback received to date. Jim Knapp PV&R to give update at General Meeting. Comments provided by VALA members included the following: How much would it cost, what is the state looking for as far in the area of state-wide parcel mapping, what are town’s expectations. Local mapping services can make changes as quickly as the next day. Towns still want town level control. Most towns at meeting are using mapping service and update every year. Some towns do not have the funds or already have contracts in place. Towns have no objection to the state using their information (Reading uses Google Map). Survey that was recently sent out allowed for comments. Survey was a chance to say what is liked and not liked about state-wide mapping.
Recent article in Valley News titled “Report Proposes Tax Changes in Vermont” was distributed to members.
Process for VALA’s Lister of the Year Award was recently forwarded to Board Members Pauline Moore and Todd LeBlanc. Next project is documenting process for membership.
Membership Chair Penny Allyn provided membership update as follows: 297 General Memberships, 13 Professional Memberships, 112 Town Memberships and yearly revenues are now $5,760.00 which is $1,240 over previous year. Members requested to contact Penny Allyn if they have a change in email address. Any changes are to be forwarded to Michelle Wilson, PV&R. Acknowledgement and thanks were again given to Chuck Burt who helped set up the new website. Articles still needed for the Newsletter.
PV&R Michelle Wilson discussed the following, PTTR Forms, New Income Tax System being installed, reducing $5.00 fee for on-line property transfers, C.U. initiating new on-line app & management system (currently still using old fashion way). PV&R acknowledged the many 411 files received to date. John Fike brought up an interesting question of “How many Listers match their As Billed 411 to their current 411 for changes?”
1st Motion to adjourn Directors Meeting made by Louise Ferris-Burt (Bethel) and 2nd motion was made by Charles Mason (Pawlet).
Meeting adjourned at 10:05am and respectfully submitted by,