BOARD OF DIRECTOR’S MEETING MINUTES MAY 6th, 2015
President John Fike requested a count of county delegates to determine proof of quorum. Representatives from every county except for Orleans, Grand Isle and Addison were present.
Lister Louise Ferris-Burt from Bethel motioned and Lister Joyce Scribner from Manchester made the second motion to accept the minutes from the last Bi-Monthly VALA Meeting that were posted on the VALA website.
Treasurer Pauline Moore presented the financial statement and reported a balance of $12,265.39 as of 4/1/2015. $135.00 received in membership dues has been moved to fiscal year 2016. Pauline stated VALA financially is doing well and ahead of budget. 1st and 2nd motions were made to accept the financial report.
Education Committee John Vickery thanked everyone who attended TOEC. The feedback was positive, especially regarding the land grade and solar workshops. The DA’s did a good job with training and there were lots of topics for workshops. Soft Skills was a good course, “How to Hold Meetings”, etc. The new administration was looking to “shake up” things over past years. With the Lister/Clerk Forum we did not know if it would work or be sustainable. It is better that Town Clerks/Treasurers know the Listers job. This was the first time that Selectboard, Zoning and BCA members attended the TOEC. The Listers made up 50% of attendees. TOEC is a good way to reach other Town Officers.
The Education Committee is now gearing up for the Annual Meeting and has been putting together workshops to be presented at the Annual Meeting.
President John Fike announced that Vice President Todd LeBlanc and Education Committee Chair John Vickery manned the VALA display at the TOEC in Burlington and he and Penny Allyn, VALA Chairperson manned the VALA Display at the TOEC at Lake Morey in Fairlee and at the Grand Hotel in Killington. The display generated a lot of traffic and new people show an interest in VALA.
Legislative Committee Randy Viens completed a Legislative update. Suggested members check out the article in the VALA Newsletter for more information. Pilot Program has been changed a little however there still appears to be a $20 Million shortfall. Legislature is looking into every nook and cranny to find money. Legislature still seems to think Listers know the difference between pasture and plow land.
VALA’s Legislative Committee members were able to convince Legislature this year not to do things as well as endorse items. This appeared to help.
President John Fike Brochure is not out yet. We will try to mail out six weeks before annual membership due date. Penny Allyn and I will send out new brochures, membership enrollment forms to towns that are not yet members. We will be sending out letters welcoming new members for joining VALA and a thank you to current members who have sent in their dues for the new membership year.
Lister Louise Ferris-Burt had a good idea to add/change a line in the VALA Mission Statement.
- Copies of the Mission Statement were passed out and the section in Italics (the last part) was discussed at length.
- Both VALA and VLCT crossed over into assessments and education.
- Thought it was time to add a new section.
- Felt we may have the essence of what members want.
- First part of the Mission Statement has been the same forever and Delegates were asked to approve.
- Camilla Roberts from Rockingham said the word “policy” was an issue. Did not think this was the right word. “Property Tax System” might be better.
- Louise Ferris-Burt stated the mission statement did not need the words “tax policy” at all. Need to take it out.
- Tom Vickery asked members to look at what has happened in the last few years. Income sensitivity has changed how to value because it’s based on income.
- Pauline Moore stated a Listers job is to set fair market value, how it’s looked at is not the Listers job because of subsidies.
- Randy Vien stated we still have to do same job.
- Bruce Shields stated we have to show we are interest in tax policy. What is the definition of Tax Policy? Maybe it’s in the eye of the beholder. It is a general term. We already have a unified voice in Legislature.
- John Fike stated VALA provides a voice in Legislature and we are going to be asked to testify.
- Don’t want to be tax policy activists.
- Does Income Sensitivity affect value? Legislature has already told us how to access.
- If Tax Policy affects how we access fair market value than it is an issue. Keep in mind many things affect value, flood insurance, etc.
- Vice President Todd LeBlanc stated we should not address tax policy but should address fairness and equity.
- Vote was taken to kill or pass motion, 4 in favor and 6 opposed. Change in Mission Statement to be tabled to get feedback prior to next Bi-Monthly Meeting. All members in attendance were asked to email their ideas.
Vice President Todd LeBlanc discussed slate of officer openings. The following have been asked or are considering one of the officer positions which need to be confirmed by the July Bi-Monthly Meeting to announce at the Annual Meeting in September.
- The tentative replacement for Treasurer Pauline Moore would be Lister Robert Vickery from Colchester.
- Vice President Todd LeBlanc would be replaced by Camilla Roberts from Rockingham.
- The tentative replacement for Interim Secretary Lister Penny Allyn would be Lister Tamsin Coon from Faiarfax.
- President John Fike would be replaced by Todd LeBlanc from S. Burlington.
President John Fike announced that the quarterly newsletter is now available on the web site. Nomination notice has been sent out to nominate your Lister of the Year. Letters of nomination can be sent to Penny Allyn at email@example.com
Tom Vickery declined discussion of Stowe Appeal.
Lister Joyce Scribner from Manchester motioned for adjournment and Lister Lisa Truchon from Lincoln seconded the motion.
Meeting adjourned at 10:08 am.
Minutes respectfully submitted by,