Selectboard discusses transparency after elections

By Heather McKim

It was a changed Selectboard that gathered for the March 12 meeting, the first since the election that saw the addition of Allison Cranmer and Toni Supple to the Board.

With the loss of Bill Smith from its ranks, the Selectboard turned to electing a new Chair. Member Tim Pudvar was chosen.

The meeting then turned to other matters. While members were discussing transparency, Supple accused Board members of having had secret meetings. “I think that we have to ascribe to the height of standard for our town,” she informed.

Selectboard member Al Gobeille responded by stating that there had been no secret meetings of the Board. He detailed how he and a few others who are not Board members had spoken with Tony Pomerleau, owner of Shelburnewood Mobile Home Park, when he had some questions regarding his possible purchase of the mobile home park.

Gobeille emphasized that no other Board member had been involved when talking to Pomerleau. He stressed that he believed the purchase to be in the best interest of the community and of the residents of the mobile home park who had endured years of uncertainty about the fate of their homes.

In the Manager’s Report, Town Manager Paul Bohne updated the Board and sizeable audience on what is going on in the town, including Shelburne’s nomination for the Vermont Public Space Award. The town received Honorable Mention for a project done on the town green.

Steve Love of Love, Cody & Company presented the audit of the fiscal year 2011-12. This is the first of three years that the firm will conduct the town’s audits.

Love detailed various aspects of the fiscal year’s budget during his presentation. When asked about debt amounts, he said that different towns carry different amounts of debt. Debt needs to be looked at in light of the assets that the town has and where the town lies in its debt cycle.

After the presentation and some discussion, members voted to accept the audit.

The Board also voted to authorize the Selectboard Chair to sign the stipulation resulting from the town’s appeal of the 2012 Equalized Education Property Value. This was born out of an appeal the town made regarding the Grand List filed in January. The state had approved the appeal.

Members also voted to approve Webster Ridge as the name of the road in the William Posey development on Webster Road. Some members expressed that they were concerned that the name was confusing in light of the existing Webster Road.

The Selectboard also approved multiple applications for liquor and tobacco licenses, decided to hold the April 9 meeting at Wake Robin and planned to approve authorizing the Manager to execute a lease for the Fishing Access at Bay Park with the Department of Fish and Wildlife for a period of 20 years instead of the previously proposed 10-year period.

After lengthy discussion, the members also decided upon a work plan that will consider numerous key topics.

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