Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Select Board Minutes

The minutes of the September 24th Springfield Select Board meeting.





Immediately following the Joint Meeting






Chairman Kristi Morris called the meeting to order at 7:35 PM.


Board members present:  Chairman, Kristi Morris, Vice Chairman, Michael Knoras, Stephanie Gibson, Peter MacGillivray and David Yesman.


Also present:  Town Manger, Robert Forguites, and Comptroller, Jeff Mobus




1.  Regular Board Meeting, Monday, September 10, 2012


Chairman, Kristi Morris, asked if there were changes to the Regular Board Meeting of Monday, September 10, 2012.  There were none.


MOTION: Stephanie Gibson motioned to accept Regular Board Meeting Minutes - Monday,

September 10, 2012.  Vice Chairman, Michael Knoras seconded, passed unanimously.



Chairman, Kristi Morris, asked for any new additions to the agenda.  Mr. Forguites said he didn't have any new additions.  The Board of Selectmen did not either.




Chairman, Kristi Morris, asked it there were any citizens to address the Board.  There were none.








1.  Springfield Housing Authority Minutes — September 11, 2012

2.  Springfield Airport Commission Minutes — July 11, 2012


Chairman, Kristi Morris, acknowledged the above minutes from the Springfield Housing Authority and the Springfield Airport Commission.  Chairman Morris also noted that copies could be obtained from the Town Manager's office.






1.  Citizen Concerns — Update - a. Police Activity


Town Manager, Robert Forguites, reminded everyone the Springfield Police Department is still continuing with Foot Patrols.  Mr. Forguites confirmed with Chief Douglas Johnston, Police Officers are performing their scheduled Foot Patrol time.  If Police Officers cannot complete their scheduled Foot Patrol time they must document why they were pulled away.


Chief Johnston confirmed the third letter was sent out to a Landlord in the Town.  The letter notifies the Landlord of the possibility their property was involved with the dispensing or selling of regulated drugs.


Chief Johnston also mentioned the new Police Officer hired approximately 8 weeks ago would be off Field Training by the end of this week.  There is a Police Officer out right now because of an Off Duty Injury.  The Police Department currently has two new Police Officer positions open.  The positions were just posted at the end of last week.


Christian Craig addressed the Board of Selectmen.  He is concerned about the negative comments made on the Springfield Police Facebook Page.  A lot of the comments are quite destructive and childish.


Mr. Craig's request opened up a discussion between Chief Johnston, Robert Forguites and the Board of Selectmen.  The Board of Selectmen would like Chief Johnston to check into having the comment section disabled.


Stephanie Gibson inquired if a Sub-Committee of 2 to 3 Board of Selectmen Members could meet with Chief Johnston to assist with the Police Activity Monthly Report.  This report is still in the process of being fine tuned by the Dispatchers.  In addition, the Sub-Committee could assist the Police Department in other areas too.


Mr. Forguites stated it sounded like he was hearing volunteers at the end of the table.


Stephanie Gibson and Peter MacGillivray acknowledged they would work on the Sub-Committee.  Chairman, Kristi Morris, cautioned on the size of a Sub-Committee.  The guidelines are clear that if the Sub-Committee is 3 or more the meetings need to be warranted.  For the time being, Stephanie Gibson and Peter MacGillivray will make up the Sub-Committee.


Ethan McNaughton addressed the Board.  He thought the Sub-Committee should include individuals from the State Probation Department, Justice Program, and possibly a State Prosecutor.  Mr. McNaughton felt this Sub-Committee should act as an Information Gathering Group, not a Decision Making Group.  Mr. McNaughton would like to see this Sub-Committee gather information and report back to the Board of Selectmen.


Peter MacGillivray commented that he is on the Board for Restorative Justice and he doesn't even receive a monthly report.  Mr. MacGillivray thinks one should be submitted monthly to the Board of Selectmen.


Chairman, Kristi Morris, stated he doesn't disagree with the Sub-Committee, but he didn't understand where this Sub-Committee was going.  He wanted to know what the function of the Sub-Committee will be.


Ethan McNaughton wanted the Board of Selectmen to make a list of what they would like the Sub-Committee to work on and discuss the information at the next Board Meeting.


Chairman, Kristi Morris, suggested Stephanie Gibson and Peter MacGillivray can meet with Chief Johnston.  The three of them can decide what should be done.  The Sub-Committee can make a report at the next Board of Selectmen Meeting.


Chairman, Kristi Morris, wanted to move on to the next item of the agenda.  He wanted to know if anyone had anything else.


Vice Chairman, Michael Knoras, had a question for Chief Johnston.  Mr. Knoras wanted to know if Chief Johnston had heard anything about the Gang Task Force.


Chief Johnston said he heard they were working in Bennington, VT.


Robert Forguites reported the State Task Force was just credited with a sweep in Rutland, VT.  He was not sure if this was the same Task Force.


Vice Chairman, Michael Knoras, wanted to know if the Town had heard from any Landlords regarding the letters sent to them.  


Robert Forguites said one of the Landlords contacted the Police Department shortly after receiving his letter.  The Landlord is trying to take care of the matter as soon as possible.


Chairman, Kristi Morris, asked if necessary, could the Police Department assist the Landlords.


Chief Johnston said the Police Department would assist when possible.  However, there is a long lengthy and legal process to go through to evict a tenant.  Unfortunately, some Landlords don't realize what they are getting into when they start renting out property.  Chief Johnston suggested the Chamber of Commerce teach a class for Landlords about contracts, leases, and legal issues.


Christian Craig said he would be happy to.  He also knew a good lawyer.

(Meaning Ethan  McNaughton.)


If Mr. Craig needed additional space for class, Robert Forguites volunteered Selectmen's Hall.


Ethan McNaughton wanted to know if there was a way to help Landlords with background checks on potential tenants.  If there were grants or volunteers to help refurbish Landlord's properties.  Mr. McNaughton's thoughts were to clean up the properties and attract a better tenant.  Maybe even enlist the help from the Habitat for Humanity Group.


At this point Jean Blanchard spoke up, just last year her church sent money and volunteers to Spain to help others.  Ms. Blanchard stated there are 13 Churches in the Town of Springfield.  The Churches would love to clean up Union Street.


David Yesman commented he was the President of Habitat for Humanity.  Habitat for Humanity has built 7 houses providing safe and affordable housing with partner families.  The program is in the process of building their 8th house on 9 Whitcomb Street.


A discussion took place between David Yesman, Ethan McNaughton, Jean Blanchard and Peter MacGillivray on what could be done to assist the Landlords.  


Chairman, Kristi Morris, wanted to check with the Town's Attorney, Steve Ankuda, to see if this was a function for the Board of Selectmen.


Robert Forguites commented he didn't think this was a function of the Board of Selectmen to act as a "Clearing House" or organizer this type of project.


Stephanie Gibson felt the Board of Selectmen didn't have the expertise or qualifications for this project.


Chairman, Kristi Morris, asked David Yesman if this was something he thought the Habitat for Humanity would like to take on.  Mr. Morris suggested the Churches in Town could also work with Habitat for Humanity.


1.  Citizen Concerns — Update — b.  Ordinance Review


Chairman, Kristi Morris, asked if Vice Chairman, Michael Knoras or Stephanie Gibson had an update of the Ordinance Review Committee.


Vice Chairman, Michael Knoras, informed the Board of Selectmen, the first few chapters of the Code of Ordinances Book have been reviewed and submitted to Robert Forguites and Steve Ankuda.  


Stephanie Gibson stated Chapters 4 and 5 of the Code of Ordinance Book is being worked on now.  The Ordinance Review Committe is working with the Fire Department and Zoning Department.  


Robert Forguites commented that Russ Thompson and Bill Kearns will have the information back to the Ordinance Review Committee in October.


Stephanie Gibson wanted to schedule another Ordinance Review Committee meeting to start working on the other chapters.


Robert Forguites stated he would contact Steve Ankuda and try for a meeting next week.


2.  Town Plan Hearing Date Change


Robert Forguites stated at the last Board Meeting, he suggested dates of October 8, 2012 and November 12, 2012 for Public Hearings on the DRAFT of the Amended Town Plan.  Bill Kearns has a conflict with dates and has asked if we can change them.  It is important that we have Bill at the Hearing and he, therefore, suggest that the Hearing Dates change to October 22, 2012 and November 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM prior to the Regular Board of Selectmen's Meeting that will be held on those dates.  These new dates will still come within 120 day window for setting the Public Hearing dates.


MOTION: David Yesman moved to change the Public Hearing dates from October 8, 2012 and  November 12, 2012

on the DRAFT of the Amended Town Plan to October 22, 2012 and November 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM prior

to the Regular Board of Selectmen's Meetings.  Peter MacGillivray seconded, passed unanimously.



  3.  Budget Advisory Committee Appointments


Mr. Forguites stated that he mailed out a letter to last year's Budget Advisory Committee asking them to reply by September 21, 2012 indicating whether, or not, they were interested in serving on the committee for another year.  We have heard from the following indicating they are willing to serve another year.  The following eight people agreed to serve:


Ritva Burton, Edward Caron Everett Hammond Gaenol Mobus

Hugh Putnam Tina Rushton James Soucy Marilyn Thompson


MOTION: Michael Knoras moved to appoint Ritva Burton, Edward Caron, Everett Hammond, Gaenol Mobus,

Hugh Putnam, Tina Rushton, James Soucy, and Maryilyn Thompson to be the Budget Advisory

Committee and to add four, (4), more people to the Budget Advisory Committee as soon as possible.

Mr. Knoras added he would like to see the Budget Advisory Committee organized as soon as possible.

David Yesman seconded, passed unanimously.


Mr. Forguites told the Board he has also sent out two or three letters for new members of the Budget Advisory Board.


Chairman, Kristi Morris, also addressed the viewers of SAPA TV to please consider becoming a member of the Budget Advisory Committee.  If you are interested, an application may be picked up at the Town Manager's Office.




1.  Public Hearing Date — Zoning By-Laws


Robert Forguites read the following information to the Board of Selectmen.  At a meeting of the Springfield Planning Commission held on August 22, 2012, the following amendments to the Zoning By-Laws were approved by the Commission to be forwarded to the Board of Selectmen:


1. This is the full text of the Regulation Amendment proposed as a new

Section 2.6 "Prohibited Uses" is as follows:

"Section 2.6 Prohibited Uses.  The following are prohibited uses

in all Zoning Districts:


- Medical Marijuana Dispensary or Dispensaries as permitted

and defined by 18 VSA Chapter 86 and regulated by the

Vermont Department of Public Safety."


2. Amend Section 5.3 by removing the struck out words and adding the underlined

Words:  "Section 5.3 (D) 2. (last sentence) "Proposed activities that would

have an undue adverse adversely affect impact on character of the neighborhood,

area or district shall not be approved unless the undue adverse impacts can be

avoided or mitigated through change(s) to location, design, scale, operation,

composition and /or intensity of the proposed development or use."


This memo will be considered as the submission of the proposed amendments from the Planning Commission to the Board of Selectmen.  The Board of Selectmen are required to set the date for a Public Hearing on the amendments, not less than 15 days nor more than 120 days from the date the submission is received.  I recommend that the Board set a Public Hearing for October 22, 2012 at 7:00 PM prior to the Public Hearing on the DRAFT Town Plan.  This would also be the date of the Regular Board of Selectmen's Meeting.


After the Public Hearing, a vote would be taken by the Board of Selectmen, at a Regular Board Meeting, to approve or reject the amendments.  If they are approved, they would become effective 21 days after the approval.


MOTION: Vice Chairman, Michael Knoras, moved to set the date of October 22, 2012 at 7:00 PM, prior to the Public

Hearing on the DRAFT Town Plan, for a Public Hearing on the amendments  submitted from the Planning

Commission for two Zoning By-Laws.  David Yesman seconded, passed unanimously.



2.  Cemetery Commission Appointment


Robert Forguites reminded the Board of Selectmen there is still a vacancy on the Cemetery Commission due to the resignation of Michael LaPlante whose term expires in March 2014.  The Board of Selectmen is authorized to fill vacancies on the commission.  The appointment would run until the next Annual Town Meeting and, at that time, a petition would have to be filed by anyone interested in being elected for the remainder of the term.


Hugh Putnam has indicated an interest in appointment to the position of Cemetery Commissioner.  The appointment would run until the March 2013 Town Meeting.


MOTION: Vice Chairman, Michael Knoras moved to appoint Hugh Putnam to the position of Cemetery Commissioner.

The appointment will run until March 2013.  Stephanie Gibson seconded, passed unanimously.


Peter MacGillivray complemented Mr. Putnam for his comprehensive and motivated application for this position.  Mr. MacGillivray thanked Mr. Putnam for his willingness to take on the roll of Cemetery Commissioner.






Chairman, Kristi Morris took this opportunity to ask for citizens comments.  There were none.




Peter MacGillivray was going to follow up with the Restorative Justice Center.  Mr. MacGillivray would like a Monthly Report submitted to Board of Selectmen.


Stephanie Gibson would like time on the next agenda to present a report from the Police Activity Sub-Committee.


David Yesman would like time on the next agenda to let the Board know if Habitat for Humanity and the churches have be able to assist any Landlords.






MOTION: David Yesman moved to adjourn the Board of Selectmen Meeting of Monday, September 24, 2012.

Stephanie Gibson seconded, passed unanimously.


Meeting adjourned at 8:52 PM.


Respectfully Submitted,


Donna M. Hall

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