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Meeting Minutes

Leicester Select Board Meeting



Board Members present:  Bob Oliver, Diane Benware, Cecile Todd, and John McDonough, Mark Stacey


Townspeople Present:  Donna Pidgeon, Mary Hughes, John Hughes, Arlan Pidgeon, Donald Felion, Lawrence A. Felion Jr., Virginia Wolf and Jerry Flint


Meeting was called to order at 7:06pm.


Agenda was reviewed.


Pledge was recited.


Approval of Minutes

Discussion:  January 26 Special Select Board Meeting regarding town report was corrected by adding that there was not a conflict of interest on behalf of Mark Stacey when he seconded the motion on January 23, 2006 to retain the $5000 previously placed in the budget for on the job training for a potential Clerk/Treasurer.

Action:  Bob Oliver made a motion to accepted the minutes as corrected. John McDonough seconded.  5 ayes and 0 nays.


Discussion:  February 6, 2006 minutes were corrected by adding that the board has a verbal agreement with Brandon (under New Business: Gary Smith/Salisbury Fire Chief).  The word discussed was changed to suggested in the sentence regarding a volunteer fire department. A new category was created under cleaning services. The following sentences are to be removed from listers and placed under the new category ”Jerry Flint asked if the papers will be contacted.  Mr. Flint also asked if the janitorial need was addressed in the papers.  Diane Benware stated that the information should appear in the papers.”  Under Town Clerk Training, the last sentence should state that John McDonough said that if he was going to utilize the $5000 allotted for training a new clerk/treasurer, and the town clerk up and left or resigned, he would have no problem using some of this allotted money to pay Donna Pidgeon to help the new clerk.  On page 6, the bottom paragraph should include that the board increased town clerk’s salary.  Also add that the board went into executive session for personnel issues.

Action:  Mark Stacey made a motion to accept the minutes with its corrections.  Cecile Todd seconded.  5 ayes and 0 nays.


Discussion:  John McDonough stated that he had been under the impression that he would have one more opportunity to discuss concerns regarding the town report. He did not feel that that he had that opportunity at the last meeting.  Other board members felt that they had the opportunity to express concerns at the last meeting when the report was approved.

Action:  none


Discussion: A discussion ensued regarding the voters having the right to vote on raises.  Legally, the board or the voters may give raises.  During the 1990s there was a meeting where voters expressed their desire to vote on raises.  The issue was not warned.  John Hughes suggested that this board start the process and warn the issue at the next town meeting.  Don Felion and Lawrence Felion Jr. both stated that  an Australian ballot should be done by the voters.  John Hughes suggested that the board be up front and bring up the $5000 (training for clerk/treasurer) issue at the town meeting. Diane Benware stated that it was the board intention to bring up this issue as well as others to the voters.  The voters then have the opportunity to express their pleasure or displeasure. The budget is the board’s best guess for the financial planning for the next year.  John McDonough stated that the discussion the night before is fine.  He also felt the budget should be put on the paper ballot. Don Felion stated that when it comes to money, all the voters should be informed. The school uses a paper ballot method. Mark Stacey shared that the purpose of the town meeting is to answer questions regarding the budget. Diane Benware stated that the purpose of this line item was to put money in the budget so that the board would have money to address the process of hiring a new treasurer. She said the board would let it be known that we would be looking for a new treasurer, and that this money would be used for on the job training. John Hughes stated that the residents could put this on the ballot themselves if the board “dropped the ball”. Virginia Wolf commented that the town report is much easier to read than in the past.  She also stated that an explanation of what the asterisks denote is needed.


Reports from town officials or committees

Discussion: none

Action: none


Sign Road Weight Permits

Discussion:  Diane Benware asked Arlan Pidgeon to look over the permits before the board signed. Arlan Pidgeon approved the permits.  The road commissioners then looked at the permits.  Lawrence Felion Jr. stated that every truck that uses the roads is over weight.  He asked why only a few had to submit permits.  It was explained that the board does not solicit for permits.  The permits come to the board to sign.

Action:  Board signed.


Bids for cleaning services

Discussion:  About 12 individuals had expressed an interest for the cleaning service position.  The individuals were to send a resume’ and references. Diane Benware would collect all paperwork.  At the next meeting, the board will look at resumes and set up interview times.  Virginia Wolf suggested that the work be done by a professional cleaning company.  She said to consider that you would have to pay social security and workman’s comp.  Diane Benware responded that two professional cleaners had contacted her.  Those two professional cleaners were not interested when they found out it was a once a month and as needed basis.  Diane Benware stated that beginning salary, social security and workman’s comp are to be considered when making this decision.

Action:  At the next meeting, paperwork collected and interview times will be discussed.


Tax Exemption form/Mike’s Fuels

 Discussion: This is a declaration of tax exemption.

Action:  Diane Benware signed.



Appoint Zoning Board Member

Discussion:  Tom Drew requested that Shelley Glassner be appointed to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.  He requested that Audrey Scarbough be appointed as alternate to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Action:  Bob Oliver made a motion to appoint Shelley Glassner to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.  Mark Stacey seconded.  5 ayes and 0 nays.

Mark Stacey made a motion to appoint Audrey Scarbough as an alternate to the Zoning Board Adjustment.  Bob Oliver seconded. 5 ayes and 0 nays.  Tom Drew will be send a copy of the minutes.


Review and Sign Inspection Report (Bridge #4)

Discussion:  The culvert has failed.  The over topping of the road has failed. It is not actually a bridge.  It is a culvert. There used to be a bridge there. What is there now is what the state had told a previous board to do. The upgrading would be paid for by the town.  The inspection is paid 80% by feds and 20% by state.  The signature does not imply that the board agrees or disagrees with the report.

Action:  The board did not sign the report.  The road commissioners were given the report. Diane Benware will contact Dave Lathrop.  She will inform him to contact John McDonough.


Appraisal Letter dated February 7, 2006

Discussion:  Diane Benware read the letter into the minutes.

The letter stated that a 15% payment was due at the beginning of the process.  The amount due is $10,049. The letter noted that the company doing the appraisal is ready to begin the process. The board had put money into a CD to cover this cost.  It does not come due until April.  It was thought the appraisal process would not start until April.  Virginia Wolf suggested that the board contact the company and tell them that they would have their money when the CD came due since they were starting earlier than expected.

Action:  John McDonough made a motion to authorize Donna Pidgeon to borrow the money and repay that loan when the CD matured.  Bob Oliver seconded.  5 ayes and 0 nays


Discussion:  Virginia Wolf expressed concern regarding Mr. Smith and his position as a lister. She “thanked” him for his letter. She said she had not known how many people supported her.  She stated that complaints have been sent to Montpelier.  She also said the only thing we can do is ask for his resignation. She continued to share that she was in contact with the National Bank of Middlebury to state her terms in regard to an incident that happened in August 2005.  Diane Benware read the letter from the bank employee who apologized. Virginia Wolf stated that the employee is not stating that she lied.  She has to name the person who asked her to come down.  Virginia Wolf did not accept this apology.  This is now in front of the bank board. 


Discussion:  Cecile Todd asked if Herbie Handfield had been called by Arlan Pidgeon to grade the road.  Arlan Pidgeon stated that he had not called Herbie Handfield.  He stated that Herbie Handfield tends to grade to the edge of the road.  Don Felion stated that Mr. Handfield’s significant other called him to find out if Herbie Handfield would be called.  Diane Benware stated that Mr. Handfield needed to contact the selectboard himself rather than utilizing another citizen as the communicator. Cecile Todd stated that she felt Herbie Handfield had gotten the shaft and that he should be used.  Jerry Flint stated that Herbie Handfield did say yes to grading the road at a previous meeting.

Action:  John McDonough, Bob Oliver and Arlan Pidgeon will talk to Herbie Handfield and clear up the situation.


Windmill Equipment Estimated Cost

Discussion: John McDonough shared the estimated costs to repair the grader. The grader will be towed for $80 ($200 Maximun).  Parts will be $1138.63.  Labor will $1170.  The total cost will be approximately $2509.  Don Felion suggested that the board just park the grader. John McDonough stated that he felt we should take care of it and use it.  Lawrence Felion Jr. noted that the board just bought it and it has not been used that much this year.  Mr. Felion also felt Arlan Pidgeon should be able to fix it. Virginia Wolf stated that she felt Arlan Pidgeon should use the truck that belongs to Leicester.  She also stated that Arlan Pidgeon should not have the truck in his garage.  It belongs to Leicester.  She felt Arlan Pidgeon should not be paid a rental fee when we have our own truck. There is $5000 in the equipment fund.

Action:  Bob Oliver made a motion to have the grader towed and to have the recommended work done and it will be paid out of the equipment fund.  Mark Stacey seconded.  John McDonough will make the arrangements.  He stated the estimate is on the high side.  However, they will call John McDonough if they find something else of major consequence wrong with it.


Town Hall Policy/Use of Senior Center

Discussion:  A new policy for the use of the town hall/senior center was shared by Diane Benware.  The policy will include:  use by resident, no alcohol, no smoking, maximum of 40 persons, $35 rental (nonrefundable), $25 security fee (refundable), close the windows, leave kitchen door open, close the entry door, thermostat turned to 60 degrees and garbage removed.  Upon inspection of the building after its use, the security deposit may be returned.  The resident will make a formal request through the town clerk. A signature and date will be required.

Action:  Diane Benware will prepare the form for approval in the future.


Discussion:  A letter from Joy LaFountain was read in regard to Vermont. Sun.  She thanked the board for the action they had taken.  Diane Benware shared that she had not had any contact with anyone regarding Vermont Sun since the last meeting.

Action: none


Discussion:  Tom Millington wanted to hand out literature on voting day.  He asked how far away from the voting facility he had to be.  He gave the board samples of his literature.  He was not intending to sway anyone’s vote.  The senior center will be open for anyone with literature as well as candidates.



Discussion:  Sunday February 26, 2006 at 2pm the Historical Society will host a meeting for candidates and townspeople.



Civil Authority meeting on March 1, 2006 at 7pm.  The board meeting will follow.

The meeting adjourned at 9:42 pm.

Submitted by, Betty G. Wiedenbein