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2019 Annual Town Meeting Minutes

The legal voters of the Town of Leicester, Vermont are hereby warned and notified to meet at the Leicester Meeting House in said Town on Monday, March 4, 2019 at 7:00 pm to transact the following business:
Richard Reed, the Moderator called the Town of Leicester Meeting to order at 7:01 PM.  The Moderator welcomed the 50 voters in attendance to the 258TH Annual Town Meeting.
The Moderator explained that Non-residents cannot vote.  Town meetings will be run according to VT State Law and Roberts Rules of Order, all motions, remarks and questions should be directed to the Moderator.  Articles must be moved, seconded and restated by the Moderator before debate can begin. 
  1.     To hear the auditor’s report.
                        No discussion.
  1. Shall the voters of the Town of Leicester vote to approve a sum of $672,282.91 to defray the necessary expenses and liabilities of the town for the ensuing year, divided as follows:

General Town Expenses

$ 291,582.91

Amount to be raised by taxes: $ 211,850.29

Highway Expenses

$ 380,700.00

Amount to be raised by taxes: $ 284,564.13

Note: The amount to be raised may increase based on the result of the vote on Article 3.  The Selectboard will set the tax rate at a later date.
A motion was made (D. Snyder) and seconded (J. Michael) to accept Article 2.
A motion was made by (L. Haydon) and seconded by (L. Brooks-Miner) to reduce the assessment for BLSG by $7,501.
L. Haydon indicated that she did not support the town paying for the BLSG legal fees and expressed her concern regarding adulticide.
D. Snyder expressed her support for BLSG.
A. Lynn asked B. Lawes (SB member and BLSG Rep) if the SB supported the budgeted amount.  B. Lawes responded yes.
L. Brooks-Miner asked what the BLSG funds were spent on. B. Lawes indicated they were spent on operating costs and product.
A. Quenneville praised BLSG.
T. Barker indicated that he thought the whole town should have a say.
C. Todd asked L. Haydon if she had alternatives to adulticide.  L. Haydon stated they should keep exploring options and state funding and reiterated her concerns about adulticide.  C. Todd stated that she would rather rely on local board rather than State.
J. Michael expressed his support of BLSG and concern about the intent of the lawsuit.
L. Wright indicated that she felt the adulticide was not as effective as larvicide.
B. Lawes explained the larvicide program run by the State and discussed the high cost of larvicide treatment.
J. Goodwin expressed confusion at the intent of the lawsuit and urged folks to work with the board to implement change rather than work against them.
G. Flint indicated that the adulticide application works several days for him.
A. Quenneville stated that she is a realtor and a high mosquito population would reduce property values.
L. Wright asked that people consider the cost of using malathion.  She indicated that it kills more than mosquitoes.
D. Brush indicated that he helped start the BLSG and discussed the positive improvement from the district.  He fully supports the BLSG. 
C. Reed complimented the BLSG.
H. Sessions asked about the progress with approving larvicide drops. B. Lawes explained the cost of larvicide application and indicated that State funds are drying up.  Based on current funds, BLSG will only be able to treat 1,600 of the 7,000 swamp acres with larvicide.
L. Haydon encouraged people to get informed at the BLSG website and Salisbury Moosalamoo Water site.
L. Wright stated that folks who are scared of the spraying can’t get away from it due to drift and shouldn’t have to be afraid in their own homes.
B. Lawes invited everyone to attend the BLSG meetings every 3rd Thursday at the Steven Douglas House in Brandon.
T. Barker moved for and A. Quenneville seconded for a paper ballot.
While setting up for a paper vote, with no objection, the warning was set aside to hear from Representative Peter Conlin.  P. Conlin discussed ongoing legislation and answered questions from the floor.
Results of paper ballot: 43 NO, 6 YES               Motion failed.
No further discussion.
Article 2 was passed by voice vote.
  1.     Shall the voters of the Town of Leicester approve an additional sum of $50,000 for road paving?
A motion was made (T. Barker) and seconded (C. Reed) to accept Article 3.
G. Moore asked about the increase.  J. Delphia explained it was a $10,000 increase from last year.
C. Gildrien asked where the paving would be.  D. Benware explained that they had completed a high-risk roads assessment and the intersection of Wheeler and Ferson would need paving to become compliant.
Article 3 was passed by unanimous voice vote.
  1.     Discussion of articles to be voted by Australian ballot.
R. Reed reviewed the items to be voted. 
  1.     To do any further business that is proper to be done when met.
G. Bernhardt discussed the OVUUSD bond vote and answered questions about the unified district and the small schools.
K. Williams has a group that is sewing reusable bags to replace single use plastic bags.  She displayed some of their work and welcomed folks to join them.
D. Benware thanked everyone for coming out and invited them to attend Selectboard meetings.
D. Benware thanked Town Clerk, J. Delphia, for her work and thanked A. Pidgeon, S. Pidgeon, and the road crew for their great work on the roads.

D. Benware indicated that the Town is looking for alternates for the DRB and Planning Commission.
A. Lynn asked the board to consider having an opportunity for more person to person interaction. He suggested workshops, potluck, topic discussions, etc.
A motion was made (D. Snyder) and seconded (C. Reed) to adjourn Town Meeting. 
Leicester Town Meeting adjourned at 8:35 PM.
Results of those elected by Australian Ballot Voting: (Ballots and results attached)
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Of the 709 registered voters – 130 cast votes
The legal voters of the Town of Leicester, Vermont are further warned and notified to meet at the Leicester Town Office in said Town on March 5, 2019 between the hours of 10 AM and 7 PM when the polls will be open to vote by Australian ballot on the following articles:
Article 1:  To elect Town Officers for the ensuing year
OFFICE                                     CANDIDATES                            TERM   
MODERATOR                             RICHARD REED                         1 YEAR            
SELECTBOARD                          DIANE BENWARE                      3 YEAR            
SELECTBOARD                          TOM BARKER                            2 YEAR
AUDITOR                                  DONNA PIDGEON                      3 YEAR                        
DELINQUENT TAX COLLECTOR  BETH RIPLEY                             1 YEAR                        
GRAND JUROR                          MIKE RAKOWITZ                       1 YEAR                        
TOWN AGENT                           MIKE RAKOWITZ                       1 YEAR    
Julie Delphia – Clerk                                Diane Benware – Chair                     Richard Reed – Moderator