Stamford Wreaths Across America Update

April update from Stamford Cemeteries, Wreaths Across America.

Wreath sponsorships have started to come through and can be seen on our fundraising page at Wreaths Across America. A reminder that sponsorships are $15.00 for each wreath. For every 2 wreaths that are sponsored we get an additional one for free.

Ways to donate –

1.) Pick up a sponsorship form at either the town office or the Stamford Community Library. You can write a check and mail in with the form.

2.) Both of the following links will take you to the Stamford fundraising page where you can pay with a credit card. You will see the identifier Stamford Vermont Cemeteries VT0006.

Our fundraising page at Wreaths Across America: https://wreaths.fastport.com/donateLocation.html?page=142555#

Our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Wreaths-Across-America-Stamford-Vermont-Cemeteries-149196872411834/ Look for the Donate button. Click on it and It will take you directly to our fundraising page (VT0006).

3.) If anyone should choose to donate by cash we can take the cash and send a check to Wreaths Across America for you.

We appreciate your support. If you have any questions please contact Donna Whitcomb or Donna Engel at 413-575-8826.

This Week in Town

UNOFFICIAL TOWN WEBSITE
Mike Denault noted that CJ Vadnais does a great job and obviously puts a lot of time into his website, but the highlights can easily stir the pot.  Bill Levine agreed that the website is an editorial and is a private enterprise.  Bill Levine stated that CJ Vadnais does not want to lose control nor his ability to edit the website.  Mike Denault suggested having our own town website would create an official place where the people can read the facts.  Lori Shepard stated that if the town was in charge of the website, the Selectboard agendas could be posted and people could come to meetings to participate in topic discussions instead of reading about them later in the minutes.  Town documents such as building permit applications and ordinances and by-laws could also be posted for review which would be beneficial.  Chris Warren recalled that the Selectboard didn’t want an official town website because of the open meeting laws.  Chris Warren said a domain name could be purchased for $30.00-$50.00 per year and said building a website was quick and easy.  The Selectboard could permit access to whoever they choose.  Chris Warren offered to put together a draft of what to expect for the next meeting.  Nancy Bushika thought the town may need to adopt a policy.

{I generally do not comment on items selected from the Selectboard meeting minutes, but since my name was mentioned directly in the meeting without opportunity to respond, I will gather my thoughts for a response next week.}

CREDIT CARD COMPANY ISSUE
The town continues to have problems with the Satellite.Biz credit card company.  At the suggestion of Chris Warren, the treasurer requested information concerning the problem, the risk of town and customer information and how they store and protect the information.  The board suggested that the treasurer look into other credit card companies and push for a quick resolution

VERMONT STATE POLICE
1. Lt. Mozzer from the Vermont State Police advised that he will be unable to offer any patrol services to the town based on unanticipated commitments. The Selectboard has a contract with the Bennington Sheriff’s Department which expires in June.  Their rate increases in the proposed contract from July 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018.  There was not enough money budgeted in December to provide for the increase at 22 hours per week.  The board may choose to reduce the sheriff’s services to 20 hours per week.  The decision to accept the July through December contract with the Bennington Sheriff’s Department will be discussed another time.

2.  Sheriff Chad Schmidt had previously suggested that the town combine with other neighboring towns to commit to 40 hours per week.  Nancy Bushika was not sure if other towns were willing.  Mike Denault said Searsburg is not ready right now.

REVIEW CANDIDATES FOR LISTER CLERK POSITION
1. The town office has not received any applications. Nancy Bushika asked Debbie Darling if she was interested but she declined.  Debbie Darling said she felt sorry for the position the Selectboard is in.  When she asked for a rate increase, she had another person interested in serving as lister and they could have made it work, but when the raise was denied, the person didn’t come forward.  She has been working with the NEMRC representative.  Before the town negotiates another contract with NEMRC, Debbie Darling feels the town should make sure they get the services they want.  The board should request that he fill out the papers and do the assessments the way the town has done them in the past, instead of determining the assessment in his head.  She also cited several discrepancies in the grand list and recommended that the town start the reappraisal process now.  Tomorrow is her last day, but she has an appointment on Wednesday to meet with NEMRC to finish updating the grand list.
2. Nancy Bushika said she received a phone call from someone with lister experience who is willing to help the town get through the grand list season. They did not want the position permanently.  Nancy Bushika requested permission to contact this person and hire them through the end of June and pay the current lister rate.  Debbie Darling asked how the board could evaluate a candidate and choose a pay rate when they don’t even know what the job entails.  Mike Denault feels the salary can be based on the experience of the person on an individual basis.
3.  The board will advertise the Lister Clerk position in the VLCT newsletter, on Berkshire Jobs, indeed.com and will look into other resources as well.

 

Green Up Day / Community Bldg Group

The Building Community Group met on Friday, April 20 at the firehouse.  Victoria Jefferies presented three sketches of possible structures to get the conversation going.  These sketches will be available at Green Up Day on May 5 from 8:30-Noon.  We hope everyone will come to the school to provide thoughts about the structure!

he next meeting of the Building Community group will be on Tuesday, May 8 at 6 pm in the school.
Come one, come all!
———————————————————-

Saturday May 5th 8:30 – 11:30
Starting at the Stamford Elementary School
8:30 – 9:00 am pick up your bags and instructions
Refreshments will be served at bag up

Rules of the Road:

  • Wear bright colored clothing
  • Wear durable shoes and gloves
  • Event is rain or shine
  • Severe weather will postpone event to Sunday May 6th

Contact Pat Sullivan for more details

Take Pride! Have Fun! Join In!

Select Selections From Selectboard Minutes

CREDIT CARD COMPANY BREACH
The town office accepts credit card payments through the Satellite.Biz Company.  When the account was created no password was needed.  Their business was hacked in March.  Because the town’s accounts were not password protected, our accounts were affected.  The Satellite.Biz Company reversed many of the transactions, but a property owner’s payment was also reversed in error.  The treasurer has been working with the credit card company to resolve this matter, but after several weeks there are still problems.  The Selectboard encouraged the treasurer to aggressively seek a resolution with the company and gave permission to find another credit card company for the town if needed.

LISTER CLERK POSITION – JOB DESCRITPION
1. Nancy Bushika spoke with five other towns and the current and former town listers about the position. She provided a draft help wanted ad and proposed job description which the Selectboard approved.  The job will be posted at the town office, Bilmont’s Store, the library, the recycling center, on CJ Vadnais’ website and will be sent by email to everyone on the Selectboard’s email list.  Anyone interested should apply at the town office by noon on April 18, 2018.

2.  Helen Fields suggested the town implement background checks for our own safety as well as the school children.  She said the Seed Savers Group who use the school grounds for their gardens will follow whatever requirements are put in place.  The board agreed to look into it.

GAZEBO IN FRONT OF SCHOOL
Dan Potvin is part of the community group who would like to build a community gathering area.  A gazebo in the front of the school will give the town a central focus and a place for people to meet.  The group is exploring grants for funding and is hoping the building permit and zoning board permit fees can be waived.  Micah Hayre, the school principal, is supportive and said kids are looking forward to having a place to visit with their friends.  The size has not been determined and the Heather Torres memorial tree may have to be relocated.  The structure can be added to the town’s insurance since it is on town property.  Nancy Bushika asked who would maintain the building in the future.

APPROVAL OF FENCING AROUND SCHOOL YARD

Micah Hayre submitted a hand drawn proposal for the Selectboard’s review.  He would like a chain link fence where the current orange fence is near the slide and Leo Ethier memorial garden with a 10’ wide gate.  He would like a fence on the south corner of the building near the middle school section with a 3’ wide gate.  He would also like a fence from the corner of the library running north behind the dumpsters with a 10’ wide gate.  The gates will not be locked but will provide a visual barrier for the safety of the children.  There will be signs on each gate requiring all guests to sign in at the main office.   The gates will allow mowing machines and vehicles access to the building.  Bill Levine felt the 3’ gate would not allow a fire truck access in the event of an emergency and offered to pay for the difference between a 3’ gate and a 10’ gate with his emergency management funds.  Dave Tatro initially suggested a jog in the fence behind the dumpsters, but then felt if the dumpsters were gone, there would be more room and the parking lot could be plowed easier.  Helen Fields wanted to ensure that the Seed Savers would still have vehicular access to the tennis courts.  Richard Cristofolini, the school custodian, was summoned to the meeting to participate in the discussion.  Both the trash and recyclable dumpsters are filled every two weeks.  The Selectboard felt if the custodian could bring the trash up to the recycling center, the two dumpsters would not be needed and could be removed.  The Selectboard felt the money they saved by removing the dumpsters could be used to pay the custodian for this additional work.  The Selectboard approved the fences as long as all the concerns voiced at the meeting were addressed.

As always the full minutes, as well as minutes from past Selectboard meetings can be found here.

 

 

Town Motto – What?

Today’s post is long one and I plan to reuse the page in another location after this post goes by so I created a separate page for it. You can view it by clicking here now, and later I will provide a link in the Notification section or top menu.

Hopefully I have all these links back forth straightened out, if one of them is broken you can always use the search feature in lower right menu area.

 

Flyers, Announcements, and Save-The-Dates – Oh My!

  1. Town of Stamford Seeks Part-time Assessor Clerk.
    Successful candidate will be knowledgeable in Microsoft’s Excel and Word. Must have basic office skills. Clerk will enter data for Stamford assessor into NEMRC program. This job requires confidentially and the ability to work independently. Will perform other duties as assigned by the assessor and Board of Selectmen. Flexible 4-5 hours per week.Compensation to be determined upon qualification.

    For more details and job description, contact the Stamford Town Office at 694-1361.

    Selectboard reserves the right to continue to advertise this position until it is filled.Send cover letter, resume and three references to Chairman, Board of Selectmen, 986 Main Road, Stamford, VT 05352 or by email to stamfordvt@live.com by 12:00 p.m. on April 18, 2018.

  2. Electronic Waste Day
    Stamford Fire will hold it’s annual fundraiser on Saturday May 12th 8am to Noon. Details for this event can be found here. Directions can be found by opening the event on our Calendar page and clicking on the Google Map link.
  3. Hazardous Waste Collection Day
    Also on May 12th. Details for this event can be found here and directions on our Calendar page by opening the event and clicking on the Google Map link.
  4. It’s All About Compost
    Government agencies are finally catching up to proposals made back in the 1970’s to save landfill space. New polices, ordinances, and mind-sets are now bringing composting to the forefront of municipal waste disposal. As such, our very own Bennington County Solid Waste Alliance (BCSWA) is offering for sale two items to aide in this paradigm shift. Their flyer can be located here. StamvfordVt.org makes no endorsement of either product – caveat emptor.

 

Your E911 Address

It’s that time of year again- has your street address sign succumbed to the snow plow? Not impressed with the one you have? Never had one? Stamford Volunteer Fire offers, as a fundraiser, high visibility E911 address signs.

The signs can be displayed horizontally or vertically, are green with white numbers, and can be used in any town. Print out, fill out, and send the flyer below to Stamford Fire and we’ll contact you when it’s ready.

This flyer will be in the right hand menu area should you need to get one after this post has been moved down.

It’s a one-shot deal … if it’s no next week, then it’s done.

Sorry for two email hits today, I was bit late in gathering weekly info.

The title for this post is a quote from Stamford resident Kim Morandi-Roberts who is a member of the Ad-hoc committee attempting to save Stamford from the draconian (in my opinion) Vermont Education Act 46.

It’s all or nothing at the Clarksburg special town meeting scheduled for Thursday April 5th at 6:30 pm where Clarksburg residents will vote on whether they wish to pursue the merger.

Both Morandi-Roberts and Cyndi Lamore were quoted in the story and provided excellent reasons why both towns should move forward with the idea.

iBerkshires has a great article on the subject.