Reminder and Selectboard Meeting Minutes

Reminder: Saturday May 12th from 8:00am to 12:00pm Stamford Volunteer Fire Dept will hold it’s annual E-Waste Day. For a pre-determined tax deductible donation to the Fire Dept, you can drop off just about any type of electrical device in the parking lot of the North Adams bottle recycling center located at 1000 Massachusetts Ave . The Fire Dept will use the funds to help defer yearly operating costs and ensure that this electronic waste will be recycled and not end up in our landfills.

Town Minutes Selections

COMMUNITY BUILDING GROUP
Pat Sullivan said their next meeting is Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at 6 p.m. at the school. The group is doing their best to communicate information and wants everyone to feel welcome to come, participate, and express their concerns and ideas. Victoria Jefferies has been working hard on the building design options and will have posters available during Green Up Day for people to see.

DOG/KENNEL
1. Luke McKay picked up a stray dog last Friday. The dog was covered with candle wax. He has reported the abuse but doesn’t think anything will be done. He has an idea who the pet owner is but cannot locate them. Laura Lee Smith has expressed an interest in taking the dog but the town has a ten day waiting period before rehoming an abandoned dog.

MOTION by Carol Fachini to allow LauraLee Smith to care for the dog for the remaining three days of the ten day waiting period. Mrs. Smith will become the permanent owner if the dog is not claimed at the end of the three days. Luke McKay will receive $3.00/day impound fee for the seven days he cared for the dog and Laura Lee Smith will receive $3.00/day for the three days she cares for the dog.
SECONDED by Chris Warren. All in favor.
Motion APPROVED.

2. Luke McKay asked about the status of the kennel. $2,500.00 was budgeted for 2018. The Selectboard will bid out the job to build a dog kennel. Luke McKay will provide the specifications required by the state.

WEBSITE
Chris Warren provided a written draft of what to expect when creating a new website. The Selectboard will look it over for discussion at the next meeting. There will be a yearly website fee of approximately $50.00 and the initial set up will take about 6 – 12 hours. Chris Warren volunteered his time and expertise. The board will consider what information they would like to see on the website. Nancy Bushika asked the town clerk to see if and what other towns have for website policies.

CREDIT CARD COMPANY ISSUE
The town is able to accept credit card payments with no problem now. The company is still working out the credits but they are staying on top of it.

 

Something For Everyone

NARH history book talk at library May 24
Dr. Paul Donovan, author of North Adams Regional Hospital: A Historical Perspective, Part Three 1956-2014 (The Closing), will talk about his latest book on Thursday, May 24, at 6:30 p.m. in the Stamford Community Library.
The Stamford resident’s hour-long program will include a Power Point presentation and time for discussion. This is the third and final chapter in Dr. Donovan’s series on the local hospital’s history. Part Three covers the hospital’s recent years up through its sudden closing in March of 2014 and the devastating impact that outcome had on the community.
All three books will be available for purchase. Refreshments will be served.

Stamford Building Community Group
Thanks to all 18 people who attended last evening’s Building Community Group meeting.  We reviewed the community gathering space project from the beginning to the present and participated in a presentation/discussion regarding proposed building sketches.  The months of May, June and July will be used to gather more input from the community and work on a presentation to the Selectboard.  Full meeting notes are included intros website.  Please look them over.  There’s lots of good information!
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 22 at 6 pm at the school.

SEEKING MENTORS FOR 8th GRADE STUDENTS AT DRURY HIGH SCHOOL
The YMCA is launching a pilot mentoring program with Drury High School We are seeking adults in the community willing to commit one afternoon per week and one Saturday afternoon per month to helping a young person be successful  in high school and beyond. Program begins in September 2018 with 3 hour training session in August. If you are interested in participating, please contact Carolyn Brooks email: cbrooks@bfymca.org or call Carolyn at 323 243 3413

 

From The Building Community Group

Next meeting will be Tuesday May 8 at 6pm

Please consider attending Victoria Jefferies will be presenting more information regarding current thoughts on the proposed community gathering space.  A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks.  The meetings last about an hour.  This is will be a good opportunity to hear thoughts, concerns, ideas….anything anyone has to say!

See you then.

Green Up Day 2018

Fifty-five hardy folks participated in Green Up Day 2018 and Stamford is cleaner today because of you!  The Seed Savers group and the Building Community Group had “booths” alongside the Green Up Day activity.  It was a festive, hardworking day at the school.

To those who participated – thank you so  much!  And to everyone, there will be another Green Up Day on the first Saturday in May of 2019.  See you then!

 

 

 

My Response

Initially I had written up a very long response to the Selectboard discussing this website without providing an opportunity for myself to be present. I’ve slept on it and decided this is not the place for a public feud with the Selectboard, the following will be the last of matter as far as I’m concerned.

Two items bothered me – 1) The statement that my pulling sections of the minutes for the website is “stirring the pot” and 2) the statement that the town should create it’s own website to  have “. . . an official place where the people can read the facts.”

I’ll address both by saying I pull out sections that I think would be of interest to the casual reader in an effort to get more people to read the entire minutes. I post only what is the minutes as they are presented to me and contain the FACTS as stated in the minutes. I do not edit anything that I copy from the minutes. Those who read the minutes from any other location will get no less or more information than appears on this site.

If I’m “stirring the pot” by bringing forth items that are in the board’s meeting minutes – so be it. I was asked to create this site by many residents who were frustrated with the lack of an online presence by the town and offer what is on this site as a free service to residents of Stamford. I initially asked for, but never received, many of the documents the selectboard has suggested should be on a town website.

That’s it – end of rant. If this site offends you, please unsubscribe and/or do not visit it. If you enjoy it, please pass the URL on to others whom you think might enjoy it as well.

Thanks for all the emails in support of this site,
CJ

 

Stamford Community Church Annual Community Tag Sale

At the church’s pavilion on Saturday June 2 – 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

There will be a Chinese Auction with gift baskets and gift certificates from local businesses as well as new items, a bake sale, hot dogs, popcorn, drinks, rides on a horse/pony, and St John Bosco’s fried dough .

Spaces are available for $12 for anyone interested in bringing their own craft creations or tag sale items to sell.

To reserve a space please call Donna at 802 694-1701 or
Diana at 413 652 7284.
Come join the fun!

Funds raised are used to send extras to the missionaries our church supports as well help local individuals with a need.

 

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!
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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!