Joint board meeting focuses on manager evaluation form



Selectboard Chair Myles Mickle on the right with Selectboard Chair Lamont Barnett on the left. Photo by Joel Slutsky
Selectboard Chair Myles Mickle on the right with Selectboard Chair Lamont Barnett on the left.
Photo by Joel Slutsky



BELLOWS FALLS Vt. – The creation of a new way to evaluate the municipal manager dominated discussion at a joint meeting of the Rockingham Town Selectboard and Bellows Falls Village Board.

Village Trustee Chair Michael Mickle said that the current evaluation form has no room for comments on each item, requiring all comments to be made at the bottom of the page.

Selectboard member Josh Hearne said they were too may repetitive questions on the form.

Municipal Manager Chip Stearns suggested that a committee be formed of two members of the Selectboard and two members of the village trustees to review the evaluation forms provided and come up with a new form.

Trustee Stefan Golec made a motion to appoint Peter Golec and Joshua Hearne from the Selectboard and Colin James and Steve Adams from the Village Trustees as the committee to review the criteria for evaluating the manager, and develop an appropriate form.

The board then discussed the possibility of adding a fifth member to the committee. An amended motion to allow the committee to add a fifth member at its discretion was passed, and a public meeting will be held by the committee at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9.

In other business, Bellows Falls Downtown Development Alliance Executive Director Mary Helen Hawthorne said there is a completed annual Report and work plan 2016-2017 for the organization which included several changes and additions in board membership, as well as work done to reorganize and improve the efficiency of the office. Bellows Falls Downtown Development Alliance is working in concert with the town to complete the downtown designation renewal.

The bid for landscape maintenance was awarded to E. Clark Landscaping, and the Village Trustees approved a motion to have the Hetty Green Park mowed at a cost of $1,610 a year.

The Selectboard approved a three-year landscaping contract from January 2017 to December 2019 for town-owned parks, which include Centennial Park, the Recreation Center, Waypoint Center and the Wells Street Playground. The cost will be $7,605 per year.

Stearns reported that E. Clark Landscaping submitted the only bid received for a cemetery maintenance contract. Clark requested that this contract award be tabled until the Sept. 20 Selectboard meeting.

Vermont Economic and Development Authority Form No 4A  for the Chroma Technology Expansion Project was approved by the Selectboard.

Stearns noted that the construction of Bridge Street Bridge will be starting soon, and will take eight to ten weeks. Stearns also said that people parking at the post office will not be able to make a U-turn just before the bridge any more, and will most likely be routed via Island Street.

Selectboard member Ann DiBernardo asked if the TLR mill lease with the Historical Society was signed yet, and Stearns stated that this has been in the hands of the attorney.

Stearns also noted that he is waiting on the lease for the Green Lantern solar array in the gravel pit, and an unspecified 38 Green St. property issue.

Trustee Colin James said that the recent outpouring of support for the family of firefighter Justin Beebe was incredible, and he said he is proud to live in the community. A local native, Beebe was killed while fighting a wildfire out West.

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