Selectboard

Selectboard members:

TO EMAIL THE FULL BOARD: selectboard@vernonvt.org  Note: Under the open meeting law, the board will not respond or hold discussions in group emails to messages sent to this email address.

 

Regular Selectboard Meetings

First and third Tuesdays of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Selectboard Room, lower level of the Town Offices.  Additional meetings are scheduled as necessary. Meetings are open to the public and handicapped-accessible. Meetings are also video-recorded for broadcast on Brattleboro Community Television.

During 2020 and through June of 2021, the Board met only via Zoom, not in person, in compliance with COVID-19 directives of the State.  As of July 2021, the Board has resumed meeting in person and, for regular meetings also including Zoom access as a convenience to residents. The Zoom meeting ID is normally 845 4632 0660, password Vernon. Check the meeting agenda as sometimes a different ID is used.

Minutes are available online at this website and via the BCTV website’s Vernon Selectboard page.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Selectboard is at the center of Vermont’s local government. It is the body that has general supervision and control over the affairs of the town.

The Vermont Secretary of State’s website describes the role of the Selectboard as follows: “General supervision and control over town; enacts ordinances, regulations, and policies for town; oversees town property and personnel; prepares, presents and manages budget; and oversees roads, including laying out, discontinuing, and reclassifying roads. Sits as local board of health, liquor control commission, and sewer commission. Should know the town well, be able to understand all sides of complex issues, and have very thick skin.”

A major public misconception is to believe that the Select Board has total and absolute authority over all personnel employed by the town. In Vernon, most of the major officers are elected officials. Each office is autonomous and officers answer to the voters and only the voters. The Selectboard can advise the officers but can not order them to do anything.

Reporting directly to the Selectboard are all non-elected department heads (and their subordinates) and all officers appointed by the Selectboard. The list of town positions on this site’s Town Directory page delineates the elected positions not reporting to the Selectboard versus the appointed positions who do report to the Selectboard.

The Select Board, in conjunction with all the other town officials, adopts a proposed budget for the coming year and that budget is presented to the voters who may accept, amend, or reject it at the Annual Town Meeting.  The municipal tax rate (which is separate from the school rate) is set based on the Town Meeting-approved budget and the size of the Grand List (value of property in the Town). If the voters say, “Raise the money,” the Select Board is obligated to do that.  The Select Board is responsible to implement the budget approved by Town Meeting and to make sure that the money is, indeed, being spent in a way that will benefit the town.

Terms of Office, Vacancies

Vernon’s Selectboard consists of five members, three of which are elected to three-year terms on a rotating basis, and the other two are elected on a two-year basis. Thus, under normal circumstances, two members will be elected every year. If a member resigns or passes away while in office, the Select Board may appoint someone to fill the position or call a Special Town Meeting for an election. If a three year position becomes vacant and there is more than a year left in the term, the Select Board may only appoint an individual until the next Town Meeting where the voters will vote for an individual to fill the remainder of the term. If a Special Town Meeting is called then the voters will, at that time, vote for an individual to fill the remainder of the term.