The February Talk of the Town on the Town website is about Town meeting and a review of the warrant with Moderator Jerry Hopkins and the proposed Zoning amendments with Town Planner Bruce Woodruff.
A few highlights on two items discussed with some additional background follow.
The recently ratified collective bargaining agreement between the Town and the Police Benevolent Association was discussed. It is a one year agreement and there are a number of relatively small changes. The contract calls for a 1.5% cost of living increase. That is the only cost item. In the video mentioned above, there was discussion that the Town will vote to approve the contract (Article 6), but that is incorrect. The Legislative body will be voting only on the cost items, which in this case is $8,250 for 2015 and $11,000 for 2016.
If the cost items are not approved, Article 7 is asking for permission to hold a special meeting at a date to be determined to address the cost items only.
Of note and also mentioned in the video is that those newly employed by the Town after January 1st 2015 will contribute 15% toward the cost of group health insurance. Current employees hired before that date will remain at a 10% contribution rate.
To endorse or not endorse the Village Vision Committeereport is the subject of Article 8. Semantics aside, it is important in my opinion that we go beyond just receiving the report. The final report is expected to be completed this coming week. I recognize the concerns of many that by using the word endorse, we are creating a mandate to get it done. Perhaps the wording can be amended on the floor to reflect that endorsement does not mean mandate. It is important though because decisions have to be made in a number of areas, the Taylor property, the Rt 25 traffic, sidewalks, intersections, etc. and it will be very helpful as we go forward to be able to say whether these things and others align with our vision or not. That is the real purpose of creating a vision in the first place.