City Council Special Meeting 01-15-2019


OCTOBER 15, 2019


Mayor Jeff Fritz called the special meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall in the conference room. The purpose of the meeting was to review and discuss proposed changes to the current Vergennes City Charter. Those in attendance were:

Mayor Jeff Fritz                                          Alderman William Benton

Deputy Mayor Lynn Donnelly            Alderman David Small

Alderman David Austin                          City Manager Mathew Chabot

Alderman Mark Koenig                          City Clerk Joan Devine

Alderman Lowell Bertrand           State Representative Diane Lanpher

Mayor Jeff Fritz turned the meeting over to Alderman Mark Koenig who has been working on updating the City Charter for several months. Alderman Koenig advised he has presented two options for changes to the current City Charter. One option is the current City Charter that has the old language with highlighted areas that need updating to coincide with todays laws. The other option is a full rewrite modeled after the City of Winooski’s City Charter that was adopted in 2013. He advised Vermont League of Cities and Towns has been pushing for more local control over your community but a total rewrite may slow down legislative approval. State Representative Diane Lanpher stated that if the City Council and the voters overwhelmingly support the changes to the City Charter, whether amending them or a total rewrite, the Legislature would not push back. If you want to make several changes, she advised, make them now. Mayor Fritz cautioned that going with the bigger project will require a lot of homework from this Board and we will need to stand behind it. It was consensus to go with a total rewrite.

A full review of the version modeled after the City of Winooski was completed. Some of the proposed changes were accepted, others deleted, and some put on hold until more research was completed. Alderman Koenig will edit the document for accepted changes made tonight and bring back to the revised version to the Board.

Mayor Fritz requested City Manager Chabot and City Clerk Devine work on the time table for the two required public hearings.

ADJOURNMENT: At 6:07 p.m. Alderman Lowell Bertrand moved to adjourn the regular meeting, seconded by Alderman Mark Koenig, with all voting in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Vergennes City Clerk