6/8 Trustee Work on Essex Junction Independence
On June 8, the Trustees held a work session on Essex Junction Independence. The following is what was discussed.
The Trustees set some goals related to developing city services, the departments, and the organization:
- Clear Village oversight of policies and budget
- Objective analysis of intermunicipal agreements with the Town
- Focus on what is best for the Village
- Continue efforts towards downtown re-development
- Prepared to deal with climate change
- Structure that we can adjust and is nimble
The Trustees reviewed with legal counsel the three statutory options for sharing services with another municipality, which include an interlocal contract, forming a union municipal district, or through an intermunicipal police services agreement. The specific statutes are: 24 V.S.A. § 4801-4933 and 24 V.S.A. § 1938.
The Trustees reviewed a report regarding employee and department head feedback about independence. They considered the future of each department needed for the city and examined staffing levels and whether the department should only be a city department or shared or contracted. The discussion was preliminary, but the consensus was that the city should have its own administration, assessing, community development, fire, human resources, library, and public works. The wastewater treatment facility is a shared service with the Town of Essex and Williston already, which will continue, and the facility will remain a department of the Village. It was suggested that the following services could remain shared with the Town for the first few years of the City’s existence, but eventually would be city only: clerk/treasurer, finance, and information technology. The Trustees expressed a desire to share police and recreation & parks services for the long-term with the Town of Essex. Any sharing of departments with the Town of Essex, short or long term, is subject to agreement by the Town Selectboard.
The Trustees have a joint meeting with the Selectboard on June 15 and will begin the conversation of how the two boards want to discuss shared services.
The Trustees reviewed a draft timeline from charter approval to becoming a fully formed and staffed city.
For more information, please visit: https://www.essexjunction.org/independence
If you have feedback on the work session, you are encouraged to share your thoughts here: https://forms.gle/d67Si7yD5sN5bQ1XA.
If you missed the work session, but would like to watch it, you can find it here (starting at minute 2:07 and ending at 3:02:00): https://youtu.be/50VWdL95VTA?t=127.
The next work session will take place as the first item on the agenda at the June 22 Trustees meeting, which starts at 6:30p.m. The meeting agenda and link will be posted a few days before the meeting here: https://www.essexjunction.org/boards/board-of-trustees.