7/27 Trustee Work Session on Essex Junction Independence

On July 27, the Trustees held a work session on Essex Junction Independence. The following is what was discussed. 

The Trustees examined a list of current Village committees and potential future city committees and commissions.  The potential list of new city committees included arts, climate & energy, racial equity & inclusion, Downtown District, economic development, housing commission, recreation & parks advisory, and police advisory.

The Trustees reviewed a list of intergovernmental relationships the city will have.  They want to maintain relationships and services with organizations like the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, Essex Rescue, Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation, and the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission.  The city would need to vote on becoming a member of Green Mountain Transit and the Winooski Valley Park District.  The city could also consider voting at an annual meeting on whether or not to initiate a human services grant program, like the one administered by the Town.

The Trustees discussed their 12 proposals for contracts with the Town of Essex, which were reviewed at a joint board meeting on July 19.  They expressed hope that the Selectboard will discuss and respond soon on the proposals.  The highest priority for the Trustees is developing a contract for police services.  They acknowledged that it is very much their preference to have a contract with the Town of Essex for police services, but they need to have some back-up plans as well.  They asked staff to reach out to neighboring communities and police services to explore potential options. 

The Trustees encouraged Village residents to attend the upcoming public forums that the Selectboard is sponsoring to garner input from residents about how the Town can prepare for separation.  Village residents are Town residents.  More information can be found here:  https://www.essexvt.org/publicforums.

The Trustees reviewed the organizational chart.  They discussed how only four new positions are needed in independence and one new contract.  Two of the positions would be hired in year one and two in year two.  The Trustees discussed that funding for the city will mean more in Village/City taxes but no more Town taxes.  An example was given that the Village currently pays $300K+ more each year for public works services than it costs to run public works for the Village.

The Trustees reviewed the current draft charter and the future meeting schedule and detailed timeline.

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/zEouNugbGBNpMLv99.    

If you missed the work session, but would like to watch it, you can find it here (starting at minute 7:10  and ending at 57:10):  https://youtu.be/ydQeht7kaEo?t=430.

The next work session will take place as the first item on the agenda at the August 10 Trustees meeting, which starts at 6:30p.m. at 2 Lincoln Street.  The meeting agenda and link will be posted a few days before the meeting here:  https://www.essexjunction.org/boards/board-of-trustees