9/14 Trustee Work Session on Essex Junction Independence

On September 14, the Trustees held a work session on Essex Junction Independence. The following is what was discussed.   

The Trustees reviewed the four draft contracts for consideration with the Town of Essex.  The first was a Memorandum of Understanding, acknowledging that if the city charter passes the legislature, then the Selectboard and City Council agree to formally ratify the contracts that are currently being negotiated.  The second is a contract for police services from the Town of Essex.  The third is a right of first refusal for the city to be able to purchase 81 Main Street in the event that the Town of Essex decides to sell it in the future.  The last is an agreement for the Town of Essex to conduct the reappraisal for both the Town and city, whenever it is necessary per state law.  The Selectboard has asked for some modifications to the police contract and for the reappraisal contract to include the city contracting assessing services from the Town until the reappraisal is complete.  The Trustees were good with both of those requests.  The contracts will be further discussed at the joint meetings on 9/20 and 9/27. 

The Trustees reviewed and weighed in on the draft content headers for a mailer on independence that will go to all Village homes in early October.  It will include information about voting, the Charter, what we are voting on, why we are voting, and several other key pieces of information to inform voters.  The mailer will be finalized at the 9/28 meeting. 

The Trustees discussed the FY23 budget and expressed an interest in hiring a Village/city manager regardless of the outcome of the Charter vote and legislative process, and want to re-examine the MOU’s with the Town of Essex. 

The Trustees got a first look at four options for renovating 2 Lincoln so it can serve as a modern-day government office building.  At the next meeting, they will review the options more in-depth and see some preliminary cost estimates.  They also reviewed the most up-to-date organizational chart. 

Included in the packet were updated frequently asked questions produced by the Our Village, Our Voices group.  This information, which has been vetted and endorsed by the Trustees, can be found at:  https://www.ourvillageourvoices.org/

After the work session, the Trustees approved the Charter for the city of Essex Junction.  There will be Public Hearings on the Charter on September 28 and October 12, starting at 6:30p.m. at 2 Lincoln Street.  The hearings will be a hybrid style meeting that is available for in-person or online participation.  These will be the opportunity for community members to learn more about the Charter, ask questions, and make comments.  The Trustees have the opportunity to revise the Charter after each Public Hearing, should the choose.  A copy of the Charter can be found here:  https://www.essexjunction.org/fileadmin/files/Board_of_Trustees/City_of_Essex_Junction_Charter_9.10.21.pdf


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/wEHmQ1i6qJrqqM71A


If you missed the work session and charter approval, but would like to watch it, you can find it here (starting at minute 15:25 and ending at 1:12:20):  https://youtu.be/SD2VfJCd4Gs?t=925

The next work session will take place after the Public Hearing on September 28, 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.  The Trustees have a joint meeting with the Selectboard on September 20 and 27, starting at 6:30p.m. at 81 Main Street.