COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT: Merrill Mundell, Chair, Wilmington; Patrick Moreland, Brattleboro; James Damato, Readsboro; and Russ Hodgkins, Westminster


WSWMD STAFF PRESENT: Bob Spencer, Executive Director, Vicki Hayes, Office Manager/Bookkeeper; Wendy M. Levy, District Clerk


Mr. Mundell called meeting to order at 6:32 p.m.

  1. Changes and/or Additions to Agenda: none
  2. Discussion and Review of FY 21 Budget – Focus on Expense: The four supervisors, Ms. Hayes, and Mr. Spencer discussed three different FY 21 budget proposals, including assumptions, expenses, and revenue sources.

The group discussed whether to create a capital needs budget from any surplus, and how member-towns’ constituents will respond to that during the towns’ Annual Meeting. It was noted this action, if taken, would not raise assessments because it would come from a surplus. The group decided this decision should go to the entire Board of Supervisors.

The group discussed WSWMD administrative/office staff salaries. One budget proposal, dated 10/17 and submitted by Board of Supervisors Chair Michelle Cherrier, included a cover memo, and presented a significant salary increase for the Executive Director, Program Manager, and Office Manager/Bookkeeper based on comparable positions at Addison County Solid Waste District, which is similar in population, and services provided, as WSWMD. This would raise the assessment by 14% over the FY 20 assessment. The group declined this budget proposal because it is too expensive. There was some question of whether Addison County Solid Waste District’s 8-year old consultant’s wage analysis was relevant to WSWMD, and the best way to assess the District’s wages. Mr. Moreland stated that the Town of Brattleboro had recently completed a wage assessment of non-union staff, which was prepared by a local firm. If the Board of Supervisors wants to conduct a wage analysis—or hire a consultant to do so— and use those results to possibly adjust WSWMD staff compensation, Mr. Moreland supports that. Mr. Spencer noted Chittenden and Addison SWMDs invited other districts to participate in their joint wage analysis study. Spencer said he would bring quotes to the November 14 Board of Supervisors meeting on consultant fees.

The committee members did not support the 10/22 budget proposal, which stood out for its phased approach to a merit-based salary increase, and resulted in a 1% reduction in assessment. Mr. Moreland said it included a “somewhat arbitrary wage restructuring.”

The committee members favored the 10/16 budget proposal, which includes a 2.5% wage increase and a 4% reduction in the assessment. Ms. Hayes pointed out some of the expenses seeing reductions in this budget, including the pickup truck, workers’ compensation, and postage. The building grounds maintenance line item, Ms. Hayes said, is going up, mostly because of necessary work to a problematic stretch of road in front of the Swap Shop.

Mr. Damato moved to recommend the Board of Supervisors approve the 10/16 budget proposal. Mr. Hodgkins seconded. The motion passed unanimously. (4 votes)

  1. Executive Session (if needed): none
  2. Next Finance Committee Meeting: Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 6 p.m.
  3. Other Business as Legally Allowed: none
  4. Adjournment:

Mr. Mundell moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:40 p.m.

Wendy M. Levy, District Clerk