Charlotte Shelburne Rotary
Wednesday, January 6, 2016, 7:30 a.m.
Trinity Episcopal Church Community Room
President Trafton Crandall led the club in the Pledge and Kris Engstrom gave the devotional.
Guests Dean Bloch, our guest speaker, and Carrie Spear were introduced.
Upcoming events:
Jan. 13 – Club Assembly
Jan. 20 – Joe Lynch – VT Yankee Decommissioning
Jan. 27 – Erin Alamed & Kylie DeGroot – Chittenden County Humane Society
Alan Bates, Commissioner of Games of Chance and Skill for CSHR, presented the final results of the Football Pool competition. Erik Vigsnes is the season winner ($320), Gary Boynton and Greg Warren tied for 2nd and Alan Hathaway  was 3rd.  Prizes for them are ($170 + $110)/3 = $93.33.  Mid-pack winner is Dave Jonah ($25) and the last place picker through the season (picked for herself every week) is Natalie Bates ($25).  Special shout-out to Evan Webster for being the first one to get his picks in most weeks.
Everyone agreed that the pool had been a fun experience and a good way to raise money for the good work of Charlotte Shelburne Rotary.
Continuing the “raise money for Rotary and have fun” theme, Alan is organizing a grid for the Super Bowl, with $10 per square on a 10 x 10 grid. The first grid for the CSRSBG was filled up at the meeting, but there is still lots of time to buy a spot on subsequent grids at upcoming meetings … buy lots … tell your friends.
Clean your chimney
Charlotte Fire Chief Chris Davis made an impassioned plea to Rotarians to be sure to have their chimneys cleaned. In the last few days, since it got cold and people were lighting fires in stoves and fireplaces, he has been called to two fires in Charlotte that resulted from the build-up of creosote in chimneys, with significant damage to homes.
Sergeant at Arms
Evan Webster said his resolution for the year is to appreciate little things and he suggested that as a theme for the Happy Fines:
  • Phil Denu – a beautiful morning
  • Dave Jonah – a scoot fine
  • Kris Engstrom – for small things
  • Jonathan Lowell – skiing at Sugarbush
  • Judy Christensen – no resolutions
  • Jim Donovan – glad to be back
  • John Hammer – feels like a Selectboard meeting in the morning – a good idea
  • Alan Bates – with the football pool finished, he is ready for the auditors … had a great trip to Jackson Hole
  • Trafton Crandall – thanks to Judy Christensen for chairing the meeting last week … a great trip to Chile with family
  • Linda Gilbert – thanks to Alan for organizing the football pool which she says has raised her awareness of the game
  • Terry Kennaugh – saw two woodpeckers and a bobcat near his house
  • Richard Fox – fun in the winter snow with his kids
  • Chris Davis – happy New Year
  • Lara Keenan – happy New Year
  • Russ Blodgett – yeah, it’s tax season
  • Alan Hathaway – thanks for the football pool fun—he’s had a trip South and back
  • Tod Whitaker – celebrating his birthday
  • Dennis Delaney -- happy to be sitting at the Millenials’ table
  • Denny Bowen – happy to be a Millenial
  • John Dupee – happy
  • Sam Feitleberg – Happy New Year
  • Ric Flood – Teena is going to Cuba, he’s going to a business meeting
  • Linda Barker -- Jerry retired officially on New Years Eve
  • Jane McKnight -- appreciating little things
  • Steve Dates – welcoming recommendations for little things to add to his list
Lucky draw
Sam Feitleberg’s ticket was drawn (again) but he chose the wrong card. Roll over.
Alan Bates presented a Rotary banner from the Jackson Hole Club for our Rotary banner collection.
Guest speaker:
Dean Bloch, Charlotte Town Administrator since 2013, with previous experience as Charlotte Selectboard Assistant, Charlotte Town Planner, Georgia Town Planner, Westford Planning Coordinator, Burlington City Arts Public Art Coordinator and Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission Planner, talked about the history and current action on two issues in Charlotte – the expansion of the Charlotte Walking Trail System, and a proposal for a Legislative Charter that could change the way the town votes on its budget.
Town Trail: construction of a path that would eventually connect the Village Center to Mt. Philo State Park has been discussed for years, and in 2000-2001 a section was built along the east side of Route 7 from State Park Road to a point just south of Charlotte Berry Farm. There is a long-term plan to build an underpass (a large box culvert) under Route 7 to continue the link.
A trail has also been constructed in the last two years that begins on the west side of Route 7 and ends at the Charlotte Co-Housing where there is a parking lot. The trail is designed to be used for walking, biking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and maybe horseback riding.
The town has a grant for scoping the next section that would connect to Mt. Philo at the east end and to the village on the west side.
Charter change: A group of residents, including John Hammer, has been working for five years on a solution to the challenge of town meeting participation and the related challenge of ensuring that all residents have the opportunity to vote on the town budget.
Since the date of Town Meeting and the process for creating and voting on the budget are defined by State Legislation, the committee has created a legislative charter that will need to be approved by the town and the Legislature before it could be enacted.
The committee studied possible changes in town meeting day, to give more people access, but found that changing the day, as has been implemented in some towns, has not increased attendance, and remote voting has not been successful.
Their proposed action would continue the Town Meeting as a daytime meeting in March, at which the townspeople would be able to discuss the town budget and recommend changes which would go back to the Selectboard and then the revised budget would be voted by Australian ballot later in March. “We are hoping we can energize Town Meeting with this change,” John Hammer said. “We’re blazing new ground.”