Town Fair 2016

Register now for Town Fair, which this year is a two-day event: Wednesday and Thursday, October 5 and 6, 2016. Click here to register and to view the full agenda. Join us on Wednesday, October 5, at 2 p.m. for the VLCT Annual Meeting and adoption of the 2017 Municipal Policy, followed by a reception in the Exhibit Hall. Then come back on Thursday for training, giveaways, the annual Turkey Dinner and awards ceremony, and more. Interested in exhibiting? There are still a few booth spaces left. Email Lisa Goodell, Conference Coordinator, at lgoodell@vlct.org for more information and to register.

Town Fair will feature a keynote address by National League of Cities Executive Director Clarence Anthony. Mr. Anthony will describe the connections rural and urban governments have to each other, the challenges that all local officials face, and the importance of everyone working together to find solutions that can be adapted to address diverse issues.

Municipal Action Papers

During September and October, VLCT Advocacy is publishing a series of six Municipal Action Papers that explain municipal priority issues and recommend actions during the 2017 legislative session. You can find them on the Municipal Action Papers webpage.

Municipal Clerk Fee Changes from the 2016 Legislative Session

Act 149, passed during the 2016 legislative session, increased several fees that are paid to municipal clerks: (1) the fee for issuing and recording a marriage or civil union license from $45 to $60, with $10 retained by the municipal clerk; and (2) the fee for issuing a tobacco license from $100 to $110. The legislature also created a “tobacco substitute endorsement,” required for the retail sale of tobacco substitutes (e-cigarettes and vape products), and which entails a $50 fee. Funds received by a municipality for a tobacco license or endorsement are forwarded to the Department of Liquor Control, which issues the license, renewal, or endorsement. All fee changes, which took effect on July 1, 2016, will be reflected in the updated VLCT Municipal Clerk Fee Schedule poster. Members will be notified when the poster is available.

News from the Municipal Assistance Center

Current Risk Management Resources

  • On the second day of Town Fair in Essex, come to some of these risk-management-related sessions: Employee Wellness and Green Thumbs at Work, How to Create Effective Job Descriptions (Parts 1 and 2), Advancing Wellbeing in 21st Century Policing, VOSHA Inspection Process Overview, Maneuvering Medicare, and the PACIF and VERB Trust Annual Meetings. View the full agenda and register here.
  • Did you miss our 21st Century Policing in Vermont Workshop in June? The materials including links to videos of the presentations are here and will remain accessible from PACIF's Liability webpage.
  • An incident at a PACIF member site prompted us to write this 7/15/16 Loss Control Memorandum to review the importance of adhering to excavation safety standards including the proper use of trench boxes or other OSHA-compliant techniques to prevent injuries and fatalities.

FLSA Overtime Exemption Rule Changes

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is changing its rules regarding which employees may be considered exempt from overtime pay requirements and other protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The most significant change is a substantial increase to the minimum salary an employee must earn before his or her position meets the so-called “white collar” exemption. Effective December 1, 2016, that minimum threshold is doubling from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year). If an employee earns more than that amount and his or her position meets certain criteria, he or she is not entitled to overtime pay. Fact sheets on the various “duties tests” for the “white collar” exemption are posted on the DOL website. A general overview by the U.S. DOL is at https://www.dol.gov/featured/overtime.

VERB's New Dental Option: Voluntary Direct Coverage

VLCT members that don’t offer group dental coverage can now have VERB’s help in letting their employees sign up directly with Delta Dental for Voluntary coverage. See the Feb. 10, 2016 Memo and our updated Dental page for more information.

PSD Comprehensive Energy Plan

The Public Service Department recently hosted five hearings on its draft Comprehensive Energy Plan to solicit Vermonters’ thoughts on the state’s energy future. The goal of the plan is to meet 90% of the state’s energy needs by renewable energy in 2050. Learn more about the plan or comment on it here.

GASB 68 Impacts on Municipal Financial Statements

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PACIF WorkStrong Wellness Consultations

This YouTube video gives a quick overview of one way we are helping PACIF members' employees get serious about wellness. Studies show that healthy workers are injured less often and recover more quickly than unhealthy ones. In each One-to-One Wellness Consultation, Heidi Joyce spends 30 minutes with a single employee to get a handle on his or her wellness status and develop customized strategies for improving. Members just need to schedule several consultations for a single day so Heidi can share her know-how and enthusiasm.