By MIKE DONOGHUE
Islander Staff Writer
GRAND ISLE - The Grand Isle Selectboard has agreed to hire a part-time information technology administrator for the town and has rejected a request for a donation to Front Porch Forum.
Town Lister Charles Hollon, who recently helped get the town’s website back in operation after a two-month unexplained crash, will serve as the lead IT person for the town.
The Selectboard came out of a closed-door session Dec. 16 and voted 5-0 to pay Hollon $20 an hour for the 21 hours he needed to get the website back in operation and to migrate much of the old postings to the current site.
The board also agreed unanimously to pay him $25 an hour until Dec. 31, 2020 as the IT Administrator.
Town Lister Joe Longo, who had done considerable research about the needs for the town, had praised Hollon for stepping up and filling a huge void.
Longo said passwords and security will be changed to allow only two people to have access to the web for posting. He suggested Hollon meet monthly with the Selectboard to discuss ongoing information.
In other action the Selectboard vetoed a request for a donation to Front Porch Forum, a Burlington-based online chat room that residents have to sign up for.
Selectboard member Jeff Parizo said he thought it was totally improper to donate town tax dollars to a for-profit company.
“I don’t think it is right,” Parizo said. He noted the state of Vermont does not recognize FPF as a place for government entities to post public notices or legal warnings for meetings or hearings.
“They are a for-profit business,” he said. “Nobody is giving me money for my business.”
Chair AnnaMarie DeMars said she thought the town had donated money in the past, but no other board member could recall.
Research by Town Clerk Melissa Boutin after the meeting revealed a one-time donation of $100 was made in October 2015, but the reason was not immediately known.
The South Hero Selectboard also rejected a donation two years ago for much the same reason – it was improper to give away local tax dollars to a for-profit business.
The online bulletin board provides messages about lost and found items, helps community members to find local baby-sitters, gardeners and other workers, while also allowing neighbors to chit-chat.
The Grand Isle Selectboard also voted to add comments to minutes to a Sept. 12, 2016 meeting.
Selectboard member Diane Cota said a review of the Lake Champlain Access Television video of the meeting shows an apparent conflict with a motion made by then Selectboard member Mark Cobb regarding Island Circle.
She moved to amend the Oct. 3, 2016 approval of the Sept. 12, 2016 Selectboard meeting minutes to say: “That we do the irrevocable offer of dedication, let the Town attorney work it out with Carl Lisman, Island Circle’s attorney; We have a two-year waiting period before Town acceptance, that gets us through two freeze/thaw cycles from September 12, 2016 to September 12, 2018”.
Rachael Griggs seconded and following short discussion it was approved 4-0 with Parizo recusing himself.
The original minutes had said: “Mark makes a motion to accept Island Circle as a public road after a two year period (September 12, 2016 to September 12, 2018) and that the Town Attorney will work with Carl Lisman (Island Industrial Corps attorney) to make an amendment to the 2006 agreement. Bill seconds. All in favor.”
The difference was over what was believed accepted: Was it the Irrevocable Offer of Dedication as the board believes now, or was it accepting Island Circle Road as a town highway as the original minutes noted?
The Selectboard agreed the original minutes will not be changed or deleted. They will remain in the town records.