MINUTES - SPECIAL MEETING - NEWFANE SELECTBOARD
MAY 12th, 2008
NEWFANE TOWN OFFICE
Selectboard: Gary Katz, Chair, Joseph Mandell, and Guy Wachtel.
Jeff Gouger and Peter Rysz (absent)
Also Present: Attorney Stephen L. Saltonstall, Shannon Meckle and Doris
1. CALL TO ORDER
The Special Meeting was called to order by Chairman Gary Katz at 6:00
2. EXECUTIVE SESSION TO TOWN’S ATTORNEY FOR ONGOING DISCUSSIONS
WITH THOMAS FRENCH, ATTORNEY FOR PETER RYSZ
The Selectboard has contacted Attorney Stephen L. Saltonstall from the
firm of Barr, Sternberg,
Moss, Lawrence, Silver & Saltonstall, P.C. of Bennington to represent
the town in any future
correspondence with Attorney Thomas French, who represents Peter Rysz.
Chairman G. Katz read a potential list of considerations for entering
into Executive Session: contract, labor relations agreements with employees,
arbitration, mediation, grievances, civil actions or prosecutions by
state, where premature public knowledge would clearly place the state,
municipality, other public body, or person involved at a substantial
Motion was made by G. Wachtel and seconded by J. Mandell to enter into
Executive Session at 6:03 p.m. to discuss with Attorney S. Saltonstall
the details of the matter relating to the letters received from Attorney
Thomas French representing Peter Rysz and the potential legal ramifications
for the town of Newfane. Unanimous.
Motion was made by G. Wachtel and seconded by J. Mandell to come out
of Executive Session at 7:05 p.m. Unanimous.
Motion was made by G. Wachtel and seconded by J. Mandell that the Board,
at the advise of Attorney Saltonstall, that the town hire Attorney Eileen
Blackwood of Burlington to investigate the facts related to the matter
in question and that Attorney S. Saltonstall be in touch with Attorney
T. French to respond to his letter of May 2nd. Unanimous. The Board
would like the investigation to be accomplished as soon as possible.
The reason for the investigation is to protect the town from potential
legal action if an investigation were not conducted.
Motion was made by G. Wachtel and seconded by J. Mandell that on the
advice of Attorney S. Saltonstall there is no reason to withhold the
May 2nd letter from Attorney T. French and it may be released for public
Motion was made by G. Wachtel and seconded by J. Mandell that Chairman
G. Katz sign the letter of representation by Attorney S. Saltonstall
for the Town in connection with a claim of potential sexual harassment
and claims of retaliation in connection therewith. Unanimous.
Motion was made by J. Mandell and seconded by G. Wachtel that on the
advise of Attorney Saltonstall, there be no further public discussion
on this matter except between, Board members G. Katz, J. Mandell, G.
Wachtel, Attorney Saltonstall and the investigator, Eileen Blackwood,
Esq. Unanimous. It is expected that any communication will go through
Chairman G. Katz and those mentioned in the motion and is considered
privileged and confidential
3. TO TRANSACT ANY OTHER BUSINESS THAT MAY LEGALLY COME BEFORE THE MEETING
Selectboard members agreed to sign a letter to the Manchester Town Clerk
in hopes that Town
Clerk Jahari Overton will be able to receive a scholarship to attend
the New England Municipal Clerks
Institute at St. Michael’s College the week of July 14th, 2008.
Motion was made by J. Mandell and seconded by G. Wachtel to adjourn
the special meeting at
7:14 p.m. Unanimous.
Doris A. Knechtel, Clerk Pro Tem
Posted: Town Clerk's Office, Newfane Store, W.W. Building Supply,
S. Newfane/Williamsville Post Office and the South Newfane General Store
& Deli. www.newfanevt.com