September 24, 2023

Annual School District Meeting Minutes 2-26-2022

Town of Hartford Annual School District 

Saturday, February 26, 2022, 10:00 AM

Meeting Minutes

This meeting will be conducted in compliance with 

Vermont Open Meeting Law with electronic participation.


The public was invited to join the meeting via 

Https://zoom .us/j/548799933; Youtube com/catv810, click live now; 

by phone (415) 762-9988, room ID 549-799-933; or on TV Comcast channel 1085.


School Board Members Present                                   School Administrators Present

Kevin Christie                                                                    Tom DeBalsi

Peter Merrill                                                                      Cathy Newton

Nancy Russell                                                                   Roy Hathorn

Russell North

Havah Armstrong-Walther



Chuck Wooster, Town Moderator, called the meeting to order at 10:00 AM. He welcomed the audience, 38 people were in attendance. He noted that all voting would take place at Hartford High School on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. He thanked the town staff and CATV employees who made this meeting format possible. He further thanked the Town Meeting Committee members. There will be no voting today and therefore Robert’s Rules will not be followed. There will be no discussion of candidates permitted in today’s meeting. All other questions or comments are welcome to either board. 

Mr. Christie noted that there were quorums for both boards and a call to order was appropriate.

Mr. Christie welcomed the audience to the Annual Hartford School District Meeting. He called the meeting to order at 10:06 AM.

At 10:20 there were 54 attendees.

At 10:30 there were 57 attendees.

At 10:44 there were 59 attendees.


To receive the reports of the Town Officers.
Mr. Wooster noted that the Annual Report is available in print and is also on the school district website. He declared it received.

Mr. Christie announced that there would be a presentation and he requested that all non-resident administrators be admitted into the meeting. Mr. Wooster allowed Mr. DeBalsi and Mr. Vezina to join the meeting. Mrs. Newton and Mr. Hathorn were let onto the panel, both are residents of the town. 

Mrs. Newton gave an overview of the Annual School Report. It’s on the Hartford School District website, school board tab, list of annual reports.

The report includes a letter to the community from the school board, The Ends policy (what the district goes by), enrollment numbers, free and reduced meal plan information, school summaries including the highlights and accomplishments of each school and program, budget information from the past years, student and staff data (enrollment rates over past 5 years), Vermont annual snapshot links (P 30 summary of last year’s data), SAT data, Advancement Placement Tests information, student plans after graduation, and extra curricular activities for HMS and HHS.

Jacob Vezina, District Financial Director, gave a brief overview of the budget, all expenditures, summary of each line category, the revenue summary for all funds, student population as of Oct 1, 2021, estimated tax page (scenario B from VT Tax Commissioner), three year comparison for educational tax rate, bond schedule for all bonds, June 2021 scholarship and reserve accounts update, and the district calendar showing recognized days for holidays celebrated by town citizens. 

Mr. DeBalsi thanked Mrs. Newton, Mr. Hathorn, and Mr. Vezina for their work with the Annual Report. He welcomed comments and questions from the public. 

Mr. Vezina responded to a question about the fund balance and the increase to the proposed budget. Mr. North responded about the relationship to the increase in the budget and the decrease in the tax rate. 

Mr. Christie noted that the district has been fortunate over the last several years to maintain all of the facilities and has worked to keep the assets maintained. This work has put the district in good standing. He thanked the community for their support.

A community member asked about the HACTC program to build and sell houses, how is this money tracked? Can we do more? Mr. DeBalsi responded, a house is built by students every two years. It is then sold, recovering the building costs, and any profit goes back into the program. This program will continue with the remaining lots available. Mr. Merrill added that a beautiful neighborhood has been created with these student built houses. Unfortunately this does not answer the housing need in town. Another community member asked about the possibility of an apartment house. Mr. DeBalsi responded that it may be possible in the far future.


To do any other necessary and proper non-binding business.
Mr. Merrill presented a resolution:


WHEREAS,    Braedon Vail has served the Hartford School District, both as an officer of the Hartford Police Department and as a friend and protector of the students and staff, and;


WHEREAS,    his confidence, integrity and knowledge has enabled him to lead the Hartford School District safety team with vision and effectiveness, and;


WHEREAS,    his work on behalf of the School District, having gone far beyond that which might be expected, has shown extraordinary insight, sensitivity, patience and attention;


NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Citizens of the Town of Hartford, that Braedon Vail, be given a vote of sincere appreciation for his many years of service and dedication to the protection and safety of the children of our town as an officer of the Hartford Police Department, and furthermore, that this resolution be recorded in the Town Records, dated this 26th day of February 2022.


Mrs. Bohi thanked the board for that resolution, she will miss Brad Vail. 


Mr. Christie adjourned the Town of Hartford School District Annual Meeting at 10:46 AM.


Respectfully submitted, 

Cherrie Torrey