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Statement at Selectboard Meeting

The following statement was delivered to Selectboard Members at their September 12, 2022 during Public Comments.

First, I would like to remind the Selectboard that under the terms of the MOA between Fire and Rescue and the Town of Charlotte the Selectboard is allocated a full voting seat on the CVFRS Board of Directors with all rights and privileges of a board director. This is the contractually agreed link between CVFRS and the Selectboard. For many years this has been a successful way for the Town to have access to all financial and operational information regarding CVFRS on an on-going basis. For much of the past year this seat has been vacant. We encourage the Town to appoint a successor liaison to take advantage of this opportunity and attend the meetings.

Second, Charlotte Fire and Rescue recognizes that some members of the community and perhaps members of the Selectboard may have questions about the organization’s commitment to a respectful workplace and employment equity. We wish to make it clear that CVFRS, Inc. maintains a firm and vigorous commitment to a fair and safe work environment. The very first chapter of our Employee Handbook emphasizes this:

Charlotte Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate ….. Charlotte Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services, Inc.'s management team is dedicated to this policy with respect to recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, training, compensation, benefits , employee/member activities, access to facilities and programs and general treatment during employment.

Any complaint of violation of this policy and every report of perceived harassment is fully investigated by the Board President, Board Vice-President and/or Chief. Corrective action is taken where appropriate. All employees and members must cooperate with all investigations conducted under this policy

While these policies have long been a fundamental principle of our organization, in recent years we have reinforced this by obtaining a professional third-party review of our policies to ensure we are compliant with current law and best practices. We have also instituted a program of mandatory non-discrimination and non-harassment training for all managers, employees, and volunteers. It is our belief that Charlotte Fire and Rescue has the right policies, procedures, and resources to achieve a fair and safe workplace.

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