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Minutes of Board of Finance Special Meeting, 11/09/2020

AGENDA: Board of Finance Special Meeting

RECEIVED 11/17/2020 4:02pm
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

BOARD OF FINANCE
SPECIAL MEETING
MONDAY, 11/9/2020
7:30PM ZOOM

Filed Subject to Approval.

Present:
Dr. Kimberly Yonkers, Chair; Rob Dean; Ed Miller; Jenifer Wyss; Jamie Barickman; Ward Mazzucco, Vice Chair (7:36PM)

Also Present:
Steve Gniadek, Finance Director; Wes Higgins, Treasurer; Julia Pemberton, First Selectwoman; Members of the Public

Chair Yonkers called the meeting to order at 7:33PM.

1. To Approve the Minutes of the BOF Meeting held on Monday, 10/26/2020

MOTION:
Mr. Barickman made a motion to approve the minutes from the Monday, 10/26/2020 BOF meeting. Mr. Dean seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.

2. Public Comment

Chair Yonkers opened the floor to Public Comment.
There was no Public Comment.

3. OPEB (Other Post-Employment Benefits) Trust Setup

Chair Yonkers opened the floor for discussion of the OPEB Trust Setup.

Mr. Mazzucco suggested that the BOF should make all motions related to the OPEB Trust provisionally. Chair Yonkers said the BOS will have to approve anything the BOF suggests.

First Selectwoman Pemberton said the BOF will manage the details for the creation of the OPEB Trust.

Discussion followed concerning the order of decision making.

MOTION:
Mr. Mazzucco made a motion to adopt an OPEB Trust to benefit the unionized employees of the Town of Redding and the Board of Education of Redding, for which the trustees would be members of the Board of Finance, and that the motion would be subject to necessary action of the Board of Selectman, the adoption of an appropriate ordinance, and subject to the Board of Finance reaching consensus on the related motions that will come up later this evening. Mr. Dean seconded the motion. Mr. Dean seconded the motion. He asked Mr. Mazzucco if the decision framework laid out earlier should be used instead of this motion. Mr. Gniadek suggested changing some of the wording concerning what types of employees are covered. Discussion followed.

MOTION
Mr. Mazzucco made a motion to approve the creation of an OPEB Trust for the benefit of the Police Union, Highway Department Union, Employees of the Town Redding, the Teachers Union employees of the Board of Education of Redding, and such other employees who may be added or subtracted by later action of the Board of Finance, contingent upon approval of the Board of Selectman, contingent upon the adoption of the required ordinance, and contingent upon the Board of Finance agreeing on the related motions that may be required to implement the OPEB Trust. Mr. Dean seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.

a. Ordinance Status

First Selectwoman Pemberton addressed the BOF.

There will be an ordinance ready for the Monday, 11/16/2020 BOS meeting.

Chair Yonkers said this item can be tabled.

b. Investment Policy Statement

Chair Yonkers opened the floor to discussion on the Investment Policy Statement.

Discussion followed concerning edits to be made to the investment policy statement.

Mr. Mazzucco said he would share the edited document with member of the BOF.

c. Investment Firm Selection

Mr. Gniadek addressed the BOF.

Three firms were contacted concerning the OPEB Trust. Two firms, Fiduciary Investment Advisors (DiMeo Schneider & Associates, L.L.C.) and Hooker & Holcombe provided offers. FIA has had more consistent communication with the Town as well as presenting to the BOF. Both firms are used widely in Connecticut.

MOTION:
Mr. Mazzucco made a motion to select Fiduciary Investment Advisors as the financial advisor, contingent on the ultimate creation of the OPEB Trust. Ms. Wyss seconded the motion. Mr. Miller suggested adding, “contingent upon a successful negotiation of a contract”. Mr. Gniadek suggested that the name be changed from Fiduciary Investment Advisors to FIA/DiMeo Schneider.

MOTION:

Mr. Mazzucco made a motion to amend the prior motion to the following:

Mr. Mazzucco made a motion to select FIA/DiMeo Schneider & Associates, L.L.C., as the financial advisor, contingent on the ultimate creation of the OPEB Trust and contingent upon a successful negotiation of a contract. Ms. Wyss seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.


Mr. Gniadek will reach out to FIA/DiMeo Schneider about the current progress on the creation of an OPEB Trust.

d. Funding Amount and Source

Mr. Gniadek addressed the BOF.

The Finance Directors of Weston and Westport said their initial investment came from their fund balance and all subsequent investments were done on an annual basis through the operating budget. Chris Coleman from FIA/DiMeo Schneider will provide detail about how other municipalities invest. Discussion followed concerning how the OPEB Trust could be funded.

This item was tabled.

4. Public Comment

Chair Yonkers opened the floor to Public Comment.

Carolyn Baker, Indian Hill Road, said the BOF should be careful about increasing future Boards of Finance fiduciary responsibility by selecting individual investments. She also suggested that the BOF should keep the role of the investment consultant’s broad. She asked how the BOF did their procurement.

Chair Yonkers explained how the BOF discovered the two firms and why FIA/DiMeo Schneider was chosen.

Jeanne Wendschuh discussed her experience with investment advisors.

MOTION:
Mr. Barickman made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Mazzucco seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:33PM.

Submitted by,
Zachary Smith

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