Congress has enacted The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, (Act) containing landmark provisions to create a much-needed nationwide interoperable broadband network that will help police, firefighters, emergency medical service professionals and other public safety officials stay safe and do their jobs and created FirstNet, the authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to oversee development of this network. The Act requires FirstNet to consult with state and local stakeholders to ensure coordinated development, construction, management, maintenance, and operation of the network.
The Vermont Public Safety Broadband Commission is committed to cooperatively address the challenges associated with the planning and development of interoperable wireless public safety broadband network, and do so in a timely and cost effective manner to ensure that the citizens of Vermont benefit from this system as soon as possible.
The purpose of the Commission is to ensure and/or facilitate the planning and outreach, the building, deployment and operation of a statewide interoperable wireless public safety broadband network that meets the interoperability goals and specifications of the FirstNet nationwide public safety broadband network, pursuant to Title VI of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Act), Pub. L. No. 112-96, 126 Stat. 156 (2012).
The Public Safety Broadband Commission is authorized by Executive Order Number 05-13 signed by the Honorable Peter Shumlin, Governor of the State of Vermont. The executive order was signed on April 30, 2013 and will expire on July 15, 2019.
The Commission shall be responsible for, and in conjunction with FirstNet, the state planning process associated with the development of a public safety broadband network. The planning process must include input from Vermont’s first responders and stakeholders. The Commission shall advise the Governor on issues related to the public safety broadband network. In addition, the Commission shall report to the Governor annually on implementation of the public safety broadband network in Vermont and nationally, and shall include information regarding the use of grant money received in Vermont for the purpose of building a public safety broadband network. The report shall also include information regarding how the completed system will be built, operated and sustained.
The Commission shall be responsible for determining the State’s interest in the design, planning, development and operation of an interoperable wireless public safety broadband network, using existing infrastructure and such infrastructure as may be deployed for this purpose alone.
The Commission shall advise FirstNet and the Governor on issues related to the public safety broadband network. In addition, the Commission shall report to the Governor annually on implementation of the public safety broadband network.
The Commission shall receive and expend grant funds in accordance with the goals of this project consistent with relevant state and federal guidelines for such funding.
Administrative support for the Commission shall be provided by the Department of Public Safety.
The Commission shall operate following all applicable state and federal laws.
The Commission shall follow all applicable policies and procedures of the executive branch of the State of Vermont, including all procurement policies of the State of Vermont and federal grant requirements.
The Commission shall work towards consensus in making decisions. When consensus cannot be achieved a vote shall be taken. Issues shall be studied and debated before the Commission sufficient to ensure that the Commission speaks with one voice on issues. The Chair shall represent the Commission.
No member or representative shall engage in any conduct that is disloyal, disruptive, or damaging to the Commission. No member or representative shall take any action or establish any interest that compromises his or her ability to represent the Commission. All Commission members shall adhere to the Executive Code of Ethics as adopted in Executive Order No. 09-11 and signed by the Honorable Peter Shumlin on July 21, 2011.
A member shall disclose a conflict or potential conflict as soon as he/she recognizes the conflict. If self-disclosure is not revealed, the Commission Chair or any member of the Commission can, prior to voting on a specific matter in which a potential conflict exists, inquire whether any member of the Commission desires to abstain from voting because of a conflict of interest. If no conflict of interest is disclosed but the Chair or any other member of the Commission states the opinion that such a conflict exists and the challenged Commission member refuses to abstain from the deliberations or voting is requested, the Chair shall immediately call for a vote of the Commission members to determine whether the challenged member or is in a conflict of interest. If a simple majority of those voting members present vote to require abstention of the challenged member that member shall not be permitted to vote. If the conflict of interest involves the Chair the Vice-Chair shall assume the role of calling for a vote to determine if a conflict of interest exists.
To the extent funds permit, voting members not otherwise employed by the State of Vermont shall receive reimbursement of expenses and per diem as permitted by 32 V.S.A. § 1010(e). Grant funds received for the purposes of carrying out the provisions of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 shall only be used to fund the reimbursement of expenses and per diem’s.
The Commission shall consist of at least eleven voting representatives appointed by the Governor and up to ten additional non-voting representatives recommended for appointment by the Commission.
Representatives shall serve three year terms or until their successors are appointed.
The voting representatives shall include:
(A)representatives from the Department of Public Safety including a representative from the Division of Vermont Emergency Management/Homeland Security, a representative from the Vermont State Police, a technical advisor and/or an at large member;
- The Department of Public Safety shall have up to four (4) voting members
(B)representatives from local police, fire, and Emergency Medical Services,
- Local police, fire and Emergency Medical Services shall have up to three (3) voting members.
(C) a representative from ConnectVT and/or the Agency of Commerce and Community Development,
- Connect VT and/or the Agency of Commerce and Community Development shall have one (1) voting member.
(D)a representative from the Department of Information and Innovation,
- The Department of Information and Innovation shall have one (1) voting member,
(E)a representative from the Vermont Telecommunications Authority,
- The Vermont Telecommunications Authority shall have one (1) voting member.
(F)a representative from the Department of Public Service,
- The Department of Public Service shall have one (1) voting member.
(G)a representative from the Department of Buildings and General Services, and
- The Department of Buildings and General Services shall have one (1) voting member.
(H)a representative from the Agency of Transportation.
- The Agency of Transportation shall have one (1) voting member.
(I)A representative from the Enhanced 9-1-1 Board.
- The Enhanced 9-1-1 Board shall have one (1) voting member.
Additional non-voting representatives may be recommended by the Commission for appointment by the Governor or may be asked to participate by the Commission.
All members shall serve for three (3) terms or until their successors are appointed.
The Commission shall establish, through its Chair, committees as necessary to carry out the work of the Commission.
Members of the Commission may send a proxy to meetings. The proxy or alternate who is sent to the Commission meetings on behalf of the voting member may vote as if the member was present.
The Governor shall appoint a Chair of the Commission and the chair may select a Vice-Chair.
The Commission, in the course of regular business, shall strive to make decision through consensus. Where consensus is not clear, most decisions will be made by a simple majority vote of the members present.
Contractual issues or other issues requiring the commitment of funds shall require 2/3 majority vote of all voting members/representatives.
The adoption of the by-laws shall require a simple majority vote of all voting members/representative.
Any member may suggest changes in the by-laws. After a discussion a vote of the entire voting members/representatives must be taken and a 2/3 majority of the entire voting members/representative must be made to affirm the change.
Any member may suggest the formation of a committee and after discussion if no consensus is achieved a simple majority vote of the members present shall be taken as whether or not the committee shall be formed.
The Commission and/or its committee’s shall meet monthly at the call of the Chair and at the place designated by the Chair. Meetings of the Commission, once formed, shall be public and noticed accordingly.
Whenever necessary for order Robert’s Rules of Order shall be followed.
The Vermont Department of Public Safety shall provide administrative support to the Commission. Minutes of meetings shall be kept and a roster of voting and non-voting members shall be maintained and distributed as necessary.
All grants and contracts shall be managed by the Vermont Department of Public Safety and shall be issued in the name of the Vermont Department of Public Safety.
These by-laws were adopted at a meeting of the Vermont Public Safety Broadband Network Commission held on August 14, 2013.