March 3rd, 2011
Next week, the House Education Committee will hold a hearing on a bill to designate the governor, rather than the state board of education, as the appointing authority for Vermont’s education commissioner.
The board of education consists of 10 members, appointed by the governor for six-year terms. During a governor’s elected term of two years, he or she can appoint only three or four members of the state board. The governor would need two terms, or four years, to appoint a majority of the members of the board of education.
Below is our town-by-town wrapup of actions taken by Addison County voters at their local annual gatherings. Click on a town to jump to the results.
VERGENNES — Addison Northwest Supervisory Union residents on Tuesday backed a plan for one 12-member board to own and operate Addison Central, Ferrisburgh Central, Vergennes Union Elementary and Vergennes Union High schools.
The overall vote was 764-466, or roughly 62-38 percent, and in four of the five towns at least 60 percent of voters favored the measure.
Those towns were Ferrisburgh (where the vote ran 270-161), Panton (62-15), Vergennes (191-124) and Waltham (64-16).
LINCOLN — Residents of Lincoln this week were asked to approve a $2 million school repair bond and a budget for the coming year that features higher spending than last year.
The fact that townspeople had rejected the same bond proposal in January raised the stakes even higher.
In paper balloting on the school budget at town meeting Monday night and in Australian balloting on the bond Tuesday, Lincoln voters gave the Lincoln Community School a new breath of life.
MIDDLEBURY — In Town Meeting Day voting, Middlebury residents re-elected Craig Bingham and Dean George to three-year terms on the selectboard, and overwhelmingly approved a $3 million bond to repair Middlebury’s many battered roads that have been backlogged because of tight budgets, 467-158.
In a three-way race for two seats on the Mary Hogan Elementary School board, Karen Lefkoe edged out Lorraine Gonzalez Morse, 513-509, while Serena Eddy-Moulton was elected with 556 votes.
ADDISON COUNTY — School directors’ efforts to level-fund or even reduce their 2011-2012 budget proposals paid dividends on Monday and Tuesday, as all education spending plans in the county were endorsed in town meeting voting.
That’s not to say there weren’t some tense moments in some towns. Bridport’s elementary school budget passed by a slim six votes.
But most of the school spending plans passed by comfortable margins, either by voice vote or Australian ballots (see town-by-town results).
BRANDON — Brandon selectboard chairman Richard Baker won re-election by a decisive margin on Town Meeting Day, surviving a strong challenge from attorney Jim Leary.
The final vote count came in at 605-413 in Baker’s favor, ending a contentious race that many thought would be closer.
ADDISON — Addison saw three contested races on Tuesday, one in which a long-term incumbent was unseated and two of which revolved around school issues that have been much debated in the town in the past year.
The incumbent who lost his seat was Selectman Kimball Provencher, who has been popular enough to be elected several times since the late 1990s.