November 11th, 2010
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury selectmen on Tuesday got their first look at a draft 2011-2012 municipal budget that would maintain current staffing levels and services, but would require approximately $250,000 more in local tax revenues.
MIDDLEBURY — For the past three years, author Jay Parini has spent countless hours tracing the footsteps of Herman Melville through the streets of New York City and in the halls and bedroom chambers of Arrowhead, the 19th century author’s Berkshire estate.
“I would just sort of drift around the rooms of that house thinking about his life,” Parini said. “So, I know many of the scenes of his life pretty well.”
MIDDLEBURY — Saturday’s 5 p.m. Division II high school football final at Castleton State College between No. 1 Middlebury and No. 3 Rice will offer a contrast of styles, according to Tiger coach Dennis Smith.
The 9-1 Green Knights, who avenged their only regular-season setback with a semifinal win at Champlain Valley, and standout quarterback Christian McCormick like to throw the ball, Smith said.
“I would say (Rice’s offense is) probably 90-10, maybe 95-5, pass-to-run,” Smith said.
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Union High School board on Tuesday set its educational spending target for the coming fiscal year at $10,893,881, which represents a reduction of 2 percent — or $266,767 — from this year’s spending plan.
The target agreed upon unanimously by the board members would allow Mount Abe to reach the voluntary 2 percent spending cut mandated by the Legislature as part of its “Challenges for Change” law, which aims to trim $23 million from education spending statewide.
VERGENNES — The Addison Northwest Supervisory Union committee studying unification of the five-town district took no action at a Tuesday meeting, but reached a consensus that it will offer a positive review of potential one-board governance to the full ANwSU board on Nov. 17.
“It’s fair to say the committee is still very positive and feels that the unified union is a good match for our district,” said committee head Kristin Bristow after the evening meeting at Vergennes Union Elementary School.
Tough budgets, progressive thinking
As Middlebury’s board of selectmen hone in on a draft 2011-2012 municipal budget, we urge community residents to get involved in the budgeting process by reading and understanding the issues as thoroughly as possible. To the extent that is done, area residents will be reminded how frugal this board has been over the past couple of years, while still respecting the town’s need for progress and a consistent approach to infrastructure repair and maintenance.
SUDBURY — After a number of failed moves to possibly merge their elementary school with schools in neighboring towns, Sudbury residents will be asked to close the Sudbury Country School. A number of parents recently delivered a petition demanding that the school be closed and the town tuition its youngest students to other schools.
At a special school district meeting on Dec. 6, town voters will decide whether to authorize the Sudbury school board to close the school and send students to other public schools beginning in September of 2011.
As Governor-elect Peter Shumlin assembles a team that he hopes will help him grow jobs and effect long-term change, we repeat two previous appeals: the need to select an outside agent of change as the next Commissioner of Agriculture (we covered those reasons in a guest editorial on Page 5on Monday) and the need for substantial reform in our educational system — a move that could be highlighted by making the commissioner a member of the governor’s cabinet.