March 5th, 2015
MIDDLEBURY — After two years of dipping Middlebury’s economic development hook in statewide and national waters, Jamie Gaucher is getting some nibbles and has even landed a couple of keepers.
Gaucher, two years into what will be at least a five-year stint as the director of the Middlebury Office of Business Development & Innovation, told participants at Monday’s town meeting about several new, small businesses poised to settle in town, with others waiting in the wings.
MONKTON — Monkton residents took a stand for what they called the town’s democratic traditions in two ways: one, by moving the date of their town meeting in hopes of drawing more people; and two, by voting down two articles that would have changed the method of deciding several articles from voice vote to Australian ballot.
A proposed article on this year’s warning would have moved the date and time of the annual meeting from 10 a.m. on Town Meeting Day, to 7 p.m. the evening before.
SHOREHAM — The stately, Queen Anne-style brick building on Shoreham’s School Street across from the town green has served many constituencies since being erected by celebrated architect Clinton Smith in 1885. It was first built as a Universalist Church, then became home to the Simonds Lodge of the Masons, before being purchased by the Vermont Conservatory of Music in 2005.
Recently acquired by the town of Shoreham, the building is now being viewed as a community asset that could eventually host some basic public and private functions.
OPINION: I’ve seen an election or two in my almost 25 years covering Addison County. One of the exciting aspects of our annual Town Meeting Day coverage has been following who was challenging who for positions on local selectboards, school boards and city councils. Heck, the town of Lincoln always used to be good for a rousing race for town constable.
Unfortunately, that election-related suspense has waned considerably during the past 10 or so years. People just aren’t running for local offices the way they used to, and it’s a shame.
MIDDLEBURY — A seven-alarm fire at a home on Weybridge Street in Middlebury on Saturday evening had firefighters from all over Addison County working into Sunday morning to extinguish the blaze.
The Middlebury Fire Department received a call at 8 p.m. about a fire at a three-story building, located at 107 Weybridge St., used as an apartment by five Middlebury College students. All five escaped the fire unharmed.
ADDISON COUNTY — Voters in the northern half of Addison County rejected five school budgets in two supervisory unions on Tuesday evening, a sign that voters remain frustrated with the rising costs of education taxes.
Residents rejected spending plans for Vergennes Union High School and Ferrisburgh Central School in the Addison Northwest Supervisory Union, and three schools in the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union: Mount Abraham Union High School, Monkton Central School and Bristol Elementary School.
WHITING — Town officials hoping for some sort of financial life preserver this year from the state for ailing municipal and/or school programs had better learn how to tread water.
That’s because local lawmakers on Monday served notice they are trying to erase a $112 million shortfall in the fiscal year 2016 state budget. And unlike past years, there is no federal stimulus money, nor better-than-anticipated tax revenues to close the gap.
ADDISON COUNTY — Tuesday was Town Meeting Day, where residents in each of Addison County's 23 municipalities and Brandon gathered to debate issues and vote for budgets and town officers. Below is our recap for each town.