Archive - 2010 - Editorial
Of the town meeting votes in Addison County this year, the most dramatic was the overwhelming decision among five Addison Northwest Supervisory Union towns to unify their schools under one overarching school governance board. The vote, which was the third in the past few years, passed with 63 percent in favor and 37 percent opposed.
Planning commission members in Bristol drew a line in the sand with their revised town plan, and voters boldly stepped over it.
By rejecting the town plan and the gravel extraction zoning ordinance by almost a 2-1 margin, town residents finally got their say on an issue that has dominated discussion for the past four years. The vote totals tell the story: Bristol residents voted 598-364 against the proposed town plan, and 627-349 against the gravel extraction zoning ordinance. That is overwhelming.
Could there be an easier job right now than writing for the “Daily Show with John Stewart”? The actual words spoken by the players and pundits in Washington need no embellishing to reach the level of satire. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I listen to them. If you are of a certain age you will remember the great 1976 film “Network,” in which the main character, a newscaster, implores his viewers to open their windows, stick out their heads and yell, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
One of Sen. Patrick Leahy’s principal responsibilities as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee is to shepherd President Obama’s nominees to the federal judiciary through the committee and on to favorable confirmation votes by the full Senate.
You gotta love Town Meeting.
Even if 90 percent of the discussion is about budget numbers that are as dry as a speech by Gov. James Douglas, there’s a certain Kabuki-like quality to the charmingly ornate process of gathering to discuss the town’s business.
And speaking of Gov. Douglas, he was again absent from his role as moderator, out of Vermont on state business. He’s now missed one-third of the town meetings going back to 2005, but Douglas ran again this year for the town moderator spot. It’s apparently the one office to which he knows he can still get re-elected.
As Middlebury residents go to the polls on Tuesday, March 2, they’ll have the opportunity to change the long-term economic fortunes of the town through one measure: Casting a vote to phase out the town’s antiquated machinery and equipment tax. The measure is written as Article 10 and calls it a tax on Business Personal Property.
On Tuesday, Bristol residents will vote by Australian ballot on two crucial issues: adoption of a revised town plan and a new zoning ordinance that would regulate gravel mining. The votes are crucial because under the revised town plan, the RA-2 zoning district that butts up against downtown’s Main Street would allow for a large gravel pit, and mining of natural resources were unnecessarily opened in the town’s conservation districts.
When at their town meetings next Monday, Salisbury and Leicester residents will be asked to approve a temporary hike in funds needed to get the milfoil eradication program back on top of the problem. The $5,000 or so in extra funding for each town isn’t a huge amount, but it is critical to the success of the program and the long-term health of Lake Dunmore and Fern Lake.