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March 9th, 2015
ADDISON COUNTY — Rep. David Sharpe doesn’t give off the aura of a salesman. His elbow-patched blazers may echo Willy Loman, but the soft-spoken, veteran legislator isn’t in the business of sweet-talking his way to a few bucks.
But however unnatural it may come to him, selling was exactly what Sharpe set out to do at town meetings in his district this week. It’s not goods the Bristol Democrat is hawking, but an education bill that would drastically change the organization of Vermont’s schools and alter how they are governed.
CORNWALL — Anne Collins didn’t think she was wired to be a baker — or a cookbook author, for that matter. She had spent her professional career as a civil engineer, working for Dow Chemical and eventually in the aerospace industry.
MIDDLEBURY — When Bill Beaney sat down this past Wednesday in Kenyon Lounge to announce he was stepping away from the Middlebury College men’s hockey team he has coached for 28 years, he touched on many topics longtime observers expected.
ADDISON COUNTY — Photographer Trent Campbell snapped these shots at town meetings in Panton, Ferrisburgh, Shoreham and Salisbury.
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.