ANWSU schedules one-board info sessions

VERGENNES — Addison Northwest Supervisory Union officials this week scheduled two more informational meetings for before the petitioned May 11 revotes in Vergennes and Addison of whether ANwSU should change to a one-board governance system.
Members of the ANwSU board will be on hand to answer questions on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Vergennes Union High School library, and on Wednesday, April 28, at 7 p.m. at Addison Central School.
ANwSU Superintendent Tom O’Brien said he hoped anyone in either town who feels he or she wants to know more or ask more questions would attend.
“If you require more information, here’s an opportunity for more information,” O’Brien said.
Committee members will come ready to present data, he said, but will also first give those in attendance free rein to ask what aspects of the change they wish to learn about.
Those meetings are in addition to legally required informational meetings that ANwSU officials had already scheduled. The Vergennes ID school board will host a meeting at Vergennes Union Elementary School at 6 p.m. on May 4, and the Addison Central School board will host another gathering at ACS at 7 p.m. on May 6.
Vergennes and Addison residents will vote on May 11 whether to rescind their Town Meeting Day approval of one-board governance, which would replace ANwSU’s current eight-board system. Three of the current school boards — the Vergennes, Panton and Waltham ID boards — are set to dissolve in July regardless.
The new ANwSU board will have 12 members with proportional representation from the five ANwSU towns. The new board will begin operations next July — if Addison and Vergennes residents don’t change course on May 11.
All five union towns must approve any governance change, meaning a different outcome in either Vergennes or Addison would scuttle the plan.
The March vote in Vergennes in favor of the one-board system was 232-142, and Addison residents voted, 197-138, in favor.
The other three ANwSU towns joined Addison and Vergennes by even wider margins — the overall percentage tally was 63-37, and the count ran 908-539.
Overturning the March 2 decision in a revote will require more than a simple majority. According to state statute, the vote to reverse the original decision must also “exceed two-thirds of the number of votes cast for the prevailing side.”
In Addison, that provision means at least 132 residents must vote next time against the change to alter the outcome. In Vergennes, the necessary number is 155.
Reporter Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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