Town Meeting Recap 2015: Monkton

MONKTON — Monkton voters this week approved spending at the municipal level but said “no” to the proposed spending plan for their school.
The residents that packed the Monkton Central School gym Tuesday morning approved a $1.17 million municipal spending plan to pay for, among other things, salaries and road expenses, as well as operating costs for the fire department, library and historical society. Voters approved an amendment offered by selectboard chair Stephen Pilcher to reduce the sum listed on the article by $20,000, due to a revised spending estimate for the highway department.
That approved budget is about 3.5 percent higher than the municipal spending plan voters approved for the current fiscal year.
Voters also approved a proposal to spend up to $80,000 for a new truck for the highway department and to spend up to $78,000 on an addition to the firehouse.
One article asked voters to approve changing the date of the annual town meeting from the first Tuesday morning in March to the preceding Monday evening. Instead of doing that, townspeople decided to move it to the Saturday preceding Town Meeting Day at 10 a.m., in an effort to draw more people.
Voters rejected an article that would change the method by which budget articles are voted on to Australian ballot, and also rejected an article that would move public questions to Australian ballot.
Another article asked voters whether town-owned land next to the Friends Methodist Church should be used as the site of a new town hall instead of a park and ride lot. Voters amended the article to allow town-approved uses other than a town hall, but agreed that it should not be used for a park and ride lot. Residents expressed concerns about crime and traffic congestion a park and ride would bring. One man who lived near the site worried that streetlights over the parking lot would bother his sheep.
Residents also said OK to a total of $22,124 in spending to 25 different social service agencies.
Residents said “no” to a proposed $2.82 million budget for Monkton Central School by a tally of 231-178. That figure is about 9.3 percent more than the current budget. Residents across the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union also said no to a proposed $14.06 million spending plan for Mount Abraham Union High School, 1,241 to 1,088.
There were no contested races on the town ballot. Selectmen Stephen Pilcher and John McNerney won back their seats on the selectboard.
Incumbent Marikate Kelly and newcomer Sarah Rougier won two one-year seats on the elementary school board. Incumbent Jennifer Stanley won a three-year Monkton Central School board seat.
Incumbent Shawna Sherwin won re-election to her seat on the Mount Abraham Union High School board.
Voters decided to keep Sharon Gomez as town and school clerk. Other candidates who won included Kenneth Wheeling for town and school moderator, Jane Low for library trustee, William Joos for town and school treasurer, Samuel H. Burr for lister, Charles Huizenga Sr. for constable and Mary Jane Huizenga for auditor.

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