Town Meeting Wrap 2015: Brandon
BRANDON — It’s time to move on. That seems to be the message from Brandon voters, as every article on the Town Meeting Day ballot was approved this week.
The Brandon selectboard warned a “no-frills” budget that represents a 2 percent, or $47,000, increase in the amount to be raised by taxes. The approved $2,906,075 spending plan calls for $2,425,370 to be raised by taxes — a 1.7 percent increase. Voters bought it, passing the budget, 609-418.
They also said “yes” to many other spending measures, including a $5,467,111 Neshobe Elementary School spending plan (692-359), a $10,718,131 Otter Valley Union High School spending plan (1,037-662), and various culvert, street and sidewalk repairs that amounted to $131,390 that nearly all passed by margins of 2 to 1 or more.
New this year, residents got to vote separately on appropriations to the Brandon Free Public Library and the Brandon Senior Center. Both passed by very wide margins: $85,000 for the library and $13,500 for the senior center.
Then there were the larger appropriations for local youth groups, which received split support last year. The Brandon Boys and Girls Club appropriation of $10,000 was approved, 580-441. The Foxcroft Farm Harvest Program appropriation of $15,000 was approved last year and again this year, 652-366.
The town appropriations for the Stephen A. Douglas Community Center ($2,500), the Brandon Independence Day Celebration Committee ($6,000), and the Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce ($1,000), all passed as well. Appropriations for the Brandon Area Rescue Squad ($20,735) and the Rutland Area Visiting Nurse Association ($10,200) were also approved.
There were two races but the current Brandon selectboard will remain intact.
Selectman Seth Hopkins won election to the two-year seat he was appointed to last month, beating former Selectman Richard Baker, 721-285.
Selectman Doug Bailey was appointed to his one-year seat last fall when Blaine Cliver resigned. He and Selectman Ethan Swift both won their one-year seats after being challenged by Dennis Reisenweaver. Bailey got 733 votes, Swift garnered 609, and Reisenweaver tallied 254.
Selectboard Chair Dave Atherton ran unopposed for another three-year term, and garnered 821 votes.
There is a new moderator in Brandon. In the race for town and school moderator, Skip Davis beat incumbent Art Doty by a count of 712-239 for town moderator, and 670-272 for school moderator. Doty was voted in after Bernie Carr stepped down last year and in an instance of baptism by fire, presided over five budget meetings.
Lisa Kenyon was unopposed and won re-election to the Neshobe School Board with 756 votes.
Beth Carr was re-elected to the Brandon Library Board of Trustees. Carolyn Whittaker was re-elected to the Trustees of Public Funds.
Peter Werner was re-elected to the Otter Valley school board.
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