Opinion: Selectboard ignored petition

Disregard for the concerns of citizens and taxpayers of Middlebury was very evident by the majority of the Middlebury Board of Selectmen at the June 9 meeting. MANA (Middlebury Airport Neighbors Association) provided a petition including over 200 signatures of Middlebury residents to the board which was completely ignored in favor of a vote to approve the VTrans proposal to expand the airport.
The MANA petition in essence asked that a complete review of the proposal be done including validation that the airport classification was properly changed from A-1 to B-1; air and water quality be addressed; noise, security, protection of the town aquifer, property values and quality of life be addressed. Instead of taking an approach that protects Middlebury, the selectboard voted to approve, which was not necessary or even asked for by VTrans. This affirmative vote will also put pressure on lower boards that hopefully will react more professionally than the top board in Middlebury if they get the chance to review the proposed expansion given the action by the board.
We do want to commend Susan Shashok and Laura Asermily for their efforts to try to include some sanity to the action and properly represent the citizens by trying to include the petition statement in the motion. This was completely shot down by Nick Artim who made the original motion.
We urge all citizens of Middlebury to pay attention to what is going on in our town and please remember when voting for selectmen in March 2016.
Richard and Isabelle Terk
East Middlebury

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