Trio seeking seat on Cornwall selectboard

CORNWALL — Three Cornwall residents have expressed an interest in filling a vacancy on their town selectboard that was created by the sudden death last month of incumbent Dave Sears.
Sears died following complications from a stroke on July 11, at age 56. He was widely known as a longtime broadcaster of Middlebury Union High School varsity football and Middlebury College sports. But he was also a very civic-minded individual who had served for 35 years on the local fire department, and five years on the Cornwall selectboard.
The board on Aug. 4 met for the first time since Sears’ passing. Members paid tribute to their late colleague and made a plan to fill the post until Town Meeting Day next March, when the remaining two years on Sears’ term will be up for election.
Those offering to take Sears’ spot on the board include:
•  Former Cornwall Selectwoman Abi Sessions. Sessions recently concluded a one-year stint as interim principal of Cornwall’s Bingham Memorial School. She is also the former principal of Salisbury Community School.
•  Recent selectboard candidate Brian Kemp. Kemp lost a close race (116-98) this past March to incumbent Selectwoman Magna Dodge.
•  Frank Broughton, who served for many years as an assistant judge at the Addison County courthouse. Broughton also represented Cornwall for several years on the UD-3 school board during the 1970s and 1980s, according to Town Clerk Sue Johnson.
The selectboard will invite the three candidates to their next meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 1. The candidates will get a chance to express their views on serving and the board will then have the tough task of picking one person to fill the job until next March, when he or she will have an opportunity to run in the municipal elections.
The board is also considering some tangible ways to honor Sears for his service to the town. Selectboard members have mentioned the possibility of naming some town asset for Sears, ordering a memorial plaque, and/or aggressively completing a longstanding E-911 address project for Cornwall, which was one of Sears’ top priorities, Johnson recalled.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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