2016 Ripton Town Meeting Preview

RIPTON — Ripton residents at their town meeting will decide a contested race for their selectboard and vote on membership of a new Addison Central School District (ACSD) board that features a three-person race for Ripton’s lone spot on that 13-member panel.
Resident Perry Hanson is challenging incumbent Selectman Richard Collitt for a three-year term on the selectboard.
Hanson is also in the running for Ripton’s seat on the ACSD board. Competing with him for that three-year term are Ripton School Board member Bryan Alexander and UD-3 school board member Jerry Shedd.
The new board will be elected at-large, meaning residents of all seven Addison Central towns will vote on candidates for all 13 positions. The ACSD board would govern all elementary and secondary public schools in Addison Central under a single budget (see related story, Page 1A). Election of this new board is, of course, contingent on ACSU voters approving unification of their school governance, which will be a separate referendum on the March 1 ballot.
There are no other contested races on the Ripton ballot. Candidates running unopposed include Alison Joseph Dickinson, town clerk, one year; Carolyn Smith, town treasurer, one year; Kathleen Smith, delinquent tax collector, one year; Timothy Hanson, town moderator, one year; and Giles Alexander and Bryan Alexander, three years and two years, respectively, as Ripton school director.
Residents will be asked to approve a 2016-2017 general fund budget of $263,601, down from the $282,900 that was approved for this year. The highway budget proposal comes in at $313,100, up from the $294,100 OK’d by voters for this year.
School directors are requesting a budget of $953,106 to fund Ripton Elementary next year, which reflects a roughly 5.13-percent increase in spending compared to this year. But school directors are projecting a decrease in equalized per-pupil spending for Ripton compared to this year. As the Addison Independent went to press, the Vermont Agency of Education was still awaiting clarification from legislators on how Act 46 will affect the “property dollar equivalent yield” used to calculate the homestead education property tax rates in all local school districts.
Other articles on this year’s warning seek:
• $36,000 for the local fire department.
• Approval of a locally funded agreement to reduce the property tax for the Silver Towers Camp owned and operated by the Vermont Elks Association Inc., to 33 percent of the total taxes that would be due.
• A combined total of $19,214 for various charities and nonprofits that benefit Ripton residents.
Ripton’s annual meeting will be held at the Ripton Community House at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 29. Australian ballot voting will take place the next day, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., also at the community house.

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