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2016 Ferrisburgh Town Meeting Wrap Up

FERRISBURGH — On Saturday at Ferrisburgh Central School, about 100 Ferrisburgh residents backed the selectboard’s $1,803,427 town spending proposal, agreed to spend $40,000 to buy a pickup truck for the highway department, and voted to make the delinquent tax collector an appointed and salaried position.
Including charitable contributions approved by residents, the budget will total $1,834,267. The first payment on the pickup truck should add about another $10,000, depending on the final price.
Saturday’s meeting and the following Ferrisburgh Central School meeting was moderated by selectboard appointee Paul Hoffman, who was challenged for the town and school board moderator posts on Tuesday by Bill Clark. Both men were seeking to replace longtime moderator Don Bicknell.
Clark, the FCS board chairman, then prevailed on Tuesday in both races, 542-393 for the town moderator position and 509-413 for the school job.
In the town’s only other contested race on Tuesday, former selectwoman and incumbent delinquent tax collector Sally Torrey prevailed in a three-way contest to retain her post with 418 votes, defeating former tax collector and town clerk Chet Hawkins (350 votes) and town treasurer Garrit Smits (215).
Torrey will serve for one year, after which the residents’ decision to make the post one to be appointed by the selectboard takes effect. According to town officials, the switch to it being a salaried or hourly wage job, rather than one paid by a percentage of delinquent taxes collected, will be immediate.
Earning election without opposition were incumbent selectboard members Steve Gutowski and Loretta Lawrence, FCS board newcomer Katherine Yarbrough (who will serve for one year as Addison Northwest Supervisory Union transitions to one-board governance) and VUHS board incumbent Kristina MacKulin. 
Four candidates stepped forward to fill Ferrisburgh’s four seats on the new Addison Northwest Unified District Board and ran unopposed on Tuesday: current FCS director Laurie Gutowski; current Vergennes Union High School and FCS board member George Gardner; resident Finn Yarbrough, a newcomer to school board service; and MacKulin.
In other voting on Tuesday, residents approved, 707-403, a $3,432,273 FCS budget that cuts almost $155,000 from the school’s current spending level. Board members worked hard to avoid a potential Act 46 spending threshold penalty.
Ferrisburgh voters backed, 587-509, the proposed $10,026,000 VUHS budget for the 2016-2017 school year that represents a 2.23 percent cut from the current spending level.
Voters also supported, 686-366, a separate $100,000 capital fund line item for VUHS. VUHS spending will still be reduced by about $134,000, or 1.3 percent, with that article passing.
Ferrisburgh backed ANwSU unification, 852-241.

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