2016 Middlebury Town Meeting Wrap Up

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury residents at their town meeting decided a five-person race for three seats on their selectboard and overwhelmingly endorsed forming a unified Addison Central School District (ACSD) with six other area towns (see related stories, Page 1A).
Heather Seeley was the top vote-getter in the selectboard race, garnering 1,234 tallies. Former Selectman Victor Nuovo was second, with 1,052 votes, followed by current selectboard Vice Chairman Nick Artim, who received 991 votes. Incumbent Selectman Gary Baker finished fourth and out of the running with 930 votes, and candidate Richard Terk rounded out the field with 654 tallies.
School governance unification passed in Middlebury by a whopping 1,631 to 278 margin, in spite of the fact that the town stands to receive the least cost benefit from the move — at least initially. The measure also passed comfortably in the other six towns, and those results can be found in the individual town meeting wrap-ups and in the Page 1A story.
Middlebury endorsed seven representatives for the new, 13-member ACSD board, with all of them running unopposed. They included Lorraine Morse (1,417 tallies), Steve Orzech (1,183) and Josh Quinn (1,254), each for three years; Jason Duquette-Hoffman (1,321) and Ruth Hardy (1,378), each for two years; and Victoria Jette (1,479) and J.P. Rees (1,169), each for one year. All 13 members of the ACSD board were elected at-large, with votes coming from all seven towns.
Aside from selectboard, there were no other contested races on the Middlebury ballot. Those elected unopposed included James Douglas, town moderator, one year; Jason Duquette-Hoffman and Ruth Hardy, ID-4 school board, three years each; Lorraine Morse, UD-3 school board, three years; and Catherine Nichols, Ilsley Library Board of Trustees, three years.
Middlebury voters at their annual gathering on Monday evening overwhelmingly endorsed, by voice vote, a proposed 2016-2017 municipal budget that will not require an increase in property taxes. The spending plan will require raising $6,943,658 in property taxes, which will translate into the same municipal property tax rate of 98 cents per $100 in property value that residents are currently paying for town services.
A Mary Hogan Elementary School (ID-4) budget of $7,391,279 earned voter approval by a 1,718 to 401 tally. This was the first year that the ID-4 budget was decided by Australian ballot, a switch that had been requested by local voters. Historically, the budget has been voted at an ID-4 annual meeting held in early April.
Residents voted 1,517 to 122 to appropriate $6,500 for the Charter House Coalition to support the nonprofit’s emergency housing and daily food programs for people in need.
Middlebury residents also agreed to:
•  Give town officials permission take out a five-year, $242,000 loan to bankroll a police cruiser and related equipment, a pick-up truck and related equipment for public works, a sprayer and power-drive unit for line painting for public works, and a trailer for public works.
•  Grant authority to collect local property taxes in three equal installments, due Aug. 15, 2016; Nov. 11, 2016; and March 15, 2017.
•  Set the penalty charged by the tax collector for delinquent tax payments as follows: No penalty for all payments made prior to the due date for the third and final installment; 1 percent on any balance not paid by the due date for the third and final installment; and an additional 7 percent on any balance not paid within 10 days of the due date of the third and final installment.
•  Eliminate the elected office of auditor. These positions have not been drawing candidates and the accounting chores in question have been delegated to a professional firm.
A more detailed account of Middlebury’s Town Meeting Day results can be found on the homepage of addisonindependent.com.

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