2016 Monkton Town Meeting Wrap Up
MONKTON — One of the first actions at Monkton’s Saturday town meeting was to nominate an acting town moderator from the floor. Longtime town moderator Ken Wheeling, who’s served as moderator for more than 30 years and as zoning administrator for more than 40, could not be at town meeting as the result of a Feb. 18 car accident that still had him hospitalized last Saturday. Deputy Secretary of Education Bill Talbott accepted the nomination and moderated the meeting in Wheeling’s place.
The move to a Saturday town meeting resulted in a 38 percent rise in attendance. Last year, town meeting drew 102 participants; this year it drew 140. Monkton had historically held its town meeting on the morning of Town Meeting Day.
Voting from the floor on Feb. 27, townspeople approved all articles as proposed with one exception. The $900 allocation proposed for the Monkton Museum and Historical Society for fiscal year 2017 was amended from the floor to $1,000, bringing total municipal and road expenditures to $1,250,294. Overall, the FY 2017 $1.25 million budget represents a 6.9 percent increase from the current fiscal year’s total of $1,169,920, with increases in expenditures to salaries and general expenses, highway expenses, the fire department, and the agricultural and natural areas fund.
The largest components of that $1.25 million in spending are:
• $790,132 for highway expenses.
• $348,512 for salaries and general expenses.
Other components of the $1.25 million include:
• $36,000 for the Monkton Volunteer Fire Department.
• $20,150 for Russell Memorial Library.
• $4,500 for the recreation fund.
• $20,000 for the agricultural and natural areas fund.
• $30,000 for the highway capital equipment fund.
All proposed allocations for social service agencies passed as is, for a total of $22,539. Fiscal Year 2017 allocations for social service agencies remain identical to FY 2016, with the exception of an increase for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program from $285 to $400 and a new funding of $300 for the Monkton Mentors Program.
Townspeople also approved $34,000 for the purchase of a replacement dump truck body for the road crew.
Voting by Australian ballot on Town Meeting Day, Monkton residents approved a Monkton Central School budget of $2,813,920, a decrease of 0.1 percent from last year’s $2,816,780 spending plan.
There were no contested local elections on this year’s ballot, and incumbents returned to all open seats.
Selectboard incumbents Henry Boisse and Roger Parker won two- and three-year seats, respectively. Sharon Gomez won another one-year term as town and school clerk. William Joos ran unopposed for another one-year term as town and school treasurer and another one-year term as delinquent tax collector.
Monkton Central School Board Vice Chair Robert Radler won another three-year term. Incumbents Marikate Kelley and Sarah Rougier both won new one-year terms. For the Mount Abraham Union High School board, Chair Dawn Griswold won a second three-year term. Griswold was first elected to the Mount Abe board in 2013 and first became chair in 2014. Otto Funke, appointed to the Mount Abe board to replace Shawna Sherwin after she resigned last October, was elected to complete the remaining two years of Sherwin’s original term.
Voters across the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union approved a $13,389,914 spending plan for Mount Abe. In 2015, by contrast, voters rejected two proposed Mount Abe budgets before passing a $13.95 million spending plan in June. This year the Mount Abe budget passed out of the gate with 2,703 yes votes and 1,306 against.