2016 Waltham Town Meeting Wrap Up

WALTHAM — Waltham residents on Monday returned several incumbents to office, chose a newcomer for a school post, and approved all proposed spending measures, including a two-tiered town budget as Waltham plans to switch to a fiscal year system. 
In Tuesday Australian balloting, Waltham residents supported proposed Addison Northwest Supervisory Union unification and Vergennes Union High School spending (see stories on Pages 1A and 2A), joined Vergennes and Panton in backing a Vergennes Union Elementary School budget, and cast votes in Vermont’s presidential primary.
Returned to office on Monday were Selectman Tim Ryan, VUES Director Steven Flint, Town Clerk Mary Ann Castimore and Treasurer Lucille Evarts, all unopposed after being nominated from the floor of the Monday town meeting.
Residents in similar fashion on Monday backed the unopposed candidacy of Tom Borchert for VUHS director (replacing longtime director Jeffry Glassberg), and in Tuesday voting picked him as Waltham’s representative on the proposed Addison Northwest Unified District Board, also without opposition.
Budget decisions were more complicated than usual on Monday following Waltham’s selectboard’s decision this past year to make a switch from the town’s former calendar-year budgeting process. That meant residents on Monday considered two sets of spending plans, one for the first six months of this year, and one for Waltham’s first fiscal year, 2016-2017.
For this January to June, the board recommended $54,751 in administration and $42,625 in road spending. The board also suggested that residents approve $28,740 “from the carryover balance” to offset taxes in the current six months — residents approved both those recommendations.
For the fiscal year, July 2016 to June 2017, the selectboard proposed $98,254 of administrative spending and $144,525 of road spending, and residents backed the board.
Residents also approved charitable requests, including a number of gifts in one article totaling $3,809, plus a Bixby Library request for $9,205 in a separate line item.
Waltham voters backed, 105-41, the proposed VUHS $10,026,000 budget for the 2016-2017 school year that represents a 2.23 percent cut from the current spending level.
Voters also supported a separate $100,000 capital fund line item for VUHS. VUHS spending would still be reduced by about $134,000, or 1.3 percent, with that article passing.
The three VUES communities joined together to vote, 815-484, to approve a $4.75 million budget that will increase VUES spending by 1.05 percent, or about $50,000.
Waltham backed ANwSU unification, 163-21.

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