Letter to the editor: Wait until Town Meeting Day for Mount Abe bond vote
On Monday, Nov. 27, the Mount Abraham Union Middle and High School’s (MAUM/HS) Renovation Committee will be reconvened ostensibly to get to a quick re-vote on the twice-failed Mount Abe Bond. The Renovation Committee needs to hear that waiting until Town Meeting Day, March 6, 2018, is essential.
In the Nov. 20 Addison Independent editorial, Angelo Lynn made that case exceptionally well. By waiting until Town Meeting Day, there is a great shot at getting 60 percent of the eligible voters of the Five Town school district to cast their vote. This is the first step in getting to “A Resounding 60-60 Yes Vote” on the bond. The second step will be to craft a compelling and prudent bond that gets 60 percent of the folks who vote on Town Meeting Day to vote yes!
The meeting on Monday, Nov. 27, will be held at the large cafeteria at Mount Abe from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Community comments (i.e. engagement) will be accepted at the beginning and at the end of the meeting. Going for the first half-hour or so and making the case that we the people want the vote to be held on Town Meeting Day would be a great help. Short and sweet. Stay the course for the full three hours if you like but the opening statement will be the place to have the greatest impact on the process. (NEAT-TV will be there as will the Addy Indy.)
1. Urge waiting for a March 6, 2018, Town Meeting Day vote on the bond. This will give our Five Town Community the time and focus we need to get it right.
2. Also, if you are so inclined, urge the administration to welcome and to participate in the “Five Town Community Engagement Congress and Charette” to be held in Bristol on Saturday, Jan. 6. (save the date; details will follow). This Congress and Charette will be inspired by the Addison County Conservation Congress last held at Mount Abe in 2008. Send a message to the administration to resist the temptation to run that show. Ask them to support and encourage this effort of the citizens and commoners of the five towns — including Addison Northeast Supervisory Union staff — to participate in a lively, fun, focused, positive, non-binding community engagement event imagined, designed and delivered by the community itself. In short, ask them to attend as participants, to listen more, and, perhaps to speak a little less. Making Mount Abe available at no-charge would certainly help too.
3. Add your input on what would make the Mount Abe bond something you’d vote for enthusiastically. (Yes Jeremy, it is possible to vote yes). Go for it. Now is the time. Be creative. This is a great opportunity to participate at an important juncture and to help our community do something amazingly creative and fiscally prudent. Be sure your input is recorded in the minutes.
In summary, go to some or all of the Nov. 27 meeting and make your thoughts known. A few words will make a huge difference in what will likely be the greatest Five-Town community legacy project that any of us will have the opportunity to shape and to vote in favor of without breaking the bank. This is community engagement. It is the very foundation of a healthy democracy. Spread the word. Make your wishes known.
If you cannot attend, send your comments to Superintendent Patrick Reen via e-mail at [email protected] or via snail mail to ANESU, Munsill Ave., Bristol, VT 05443). Keep a copy and ask for confirmation that your comments have been received and made part of the public record.
Mark A. Nelson of Bristol
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