Middlebury town meeting wrap-up 2018

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury residents decided hotly contested races for selectboard and the Ilsley Library Board of Trustees, and voted favorably on all money articles on their town meeting warning.
Incumbent Selectman Farhad Khan (949 votes) and political newcomer Lindsey Fuentes-George (784 tallies) each won a three-year term on the selectboard. Former Selectman Gary Baker finished out of the running in the three-way race with 399 votes.
Amy Mincher, John Freidin and Alice Eckles emerged as the winners from among seven candidates seeking election to the Ilsley Library board. Mincher, with 616 votes, and Freidin, with 502 tallies, emerged victorious in a four-person race for two, three-year slots on the library panel. Joseph McVeigh (450) and David Munford (255) finished out of the running.
In a separate bracket in the library race, Eckles edged incumbent Barbara Doyle-Wilch, 403-402, for a one-year term. Patricia Chatary (157 votes) also finished out of the running.
Most of the town’s business was conducted at Middlebury’s annual meeting held at Mary Hogan Elementary School on Monday. The approximately 120 attendees voted overwhelmingly, by voice vote, to authorize:
•  A fiscal year 2019 municipal budget of $10,574,426. The budget — coupled with a 1.4-percent growth in the grand list during the past year — is expected to result in an increase of about 0.37 of one penny in the community’s current municipal rate of 98.2 cents per $100 in property value
•  A five-year loan of up to $122,400 to replace a police cruiser and related equipment, a street sweeper, a skid steer and an asphalt hot box.
•  The use of up to $57,484 in surplus local option tax money from the Cross Street Bridge fund to offset increased spending  for capital improvements next year.
A more complete wrap-up of Middlebury’s town meeting begins on Page 1A.
Middlebury residents are part of the consolidated Addison Central School District that delivers K-12 public education to seven Middlebury-area towns. See separate story, this issue, on how the 2018-2019 ACSD and Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center budgets fared at the polls.
There were no other contested elections in Middlebury this year. Former Gov. James Douglas was elected to another one-year term as town moderator.
Residents at their annual gathering also honored retiring Middlebury Police Office Don Sweet, departing Parks & Recreation Director Terri Arnold, departing Ilsley Library Director Kevin Unrath, outgoing Middlebury Selectwoman Susan Shashok, longtime parks & Recreation volunteer Susan Vazquez, and former Middlebury Town Counsel and tireless civic leader Karl Neuse, to whom this year’s town report was dedicated.

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