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Brandon town meeting preview 2020

BRANDON — Many of the town meeting decisions that Brandon residents will make next week will be done at the ballot box on Tuesday, March 3, not at the in-person meeting the night before.
On Town Meeting Day, Brandon residents will vote on a three-way race for two seats on the Brandon selectboard. Newcomer Allison Walter and incumbents Seth Hopkins and Doug Bailey, the board chair and vice-chair, respectively, are all running for two, one-year seats on the selectboard. Also on the ballot will be Selectman Brian Coolidge running unopposed for another three-year term.
There are no other contested races in Brandon municipal elections.
Brandon voters will also weigh in on three spots on the Otter Valley Unified Union School Board. Brandon resident Mike Lufkin is running for an at-large position, but two other open OVUUS board positions have no candidates — write-ins will be accepted for a Brandon seat on the board and for another at-large seat.
Also on March 3, residents of Brandon and the five other Otter Valley Unified Union School District towns will vote on the proposed $20,377,427 budget for 2020-2021. It reflects a 2.22% increase in spending over the current year. Education spending per the state’s equalized pupil formula has per pupil spending increasing from $14,826 to $15,399, a 3.86% increase.
If approved, the education tax rate in Brandon would rise 10 cents (or 7.4%) to $1.43 per $100 of assessed property value.
On the municipal front, voters will consider $3,266,303 in proposed town spending for the coming fiscal year. That represents a 2.48% increase in spending, or $65,798, over the current budget. The selectboard budgeted $2,718,353 to be raised by taxes.
Selectboard members will give a presentation on the budget proposal at town meeting, which is slated to begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 2, at Brandon Town Hall. Residents at the meeting will be asked if they wish to exempt the Brandon Senior Center from municipal and education property taxes for five years.
All other questions will be decided by Australian ballot voting on Tuesday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., downstairs at town hall.

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