News

Town Meeting 2022 Preview

ALISON DAYTON REFILLS the sticker supply while checking out voters at the Middlebury polls in the town recreation center during 2021 Town Meeting Day voting. Middlebury Town Clerk Ann Webster was surprised to get 630 in-person voters after logging 891 absentee ballots. Independent file photo/Megan James

ADDISON COUNTY — Here’s what to expect at each of the town meetings in Addison County next week.

ADDISON

Addison will have only its third town clerk in about 50 years after Town Meeting Day. Marilla Webb will step down after almost a decade, and Webb took over from Jane Grace in 2012 after Grace had served 40-plus years in that job.

Webb decided to retire, effective March 1, after a total of about 35 years in the Addison Town Clerk’s Office — she served as Grace’s assistant clerk for 26 years.

On the March 1 ballot, running unopposed to replace Webb is Cheri Waterman. Waterman will have plenty of help transitioning to her new post. Webb will stay on as a temporary, part-time assistant for a bit, and current assistant clerk Billie Jo Forgues will see her hours bumped to full-time.

Also running without opposition on the Addison ballot are incumbent selectboard members Roger Waterman for a two-year term and Steve Torrey for another three years; John Spencer seeks to remain on the board of listers.

One contested race is a family affair. Incumbent delinquent tax collector Caetlin Harwood is being challenged for the job by her father, Alden Harwood.

The selectboard has scheduled an in-person informational meeting for 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 28, to be held in the Addison Central School gym. One decision will be made at that meeting: whether to publish the names of delinquent taxpayers in the town report.

All other decisions will be by Australian balloting from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. at the clerk’s office on Tuesday, March 1, including a town spending increase of almost $200,000 over last year.

The selectboard is applying about $74,000 of an audited fund balance to offset that spending, and grant money is also expected to help pay for one $46,000 line item: The selectboard voted to rehire the Addison County Sheriff’s Department to patrol town roads.

The board took that action in part because of speeding complaints that followed the rerouting of traffic after a storm washed out part of Route 125 near Lake Champlain, town officials said. That part of the highway has been closed on Oct. 31, prompting motorists to travel around the closure near the McCuen Slang by going on smaller town roads.

That line item hike is part of a larger $119,000 proposed increase in the selectboard’s general fund budget for non-highway expenses. Also driving costs higher are the decisions to make the assistant clerk’s position full-time, with associated benefits, and to keep Webb on to help with the transition to a new clerk.

The board also decided to add a full-time position to the town road crew, a move that along with benefits is the major driver of a roughly $90,000 increase in town Highway Fund spending to $893,914.

Also on March 1, Addison will join the other four Addison Northwest School District communities in weighing in a proposed $22,327,585 spending plan for the next school year.

If approved, that budget would increase school spending by 3.35% over the current level, but not increase taxes.

According to the district estimates homestead property taxes would drop in all five ANWSD communities if voters support that budget on March 1. Officials said they were confident in their estimates, but actions by state officials and/or legislators could move the numbers.

In Addison, ANWSD officials expect a decrease in the homestead rate of about 2 cents, from $1.6929 to $1.6722 per $100 of assessed property value.

The ANWSD board also is asking residents to back a proposal to use $1.5 million of the district’s $1.86 million audit-confirmed surplus for repairs and upgrades at Vergennes Union elementary and high schools.

Officials said the $1.5 million would be spent on work that includes replacing rotting windows at VUHS; replacing the VUES gym roof; HVAC systems upgrades; work on the VUES boiler and the foundation of the boiler room, including adding an exterior door; VUES bathroom upgrades; VUHS science lab upgrades; and new paving and roof repair at VUHS.

The board also is proposing to use $337,763 of that surplus to help keep district taxes in check. Those measures will all be on a separate ballot. The board has scheduled a hybrid online/in-person informational meeting for Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. at the VUHS library.

The current school spending proposal keeps all existing programs, according to district officials, while adding a number of paraeducators at the three district schools, as well as two VUHS employees, a psychologist and a new member of the school’s Response Resource Center, which works with students with disciplinary and other issues.

Addison residents will be asked to support a Patricia Hannaford Career Center 2022-23 budget of $4,104,157, which reflects a 7.2% ($274,856) increase in spending. Voters also will be asked to support spending $8.1 million to finance significant renovations to the Career Center’s Charles Avenue and North Campus buildings in Middlebury.

ADDISON SELECTBOARD MEMBERS Roger Waterman, left, Rob Hunt and Steve Torrey gather up their town reports and tools after the brief Addison town meeting held in the Town Hall in 2021. The selectmen nearly outnumbered the citizens who showed up during a raging snowstorm.
Independent file photo/Steve James

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BRANDON

Brandon residents on Town Meeting Day will be voting on one contested race on the selectboard — the three-year position currently held by Tim Guiles. He will be challenged by Marielle Blais.

Uncontested for one-year seats on the selectboard are incumbents Seth Hopkins and Michael Markowski. Other uncontested townwide elections feature Courtney Satz for three years as Trustee of Public Funds, David Roberts for two years on the Brandon Free Public Library board, and Bill Moore for one year as Town Moderator.

Voters will also be asked to approve $3,230,130 for the FY 2023 budget year, of which $2,712,274 is to be raised by property taxes. That represents a decline of around 0.1% from the previous year’s spending and a decline of just over 1% in amount raised by taxes.

In addition to the $3.2 million in overall town spending, voters will be asked to approve raising taxes to fund:

  • $7,000, Brandon Independence Day Celebration.
  • $1,000, Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce.
  • $82,580, Brandon Area Rescue Squad.
  • $92,000, Brandon Free Public Library.
  • $13,500, Brandon Senior Citizens Center.
  • $1,000, Open Door Clinic, Community Health Services of Addison County, which provides access to dental and healthcare, free of charge, to those who are uninsured or underinsured.
  • $550, RSVP & The Volunteer Center, for free income tax preparation and volunteer placements.
  • $1,500, Rutland County Humane Society.
  • $10,200, VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region.
  • $5,000, Brandon Museum at the Stephen A. Douglas Birthplace Community Center.
  • $3,000, Community Meals and Emergency Shelter Programs of Charter House Coalition.

Brandon voters will also weigh in on a proposed Otter Valley Unified Union School District spending plan of $22,710,955, which would result in education spending of $17,048 per equalized pupil — 9.72% higher than spending for the current year.

The board representing the OVUUSD has no contested races. Derek Larsen is running for a three-year-term representing Brandon.

Two at-large seats for the OVUUSD board are on the ballot: Barbara Ebling of Brandon is running for a three-year term; there is no candidate on the ballot for the final year of another three-year term.

The Brandon selectboard will host an informational meeting remotely, via Zoom, on Monday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. Voting by Australian Ballot will take place on March 1 at the Brandon American Legion Post No. 55, 550 Franklin St., between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

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BRIDPORT

Bridport residents on March 1 will help decide contested races for the Addison Central School District board, and also cast ballots on an $8.1 million repair plan for the Patricia Hannaford Career Center.

There are no contested races on the Bridport Town Meeting Day ballot this year. But being a member of the ACSD, Bridport will vote on two contested races for that board. Incumbent Mary Cullinane faces challenger Jamie McCallum for the seat representing Weybridge, and incumbent Amy McGlashan vs. Joanna Doria for Ripton’s seat. Doria already sits on the independent Ripton School District board, which is working on a plan for that town’s exit from the ACSD.

Running unopposed for three three-year seats representing Middlebury on the ACSD board are James “Chip” Malcolm, Steve Orzech and Brian Bauer.

Running unopposed for various Bridport positions are Tim Howlett, for one year as town moderator; Robert Sunderland, two years, selectboard; Pierre Bordeleau, three years, selectboard; and Darwin Pratt, three years, Tri-Town Water District No. 1 commissioner.

Residents will be asked to endorse a fiscal year 2023 highway budget of $1,099,855, a 2% reduction from the $1.4 million spending plan adopted last year. The proposed FY’23 general fund ask is for $322,380, down 1.5% from the $377,716 OK’d last year. There’s good reason for both reductions; Bridport is completing its transition to a fiscal year. The previous budget requests reflected 18 months of expenses, and this year’s request will cover 12 months.

The Bridport Fire Department is seeking $20,000 to help fund its operations during FY’23.

The only other requests on this year’s Town Meeting Day warning are a variety of social service agency funding requests, ranging from $190 for Vermont Center for Independent Living, to $12,180 for Middlebury Regional EMS.

Residents will find items of interest on other ballots they will field on March 1.

They’ll vote on the proposed 2022-23 ACSD budget of $41,578,089, which reflects $34,594,034 in local education spending — a 5.3% increase from this year. The budget would result in an education cost of $20,192 per equalized pupil — a 6.8% increase — though that number could soon drop to $19,971 based on new information expected from the state. If approved, the budget would result in a district-wide education property tax rate of $1.56 per $100 in property value — an 8-cent decline from this year. But that rate doesn’t include Common Level of Appraisal adjustment, which would result in a 7-cent decline in the Bridport rate.

In other school-related voting, Bridport residents on March 1 will be asked to support a Patricia Hannaford Career Center 2022-23 budget of $4,104,157, to bankroll a variety of career and technical education programs for children in the 17 Addison County towns that feed the career center. The request reflects a 7.2% ($274,856) increase in spending compared to this year.

Voters also will be asked to support spending $8.1 million to finance significant renovations to the Career Center’s Charles Avenue and North Campus buildings in Middlebury. The lion’s share of the work will involve upgrading the heating system while replacing the ventilation and electrical systems at the Charles Avenue building. The to-do list for that structure also calls for energy efficiency upgrades (including solar), enhanced security and safety equipment, ensuring the structure meets current code and ADA requirements, and complete asbestos abatement. Improvements targeting the North Campus building, in Middlebury’s industrial park, include installation of LED lighting and making an upstairs classroom usable and accessible.

There will be no in-person town meeting this year, though the selectboard organized a virtual informational meeting for Wednesday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. All articles will be voted by Australian ballot at the Bridport Masonic/ Community Hall on Tuesday, March 1, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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BRISTOL

Bristol has scheduled a pair of informational meetings via Zoom — on Monday, Feb. 21, and Monday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. — in lieu of an in-person annual meeting this year. Police District business will be discussed at 6:30 p.m. on both nights.

Voting by Australian ballot to approve town and school budgets, elect town and school officers, approve the Bristol police budget, ratify Lincoln’s withdrawal from the Mount Abraham Unified School District and permit cannabis retailers will take place on Town Meeting Day, March 1, at Holley Hall, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Bristol voters wil be asked to approve a total FY 2022-23 town spending plan of $2,937,171, an increase of $57,922, or 2%, over the current year, including:

  • $957,425 in General Fund spending, a decrease of $18,968, or 1.9%, with $765,641 to be raised by taxes.
  • $830,770 in Public Works/Highway spending, up $21,654, or 2.7%, with $728,798 to be raised by taxes.
  • $320,546 for the Arts, Parks and Recreation Department, up $13,335, or 4.3%, with $221,246 to be raised by taxes.
  • $537,000 for various Town Reserve Fund accounts, up $25,000, or 4.9%.
  • $153,899 for Lawrence Memorial Library, up $9,651, or 6.7%, with the full amount to be raised by taxes.
  • $29,000 for the Bristol Cemetery Association, the same as this year.
  • $108,531 for 28 voted appropriations spanning Articles 18-45, an increase of $7,250, or 7.2%. This year’s ballot includes four voted appropriations that did not appear on the 2021 ballot — for Elderly Services, Habitat for Humanity, Bristol Family Center and the Addison Allies Network.

BRISTOL RESIDENT STEVE Brown delivers his completed ballots to election worker (and town selectboard member) John “Peeker” Heffernan during brisk voting in the basement of Holley Hall on Town Meeting Day in 2021.
Independent file photo/John Flowers

In addition to annual spending items, Bristol voters will be asked to distribute $150,000 of the 2021 undesignated fund balance among five future-needs accounts: Capital Building, Capital Road, Capital Paving, Reappraisal, and Fire Department Apparatus Reserve funds.

Approval of Article 15 would permit licensed cannabis retailers in town.

People who live in the Bristol Police District (primarily the village) will consider a proposed budget of $504,579, a $48,592, or 10.7%, increase over the current year. It should be noted, however, that the amount of taxes to be raised for the proposed budget, $405,062, is $575 less than what was approved last March.

ELECTIONS

Two Bristol selectboard seats are up for election. Incumbents Ian Albinson (three-year term) and Darla Senecal (two-year term) are running unopposed.

Bristol residents Gary Russell and Jennifer Wagner have thrown their hats into the ring for Town Moderator, a position held for decades by Fred Baser. Write-in candidates for town moderator last year didn’t garner enough votes to win election.

Bristol voters will also elect two of the town’s five representatives to the Mount Abraham Unified School District board.

For one seat, incumbent Liz Sayre is running unopposed.

In the other, Erin Jipner, who was appointed to the board last year, will face a challenge from William Mount.

MAUSD

The MAUSD’s annual meeting via Zoom was scheduled for Feb. 22. All warned items will be voted by Australian ballot on Town Meeting Day.

The March 1 ballot will feature a $32,665,311 MAUSD spending plan, reflecting  a $910,000, or 2.9%, increase over the current year. It represents education spending of $19,826 per equalized pupil — 6.34% higher than the current year.

If approved, it’s estimated that Bristol’s school tax rate, after the CLA is figured in, would decrease by 1.07 cents, or $10.70 per $100,000 of assessed property value.

The school district is also asking to put its FY 2021 unaudited surplus into two future-needs accounts:

  • $870,000 for the capital reserve fund, in anticipation of big-ticket items like a roof for the high school.
  • $549,316 for the education reserve fund, for unexpected expenditures, such as for student needs or maintenance.

MAUSD’s budget flyer is available online at tinyurl.com/MAUSD23flyer.

Article 14 of Bristol’s Town Meeting Day ballot asks voters to ratify the town of Lincoln’s August 2021 vote to withdraw from the MAUSD.

CAREER CENTER

Also  on Town Meeting Day, voters in Bristol and 16 other Addison County towns will be asked to approve a Patricia Hannaford Career Center 2022-23 budget of $4,104,157, an increase of $274,856, or 7.2% over the current year.

They will also be asked to spend $8.1 million to finance significant renovations to the Career Center’s Middlebury buildings, including heating, HVAC and electrical systems updates, energy efficiency upgrades (including solar), enhanced security and safety equipment, complete asbestos abatement and bringing the buildings up to code.

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CORNWALL

Cornwall voters on Town Meeting Day will decide whether to switch the date of their annual gathering, help decide two contested races for the Addison Central School District board, and field several municipal and education funding requests.

Article nine on the March 1 warning asks voters if they’d like to switch the date of their annual town meeting to the Saturday preceding the first Tuesday in March, at 10 a.m., rather than the current practice of meeting the Monday preceding the first Tuesday in March, at 7 p.m.

There are no contested elections this year involving Cornwall candidates. Among those running unopposed are Don Burns, three years, selectboard; Benjamin Marks, two years, selectboard; Cy Tall, one year, town moderator; Rodney Cadoret, one year, collector of delinquent taxes; Don Burns and Lauren Ringey, each for three years, Cornwall Planning Commission.

But Cornwall voters will help decide two contested elections for two three-year spots on the board of the ACSD board, which delivers prek-12 public education in seven towns. Incumbent Mary Cullinane vs. challenger Jamie McCallum for the seat representing Weybridge, and incumbent Amy McGlashan vs. Joanna Doria for Ripton’s seat. Doria already sits on the independent Ripton School District board, which is working on a plan for that town’s exit from the ACSD.

CORNWALL RESIDENT STEPHANIE Powers pauses for a photographer outside the town offices on Town Meeting Day 2021 after casting her ballot.
Independent file photo/Steve James

Running unopposed for three three-year seats representing Middlebury on the ACSD board are James “Chip” Malcolm, Steve Orzech and Brian Bauer.

The Cornwall electorate will weigh in on the proposed 2022-23 ACSD budget of $41,578,089, which reflects $34,594,034 in local education spending — a 5.3% increase from this year. The budget would result in an education cost of $20,192 per equalized pupil — a 6.8% increase — though that number could soon drop to $19,971 based on new information expected from the state. If approved, the budget would result in a district-wide education property tax rate of $1.56 per $100 in property value — an 8-cent decline from this year. But that rate doesn’t include Common Level of Appraisal adjustment, which would result in a 1-cent decline in the Cornwall rate.

Cornwall residents will be asked to support a Patricia Hannaford Career Center 2022-23 budget of $4,104,157, to bankroll a variety of career and technical education programs. The request reflects a 7.2% ($274,856) increase in spending. Voters also will be asked to support spending $8.1 million to finance significant renovations to the Career Center’s Charles Avenue and North Campus buildings in Middlebury. The lion’s share of the work will involve upgrading the heating system while replacing the ventilation and electrical systems at the Charles Avenue building. The to-do list for that structure also calls for energy efficiency upgrades (including solar), enhanced security and safety equipment, ensuring the structure meets current code and ADA requirements, and complete asbestos abatement. Improvements targeting the North Campus building, in Middlebury’s industrial park, include installation of LED lighting and making an upstairs classroom usable and accessible.

Other articles on Cornwall’s March 1 ballot seek:

  • $505,072 for fiscal year 2023 general fund expenses, and increase of 1% from this year’s $499,608.
  • $476,100 for 2023 highway expenses. The town expects to receive enough state aid to bump that figure down to $411,100, which would represent a nearly 1% decline from this year’s $451,713.
  • $4,000 for the Cornwall Free Public Library.
  • $67,950 for the Cornwall Volunteer Fire Department.
  • Permission to set aside $50,000 of the town’s fiscal year 2021 surplus of $111,317 to use for an upcoming townwide reappraisal, and use the remaining $61,317 to stabilize property taxes.
  • Permission to exempt from property taxation the Mary Baker Allen Chapter DAR House for five years.
  • Permission to transition the town clerk and town treasurer’s positions from elected to appointed posts.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cornwall will vote all of its town meeting articles by Australian ballot at its Town Hall from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1. The Cornwall selectboard was due to hold an informational meeting on all of the warned articles on Wednesday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. via Zoom video conferencing, with details to be provided.

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FERRISBURGH

Ferrisburgh residents face no choices for major town and school offices on the March 1 ballot. Their decision on the town budget is a little more complex, but will almost certainly not be costly.

The Ferrisburgh selectboard will explain budget details and go over other town business at a Saturday, Feb. 26, annual informational meeting to be held at 10 a.m. in the upstairs gathering space at the town’s Route 7 office building. It will be a hybrid meeting with in-person and Zoom options. Zoom link details will be made available at ferrisburghvt.org.

Voting will be held at the office building from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Two selectboard members are running for re-election without opposition, Chris Campbell for two years and Clark Hinsdale for three years.

Two seats on the Addison Northwest School District board are opening after board members have stepped or are stepping away. Bill Clark resigned in January after about three years on the board due to a work conflict of interest, and George Gardner chose not to run again after his six years on the ANWSD board.

Newcomer Nichole Bearor is seeking to replace Gardner, but no one filed to replace Clark. Barring a successful write-in candidacy, it will be up to the selectboard to choose a candidate for that position, officials said.

On March 1 Ferrisburgh residents will consider municipal spending that, including all nonprofit requests and a capital fund request, could push town spending up by almost 6%, or about $133,000, to about $2.366 million.

But the overall tax impact of that increase, if any, is up in the air. The selectboard could use some of a $449,000 surplus to offset a potential tax hike.

The proposed selectboard portion of the budget — $2,308,976 — would increase spending by about $76,000 over the current fiscal year.

Voters will also be asked to support $37,195 in nonprofit donations and $20,000 more for an increase in the town’s annual donation to the highway department’s contingency fund, from $40,000 to $60,000. The town uses that fund to lower the amount it needs to borrow to buy new highway department equipment.

The likely approval of the capital fund increase and the nonprofit requests would bring total proposed spending for the coming 2022-23 fiscal year (FY23) to the $2.366 million figure.

If the selectboard chooses not to apply any of the surplus, and spending were to increase by $133,000, a tax-rate increase of about 2.3 cents per $100 of assessed property value would cover it.

Voters on Town Meeting Day will also be asked to approve borrowing up to $120,000 over five years to buy a new backhoe/loader for the highway department.

If they back that proposal, however, there would be no impact on the FY23 tax rate, officials said, because the first annual payment would not be due until the following fiscal year.

Also on March 1, Ferrisburgh will join the other four Addison Northwest School District communities in weighing a proposed $22,327,585 spending plan for the next school year.

If approved, that budget would increase school spending by 3.35% over the current level, but not increase taxes.

According to district estimates homestead property taxes would drop in all five ANWSD communities if voters support that budget on March 1. Officials said they were confident in their estimates, but actions by state officials and/or legislators could move the numbers.

In Ferrisburgh, ANWSD officials expect a decrease in the homestead rate of about 5 cents, from $1.7047 to $1.6539 per $100 of assessed property value.

The ANWSD board also is asking residents to back a proposal to use $1.5 million of the district’s $1.86 million audit-confirmed surplus for repairs and upgrades at Vergennes Union elementary and high schools.

Officials said the $1.5 million would be spent on work that includes replacing rotting windows at VUHS; replacing the VUES gym roof; HVAC systems upgrades; work on the VUES boiler and the foundation of the boiler room, including adding an exterior door; VUES bathroom upgrades; VUHS science lab upgrades; and new paving and roof repair at VUHS.

The board also is proposing to use $337,763 of that surplus to help keep district taxes in check. Those measures will all be on a separate ballot. The board has scheduled a hybrid online/in-person informational meeting for Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. at the VUHS library.

The current school spending proposal keeps all existing programs, according to district officials, while adding a number of paraeducators at the three district schools, as well as two VUHS employees, a psychologist and a new member of the school’s Response Resource Center, which works with students with disciplinary and other issues.

Ferrisburgh voters will also consider two articles dealing with cannabis sales in town. Article 2 asks if they should authorize licensed retail sale of cannabis in Ferrisburgh, and Article 3 asks if voters will allow the town to authorize cannabis integrated licenses. Bristol, New Haven, Leicester and Weybridge are voting on similar retail cannabis authorization.

Ferrisburgh residents will be asked to support a Patricia Hannaford Career Center 2022-23 budget of $4,104,157, which reflects a 7.2% ($274,856) increase in spending. Voters also will be asked to support spending $8.1 million for  significant renovations to the Career Center’s Charles Avenue and North Campus buildings in Middlebury.

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GOSHEN

After holding an annual town meeting online via Zoom last year, Addison County’s smallest town, Goshen, will hold an in-person town meeting on Monday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. at the town hall.

According to a new town of Goshen website, selectboard members are encouraging participants to wear masks, but not requiring them. “If people are uncomfortable due to COVID, they can stay outside and someone will relay information (on) what was discussed,” the website says.

Roadwork is the big ticket item on the Goshen Town Meeting warning. To cover highway expenses, voters will be asked to OK $214,700 — a decrease of $2,500 from last year. But, on top of that, Goshen voters will be asked to spend $621,068 to improve and pave Town Hill Road

The other notable money question on the Goshen ballot requests residents’ approval for $244,351 for general fund expenses, which represents an increase of $9,082, or 3.9%, from the amount approved last March. On top of that, Article 3 asks to raise $4,000 a year in tax money to build up a fund for Town Hall renovations. Plus, the selectboard is asking to use $2,000 in interest in the town forest timber sales account to put toward those renovations.

Veteran Selectman David McKinnon is up for re-election to a three-year term. Terms for Town Clerk Rosemary McKinnon and Treasurer Vickee Whiting also expire, and both positions will be up for three-year stints.

Also up for election in Goshen are: town moderator (1 year), auditor (3 years), second constable, second (2 years), delinquent tax collector (1 year), lister (3 years) and trustee of public funds (3 years).

Goshen voters will also weigh in on a proposed Otter Valley Unified Union School District spending plan of $22,710,955, which would result in education spending of $17,048 per equalized pupil — 9.72% higher than spending for the current year.

The board representing the OVUUSD has no contested races. Two at-large seats for the OVUUSD board are on the ballot: Barbara Ebling of Brandon is running for a three-year term; there is no candidate on the ballot for the final year of another three-year term; Goshen residents are welcome to wage a write-in campaign for that seat.

Polls will be open for Australian ballot voting on the OVUUSD budget and board seats at Goshen Town Hall on March 1, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

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GRANVILLE

Rather than have the specter of COVID-19 hanging over an in-person town meeting in a closed public building with winter likely still hanging around, the Grandville selectboard last month decided to put off the annual meeting until Tuesday, May 17, 6-8 p.m. at Granville Town Hall.

With that in mind, the board took a little longer to work on its municipal and road budgets and hopes to finish them at the next selectboard meeting, March 14. That is also when they expect to formalize the warning for this year’s town meeting.

Selectman Bruce Hyde’s term ends at town meeting this year. It is unclear if it automatically expires on March 1 and the remaining selectboard members will have to appoint someone to the spot until May 17, or if Hyde’s term is automatically extended until May 17. In any event, it would not be surprising if selectboard members Rachel Grigorian and Jennifer Stickney appointed Hyde.

Granville will also be selecting a new town clerk and treasurer in May. Longtime Clerk/Treasurer Kathy Werner told the selectboard in January that she would be leaving in March on Town Meeting Day. But last month at the Feb. 14 selectboard meeting, board Chair Bruce Hyde announced that Werner’s resignation was effective that  evening. He and Norm Arseneault presented her with a painting by former resident Helen Dillon. Hyde thanked Werner for all her years of service to the community and wished her the best of luck in her future endeavors.

That night the board appointed Cheryl L. Sergeant, who has served the community in many capacities, as the town clerk and appointed another well-known public servant, Nancy Needham, as town treasurer. Both will hold their positions until the May 17 town meeting. Werner said she would help train them.

Granville residents vote on school spending later in the year.

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HANCOCK

After last year’s Hancock Town Meeting, selectboard members said they value “in-person voting and we look forward to resuming this type of meeting when the pandemic has ended.”

With COVID-19 still spreading disease and death, the board decided once again that gathering in person for town meeting was not possible in March 2022. They scheduled an online informational meeting for Feb. 22 and will vote on all questions by Australian ballot. Voting will take place at the town clerk’s office on Tuesday, March 1, until 7 p.m.

The term of selectboard member Monica Collins expires on March 1, and that three-year seat is up for election on Town Meeting Day. Collins said that after eight years on the board she thinks it is time for new blood and she will not seek re-election. Also up for election that day are Town Clerk and Town Treasurer, both positions held by Jody Jesso, who said she would look forward to continuing in those roles.

Road Commissioner Dan Perera’s term also is up. He didn’t indicate in his Commissioner’s Report if he wanted to return to the job, but given the way he wrote about what work is expected in 2022, it can be assumed that he would accept it if voters asked him to return to the post.

Residents will vote on a warned municipal budget of $377,116, which would cover both general expenses and highway spending. That represents an increase of only $1,600, or less than half a percent, from what voters OK’d last year.

Separately, voters will be asked to consider $35,036 in appropriations to social services agencies, including $23,335 for the White River Valley Ambulance ($65 per head), $2,101 for Granville Fire Department First Responders, and $1,500 for the Hancock Town Pride organization.

Article 3 on the Hancock town meeting warning asks citizens if they want to eliminate the Office of Lister and replace it with a professionally qualified assessor appointed by the selectboard. The professional auditor would “have the same powers, discharge the same duties, proceed in the discharge thereof in the same manner, and be subject to the same liabilities as are prescribed for listers or the board of listers,” the warning says.

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LEICESTER

Again this year the Leicester selectboard is inviting residents to an online informational meeting on the evening before Town Meeting Day and to vote on town matters — including a budget, municipal offices and pot sales — the next day.

The informational meeting is slated for Monday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. via Zoom and telephone. Log-in and dial-in information is on page 4 of this year’s town report, which was mailed to residents and can be viewed online at tinyurl.com/LeicesterTM.

Voters will be asked to OK municipal spending of $325,676 (with $247,684 raised by taxes), which represents an increase of $14,830, or 4.8%, from the current year. The highway spending proposal up for vote is $436,590 (with $347,913 to be raised by taxes); that is $1,000 more than the figure OK’d last year.

There are no contested races on this year’s ballot, but two new faces are likely to land in town government. Diane Randall is running for the two-year seat on the Leicester selectboard currently held by Ron Fiske; and Rolande Morrison is running for the remaining year of an auditor’s position that is currently vacant. Also on the ballot are incumbents Richard Reed for town moderator (1 year), Diane Benware for selectboard (3 years), Donna Pidgeon for auditor (3 years) and Beth Swinington Ripley for delinquent tax collector (1 year).

Article 3 asks Leicester voters to authorize cannabis retailers and integrated licensees in town. As with similar questions in four other Addison County towns — Bristol, Ferrisburgh, New Haven and Weybridge — this comes as Vermont law legalizes the regulated sale of cannabis later this year.

The town is also asking for volunteers to step forward to be alternates for the planning commission, development review board and Otter Creek Watershed Insect Control District (formerly known as the BLSG). Those interested should contact Town Clerk Julie Delphia at 802-247-5961 ext. 3.

Voting can done by absentee ballot if requested by Feb. 28 or in person at the town office on Tuesday, March 1, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

***

LINCOLN

In lieu of an in-person annual meeting this year, the town of Lincoln will hold a virtual information hearing on Monday, Feb. 28, at 6 p.m., and all voting will take place by Australian ballot at Burnham Hall the following day, Town Meeting Day, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Lincoln voters will be asked to approve $496,425 in general fund spending, an increase of $35,416, or 7.7%, over the current year, with $356,075 to be raised by taxes.

Proposed highway spending would see a $25,974, or 2.5%, increase to $1,069,057, with $732,121 to be raised by taxes.

In anticipation of future paving needs, the selectboard asks voters to deposit $175,000 into the Paving Reserve Fund, an increase of $25,000, or 16.7% over what voters approved last year.

Voters are also asked to level fund the Lincoln Library at $44,000 and the Lincoln Volunteer Fire Company at $55,896.

Seven other articles on the Town Meeting Day warning seek approval for 26 voted appropriations totaling $41,360, which is $350, or 0.8%, less than what was approved last year.

The Lincoln selectboard is seeking permission to appoint the town treasurer, rather than the current process of having that person elected each year.

Article 7 of the warning asks voters to approve the creation of a reserve fund the selectboard could use to pay expenses related to the town’s sandpit property.

Two of Lincoln’s selectboard seats are on the ballot. Incumbent Bay Jackson is running unopposed (two years). Incumbent Will Sipsey is facing a challenge from Alan Schmidt for a three-year term.

All other candidates for town offices are running unopposed, except for town moderator, which has drawn no candidates.

MAUSD

The Mount Abraham Unified School District scheduled its annual meeting via Zoom on Feb. 22. All of the warned items will be voted by Australian ballot on March 1.

Lincoln voters will be asked to approve a $32,665,311 in MAUSD spending plan, a $910,000, or 2.9%, increase over the current year. It represents education spending of $19,826 per equalized pupil — 6.34% higher than the current year. If approved, it’s estimated that Lincoln’s school tax rate, after the CLA is figured in, would increase by 0.33 cents, or $3.30 per $100,000 of assessed property value.

The school district is also asking to put its FY 2021 unaudited surplus into two future-needs accounts:

  • $870,000 for the capital reserve fund, in anticipation of big-ticket items like a roof for the high school.
  • $549,316 for the education reserve fund, for unexpected expenditures, such as for student needs or maintenance.

MAUSD’s budget flyer is available online at tinyurl.com/MAUSD23flyer.

Lincoln residents will eagerly await the results of voting in the four other MAUSD member-towns of Bristol, Monkton, New Haven and Starksboro, which have been asked ratify Lincoln’s August 2021 vote to withdraw from the school district.

CAREER CENTER

In other school-related voting on Town Meeting Day, voters in Lincoln and 16 other Addison County towns will be asked to approve a Patricia Hannaford Career Center 2022-23 budget of $4,104,157, an increase of $274,856, or 7.2% over the current year.

Voters will also be asked to support spending $8.1 million to finance significant renovations to the Career Center’s Middlebury buildings, including heating, HVAC and electrical systems updates, energy efficiency upgrades (including solar), enhanced security and safety equipment, complete asbestos abatement and bringing the buildings up to code.

***

MIDDLEBURY

Middlebury residents on Town Meeting Day will decide a contested election for three seats on the town selectboard and field a relatively light business agenda. On that agenda is a proposed 2022-2023 municipal budget of $11,927,483 — with $7,881,063 raised by taxes — that would result in a 3-cent bump in the town tax rate (3.9% increase), if it’s green-lighted by voters.

The spending plan, according to selectboard Chairman Brian Carpenter, “reflects both inflationary pressures and the town’s continued commitment to a robust capital improvement plan and an efficient vehicle and equipment maintenance and replacement plan, while preserving the current level of town services.”

If approved, Middlebury would see its municipal tax rate rise from $0.7969 to $0.8269 per $100 in assessed value — the first rise in several years.

Officials have limited this year’s tax rate increase through application of surplus local option tax revenues that have accrued in the Cross Street Bridge debt service/maintenance fund. The board proposes allocating $731,632 from annual local option tax receipts — in excess of debt and maintenance requirements of the Cross Street Bridge — to offset spending for various capital improvements.

Middlebury residents on March 1 will also vote on:

  • An extension of the property tax exemption for Middlebury Regional Emergency & Medical Services for an additional five years.
  • A request for $750 from the nonprofit Addison Allies Network Inc. to continue assisting migrant farm workers and immigrants living and working in Addison County.

There are four people vying for three available three-year terms on the Middlebury selectboard. They include incumbents Heather Seeley and Esther Thomas, and residents Matthew Delia-Lôbo and Andy Hooper. Longtime Selectman Nick Artim is not running for re-election.

None of the other municipal elections are contested. Running unopposed are Steve Gross and Joe McVeigh, Ilsley Library trustee (three years); Susan Shashok, town moderator, one year; and Elizabeth Dow, town lister, three years.

LAURA ASERMILY, A former Middlebury selectboard member, pauses to say Hi while handing out
ballots at the Middlebury polls in the Recreation Center on Town Meeting Day in 2021.
Independent file photo/Megan James

Three of Middlebury’s seven seats on the Addison Central School District board are up for grabs, and three people have stepped forward to fill those three-year terms: Incumbent James “Chip” Malcolm, Steve Orzech and Brian Bauer.

But since ACSD board members are elected at-large throughout the seven-town school district, Middlebury residents will also vote on two contested school board races: Incumbent Mary Cullinane faces a challenge from Jamie McCallum for Weybridge’s lone seat, and incumbent Amy McGlashan faces competition from Joanna Doria for Ripton’s seat.

Middlebury residents will also cast ballots on the proposed 2022-23 ACSD budget of $41,578,089, which reflects $34,594,034 in local education spending — a 5.3% increase from this year. The budget would tentatively result in an education cost of $20,192 per equalized pupil — a 6.8% increase — though that number could soon drop to $19,971 based on new information expected from the state.

If approved, the budget would result in a district-wide education property tax rate of $1.56 per $100 in property value — an 8-cent decline from this year. But that rate doesn’t include Common Level of Appraisal adjustment, which would result in a 2-cent increase in the Middlebury rate. Details pertaining to the ACSD budget can be found at tinyurl.com/4j2j9cr4.

In other school-related voting, Middlebury residents will be asked to support a Patricia Hannaford Career Center 2022-23 budget of $4,104,157, to bankroll a variety of career and technical education programs. The request reflects a 7.2% ($274,856) increase in spending. Voters also will be asked to support spending $8.1 million to finance significant renovations to the Career Center’s Charles Avenue and North Campus buildings in Middlebury. The lion’s share of the work will involve upgrading the heating system while replacing the ventilation and electrical systems at the Charles Avenue building. The to-do list for that structure also calls for energy efficiency upgrades (including solar), enhanced security and safety equipment, ensuring the structure meets current code and ADA requirements, and complete asbestos abatement. Improvements targeting the North Campus building, in Middlebury’s industrial park, include installation of LED lighting and making an upstairs classroom usable and accessible.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Middlebury again this year will vote all of its town meeting articles by Australian ballot on Town Meeting Day, with polls open Tuesday, March 1, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Recreation Center at 154 Creek Rd. The selectboard will hold an informational meeting on the warning on Monday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. in the large conference room of the Middlebury town offices, 77 Main St. There will also be a Zoom videoconferencing option, with details provided at townofmiddlebury.org.

***

MONKTON

In lieu of an in-person annual meeting this year, the Monkton selectboard will host a remote public informational hearing on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 10 a.m., to discuss the Australian ballot articles on the 2022 Town Meeting Warning.

All voting will take place by Australian ballot at the Monkton Town Offices on Town Meeting Day, March 1, 7 a.m.–7 p.m.

Monkton voters are asked to approve $1,955,953 in town spending, an increase of $30,976, or 1.6%, over the current year, including:

  • $491,079 for salaries and general expenses, up $62,820, or 14.7%, from the current year.
  • $73,023 to cover a General Fund deficit, up $13,999, or 23.7%.
  • $1,160,932 in highway expenses, down $101,317, or 8%. Only half of highway expenses would be raised by taxes, however, due to a $229,118 Highway Fund surplus and more than $350,000 in nontax revenue.
  • $70,000 for the Monkton Volunteer Fire Department, up $10,000, or 16.7%.
  • $29,170 for the Russell Memorial Library, down $5,926, or 16.9%.
  • $1,500 in support for Monkton Museum and Historical Society, up $500, or 50%.
  • $7,500 for the Recreation Fund, unchanged.
  • $65,000 for the Agricultural and Natural Areas Fund, up $50,000, or 333%.
  • $30,000 for the Highway Capital Equipment Fund, unchanged.
  • $27,749 in voted appropriations for 27 social service agencies, up $900, or 3.4%.

Monkton voters also will be asked to approve up to $46,790 for the purchase of a three-quarter-ton pickup truck with a plow and sander.

Now that the new town offices are complete, the selectboard must decide what to do with the recently vacated 1859 Town Hall building. In order to give the Monkton Museum and Historical Society, or any other community group, time to develop an acceptable proposal to take responsibility for the building, the selectboard is asking voters’ permission to delay selling it until Sept. 1.

ELECTIONS

Two selecboard seats are up for election this year. Incumbents Marikate Kelley (three-year term) and Paul Low (two years) are both running unopposed. Candidates for other town offices are also running unopposed.

One of Monkton’s two seats on the Mount Abraham Unified School District board is up for election this year. Incumbent Kristin Blanchette will not run for re-election. Bailee Layn-Gordon has declared her candidacy for the three-year term and is running unopposed.

MAUSD

The MAUSD has scheduled its annual meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, Feb. 22. All of the warned items will be voted by Australian ballot on Town Meeting Day.

The March 1 ballot will include a 2022-2023 MAUSD spending plan of  $32,665,311, which is a $910,000, or 2.9%, increase over the current year. It represents education spending of $19,826 per equalized pupil — 6.34% higher than the current year.

If approved, Monkton’s estimated school tax rate, after the CLA is figured in, would decrease by 0.24 cents, or $2.40 per $100,000 of assessed property value.

The school district is also asking to put its FY 2021 unaudited surplus into two future-needs accounts:

  • $870,000 for the capital reserve fund, in anticipation of big-ticket items like a roof for the high school.
  • $549,316 for the education reserve fund, for unexpected expenditures, such as for student needs or maintenance.

MAUSD’s budget flyer is available online at tinyurl.com/MAUSD23flyer.

Article 9 of Monkton’s Town Meeting Day ballot asks voters to ratify the town of Lincoln’s August 2021 vote to withdraw from the MAUSD.

CAREER CENTER

In other school-related voting on Town Meeting Day, voters in Monkton and 16 other Addison County towns will be asked to approve a Patricia Hannaford Career Center 2022-23 budget of $4,104,157, an increase of $274,856, or 7.2% over the current year.

They will also be asked to spend $8.1 million to finance significant renovations to the Career Center’s Middlebury buildings, including heating, HVAC and electrical systems updates, energy efficiency upgrades (including solar), enhanced security and safety equipment, complete asbestos abatement and bringing the buildings up to code.

***

NEW HAVEN

New Haven’s 260th annual town meeting will take place both remotely and in person at the Town Hall on Monday, Feb. 28, at 6:30 p.m., to act on the first four articles of the 2022 Town Meeting Day warning.

Among the articles to be acted upon at the meeting is Article 3, which asks voters to authorize the selectboard to remove certain voted appropriations from individual Town Meeting Day articles and roll them into the General Fund budget. The change would apply only to nonprofit agencies that have petitioned and received approval for the same amount of money for five consecutive years.

Voting by Australian ballot for Articles 5-33 will take place in the same location on Tuesday, March 1, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

When considering New Haven’s proposed spending for the coming year, it’s important to note that the town runs on a January-December calendar year, while the Mount Abraham Unified School District runs on a July-June fiscal year. This results in school-related charges and payments showing up in different New Haven fiscal years. Evidence of this can be found in Article 7 of New Haven Town Meeting Day warning, which shows both a $590,000 “school payment” due and a $710,000 “2021 surplus.”

As New Haven Treasurer Dannielle Cummings explains in this year’s annual report, “You will see a large surplus in the general fund but a significant portion of that is school taxes that are collected in 2021 but not paid until 2022. You are going to see this surplus every year in the general fund.”

With that in mind, here’s the spending New Haven voters are asked to approve on March 1:

  • $735,689 in General Fund expenses, an increase of $18,463, or 2.6%, over the current year.
  • $590,000 for a school payment, an increase of $115,000, or 24%.
  • $1,227,693 for Road Fund spending, a decrease of $15,306, or 1.2%.
  • $25,608 in smaller voted appropriations, detailed in Articles 12-33, a decrease of $600, or 2.2% from the current year.

In addition, the selectboard would like permission to spend up to $100,000 from the Road Equipment Fund to buy a new town truck, and to spend up to $40,000 from the Reserve Facilities Fund to fix the town hall façade and improve the building’s ADA accessibility.

DURING HIS FIRST bid for a position on the Middlebury selectboard last year, Andy Hooper is standing with family and supporters outside the Middlebury Recreation Center on Town Meeting Day 2021. Hooper is on the ballot again this year.
Independent file photo/John S. McCright

New Haven voters will also see a ballot question that has come up in several other Addison County communities in the last couple of years: whether to permit the operation of licensed cannabis retailers in town. Bristol, Ferrisburgh, Leicester and Weybridge are also considering this question on March 1. Middlebury, Salisbury, Vergennes and 27 other Vermont communities have already approved similar measures.

ELECTIONS

Two seats on the New Haven selectboard are up for election this year. Incumbents Kathy Barrett (three-year term) and John Roleau (two-year term) are running unopposed.

One of New Haven’s seats on the Mount Abraham Unified School District board is also up for election this year. Incumbent Andrew Morton decided not to run for another three-year term, and no one came forward to declare their candidacy, so that part of the ballot will be blank. If no write-in candidate wins sufficient votes to be elected, the MAUSD board, in consultation with the New Haven selectboard, will appoint a town resident for a one-year term.

MAUSD

The MAUSD was set to hold its annual meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 6 p.m. All of the warned items will be voted by Australian ballot on March 1.

New Haven voters, along with those in the four other school district towns, will be asked to approve a $32,665,311 budget for the 2022-23 school year, a $910,000, or 2.9%, increase over the current year. The budget amount would result in education spending of $19,826.37 per equalized pupil, which is 6.34% higher than the current year.

If MAUSD’s spending plan is approved, it’s estimated that New Haven’s school tax rate, after the CLA is figured in, would decrease by 2.37 cents, or $23.70 per $100,000 of assessed property value.

The school district is also asking to put its FY 2021 unaudited surplus into two future-needs accounts:

  • $870,000 for the capital reserve fund, in anticipation of big-ticket items like a roof for the high school.
  • $549,316 for the education reserve fund, for unexpected expenditures, such as for student needs or maintenance.

MAUSD’s budget flyer is available online at tinyurl.com/MAUSD23flyer.

Article 9 of New Haven’s Town Meeting Day ballot asks voters to ratify the town of Lincoln’s August 2021 vote to withdraw from the MAUSD.

CAREER CENTER

In other school-related voting on Town Meeting Day, voters in New Haven and 16 other Addison County towns will be asked to approve a Patricia Hannaford Career Center 2022-23 budget of $4,104,157, an increase of $274,856, or 7.2% over the current year.

They will also be asked to spend $8.1 million to finance significant renovations to the Career Center’s Middlebury buildings, including heating, HVAC and electrical systems updates, energy efficiency upgrades (including solar), enhanced security and safety equipment, complete asbestos abatement and bringing the buildings up to code.

***

ORWELL

All town office holders and other items on the 2022 Orwell town meeting warning will be voted by Australian ballot at the town hall on Tuesday, March 1, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. An online informational meeting was scheduled for Feb. 22.

At the polls, Orwell residents will decide whether to endorse $1,236,685 in town spending for fiscal year 2023. That’s nearly $102,000, or 9%, more than the figure OK’d last year. The proposed budget would require raising $800,319 in taxes — an 18% increase.

The proposed sewer budget of $94,135, which would be funded by user fees, is 46% less than the sewer spending plan approved last year.

Orwell voters will also be asked to OK 14 separate social service agency requests, ranging from $200 for maintenance of St. Paul’s Cemetery and $320 for RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) to $2,200 for the Orwell Parade Committee, $5,000 for Addison County Home Health & Hospice, and $15,000 for the Wright Memorial Library building.

There are no contested elections on the Orwell Town Meeting Day ballot, but there will be at least one new face in town government after ballots are counted. Selectman Robert Barnes isn’t running for re-election, and Gary Murdock is on the ballot for a two-year term on the board. Andrea Ochs, who was appointed to the selectboard, is seeking residents’ approval for three more years on the selectboard.

Other incumbents up for one-year terms are Town Moderator Michael Audet, Town Clerk Betty Walker and Town Treasurer Bryan Young.

Allen Alger, who won a contested race for first constable last year, will be on the ballot (uncontested) for another year in that position.

Along with residents of the other towns in the Slate Valley Unified Union School District, Orwell will vote on a proposed school spending plan of $26,270,047, which is about $10,000 less than the figure approved last year. The projected spending per equalized pupil, however, would inch up by $500 to $16,983.

The school board is also seeking voter approval to transfer $820,000 to the Capital Improvements and Repairs Reserve Fund.

Glen Cousineau is up for re-election to his three-year seat on the SVUUSD school board.

***

PANTON

Panton residents will face few decisions for elective office come Town Meeting Day, although the selectboard has placed an article on the March 1 ballot asking voters to abolish the position of auditor. Selectboard members believe the town’s annual professional audit provides sufficient oversight.

The selectboard will field questions about that issue, its proposed budget, and any other matter at an informational meeting on Monday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. to be held via Zoom.

Those wishing to log on via computer may do so at tinyurl.com/22PantonTownMtg, and those via phone may dial (929) 205-6099. The meeting ID is 839 5031 3723.

Voting hours on March 1 will run from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Panton Town Hall’s upper level. Town officials are mailing out ballots to all voters, however. Because of COVID-19 concerns they are recommending that residents vote absentee by U.S. mail or the town hall drop box if possible.

On the ballot selectboard member and current chair Howard Hall is running unopposed for another three-year term, as is Vergennes-Panton Water District Commission Chris Cook to return to that board.

Two listers’ positions have no candidates on the ballot, nor do the posts of constable or dog warden.

Residents will also weigh in on the selectboard’s budget proposal of $756,151, a series of annual capital fund requests that total $65,500, and nonprofit funding asks that come up to another $11,301.

If all those items are approved, total spending would rise by about $88,000 to $832,952.

But officials estimate that an increase of about 3%, or less than 2 cents, on the municipal portion of Panton’s tax rate would be needed to cover the increase.

Drivers of the higher municipal spending include the first annual payment on Panton’s new highway sand/salt shed ($32,500), an added request on one of the capital funds ($15,500), and three new nonprofit donations (about $3,000).

LINDSEY FUENTES-GEORGE, left, and Esther Thomas do some last-minute canvassing for votes
outside the Middlebury polls on Town Meeting Day 2021. Both won seats on the selectboard.
Independent file photo/John S. McCright

Also on March 1, Panton will join the other four Addison Northwest School District communities in weighing in a proposed a $22,327,585 spending plan for the next school year.

If approved, that budget would increase spending by 3.35% over the current level, but not increase taxes.

According to district estimates homestead property taxes would drop in all five ANWSD communities if voters support that budget next Tuesday. Officials said they were confident in their estimates, but actions by state officials and/or legislators could move the numbers.

In Panton, ANWSD officials expect a decrease in the homestead rate of about 5 cents, from $1.7219 to $1.6495 per $100 of assessed property value.

The ANWSD board also is asking residents to back a proposal to use $1.5 million of the district’s $1.86 million audit-confirmed surplus for repairs and upgrades at Vergennes Union elementary and high schools.

Officials said the $1.5 million would be spent on work that includes replacing rotting windows at VUHS; replacing the VUES gym roof; HVAC systems upgrades; work on the VUES boiler and the foundation of the boiler room, including adding an exterior door; VUES bathroom upgrades; VUHS science lab upgrades; and new paving and roof repair at VUHS.

The board also is proposing to use $337,763 of that surplus to help keep district taxes in check. Those measures will all be on a separate ballot. The board has scheduled a hybrid online/in-person informational meeting for Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. at the VUHS library.

The current school spending proposal keeps all existing programs, according to district officials, while adding a number of paraeducators at the three district schools, as well as two VUHS employees, a psychologist and a new member of the school’s Response Resource Center, which works with students with disciplinary and other issues.

Panton residents will be asked to support a Patricia Hannaford Career Center 2022-23 budget of $4,104,157, which reflects a 7.2% ($274,856) increase in spending. Voters also will be asked to support spending $8.1 million for  significant renovations to the Career Center’s Charles Avenue and North Campus buildings in Middlebury.

***

RIPTON

Ripton has postponed its annual town meeting until this spring, but voters will still be asked to weigh in on a variety of local and district-wide school referenda on March 1.

Among other things, Ripton residents will be asked to expand their local school board from the current three, to five members. The current three members assert it would be useful to have two additional colleagues to help Ripton transition to its own preK-12 school system. If expansion of the board is OK’d on March 1, the two additional members would be elected on May 10.

Ripton School District directors are tentatively scheduled to hold an informational meeting at the local school (and virtually) on Wednesday, March 16, from 7-8:30 p.m., to bring folks up to date on the community’s withdrawal from the Addison Central School District.

Ripton municipal officials decided to postpone the community’s annual gathering until May 9, which will be followed by Australian ballot voting on municipal elections on May 10. The hope is that pandemic conditions will have improved and school funding issues will have become clearer by May.

But in the meantime, Ripton residents will set their sights on March 1 voting, which will include elections for several ACSD board seats. One of the two contested elections involves incumbent Amy McGlashan versus Joanna Doria for Ripton’s lone seat on the panel. Doria already sits on the independent Ripton School District board, which is working on a plan for that town’s exit from the ACSD.

The other race features incumbent Mary Cullinane versus challenger Jamie McCallum for the seat representing Weybridge.

RIPTON RESIDENT ANZA Armstrong gets ready to cast her ballot in the January 2021 election to decide if her town should withdraw from the Addison Central School District.
Independent file photo/Steve James

Running unopposed for three three-years seats representing Middlebury on the ACSD board are James “Chip” Malcolm, Steve Orzech and Brian Bauer.

All members of the ACSD board are voted at-large throughout the seven-town district.

They’ll also vote on the proposed 2022-23 ACSD budget of $41,578,089, which reflects $34,594,034 in local education spending — a 5.3% increase from this year. The budget would result in an education cost of $20,192 per equalized pupil — a 6.8% increase — though that number could soon drop to $19,971 based on new information expected from the state. If approved, the budget would result in a district-wide education property tax rate of $1.56 per $100 in property value — an 8-cent decline from this year. But that rate doesn’t include Common Level of Appraisal adjustment, which would result in a 3-cent increase in the Shoreham rate.

Ripton residents will be asked to support a Patricia Hannaford Career Center budget of $4,104,157, to bankroll a variety of career and technical education programs. The request reflects a 7.2% ($274,856) increase in spending. Voters also will be asked to support spending $8.1 million to finance significant renovations to the Career Center’s Charles Avenue and North Campus buildings in Middlebury. The lion’s share of the work will involve upgrading the heating system while replacing the ventilation and electrical systems at the Charles Avenue building. The to-do list for that structure also calls for energy efficiency upgrades (including solar), enhanced security and safety equipment, ensuring the structure meets current code and ADA requirements, and complete asbestos abatement. Improvements targeting the North Campus building, in Middlebury’s industrial park, include installation of LED lighting and making an upstairs classroom usable and accessible.

March 1 voting in Ripton will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ripton Community House.

***

SALISBURY

Salisbury voters on March 1 will be asked to approve a variety of financial requests and decide contested races for the Addison Central School District board.

The selectboard is proposing a fiscal year 2023 general fund budget of $331,081, up from the $285,828 (or nearly 16%) that was OK’d last year. Residents will field a proposed highway spending plan of $505,342, down slightly from the $505,669 that voters approved for the current year.

Salisbury appears to be on sound financial footing, as Article 2 on the warning asks voters if they’d like to apply more than $30,000 in budget surplus to help stabilize property taxes next year.

Residents face a request for $16,213 to finance mosquito control efforts — specifically the spraying of adulticide — in the Otter Creek Watershed Insect Control District (formerly known as the BLSG).

Salisbury officials are also asking for $10,500 to complete an ongoing town forest survey.

Salisbury residents face $89,725 in funding requests for a variety of Addison County nonprofits that deliver services to folks in need, including Salisbury residents.

There are no contested municipal elections in Salisbury this year. Those running unopposed include Wayne S. Smith, town moderator, one year; Sue Scott, town clerk, one year; Patrick Dunn, selectboard, three years; and Paul Vaczy, selectboard, two years. There are currently no takers for a one-year term as delinquent tax collector.

In other voting action on March 1, Salisbury residents will help decide elections for several Addison Central School District board seats. One of the two contested elections involves incumbent Amy McGlashan versus Joanna Doria for Ripton’s lone seat on the panel. The other race features incumbent Mary Cullinane versus challenger Jamie McCallum for the seat representing Weybridge. Running unopposed for three three-years seats representing Middlebury on the ACSD board are James “Chip” Malcolm, Steve Orzech and Brian Bauer.

Salisbury residents get a voice in these races because all members of the ACSD board are voted at-large throughout the seven-town district.

They’ll also vote on the proposed 2022-23 ACSD budget of $41,578,089, which reflects $34,594,034 in local education spending — a 5.3% increase from this year. The budget would result in an education cost of $20,192 per equalized pupil — a 6.8% increase — though that number could soon drop to $19,971 based on new information expected from the state. If approved, the budget would result in a district-wide education property tax rate of $1.56 per $100 in property value — an 8-cent decline from this year. But that rate doesn’t include Common Level of Appraisal adjustment, which would result in a 9-cent decline in the Salisbury rate.

In other school-related voting, Salisbury residents on March 1 will be asked to support a Patricia Hannaford Career Center 2022-23 budget of $4,104,157, to bankroll a variety of career and technical education programs. The request reflects a 7.2% ($274,856) increase in spending. Voters also will be asked to support spending $8.1 million to finance significant renovations to the Career Center’s Charles Avenue and North Campus buildings in Middlebury. The lion’s share of the work will involve upgrading the heating system while replacing the ventilation and electrical systems at the Charles Avenue building. The to-do list for that structure also calls for energy efficiency upgrades (including solar), enhanced security and safety equipment, ensuring the structure meets current code and ADA requirements, and complete asbestos abatement. Improvements targeting the North Campus building, in Middlebury’s industrial park, include installation of LED lighting and making an upstairs classroom usable and accessible.

The Salisbury selectboard will hold a public informational hearing that can be attended in-person or via Zoom on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 2 p.m. to discuss the Australian ballot articles that will be voted March 1. Advanced registration — by noon on Feb. 26, at townofsalisbury.org — is required to attend the informational meeting remotely. In-person attendees will be required to follow COVID-19 protocols, with a mask worn by all, regardless of vaccination status.

Australian ballot voting will take place March 1, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., in the Salisbury Town Office.

***

SHOREHAM

Shoreham voters on Town Meeting Day will, among other things, be asked to OK the purchase of a new tractor/mower and decide contested elections for two seats on the Addison Central School District board.

The selectboard is asking permission to spend up to $110,000 on an “industrial tractor/mower.” At the same time, residents will be asked to move $60,000 from Shoreham’s General Fund into its Buildings and Grounds Reserve Fund.

The proposed 2022-23 highway fund request comes in at $922,885, up from the $901,740 taxpayers OK’d last year. Also on the ballot is a proposed fiscal year 2023 town budget request of $374,945, down from the $382,959 approved last year.

There are no contested municipal elections in Shoreham this year. Those running unopposed include Julie Ortuno, one year, town clerk; Kathleen Brisson, town treasurer, one year; Stephen Goodrich, selectboard, three years; Molly Francis and Eric Boire, selectboard, one-year terms; Tanya Scuteri and June Lapidow, for five years and four years, respectively, on the Shoreham Library board; Tim Steady, planning commission, four years; and Eric Leonard, water commissioner, three years.

In other action on March 1, Shoreham residents will cast ballots in ACSD board elections. One of the two contested races involves incumbent Amy McGlashan versus Joanna Doria for Ripton’s lone seat on the panel. Doria already sits on the independent Ripton School District board, which is working on a plan for that town’s exit from the ACSD.

The other race features incumbent Mary Cullinane versus challenger Jamie McCallum for the seat representing Weybridge.

Running unopposed for three three-years seats representing Middlebury on the ACSD board are James “Chip” Malcolm, Steve Orzech and Brian Bauer.

Shoreham residents get a voice in these races because all members of the ACSD board are voted at-large throughout the seven-town district.

Shoreham voters also will weigh in on the proposed 2022-23 ACSD budget of $41,578,089, which reflects $34,594,034 in local education spending — a 5.3% increase from this year. The budget would result in an education cost of $20,192 per equalized pupil — a 6.8% increase — though that number could soon drop to $19,971 based on new information expected from the state. If approved, the budget would result in a district-wide education property tax rate of $1.56 per $100 in property value — an 8-cent decline from this year. But that rate doesn’t include Common Level of Appraisal adjustment, which would result in a 2-cent decline in the Shoreham rate.

Shoreham residents will be asked to support a Patricia Hannaford Career Center 2022-23 budget of $4,104,157, to bankroll a variety of career and technical education programs. The request reflects a 7.2% ($274,856) increase in spending. Voters also will be asked to support spending $8.1 million to finance significant renovations to the Career Center’s Charles Avenue and North Campus buildings in Middlebury. The lion’s share of the work will involve upgrading the heating system while replacing the ventilation and electrical systems at the Charles Avenue building. The to-do list for that structure also calls for energy efficiency upgrades (including solar), enhanced security and safety equipment, ensuring the structure meets current code and ADA requirements, and complete asbestos abatement. Improvements targeting the North Campus building, in Middlebury’s industrial park, include installation of LED lighting and making an upstairs classroom usable and accessible.

A virtual informational meeting on the town meeting warning was held virtually on Sunday, Feb. 20. Australian ballot voting is slated from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1.

***

STARKSBORO

In lieu of an in-person annual meeting this year, the Starksboro selectboard will host a virtual informational meeting on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 9 a.m. Voting on all warned articles will take place in the multipurpose room of Robinson Elementary School on Town Meeting Day, March 1, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Starksboro voters are asked to approve the following spending proposals for next year:

  • $1,068,546 in General Fund spending, an increase of $60,235, or 6% over the current year, with $707,768 to be raised by taxes.
  • $52,268 for the Fire Equipment Reserve Fund, an increase of $1,029, or 2%.
  • $106,216 for the Road Equipment Reserve Fund, an increase of $5,058, or 5%.
  • $40,000 for the Paving Reserve Fund, no change.
  • $39,478 for the Starksboro Public Library, an increase of $4,103, or 11.6%.
  • $12,000 for Starksboro First Response.
  • $800 for Addison County Restorative Justice Services.
  • $1,200 for the Four Winds Program at Robinson Elementary School, for community-based natural science education.
  • $37,000 for five in-town requests and $34,536 for 27 out-of-town requests.

Two seats on the Starksboro selectboard are up for election this year.

Incumbents Nancy Boss (three-year term) and John Painter (two-year term) are running unopposed to keep their seats.

One of Starksboro’s seats on the Mount Abraham Unified School District board is also up for election this year.

Incumbent Brad Johnson is running unopposed for another three-year term.

MAUSD

The MAUSD scheduled its annual meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, Feb. 22. All of the warned items will be voted by Australian ballot on Town Meeting Day. Starksboro voters, along with those in the four other school district towns, will be asked to approve a $32,665,311 budget for the 2022-23 school year, a $910,000, or 2.9%, increase over the current year.

The amount would result in education spending of $19,826 per equalized pupil, which is 6.34% higher than the current year.

If approved, Starksboro’s school tax rate, after the CLA is figured in, would increase by 10.49 cents, or $104.90 per $100,000 of assessed property value, according to latest estimates.

The school district is also asking voters for permission to deposit its FY 2021 unaudited surplus into two future-needs accounts:

  • $870,000 for the capital reserve fund, in anticipation of big-ticket items like a roof for the high school.
  • $549,316 for the education reserve fund, for unexpected expenditures, such as for student needs or maintenance.

MAUSD’s budget flyer is available online at tinyurl.com/MAUSD23flyer.

Starksboro will be asked to ratify the town of Lincoln’s August 2021 vote to withdraw from the MAUSD.

CAREER CENTER

Also  on Town Meeting Day, voters in Starksboro and 16 other Addison County towns will be asked to approve a Patricia Hannaford Career Center 2022-23 budget of $4,104,157, an increase of $274,856, or 7.2% over the current year.

They will also be asked to spend $8.1 million to finance significant renovations to the Career Center’s Middlebury buildings, including heating, HVAC and electrical systems updates, energy efficiency upgrades (including solar), enhanced security and safety equipment, complete asbestos abatement and bringing the buildings up to code.

***

VERGENNES

The major question facing Vergennes voters on March 1 will be whether to support a $25.5 million upgrade of the city’s sewer and stormwater collection and treatment system, a project that city officials expect will be 50% supported by grant funding — see story in this edition.

City officials will discuss the bond vote for the sewer project and other issues at a meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 28 at the Vergennes Opera House that can also be accessed via Zoom.

Those who wish to join remotely may do so at zoom.us/j/561577976. To join by phone dial 1-312-626-6799. The meeting ID is 561 577 976, and its password is 1234.

Voting will be held at the city’s Green Street fire station from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1.

There are three candidates for three council seats that are coming open on March 1: incumbents Dickie Austin, the deputy mayor, and Jill Murray-Killon, plus council newcomer Zoe Kaslow.

Incumbent Vergennes-Panton Water District Commissioner Chris Bearor is running unopposed for another three years, while Bruce McIntire is alone on the ballot for a year left on an open seat on that board.

The city’s three incumbents on the Addison Northwest School District board are also running unopposed for re-election: John Stroup and Keith Morrill are each seeking another three years, while Mary Sullivan, appointed in 2021 to replace Martha DeGraaf, seeks the final year of that term.

Residents will also be asked to support the swap of small pieces of land near Vergennes Union Elementary School with ANWSD, an exchange that makes possible the construction of a proposed covered recreation pavilion.

A number of nonprofit funding requests are also on the ballot; the Vergennes City Council will set the city budget in June.

A VOTER IN the Ripton Community House gets a modest amount of privacy while voting in the election in January 2021.
Independent file photo/Steve James

Vergennes will also on March 1 join the other four ANWSD communities in weighing a proposed a $22,327,585 spending plan for the next school year.

If approved, that budget would increase spending by 3.35% over the current level, but not increase taxes.

According to the district estimates homestead property taxes would drop in all five ANWSD communities if voters support that budget on March 1. Officials said they were confident in their estimates, but actions by state officials and/or legislators could move the numbers.

In Vergennes, ANWSD officials expect a decrease in the homestead rate of almost 5 cents, from $1.8220 to $1.8052 per $100 of assessed property value.

The ANWSD board also is asking residents to back a proposal to use $1.5 million of the district’s $1.86 million audit-confirmed surplus for repairs and upgrades at Vergennes Union elementary and high schools.

Officials said the $1.5 million will be spent on work that includes replacing rotting windows at VUHS; replacing the VUES gym roof; HVAC systems upgrades; work on the VUES boiler and the foundation of the boiler room, including adding an exterior door; bathroom upgrades at VUES; science lab upgrades at VUHS; and new paving and roof repair at VUHS.

The board also is proposing to use $337,763 of that surplus to help keep district taxes in check. Those measures will all be on a separate ballot. The board has scheduled a hybrid online/in-person informational meeting for Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. at the VUHS library.

The school current spending proposal keeps all existing programs, according to district officials, while adding a number of paraeducators at the three district schools, as well as two VUHS employees, a psychologist and a new member of the school’s Response Resource Center, which works with students with disciplinary and other issues.

Vergennes residents will weigh in on a Patricia Hannaford Career Center 2022-23 budget of $4,104,157, which reflects a 7.2% ($274,856) increase in spending. Voters also will be asked to support spending $8.1 million for  significant renovations to the Career Center’s Charles Avenue and North Campus buildings in Middlebury.

***

WALTHAM

In Waltham  two multi-term incumbents are stepping down from major positions, Tim Ryan from the selectboard and Tom Borchert from the Addison Northwest School District board, but candidates have emerged to replace them.

Brent Newton will be unopposed on the ballot for the selectboard, and Mimi Clark is unopposed on the March 1 ballot for Waltham’s lone seat on the ANWSD board.

The selectboard has proposed a $23,971, or 13%, increase in town spending, not including capital funds or nonprofit requests, to $260,107.

A proposed increase of about $18,000 in road spending is the major driver of that budget hike.

At the same time, Waltham residents may approve another measure proposed by the selectboard — to use up to $20,000 of a fund balance from prior fiscal years to offset the tax impact of that higher spending.

If residents approve all spending measures and the proposed use of the fund balance, the effect on the municipal portion of Waltham’s tax rate will be almost nil.

That’s because the Bixby Library’s request for funding is equal to 2021’s ($10,692); the nonprofit requests, according to town officials, total a little lower than in 2021 ($3,729); and officials said the selectboard’s requests for a series for capital funds ($23,100) equals that of a year ago.

Residents can ask questions about town spending and other issues at a hybrid informational meeting that will begin at 7 p.m. on Feb. 28 at Waltham Town Hall. Those wishing to attend via Zoom may log into zoom.us/j/921127112749400.

Residents will decide all elections and financial issues via Australian ballot. Voting will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Panton Town Hall.

Waltham will also on March 1 join the other four Addison Northwest School District communities in weighing in on a proposed a $22,327,585 spending plan for the next school year.

If approved, that budget would increase spending by 3.35% over the current level, but not increase taxes.

According to the district estimates homestead property taxes would drop in all five ANWSD communities if voters support that budget on March 1. Officials said they were confident in their estimates, but actions by state officials and/or legislators could move the numbers.

In Waltham, ANWSD officials expect a decrease in the homestead rate of about 5 cents, from $1.7257 to $1.6731 per $100 of assessed property value.

The ANWSD board also is asking residents to back using $1.5 million of the district’s $1.86 million audit-confirmed surplus for repairs and upgrades at Vergennes Union elementary and high schools.

Officials said the $1.5 million will be spent on work that includes replacing rotting windows at VUHS; replacing the VUES gym roof; HVAC systems upgrades; work on the VUES boiler and the foundation of the boiler room, including adding an exterior door; bathroom upgrades at VUES; science lab upgrades at VUHS; and new paving and roof repair at VUHS.

The board also proposes using $337,763 of that surplus to help keep district taxes in check. Those measures will all be on a separate ballot. The board has scheduled a hybrid online/in-person informational meeting for Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. at the VUHS library.

The current spending proposal keeps all existing programs, according to district officials, while adding a number of paraeducators at the three district schools, as well as two VUHS employees, a psychologist and a new member of the school’s Response Resource Center, which works with students with disciplinary and other issues.

Waltham voters will be asked to support a Patricia Hannaford Career Center 2022-23 budget of $4,104,157, which reflects a 7.2% ($274,856) increase in spending. Voters also will be asked to support spending $8.1 million for  significant renovations to the Career Center’s Charles Avenue and North Campus buildings in Middlebury.

***

WEYBRIDGE

Weybridge residents on March 1 will decide whether their town should open its doors to potential cannabis retail sales in the future, and will help decide a contested election for the community’s lone seat on the Addison Central School District board.

Like Bristol, Ferrisburgh, Leicester and New Haven, Weybridge is having an “opt-in” vote on the issue of cannabis retail sales, which will soon become legal in Vermont.

The contested race for Weybridge’s ACSD board seat features incumbent (and ACSD board Chair) Mary Cullinane, who is being challenged by resident Jamie McCallum.

Weybridge’s proposed fiscal year 2023 highway budget comes in at $524,700, up around 1% from the current year’s spending plan of $519,400. The fiscal year 2023 general fund budget is being pitched at $174,800, a 3.6% increase from this year’s $168,800 spending plan.

Residents will also be asked to approve:

  • $25,000 to support the local fire department.
  • $10,000 to support the municipal recycling programs.
  • A proposal to replenish the Weybridge Conservation Fund through revenues generated by a penny on the local tax rate during each of the next four years. The money would be used to “protect and/or enhance Weybridge land and waters for ag, forest, wildlife, recreational, educational, or natural area use.”
  • A variety of Addison County nonprofits in amounts ranging from $94 for the Otter Creek Natural Resource Conservation District, to $2,600 for Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects.

There are no contested municipal elections in Weybridge this year. Those running unopposed include Spencer Putnam, town moderator, one year; Kelly Flynn, selectboard, two years; and Megan Sutton, selectboard, three years.

In other action on March 1, Weybridge residents will help decide a second contested race for the ACSD board, this one involving incumbent Amy McGlashan versus Joanna Doria for Ripton’s lone seat on the panel. Doria already sits on the independent Ripton School District board, which is working on a plan for that town’s exit from the ACSD.

Running unopposed for three three-years seats representing Middlebury on the ACSD board are James “Chip” Malcolm, Steve Orzech and Brian Bauer. Voters in all seven towns in the district vote for all members of the ACSD board at-large.

Local residents will also vote on the proposed 2022-23 ACSD budget of $41,578,089, which reflects $34,594,034 in local education spending — a 5.3% increase from this year. The budget would result in an education cost of $20,192 per equalized pupil — a 6.8% increase — though that number could soon drop to $19,971 based on new information expected from the state. If approved, the budget would result in a district-wide education property tax rate of $1.56 per $100 in property value — an 8-cent decline from this year. But that rate doesn’t include Common Level of Appraisal adjustment, which would result in a 9-cent decline in the Weybridge rate.

In other school-related voting, Weybridge residents will be asked to support a Patricia Hannaford Career Center 2022-23 budget of $4,104,157, to bankroll a variety of career and technical education programs. The request reflects a 7.2% ($274,856) increase in spending. Voters also will be asked to support spending $8.1 million to finance significant renovations to the Career Center’s Charles Avenue and North Campus buildings in Middlebury. The lion’s share of the work will involve upgrading the heating system while replacing the ventilation and electrical systems at the Charles Avenue building. The to-do list for that structure also calls for energy efficiency upgrades (including solar), enhanced security and safety equipment, ensuring the structure meets current code and ADA requirements, and complete asbestos abatement. Improvements targeting the North Campus building, in Middlebury’s industrial park, include installation of LED lighting and making an upstairs classroom usable and accessible.

***

WHITING

After postponing its annual town meeting until May last year in reaction to the pandemic, Whiting is back to holding its meeting in person on the first Tuesday in March this year. But there’s a change; town meeting will take place in the fire station instead of town hall, which has been closed since last fall. The meeting will take place on March 1 beginning at 7:15 p.m.

Proposed town spending in Whiting for the coming year is $411,218 (with $291,088). Voters can discuss and amend this number at the meeting.

Five town offices will be up for election. Those positions and the incumbents are: selectboard member, three years, Marcia King; lister, three years, Peg Allen; auditor, three years, Alison Remy; collector of delinquent taxes, one year, Rani Fallon; library trustee, three years, Heather Mattison; and first constable, one year, Rusty Brigham.

Article 4 on the warning asks voters if they will give the collector of delinquent taxes the power to collect delinquent taxes.

Whiting voters will also weigh in on a proposed Otter Valley Unified Union School District spending plan of $22,710,955, which would result in education spending of $17,048 per equalized pupil — 9.72% higher than spending for the current year.

The board representing the OVUUSD has no contested races. Two at-large seats for the OVUUSD board are on the ballot: Barbara Ebling of Brandon is running for a three-year term; there is no candidate on the ballot for the final year of another three-year term; Whiting residents are welcome to wage a write-in campaign for that seat.

Polls will be open for Australian ballot voting on the OVUUSD budget and board seats at the town clerk’s office on March 1, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

 

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