Ripton OKs budgets & elects new officers

RIPTON — Ripton residents on Monday, May 9, approved all of the financial items at their annual town gathering, and then went to the polls the next day to decide contested races for the selectboard and town constable.

Ripton Town Clerk Alison Joseph Dickinson said 95 people — 23% of the 421 residents on the community’s voter checklist — turned out at the polls on Tuesday to pick Giles Hoyler over Bonnie Swan, 58-32, for a two-year term on the selectboard. The two years is the balance of a three-year term left by former incumbent Selectman Ron Wimett, who died unexpectedly last fall. Swan was appointed to replace Wimett until Town Meeting Day — which Ripton officials decided to shift from the usual first Tuesday in March to May, in hopes the COVID-19 pandemic would recede to a point where it would be safer to hold a large gathering.

As an extra health-safety precaution, Ripton’s town gathering on Monday was held at the Silver Towers Camp off the Goshen Road.

In the other contested local election on Tuesday, Chris Smith topped Perry Hanson, 50-42, in the race for a one-year term as town constable.

Winners of uncontested elections on Tuesday included Timothy Hanson, three years, selectboard; Tim O’Leary, town moderator, one year; Carolyn Smith, delinquent tax collector, one year; Tim O’Leary, school moderator, one year; Elizabeth Walker, cemetery commissioner, one year; and Erik Eriksen, lister, three years.

Residents added two new members to their new school board. Townspeople had previously agreed to bump their school board from three to five members, and Jane Phinney (one year) and Wendy Harlin (two years) ran unopposed for those two new spots. Incumbent Molly Witters was unopposed for a new three-year term on the panel.

Dickinson confirmed participants at Monday’s annual gathering OK’d the following financial requests by unanimous voice votes:

  • A proposed 2022-2023 general fund budget of $246,904, up from the current spending plan of $233,211.
  • A proposed fiscal year 2023 highway budget of $416,050, almost $2,000 more than current spending.
  • $35,000 for the Ripton School Board to pay the following expenses: business services ($8,000), legal services ($10,000), supervisory consulting ($6,000), curriculum consulting ($6,000), job advertising and recruiting ($2,000), virtual meeting subscription ($250), and town office services ($2,750). All these expenses are part of the town’s transition to an independent preK-12 school district beginning July 1.
  • $41,000 for the Ripton Volunteer Fire and First Response Department to pay expenses from July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023.
  • $6,000 to the Ripton Cemetery Commission.

Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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