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Town Meeting 2024 results — so far

RIPTON RESIDENTS SETTLE in for their town's annual meeting at the Ripton Community House on Monday night. Independent photo/Megan James

Here are the key takeaways from Town Meeting Day in Addison County, as of 11 a.m. Wednesday morning. We will update this article as we receive more results and will publish a full town-by-town recap in Thursday’s paper.

Middlebury residents decided a contested race for two three-year spots on their selectboard — overwhelmingly backing incumbent Selectman Farhad Khan (1,151 votes) and former longtime Town Planner Fred Dunnington (952 votes) over former Selectman Travis Forbes (400 votes) and approved all the money items on their Monday meeting warning and their Tuesday ballot.

In the crowded Addison select board race, the three incumbents ultimately prevailed: Board Chairman Roger Waterman drew four opponents for a two-year term and came out on top with 170 votes, followed by Michael Hollis, 95; Ethan Gevry, 80; Geoffrey Grant, 75; and Elizabeth Armstrong, 37.

Former board chair and longtime incumbent Jeffrey Kauffman defeated one challenger for three more years, Eliza Spencer, by a 270-171 margin. 

Incumbent Peter Briggs was on the ballot for one year, and he turned aside a challenge from Levi Barrett.

Ferrisburgh residents decided a closely contested race for a selectboard seat: Stephen Fleming defeated Susan Oliveira, 383-340 votes, for the seat vacated by longtime board member Red Muir.

Bridport residents on Tuesday approved all the financial requests on their warning and took a first step toward possibly withdrawing from the Lemon Fair Insect Control District.

In Lincoln, voters decided to establish a full-time town administrator position and appropriate a sum of up to $130,000 to support the position.

New Haven voters elected a new face to represent the town on the Mount Abraham Unified School District Board. Ashley Bessette was unchallenged for the open three-year seat and succeeds former school board member Sarah LaPerle. 

In Ripton, Bill Hunsinger topped Chris Smith, 138-96, in the race for a one-year term on the selectboard. Giles Hoyler defeated Milo Tudor, 181-50, in a separate race for a three-year term on the panel.

Starksboro resident David Schmidt earned 101 write-in votes for a three-year-term on the town’s selectboard, enough to win him the open seat. Robert Briggs received 24 write-in votes. 

In Waltham, Anthony Duprey and Margaret Roddy were both nominated for a three-year term on the select board, and Duprey prevailed, 26 to 13. Duprey replaces incumbent Andrew Martin on the board; Martin had said he preferred not to be re-nominated. 

Weybridge residents passed all financial items on their warning, including a $25,060 request that will allow locals to obtain fiscal year 2025 memberships to Middlebury’s Ilsley Memorial Library.

SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGETS

Voters in the Addison Central School District member towns approved the proposed budget of $50,604,080 on Tuesday by a convincing 2,081-1,157 tally.

Area voters also approved the proposed FY’25 Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center budget of $5,345,539 by a 4,867 to 3,195 margin.

In Lincoln, voters approved the Lincoln School District‘s $4,927,940 spending plan for the 2024-2025 school year, an increase of 6.09% in total spending over the current year.

The rest of the K-12 spending plans in Addison County did not win approval on Town Meeting Day, as many residents in our area and throughout Vermont were concerned about the prospect of seeing big education property tax increases due to inflation, rising health care premiums, the sunset of federal COVID assistance for schools, and a variety of other factors.

Voters in the six-town Otter Valley Unified Union School District soundly defeated the proposed FY2025 budget of $27,247,823, which would’ve increased spending by $3,073,428 or 12.71%. The tally was 1,325 votes opposed, 891 in favor. 

Voters in the Mount Abraham Unified School District narrowly defeated the proposed district budget for the 2024-2025 academic year and opposed by a much larger margin (1615-820 votes) the purchase of the building that houses the district’s central office. The $37,014,566 spending plan was shot down by 228 votes — 1,341 ‘no’ votes to 1,113 ‘yes’ votes.

The Addison Northwest School District board’s budget proposal of $28,232,078 was defeated, 1,282-1,012, or about 56-44%.

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