Archive - Mar 3, 2011
Vermonters are fortunate today to live in a state where civic-minded progress overshadows the need by some to blame all things government for the recession and tepid economic recovery.
In states like Wisconsin, Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio and much of the deep South, taxpayers are taking their frustrations out on the budgets they can control — schools and towns — and selling the future of the younger generation down the drain.
In Bristol, town residents spoke clearly in a planning commission poll asking two very direct questions about where mineral extraction should be allowed. The answers confirmed past votes, surveys and public comments that have overwhelmingly opposed gravel pit operation near the village center or in the town’s conservation districts.
On Monday evening, I asked a friend if she’d stopped by the town meeting in Middlebury.
“No,” she said. “I didn’t feel like I knew enough about what was in the town report.”
Next week, the House Education Committee will hold a hearing on a bill to designate the governor, rather than the state board of education, as the appointing authority for Vermont’s education commissioner.
The board of education consists of 10 members, appointed by the governor for six-year terms. During a governor’s elected term of two years, he or she can appoint only three or four members of the state board. The governor would need two terms, or four years, to appoint a majority of the members of the board of education.
Below is our town-by-town wrapup of actions taken by Addison County voters at their local annual gatherings. Click on a town to jump to the results.
VERGENNES — Addison Northwest Supervisory Union residents on Tuesday backed a plan for one 12-member board to own and operate Addison Central, Ferrisburgh Central, Vergennes Union Elementary and Vergennes Union High schools.
The overall vote was 764-466, or roughly 62-38 percent, and in four of the five towns at least 60 percent of voters favored the measure.
Those towns were Ferrisburgh (where the vote ran 270-161), Panton (62-15), Vergennes (191-124) and Waltham (64-16).
LINCOLN — Residents of Lincoln this week were asked to approve a $2 million school repair bond and a budget for the coming year that features higher spending than last year.
The fact that townspeople had rejected the same bond proposal in January raised the stakes even higher.
In paper balloting on the school budget at town meeting Monday night and in Australian balloting on the bond Tuesday, Lincoln voters gave the Lincoln Community School a new breath of life.
ADDISON COUNTY — School directors’ efforts to level-fund or even reduce their 2011-2012 budget proposals paid dividends on Monday and Tuesday, as all education spending plans in the county were endorsed in town meeting voting.
That’s not to say there weren’t some tense moments in some towns. Bridport’s elementary school budget passed by a slim six votes.
But most of the school spending plans passed by comfortable margins, either by voice vote or Australian ballots (see town-by-town results).