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November 6th, 2014
VERGENNES — At their Oct. 28 meeting Vergennes City Council members were first faced with an agenda item on a possible local option tax in the city. One option, for example, would be to add a penny to the state sales tax to items sold within city limits.
But Mayor Bill Benton said the time was not right for the discussion. He said he was out of town when it was placed on the agenda, and he removed it when he returned because not enough research has been done to show whether such a tax could have a positive impact.
ADDISON COUNTY — While incumbents and challengers waged hard-fought races for Vermont House seats in Middlebury, the Bristol area, Vergennes area and the Bridport/Weybridge/New Haven district, some local elections were not contested.
BRANDON — Voters here resoundingly defeated a proposal to switch from Australian ballot to a town meeting floor vote on town and school budgets.
The question was asked separately in a school warning and a town warning because the budgets are warned and voted on separately. The school vote results were 1,000-333 against going to a floor vote. Town results were 1,011-326.
Brandon saw voter turnout higher than normal at 47 percent, according to Town Clerk Sue Gage.
MIDDLEBURY — Better Middlebury Partnership President Ben Wilson recently gave the Middlebury selectboard an overview of the results of a Future of Retail Study that a consultant performed for the town earlier this year.
At the Oct. 28 selectboard meeting, Wilson urged town officials and the business community to seize on the report’s results — which showed some gaps in the local retail market — and take steps to make the Middlebury more of a magnet for local shoppers and tourists.
BRISTOL — Bristol Republican Fred Baser on Tuesday rattled what had been a decade of Democratic dominance in the Addison-4 House district, and his victory will also likely have a big impact on the complexion of the Legislature’s health care reform debate during the next biennium.
Baser, in his second bid for one of Addison-4’s two House seats, was the top vote-getter in the four-town district with a total of 1,872 tallies. Rep. Dave Sharpe, D-Bristol, finished second in the race with 1,765 votes.
VERGENNES — Incumbents Diane Lanpher, D-Vergennes, and Warren Van Wyck, R-Ferrisburgh, on Tuesday prevailed in a competitive four-way race to win the Addison-3 district’s two seats and will represent Ferrisburgh, Vergennes, Addison, Panton and Waltham in the Vermont House of Representatives for the next two years.
BRISTOL — By August 2006, exchanging fire with insurgents was so routine that the U.S. Marines in Lance Cpl. Jon Turner’s platoon in Ramadi, Iraq, expected it like clockwork.
So when Turner, just after he rose one morning and began preparing to go out on post, heard the distinctive thoomp of a 120-millimeter mortar fired from outside the compound, he wasn’t surprised.
RUTLAND — This Saturday at Rutland High School the Otter Valley Union High School football team will try to win the second title in the program’s history. The Otters will meet a familiar foe in the Division III final, BFA-Fairfax.