March 4th, 2015
CORNWALL — Cornwall residents at their town meeting elected Magna Dodge in a contested race for the selectboard and passed all of the money items on their warning.
Dodge defeated Brian Kemp, 116-98, amid a turnout of 224 voters — that’s 25 percent of the total registered voters in town.
Residents passed, by voice vote at Monday evening’s meeting, a fiscal year 2016 general fund budget of $486,610 and a highway budget request of $400,250.
BRISTOL — Voters in Bristol this week approved municipal spending plans but rejected the proposed budgets for the elementary and high schools.
On Monday evening voters OK’d a budget of $714,041 for the town highway fund, $607,735 of which is to be raised by taxes. The highway fund sum is almost exactly the same as last year.
BRIDPORT — Bridport residents at their town meeting agreed to take steps to take the town clerk, treasurer and tax collector positions off future election ballots and instead allow the local selectboard to appoint people to those positions. This will allow qualified candidates to apply from outside of the town of Bridport.
BRANDON — It’s time to move on. That seems to be the message from Brandon voters, as every article on the Town Meeting Day ballot was approved this week.
The Brandon selectboard warned a “no-frills” budget that represents a 2 percent, or $47,000, increase in the amount to be raised by taxes. The approved $2,906,075 spending plan calls for $2,425,370 to be raised by taxes — a 1.7 percent increase. Voters bought it, passing the budget, 609-418.
ADDISON — If Town Meeting Day polling is any indication, voters in Addison were willing to open up their wallets for most items on the school and municipal warnings — except for the Vergennes Union High School’s general operating budget. As in the other five towns that feed VUHS, Addison voters on Tuesday rejected the proposed $10.47 million high school spending plan; in Addison the tally was 140 no, 123 yes.
Residents did, however, approve the level-funded Addison Central School spending plan of $1,543,138; the vote was 166 yes, 98 no.
MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE MEN’S hockey coach Bill Beaney reflects on his long career behind the bench after announcing his retirement at a press conference in Kenyon Arena Wednesday afternoon. / Independent photo/Trent Campbell
The House Education bill, H.361, is out. This rangy bill covers a considerable number of educational issues, and carries with it many of the ideas that had been raised through House Speaker Shap Smith’s education workgroup. Specifically, it bears down on both education spending and governance, proposing a spending cap and an incentive/disincentive approach that aims to move us forward collectively and strike a balance between mandate and self-selection.
The research firm 24/7 Wall Street recently conducted a study of trends in middle-income stagnation and income inequality across all 50 states. The study was based on publicly available data from the Census Bureau, Labor Department and other government agencies. Vermont did not come out well, if you are someone for whom reducing inequality is a valued goal.