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No takers for Middlebury seats

Posted on January 28, 2010 |
By John Flowers



MIDDLEBURY — The town of Middlebury will feature only one contested local election this March — for library trustee — while there are no takers for one three-year term each on the selectboard and elementary school board.

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Brandon to consider $2 million budget

Posted on January 28, 2010 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



BRANDON — The Brandon selectboard on Monday approved a proposed $2,018,360 municipal spending plan for 2010-2011 that includes money for a part-time recreation coordinator and a significant increase in economic development funding.

Those funds are available because there are no raises in the proposed budget for town management, including the town manager, the superintendent of public works, and the police chief. One full-time public works employee has also been cut, leaving three full-time workers and the superintendent.

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Some lawmakers wary of Douglas spending cuts

Posted on January 21, 2010 |
By Dave Gram



MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Gov. Jim Douglas on Tuesday laid out an austere budget for the next fiscal year, saying the state must close a $150 million money gap by taking such steps as: more than quadrupling deductibles paid by some public healthcare beneficiaries, trimming payments to human services providers, and reducing subsidies to help middle-income Vermonters pay school property taxes.

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Changes in voyeurism law sought

Posted on January 21, 2010 |
By John Flowers



MONTPELIER — The victim in a 2007 voyeurism case at Middlebury College urged the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to strengthen state laws in cases where someone records images of a person’s private areas or sexual conduct without having first secured that person’s permission.

At issue is bill S.218, sponsored by state Sen. Claire Ayer, D-Weybridge, on behalf of a Middlebury College graduate of the class of 2007.

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Full text of Governor Douglas' Budget Address, Jan. 19, 2010

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, members of the General Assembly, distinguished guests, my fellow Vermonters:

In the late fall of 1927, the skies opened and a great flood devastated our state. Vermont's transportation, industrial and agricultural infrastructure was washed away over two long days.

On a visit back home less than a year after the flood, President Coolidge noted "the splendid recovery." He remarked that "Transportation has been restored. The railroads are in a better condition than before. The highways are open to traffic for those who wish to travel by automobile."

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Commission floats pension changes for teachers

Posted on January 14, 2010 |
By Andrea Suozzo



MONTPELIER — The report released last week by the commission that evaluated retirement benefits for Vermont teachers and state workers lays out 10 recommendations intended to decrease deficits in the state employee pension fund by, among other things, increasing employee contributions to their retirement accounts and raising the retirement age.

To Martha Allen, president of the Vermont National Education Association (VT-NEA), the report’s recommendations are disappointing.

“What the report wants is for teachers to work longer, pay more and get less,” she said.

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Middlebury Selectman Keeler to step down

Posted on January 11, 2010 |
By John Flowers



MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury Selectman Don Keeler will not run for re-election this March, citing a desire to at least temporarily take a break from town government activities and give someone else a chance to serve the community.

“I thought long and hard about it,” Keeler said during an interview last week. “I just think that with the six years I’ve served, along with the six years I served during the late 1970s and early 1980s, I’ve done my part. It’s time for some new blood.”

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Douglas picks Shaw to fill Pittsford/Sudbury House

Posted on January 11, 2010 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



PITTSFORD — Pittsford Assistant Fire Chief and local business owner Charles “Butch” Shaw has been appointed to the state House of Representatives by Gov. Jim Douglas. Shaw fills the seat vacated by longtime Rep. Peg Flory, a Republican who represented Pittsford/Sudbury.

“I look forward to working with Butch as we address difficult fiscal challenges and work to strengthen our economy,” Douglas said. “I am confident that he will represent the people of Pittsford and Sudbury thoughtfully and with dedication.”

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Douglas takes aim at school spending

Posted on January 10, 2010 |
By John Flowers



MONTPELIER — Gov. James Douglas threw down the gauntlet in his final state-of-the-state address on Thursday, urging lawmakers to enact a series of initiatives he believes will advance economic development and reduce school spending.

Douglas, a Middlebury Republican, pulled no punches in an address that took just over 40 minutes to deliver and was interrupted 10 times by applause from a General Assembly heavily dominated by Democrats.

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Town budget set for public hearing

Posted on January 7, 2010 |
By John Flowers



MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury residents on Jan. 26 will be able to weigh in on a proposed fiscal year 2011 municipal budget that is $50,468 less than the current spending plan and that would maintain the same municipal tax rate as this year.

The Middlebury selectboard on Tuesday officially OK’d, for public hearing, a proposed municipal spending plan of $8,127,649 — of which $1,250,000 is associated with debt service on the new Cross Street Bridge. That expense is being covered by a bond issue, with the debt retired through local option taxes and a substantial gift from Middlebury College.

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