secession

RIPTON — You’ll forgive Ripton residents this year for being more preoccupied by their neighbors’ town meeting results than their own. That’s because residents in Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury, Salisbury, Shoreham and Weybridge on March 2 will decide whether to endorse Ripton’s bid to withdraw from the Addison Central School District. Ripton residents — in an effort to preserve their local school, which has been targeted for closure due to low enrollment — voted 163-107 on Jan. 12 to leave the ACSD and become an independent school district. But Ripton’s road to independence still faces two...
Ripton’s choice to withdrawal its elementary school from the Addison Central Supervisory Union should be just that: the town’s choice. On Jan. 12 this year, town residents voted 163-107 to withdraw from the school district and become an independent school. After a two-year discussion — and a full-on push throughout this past year of advocating to keep its school open — residents there have taken this action with eyes wide open. Is there risk? Absolutely. Could town taxpayers have to pay a little more in taxes to keep their elementary school open? Yes. Taxes for Ripton residents are projected...
Dear Voters of Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury, Salisbury, Shoreham and Weybridge. My name is Maggie Hoyler and I am a fifth-grader at Ripton Elementary School. It is my last year at Ripton because the district is moving sixth grade to MUMS and I want to leave a school that is not going to be closed and make more room for new students. I don’t want to leave a school that is about to close. I have heard about the closing of my school and I don’t like it. I love Ripton Elementary School. I love the playground, the soccer field, and most of all the teachers, the teachers are the best. They are...
We came to Vermont 36 years ago when George was appointed to serve as pastor of the United Methodist churches in Middlebury, East Middlebury and Ripton. We loved this area and the people here. We found Ripton to be a very special place, a unique community. We made many good friends in Ripton, some of whom have passed on, but many with whom we stay in touch. We were away for another appointment for 12 years until we fulfilled our goal of moving back here when we retired in 2001. In the first years we were here the Ripton school was next door to the church. At Christmas families would gather at...
Democracy — perhaps the most important reason to vote yes to ratify Ripton’s town vote to secede from Addison Central School District. The people of Ripton came out in impressive numbers and voted to secede. That vote should be respected and honored. The proposal and decision have been well researched and the community has been engaged in the process. Dollars — the district put out a financial estimate on the impact of withdrawing. They estimate the district will save money if Ripton withdraws. They estimate the savings will be even greater if Ripton remains a part of the district but their...
I will be voting YES to release Ripton from the Addison Central School District.  This is not because I want to weigh in on whether Ripton School should remain open or not, nor because I want Ripton to leave, but because, as a resident of Shoreham, it is really not my business to make a decision for Ripton. The voters of Ripton have already had their say. I believe in good democratic practice and local autonomy. My YES vote will be to support Ripton’s decision and their autonomy, and, by extension, the autonomy of all towns and cities in Vermont. Peter Lynch Shoreham
I read in the Ripton Elementary School newsletter that students have been spending part of each day this winter learning and playing, sled dogging and skiing in the great outdoors.  No doubt they have delighted in our almost nightly snowfall and learning about the nocturnal visitors to their playground. The Ripton School is located next to a forest where the deer bed down for the night. Tiny tracks reveal animals much smaller who too must stay on the move to stay warm.  Food must be found and students learn the part that good food plays in keeping their own bodies warm. Now, hooray, the days...
I live in Middlebury and feel a lot of sympathy with both Ripton and Weybridge as they face the likely closure of their elementary schools if they remain within the Addison Central School District. I’m interested that the two towns have voted differently on the question of leaving the supervisory union, and am curious as to why this happened. As I ponder my own vote on the question, one thing that concerns me is the impact of withdrawal on the property tax burden of low- and moderate-income residents in Ripton. Our state has a system of income-based school property taxes, but I believe that a...
“If the spirit of liberty should vanish in other parts of the State, and support of our institutions should languish, it could all be replenished from the generous store held by the people of this brave little town of Ripton.” Shamelessly paraphrasing President Coolidge, these remarks could well speak to Ripton’s 163 to 107 vote on Jan. 12 to keep the town’s elementary school open by withdrawing from the Addison Central School District (ACSD). We are indeed a brave little town. One reporter, calling the day after the vote, fired off questions about the many difficulties and hurdles in our way...
I assure readers that Ripton is taking correct action to remove itself from the Addison Central School District to take control and preserve their small town school. Costs for education can now come under their control to lower their town taxes. They can hire teachers that they can afford, not those with excessive demands for retirement and healthcare, while the voters have none. Better teachers focused on child needs without union restrictions. My one-room teachers gave me the education for college to be successful, Ripton can supply that too. Ripton can make decisions on how to spend for...

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Addison County Independent