Vergennes

VERGENNES — The Addison Northwest School District board on Monday, Jan. 11, looked at a $21.6 million final 2021-2022 budget draft that comes in at about $238,400 less than the spending level ANWSD residents approved for the district this past March. ANWSD Director of Finance of Operations Elizabeth Jennings also confirmed for board members at that meeting the Vergennes-area district has an audited surplus from the 2019-2020 fiscal year of roughly $1.585 million. This Wednesday, Jan. 20, beginning at 6 p.m., the ANWSD board will make final decisions on both the budget for the 2021-2022 (FY22...

LYNN DONNELLY
VERGENNES — The debate on whether Mayor Lynn Donnelly should be allowed to return to the Vergennes City Council in March and serve out the final year of her two-year term — to which she was elected in March 2020 — came to an abrupt and emotional end at Tuesday’s council meeting. In tearful remarks that followed suggestions that she should instead run for office, Donnelly said she would forego what she thought was her right to finish her term. She added she did not plan to run again, and criticized some of her council colleagues. Donnelly, a longtime city real estate broker and Vergennes...
VERGENNES — Raymond William White, 34, of Vergennes on Monday pleaded not guilty in Addison Superior Court, Criminal Division, to a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly shot a man on Sunday morning at his First Street home in Vergennes. The victim, a 42-year-old man, was in “critical, but stable condition” at the UVM Medical Center in Burlington on Monday, according to Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel. The Independent is not identifying the victim or a third man involved because of an ongoing investigation and unsubstantiated allegations of illegal activity...
VERGENNES — Vergennes residents will decide on Town Meeting Day whether to allow legal retail marijuana sales within their city — subject to future city ordinances and zoning permits for any shops. At its Tuesday, Jan. 12, meeting, the Vergennes City Council approved unanimously a motion that would allow residents to decide the question, which resident and former city planner and development review board member Jason Farrell brought to the councilors’ attention. Farrell noted the Legislature this past session passed a law allowing communities the choice to opt in and regulate shops “subject...
VERGENNES — Although two Vergennes Union Elementary School students have recently tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and one VUES class has gone to remote learning, school officials said the Addison Northwest School District will continue in-person education. ANWSD Superintendent Sheila Soule and other ANWSD administrators took that position in emails sent out to students’ families on Sunday and Monday, and Soule reinforced the message at Monday’s district board meeting. Sunday’s email to families, including school principals and central office administrators in its signature line,...

VICTORY BAPTIST CHURCH in Vergennes has seen 80 COVID cases since Christmas. Independent photo/Steve James
VERGENNES  — After Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine singled out a Vergennes church as the source of 80 recent COVID-19 cases, the pastor of Victory Baptist Church on Route 7 says that his parishioners were following federal safety guidelines during the spread of the disease that apparently occurred at Christmas services. “Our congregations want to do live services, so we follow CDC guidelines,” the Rev. Tim Taylor told the Independent. During the start of the pandemic Victory Baptist held services only online in March, April and May, in accordance with state mandates, Taylor said....
VERGENNES — Raymond William White, 34, of Vergennes was arraigned on Monday afternoon in Addison Superior Court’s Criminal Division and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly shooting a man on Sunday morning at his First Street home in Vergennes, according to court paperwork.   The victim, a 42-year-old man, was in “critical, but stable condition” at the UVM Medical Center in Burlington, according to Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel.  The Independent is not identifying the victim or a third man involved because of an ongoing investigation and unsubstantiated...

RON REDMOND
VERGENNES — Vergennes has hired the longtime executive director of Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace to be its new city manager. Ron Redmond, 65, will take over for Interim City Manager Renny Perry on Jan. 18. Perry said he would leave as Redmond came aboard, but would “come in if Ron needs me” afterward. Perry took over as interim on Nov. 13, when former manager Dan Hofman left. Hofman and the city council agreed to part ways after Hofman said he wished to leave the post he had held since January. This search proved more efficient than each of the city’s previous two managerial searches...

PETER KELLERMAN IS leaving the top administrative post at Vergennes-based John Graham Housing & Services after leading the nonprofit through seven eventful years. Photo courtesy Peter Kellerman
VERGENNES — Chronologically, Peter Kellerman has served seven years as executive director of John Graham Housing & Services (JGH&S), a Vergennes nonprofit that runs a homeless shelter, transitional housing, and programs that help people transition to permanent accommodations. But with all the stress and hard work that goes into transforming people’s lives, you’ll understand if Kellerman feels like he’s worked at JGH&S much longer. The last year probably seems like 20 to him, given the challenges of safely housing folks during a pandemic that has required social distancing — a...
VERGENNES — After a divided Vergennes City Council on Tuesday night supported her effort to return to her seat on the council through March 2022, Mayor Lynn Donnelly on Wednesday morning announced she would not seek to retain the two-year term to which she was elected in March 2020. Donnelly, a longtime councilor, was chosen as deputy mayor by the council shortly after her election. She took over as mayor when then-mayor Jeff Fritz resigned in July. The issue at an at-times contentious Tuesday council meeting — one that drew criticism from some attendees for its tone and outcome after it was...

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Addison County Independent