WOODSTOCK — There were no contested elections in Woodstock but several articles were determined by Australian ballot. All of the articles passed.
Voters approved $220,000 to finance Woodstock Recreation Center repairs. The Woodstock Recreation Center sustained major damages from Tropical Storm Irene.
Woodstock voters also approved the $11.3 million Woodstock Union High School District budget.
WASHINGTON — Folks in Washington sure do love a good round of applause, and they proved it time and again on Town Meeting Day.
They clapped for their Select Board, they applauded their school board; Principal Charles Witters Jr., who is leaving Washington Village School after five years, got a standing ovation, and so did resident Bill Woodward, who attended town meeting in his Army fatigues.
They clapped to welcome Sarah Costa, the new librarian at Calef Memorial Library, and to congratulate this year’s winners of scholarships that are awarded in memory of Katie Beede ($500 to Ellen Blanchard), who died several years ago, and Debra Sue Blanchard ($5,000 to A.J. Galfetti), who died last year.
Blanchard, like Beede, died after a long battle with cancer, and Tuesday the former school board member and active community volunteer was honored as Washington’s “Citizen of the Year.”
Blanchard’s mother, Harriet, was on hand to accept the award on behalf of her daughter, who left the town a rather handsome endowment that will fund annual community service-based scholarships like the one that Galfetti will use to attend Vermont Technical College in the fall.
The announcement that Blanchard had been named Citizen of the Year was greeted with (you guessed it!) a hearty round of applause at the outset of Tuesday’s meeting.
WATERBURY – With much of the budget discussion centered on the police department, one Waterbury village voter ended the annual village meeting by recommending the Trustees and municipal manager call for a special investigation by the State Police into allegations of misconduct made against officers.
The allegations were made in a lawsuit filed against the town by former officer Adam Hubacz.
While the trustees made no decision at Wednesday night’s meeting, residents supported the recommendation with a resounding “yes” vote from nearly all of the 40 voters in attendance.
“In the past few weeks our police department’s good name has been smeared,” said Sally Dillon, who made the recommendation. “The only thing we have to lose is showing the truth.”
From The Plymouth Press Online:
Russ Tonkin to Join Plymouth Selectboard
By Jen Flaster
In the only contested race in Plymouth’s town elections, Russ Tonkin was elected to the Plymouth Selectboard for a three-year term. The final count was 100 votes for Russ Tonkin and 95 for Larry Lynds, who had served for many years on the Selectboard, most recently as a replacement for Todd Blanchard who stepped down before the end of his term.
Read the full article, including full election results at: http://theplymouthpress.com/2012/03/07/russ-tonkin-to-join-plymouth-selectboard/
BARRE - City Councilor Michael Boutin fared better than the municipal budget on Tuesday, winning re-election in what was Barre’s only contested race.
Boutin, a one-term councilor, narrowly defeated Maplewood Avenue resident Jeffrey Friot in a race that was decided by Ward 2 voters.
Boutin’s margin of victory was 20 votes, according to still-unofficial results. He defeated Friot, 212-192, in a race where there was one write-in, eight spoiled ballots and 39 voters chose not to cast a ballot for either candidate.
FRANKLIN — For years, Franklin near the Canadian border started Town Meeting with a prayer. A lawsuit stopped that from happening this year.
Vermont Public Radio reports resident Marilyn Hackett has asked the town for years to stop inviting a local pastor to offer a Christian prayer at the start of the meeting. She sued the town and the moderator to stop the practice after last year’s meeting.
Town officials decided to suspend the tradition at Town Meeting on Tuesday following advice from their lawyer.
Since the town votes from the floor and residents have to attend to be heard, the Vermont Chapter of the ACLU says residents are being compelled to attend religious worship.
A judge has not yet ruled on the case.
Townspeople rejected two school budget proposals and a municipal spending plan following a day of Australian ballot voting.
The $1,594,879 budget for the shared Currier Memorial School was rejected by a 212-173 margin. Mount Tabor voters approved the Currier budget 34-8, but the margin was not wide enough for the elementary school spending plan to pass.
The proposed budget was up 6.3 percent or $94,329 over the current $1,500,550.
The secondary education budget proposal of $1,896,834 was defeated by a 17-vote margin, 202-185. It was down $94,976 or 4.7 percent from this year’s $1,991,810.
The municipal budget of $1,074,483 was narrowly rejected, 192-189. It was down 1.6 percent or $17,126 from this year’s $1,091,609.
Voters approved a bond vote of up to $190,000 for an elementary school roof replacement project, 206-176.
The town’s Select Board will expand from three to five members after voters approved a ballot item on the matter, 260-125. The additional members will serve two-year staggered terms.
By PETER HIRSCHFELD | Vermont Press Bureau
BERLIN — A plan to consolidate emergency services in four central Vermont municipalities went on life support Tuesday after residents in Berlin said they’re ready to scrap the idea. In a voice vote from the floor, approximately 70 residents on hand for town meeting shot down a nonbinding resolution to study further the “regionalization” plan proposed for Berlin, Barre, Barre Town and Montpelier. Continue reading
WEST RUTLAND — Residents approved the town’s general budget of $1,111,106 by a vote of 271 to 115 at town meeting on Tuesday.
All money articles, voted by Australian ballot, were also passed by the majority of voters. A special article to exempt the Hiram Lodge #101 from taxes for a period not to exceed 10 years was passed by a 229 to 140 vote.
The town’s school district budget of $5,285,221 was passed by a 230 to 144 vote, while the article to appropriate $35,000 for the completion of the energy efficiency project related to the repair and replacement of heating vents was passed by a 271 to 102 vote.
The town of West Rutland did not have any contested races, but Lisa Wright Garcia was voted as a new lister for three years.
By Gordon Dritschilo | Staff Writer
A few days before the election, aldermanic candidate Gary Donahue said he doubted his chances.
When the unofficial results were added up Tuesday, he came in fifth, joining the board with 141 more votes than the next-most successful challenger.
“I got lucky,” he said, hearty laughter punctuating each phrase as he spoke. “I didn’t think it was going to happen because I didn’t think I sounded very good (in the candidate forums.) Things I know about, I speak very clearly, but there’s so many things I don’t know about. … I didn’t put out any signs. I didn’t campaign. I have no idea how come I won. Something’s going on.” Continue reading