HALIFAX -- The Selectboard has decided to keep up the tradition and mail the entire Town Report out to voters.
"We have done this and it’s not going to vary from what we’ve done before," said Halifax Selectboard Chairwoman Edee Edwards.
Last year, the U.S. Postal Service delivered the Halifax Town Report to somewhere in New Jersey, and many town residents never received theirs in advance of Town Meeting.
On Dec. 18, the board dedicated some time to talking about how to deliver the report in advance of the 2014 Town Meeting. The topic was initiated after Edwards was told by Vermont League of Cities and Towns and Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos that the report was no longer legally required to be mailed.
According to the minutes, the legal requirements for sending residents documents prior to Town Meeting include the warrant, summary of revenue and expenditures and the auditor’s report. VLCT had recommended making an article so that voters could assist with deciding whether the report be sent out in the future. The league may also help with drafting language for the article.
"I think it’s prudent for us to discuss the change when we get to Town Meeting Day," said Edwards. "That way, the taxpayers can really decide if the cost is worth it."
She concluded that the board did not believe that residents should be given less information than they’re used to without advanced notice.
If the Town Report was no longer mailed, voters would have to access it through the town website or pick it up at a specific location such as the Town Offices.
But for this year, the U.S. Postal Service will still handle the mail deliveries.
"We did ask for and receive a refund," said Edwards of last year’s mail delivery issue that resulted in most Halifax residents not receiving the package.
On Jan. 4, the Selectboard will hold a budget meeting to discuss the budgetary request from the Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies, or SeVEDS. Representatives from the group had spoke with the board as well as the Broadband and Economic Development Committee.
The request for funding may be included as a petitioned article for Town Meeting.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.