Town Meeting around the county
WARDSBORO -- Just re-elected Town Clerk Jackie Bedard said a "very good turnout" of voters took part in Tuesday morning's two-and-a-half hour Town Meeting.
"Last year's maximum was 58 people," Bedard said. "There were times, this morning, where the count was 70-plus."
After "very little discussion," voters approved the $861,823 the budget. All allotments listed in Article 5 were also improved, which included $50,000 to the Wardsboro Volunteer Fire Department; $26,000 to the Public Library (an increase of $804 from the 2012 amount); as well as $2,275 to Visiting Nurse Association and $1,500 to the Grace Cottage Foundation. The only other increase over 2012 figures was $500 to the Community Food Pantry (which was set at $200 last year).
There were three contested races for the Selectboard.
Barbara Vinsi with hold the three-year seat, earning 38 votes to Jim Thomas' 28. Thomas, however, won a one-year seat on the board over Amy Kleppner, 38-32. And Kleppner beat Mike Fitzpatrick, 48-22, to take the other one-year seat.
The following were also voted in to town positions: Bob Backus as moderator; Bedard as town clerk, collector of delinquent taxes and as treasurer; Mike Hull will serve as lister for the next three years; Cheryl Coburn will serve as auditor for three years; Pearl Dewey as trustee of public funds (three years); Duane Thompkins beat Joe Nivick, 42-21, for the one-year first constable position; Carlene Davis will serve as second constable (also one year); Fred Smith will serve as town grand juror and town agent, both one-year terms; Jane Robinson will serve in the five-year cemetery commissioner seat; and Nancy Perkins will spend the next five years as library trustee.
Voters also approved $786,598 to be raised by taxes over the coming year.
Only 31 people attended Monday night's Town School District meeting, which lasted a little over an hour.
All articles were passed, which included the authorization to spend unanticipated funds (which featured some discussion) and a rate of $14,528 per pupil to approved independent schools for students in grades 7-12 who are residents in the district. Voters also approved the $2,260,744 school budget.
The following were elected as school district directors: Mike Cusick and Rick Thorpe (one-year term), Hal Smith (three-year term) and John Moran will complete the final two-years on the other three-year term which was vacated earlier this year.
Next year's meeting will be held on March 3, 2014.
LONDONDERRY -- Paul Gordon defeated Wayne Blanchard by a vote of 77 to 61 for a three-year seat on the town's Selectboard, and for Town Treasurer, Mike Bernhardt defeated Tina Labeau by a vote of 74 to 65.
Gordon replaces Kevin Beattie, who was recently appointed Londonderry's Town Administrator.
In addition, Jim Ameden, who ran uncontested for his two-year seat on the Selectboard, was re-elected.
Voters approved a town budget of $1,609,318 and voted to dissolve the Windmill Defense Fund ($77,525) and Prouty Land Fund ($18.041).
The money from the Windmill Defense Fund was moved into the town's general fund and the money from the Prouty Land Fund was moved into a newly created engineering fund that will evaluate renovations to the town offices.
They also approved $29,155 to help fund the activities of non-profit agencies and $2,000 for public access GNAT-TV. Another $40,000 was appropriated to help fund the Phoenix #6 and Champion #5 Fire Companies.
Voters approved a request by the Congregational Church to classify its parsonage as a tax-exempt property.
For other town offices, Lister Sandra Clark was re-elected and Mark Fontaine and Tina Labeau were appointed as auditors.
Roger Sheehan was named First Constable; Nick Doane as Second Constable; Joan Dayton as Delinquent Tax Collector; Peter Pagnucco as Town Grand Juror; and Wendell Coleman as Town Agent.
Melvin Twitchell was named as Cemetery Commissioner; Michael Goodbody as Trustee of Public Funds; Matt Scott as Trustee of Memorial Park; Charlie Cave as Union #20 School Director; and Wendell Coleman and Rosalind Klezos as RED School Director.
STRATTON -- The most discussed item at Stratton's annual Town Meeting was whether to continue a $300-per-family transportation stipend for parents with children in the school system.
Because Stratton doesn't have its own elementary, middle or high school, its students are sent to other schools in the area, including Windhall's Mountain School and Burr & Burton Academy in Manchester.
"We don't have a good bus service," said Town Clerk Kent Young.
Nonetheless, voters decided they needed to reduce the school budget, and cut about $6,600 that was used for the transportation stipend, he said. By eliminating the stipend, the school budget was reduced from $637,475 to $630,875.
The school district meeting began at 1 p.m. and by that time, only 23 voters were in attendance.
During the regular Town Meeting, which started at 10 a.m. and only lasted 40 minutes, said Young, Nancy Ferruci was selected as moderator by the 29 voters in attendance because the regular moderator wasn't available.
According to Young, Stratton has 197 registered voters.
All the articles were passed with little debate, with voters approving a town budget of $1,646,397, he said.
The three available seats on the Selectboard were unconctested and went to the incumbents: Chris Liller for a three-year seat; and Al Dupell and Kevin Robinson for the two one-year seats.
In the only contested race, incumbent Robert Wadsworth was defeated by Anne Patten for a seat on the Planning Commission.
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