Virginia Ray

Town Meeting boosts measures for climate change

Annual Representative Town Meeting also bumps up human services allocations for next year in a $23 million town budget

Representative Town Meeting members went through several hours of discussion regarding non-binding resolutions after members increased the fiscal year 2025 budget by $70,000 for climate change concerns and passed a total budget of $23,063,830 - a 4.3% increase over this year's - by a 65–41 vote.

The budget is predicated on $17,701,970 being raised in property taxes.

Members gathered at the Brattleboro Union High School gymnasium on March 23. A quorum, defined as 50% of all potential RTM members plus one for this purpose, was set at 77. Despite inclement weather, there were 87 representatives present at the start of the meeting.

RTM members needed to approve, by Australian ballot, borrowing money to build a secondary water storage tank at the Pleasant Valley Reservoir for an estimated $1.62 million at 0% interest. They did so by a vote of 96–1.

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Neighbors take Putney project protest to Vt. Supreme Court

Plaintiffs contend fraudulent process in planned housing development

Less than a month after their third appeal was turned down, two neighbors of the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust's proposed affordable housing community on Alice Holway Drive have filed a fourth appeal - this time to the Vermont Supreme Court. Laura Campbell and Deborah Lazar have made the...

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Savage maintains WSESD board win

Jammed tabulator in Guilford thought to have caused original vote count error

Owing to an editor's error, the town clerk of Dummerston was inadvertently identified in the print version of this story and the original online post. It has been corrected. ——— After unofficially winning a three-year seat as a director on the Windham Southeast School District (WSESD) School Board by...

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Brattleboro Town Meeting will consider $22.9M budget

Representative Town Meeting here will convene on Saturday, March 23, at 8:30 a.m., in the Brattleboro Union High School gymnasium. If members do not finish the warrant, the meeting will recess at 5 p.m. and continue on Sunday, March 24, at 8:30 a.m. In anticipation of the RTM, the Selectboard hosted an informational meeting on March 13. "This is not the meeting to get into substantive debate on any of the articles," warned Selectboard Chair Ian Goodnow, who several times...

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Recount underway for tight WSESD board race

After a very close March 5 race for the two three-year school director seats for Brattleboro representative, a recount has been initiated for votes cast for those two seats. The three candidates, and the number of votes each candidate has unofficially received from the four member towns of the Windham Southeast School District - Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford, and Putney - are Tim Maciel, with 1,677 votes; Colleen Savage, 1,661 votes; and Rich Leavy, 1,659 votes. Leavy confirmed he submitted a...

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From battles about ballots to decisions about dates

Following is a roundup of Town Meeting news that came too late for last week's edition of The Commons. Most towns held their annual meetings on Town Meeting Day on Tuesday, March 5. Athens • One seat for school director that has been open for several years remains open after the Annual Town Election, with nine people having received one write-in vote each. Election would require a minimum of three votes. • Voters approved the proposed $643,357 general budget by...

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Third appeal denied for housing project in Putney

State Superior Court Judge Thomas S. Durkin has denied a third appeal to stop the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust (WWHT) from proceeding with its Alice Holway Drive community housing project. The development has been planned since 2019 as two new buildings intended to provide 25 mixed-income, energy-efficient, and accessible apartments on the 0.91-acre site in Putney Village next to Putney Community Gardens. In their appeal, neighbors to the site Laura Campbell and Deborah Lazar contended the Trust's lots are...

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WSESD board candidates eye process, priorities

Residents of WSESD member towns will vote on all candidates for the Windham Southeast School District (WSESD) School Board, including those not from their specific towns, on Town Meeting Day next Tuesday, March 5. Most of the candidates in the three races for seats on met Feb. 26 in a candidates' forum. Dummerston Town Moderator Cindy Jerome moderated the exchange, sponsored by The Commons, the Brattleboro Reformer, and Brattleboro Community Television, with questions asked by Jeff Potter, editor of The...

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