Sandi Capponcelli

Australian ballot for town elections is working in Athens

In 2020, the way Athens voted for town officials changed. Australian ballot has always been a part of our elections but not a part of electing our town officials. Since Town Meetings began, we have elected our town officials during town meeting from the floor. Covid changed that, and I believe it changed it for the better.

When attending Town Meeting you don't think about those who can't attend and whose voices can't be heard. It becomes a select group of people that influences the way a town is run, who holds office, and if the budget passes.

In the three years since we switched over to Australian ballot for town officials, our voter numbers have doubled. These voters have made it clear that even though they may not be able to attend Town Meeting they can at least let their voices be heard in determining who holds a position in town.

We received a petition this year to eliminate the Australian ballot for town officials and go back to voting them in from the floor. This became Article 10, which states: "Shall the Town of Athens discontinue use of the Australian ballot system to elect officers, and instead elect its town officers from the floor at all future annual and special town meetings [...]?"...

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Athens voters, make your voices heard

There will be a Special Town Meeting, Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. at the Athens Elementary School. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss and vote on how our “regular” town meetings will be held in the future. Some of the residents in Athens would like to...

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Perry for Selectboard; Perry for road commissioner

I endorse Janet Perry for Selectboard in Athens. I have held elected office in Athens for over 20 years as lister; I am the assistant town clerk and previously have served on the school board. I have also spent many years as a volunteer for various endeavors in our...

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Exactly what normal do we need to get back to?

What is normal? I keep hearing that word by those rushing to open up our country during this pandemic. They keep saying, “Let's get back to normal,” and I find myself wondering what normal is because it doesn't seem to have worked. Is your normal like my normal? Or is normal in Missouri different than normal in Vermont? Or could it be we are all just not normal? I am in the one of the groups considered vulnerable to this...

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It wasn’t zoning

A town plan is a vision for the town for the next five, 10, or 20 years. Once again, the people have spoken, and I really wonder if those 44 who just decided the town plan's fate have any idea what they really voted against. I would say most them did not even read the town plan, although it was readily available in hard copy and electronically. Seem most think “town plan” is equivalent to “zoning,” which it is not.

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Many moments, shining individually and together

What is spring to me? It's not a date on a calendar, nor is it something a rodent of questionable psychic talent can predict. It is a feeling, a palpitation of the heart, a moment when your senses suddenly kick into high gear. You can smell the earth in all its sensuous glory, preparing to awe us with colors, sounds, smell, and wondrous touch. For me, March is the month that would prefer to roll over and go back to...

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Listers have resources for advancing their skills

I read this story, and the first thing I did was check the Vermont Assessors and Listers Association website to see if I had missed something. Then I went to the Property Valuation and Review (PVR) website to see if there was important information from the state concerning a four-day seminar, and I checked Vermont League of Cities and Towns. I found a two-day “town fair” that alternates between Essex and Killington. It is not mandatory to attend and is...

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Bravo to Brookline for standing behind listers

As a lister for Athens since 1999, I congratulate the town of Brookline for staying the course in defense of its grand list and for upholding the work that its listers did. Being a lister is not an easy job, nor is it a high-paying job. It is for the most part a thankless job. I have found over the years that listers are a unique kind of individual. They care about their community. They try to be fair to...

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