All Posts Category

Town Meeting 2018

It was a beautiful day on Town Meeting day in Greensboro this year, which usually means we have a great turnout for this annual gathering.  Town meeting was warned for the Highland Center for the Arts this year instead of Fellowship Hall or the school.  The meeting was held in the theater, while the gallery space served as an area for local organizations to set up information tables.  We also enjoyed a lunch of chicken and biscuits, salad, and chocolate beet cake with ice cream, served by the Four Seasons of Early Learning.  Thank you to Kyle Gray for facilitating live streaming of the meeting this year, which is now available for viewing here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKk2xRFF4P4

Please note that the early part of the recording takes place before the meeting is called to order.  The meeting gets underway at about minute 40 in the recording – listen for the gavel.

Tim Nisbet, our Town Moderator since 1980, got things underway with his welcome dry wit, solid knowledge of parliamentary procedure, and keen ability to keep the meeting running while still recognizing the needs of those seeking further discussion on a topic.

We enjoyed visits from two of our legislators, including Senator John Rodgers (D-Essex/Orleans) and Representative Sam Young (D-Orleans/Caledonia).  The bulk of this time was devoted to a passionate conversation about gun control legislation currently being debated in both chambers of the Vermont Legislature.

The town’s proposed FY19 budget of $1,912,567.67, an increase of 6.16%, passed on a voice vote after some discussion about what areas of the budget saw increases.

We also re-elected Sue Wood to complete the remaining year of a 3-year term on the Select Board.  New Select Board members are Matt McAllister (2-year term) and Andy Kehler (3-year term).  These elections were all done by a paper ballot with somewhere between 120 and 130 votes cast in each round of balloting.

Phil Gray and Jan Travers were recognized for their many contributions to life in Greensboro as this year’s recipients of the Greensboro Award.  To read more about this award and Phil and Jan’s work in town, visit the town website at greensborovt.org.

The final article of the warning included a resolution presented at many town meetings across Vermont that focused on state and local commitment to sourcing renewable energy.  While there was some discussion about the detail and wording of the resolution, it passed on a voice vote.

Other issues discussed during the final article included affordable housing in Greensboro and refurbishment efforts in Greensboro Bend, as well as the work of the Greensboro Planning Commission.

Working draft sections of the new town plan, including the vision for Greensboro that guided development of these Goals, Policies, and Action statements, were available for review at the meeting.  The Commission would appreciate your feedback on these materials.  Send your comments to Dan Predpall at dpredpall@greensborovt.org.  The Planning Commission still has open seats.

Last, but not least, voters agreed to hold the town’s annual Funky Fourth Celebrations on Saturday, July 7th.  Mark your calendars!

Town meeting is also the date of the Greensboro Town School District annual meeting.  The Greensboro school district is responsible for the preschool budget in our community.  Our elementary school, Lakeview, is a union school with Stannard and has its annual meeting and budget vote on the second Thursday in March.  Our high school, Hazen Union, votes on its proposed budget by Australian ballot on Town Meeting Day and holds an informational meeting about the budget the week prior to Town Meeting Day.

We elected Tanya Thomas as director to the Greensboro town school board.  We also elected John Moffatt, Rose Modry, and Dylan LaFlam to the Lakeview Union School District board.  The Lakeview Union board still has one open seat for a resident from Greensboro.  We elected Mike Metcalf to represent Greensboro on the Hazen Union board.

As always, Town Meeting brought civil and engaged discussion.  If you weren’t able to attend, consider joining us next year.  If you were there, share your comments and observations below.

 

2018 Winter Update

Our members have received the Winter Letter by email. Those who have not “opted out” of paper mailings also received the mailing delivered by the USPS. We look forward to getting your updates, suggestions and new member referrals.

We have been very busy this the fall, addressing a number of issues important to our members. Read the highlights in the Winter 2018 President’s Letter.

Children’s Summer Camps: Registration Open for WonderArts Summer Journeys Camps, Circus Smirkus, and Hosmer Point Saplings Day Camp and Traditional Overnight Camp

 

WonderArts summer camp registration opens February 1.  This year, they will collaborate with Lakeview Union Elementary School and the Highland Center for the Arts to offer a full slate of creative arts camps for children.  Camps are open to the children of year-round and summer residents, include optional extended care, and will be based at Lakeview Union School in Greensboro.  Registration information is available here:

http://wonderwisdom.org/summer-journeys/

Hosmer Point is a traditional summer camp located in Craftsbury on Big Hosmer Pond.  They offer both sleep-away and day camps, sculling camps for children ages 12-15, a session of Little Bellas Mountain Biking Camp, which is a program for girls ages 11-15.  Some sessions fill quickly, and registration is currently open here:

https://www.hosmerpoint.com/camps/camp-dates-for-2017/

Circus Smirkus Camp still has openings for several of its sessions, including BIG KID CAMP!  Have you ever wanted to run away to the circus?  Now is your chance to learn some of the skills younger campers develop and still have down time to experience all the other great things Greensboro has to offer.  Big Kid Camp is for adults age 21 and up and runs from June 8-10 this year.

Registration info here:

http://www.smirkus.org/smirkus-camp/camp-sessions/

 

Highland Center for the Arts Names New Executive Director

The Highland Center for the Arts named its new Executive Director in January.  A native of Craftsbury and UVM graduate, Annie Houston brings extensive experience in arts management and administration to the HCA.  Read more about Ms. Houston’s background and experience here:

http://highlandartsvt.org/press/

We welcome her to the Greensboro community!

HCA is currently on a mid-winter break and will re-open on February 6.  A full calendar of events for late winter and early spring is available on their website.  Events include improv comedy classes for teens, Wednesday night movies, T’ai Chi, yoga, as well as music and dance performances.

Winter Parking Ban in Effect

 A reminder that winter parking rules in Greensboro are in effect.  Parking vehicles on Town Highway rights-of-way and turnarounds is prohibited.  Vehicles may be towed at the owner’s expense.

Overnight parking in public parking lots, around the Town Hall, or in front of Willey’s Store is also prohibited.  Cars may be towed at the owner’s expense.

Plowing snow across a Town Highway or depositing snow on a Town Highway is a violation of state law and is strictly prohibited.

Trees and brush in the Town Highway right-of-way that are deemed to pose a hazard by the Select Board or Town Road Foreman may be removed.

 

Holiday Happenings

Planning to be in Greensboro during the holiday season?  There will be a variety of arts offerings during the month of December, including performances at the Highland Center, music at the Highland Lodge (check their Facebook page for details), the Craftsbury Farmer’s Market on December 9, and crafting workshops hosted by WonderArts.  Be sure to check the links below for details and to check back for more opportunities.

http://highlandartsvt.org/events/

http://wonderwisdom.org/news/

Greensboro Select Board Discusses Additional Police Officer for Hardwick Police Department

At the Select Board’s November meeting, Hardwick Police Chief Aaron Cochran presented plans for the addition of a new officer to the department.  The HPD has applied for a federal grant to help cover the cost of an additional entry-level officer’s salary for three years, after which that cost would need to be assumed by the HPD budget, of which Greensboro pays a share.  If the grant is received, an existing officer would be promoted to detective.  Statistics show that our area has seen an increase in crime, which Chief Cochran attributes primarily to the drug problem.  Working with Hardwick Town Manager Jon Jewett, the Hardwick and Greensboro select boards will put together two versions of the HPD budget to reflect both receipt of the federal grant and no receipt of the grant.

School Budgets, Education Spending, and the Calculation of Property Taxes

The Vermont School Boards Association (VSBA) released a new video to help explain how the education portion of your property taxes is calculated.  In a posting earlier this fall, we informed you of the pending shortfall in the State’s Education Fund.  This shortfall will likely impact your property taxes next year.  School districts are currently building budgets for presentation to the voters at town meetings in March.  In Greensboro, voters will be asked to approve three separate budgets: one at town meeting on March 6 for the Greensboro Town School District, which funds preschool education, one for the Lakeview Union Elementary School at its annual meeting on Thursday, March 8, and one by Australian ballot at town meeting for Hazen Union High School.  A budget presentation for Hazen Union is currently scheduled for Thursday, February 26 at the high school in Hardwick.

The short video is available below:

http://www.vtvsba.org

Vermont State Education Fund Faces Shortfall

As we near the start of the 2018 Vermont Legislative Session, reports are emerging that the State Education Fund will face a significant shortfall.  The impact on property taxpayers, both resident and nonresident, could be significant.  As the session unfolds and the impact becomes clearer, the GA will endeavor to keep its membership informed of possible tax impacts.  For some background information on what is at stake, the following articles are helpful and informative:

https://vtdigger.org/2017/10/02/depleted-education-fund-makes-for-likely-tax-increase/#.WdvK3kyZO9Y

https://vtdigger.org/2017/10/09/education-fund-gap-go-high-80m/#.WdvH5EyZO9Y

 

Clive Gray Recognized for Community Conservation Work

At the Annual Meeting of the Vermont Land Trust earlier this month, Clive Gray, chair of the Greensboro Land Trust, received the Richard W. Carbin Community Conservation Award. The award recognizes conservation partners who demonstrate a commitment to conservation in their communities.  Clive has served the Greensboro community for many years on both the Greensboro Land Trust and the Greensboro Conservation Commission.  His dedication to the preservation of our beautiful natural spaces benefits all of us.  Congratulations, Clive, and thank you for all your hard work and dedication.

Greensboro Planning Commission Continues Work on Town Plan

Many of you completed a survey last year for the Greensboro Planning Commission to provide input on the Commission’s ongoing work redrafting our Town Plan.  The intent of the new Town Plan is to guide and support change in our community over the next eight years.  The results of the survey helped the Commission craft a vision for Greensboro. The vision, which will be the basis for preparing the Town Plan, is shared below.

Greensboro residents aspire to see a future for the community where:

  • The Town’s rural character is viewed as a significant benefit that should be protected.
  • As a community, there is a strong sense that conservation of our natural resources should be a high priority.
  • Greensboro continues to attract and enjoy vibrant and unique small businesses that sustain tourism, support our economy, and are gathering places for local residents.
  • Greensboro is attractive for both retired families as well as new families raising young children.
  • Greensboro, a small New England town, is the home of many cultural opportunities typical of larger towns.
  • The community offers a multitude of recreational activities for young and old.
  • The community strongly supports lifelong education, with the important benefits it provides to the community.

The Commission would welcome your input and comments on these questions:

Is the vision consistent with your expectations for the future of Greensboro?

Second, the Town Plan must include specific actions that will move the community towards this vision. What actions would you like to see that will support the vision?

Your thoughts are appreciated and welcomed!

Finally, the Commission still needs members.  You do not need to be a registered voter in Greensboro to serve on the Planning Commission.  If you would like to play a role in defining the future of our community, please let us know!

Please email your responses to Dan Predpall, Chair of the Greensboro Planning Commission at  dpredpall@greensborovt.org .

2017 Annual Meeting Recap

The GA held its Annual Meeting last week in the Sanctuary of the Greensboro United Church.  The meeting was well-attended despite the last-minute change in venue.  The membership heard reports from several GA committees.  They also heard a detailed update from the Lake Protection Committee on the status of discussions with the State’s Agency of Natural Resources to regain the authority to set and adjust the lake level for Caspian.  In addition, attendees had the opportunity to honor Janet Long, this year’s recipient of the Greensboro Award, as well as learn more about improving bike and pedestrian safety from the Interim Executive Director of Local Motion.   Other presenters included Sue Wood, current Chair of the Greensboro Select Board and Victoria Von Hessert, current chair of the Lakeview Union School Board.  Finally, Sarah Waring, Executive Director of the Center for an Agricultural Economy presented the membership with news and information about this organization and the work they do in the greater Hardwick economy to improve food security, incubate local businesses, and improve school and institutional nutrition.

The membership approved the 2018 budget, year-end financial report, and the auditor’s report, as well as the 2018 and 2020 slate for the Board of Trustees.  These materials, as well as individual committee reports, are available for review on our website.  Thank you for joining us at this year’s Annual Meeting.

Chinese Lantern Launching: GA Board Seeks your Input

In recent years, Greensboro and the Caspian Lake community have seen an uptick in the use of Chinese paper lanterns.  Several residents have indicated concern about the environmental impact and safety of these lanterns.  They have been found in the lake, on people’s cottages and lawns, and in farmer’s fields where they pose a serious health risk to livestock if they and the wires they contain are baled or ingested by animals.

The GA Board hoped to gain more input from the membership at its Annual Meeting last week, but a full agenda limited the available time for discussion.  The Board anticipates discussing in future meetings what, if any, position the GA should take on the use of these lanterns.   They are actively seeking member input to inform discussions on this issue.   Please leave comments here or in the GA’s Facebook Group.  To ensure that input helps the Board better understand the community’s position on this issue, the Communications Committee would like to remind participants that discussion should be kept respectful.  All comments are subject to review by the communications team and inflammatory or derogatory remarks will be removed.

Swim the Kingdom Week returns to Greensboro and Caspian Lake

Kingdom Games is returning to Greensboro and Caspian Lake for the final leg of their Swim the Kingdom Week on Sunday, August 20.  Twenty-five swimmers are already signed up to swim. Event sponsor Kingdom Games has lowered the cost of the swim to $50 and local swimmers in the Orleans, Essex, and Caledonia counties can do this swim with a 50% discount.

If any of you have some time you can give to the day, Kingdom Games could use additional boats to support swimmers if needed. Every swimmer is escorted by a kayak. As in previous years, swimmers leave the beach at 9, swim to Bathtub Rocks and return. A couple of folks may want to shuttle back to the beach.

Organizer Phil White brings his boat to each lake they swim, but with the increased numbers, they would appreciate the assistance of a few more boats. They should be done by about 1 pm.

If you can help with boat support, please contact Phil White at Kingdom Games through the website below. Registration information for the swim is also available below.

https://kingdomgames.co/swim-the-kingdom-week/

Greensboro Association Annual Meeting August 3

Mark your calendars for the Annual Meeting of the Greensboro Association.  This year’s meeting will include our regular business meeting, reports from town and school board officers, and a presentation by Sarah Waring, Executive Director of the Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE).  Learn more about how the CAE is working to build a healthy food system in the greater Hardwick community through collaboration opportunities, improving food access and hunger relief, educational outreach, and building community infrastructure.  Visit their website here: https://www.hardwickagriculture.org

This year’s meeting will be from 4-6 PM on Thursday, August 3 at the Greensboro United Church Sanctuary.

 

Sixth Annual Caspian Challenge Results

The Greensboro Association held the Sixth Annual Caspian Challenge this past weekend.  Ninety runners and walkers from Greensboro and surrounding communities joined us at the ballfield on Tolman Corner for this annual Sunday outing.  Proceeds from this year’s event go to the GA’s Lake Protection Fund.  Co-sponsored by Circus Smirkus and the Cellars at Jasper Hill, the run brought runners of all ages together to compete in either a 5K or the 6.8-mile loop around the lake.  Many families participated and this year saw a record number of children entering both the 5K and the lake loop.  The field was competitive and conditions (cool temperatures and overcast skies) made for a fast race.  Everyone enjoyed delicious homemade baked goods at the finish.

Evan Thornton-Sherman, age 13, captured the lake loop in a winning time of 42:56.  He led the field from the start, but no one could catch him.  In the 5K, overall winner was 12-year old Cormac Leahy of Greensboro with a time of 20:41.  Complete results are available here:

https://www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=107507

Just a few of the local businesses that provided prizes for the event include:

Cassie’s Corner

Willey’s Store

Highland Lodge

Hill Farmstead Brewery

Craftsbury General Store

Special thanks to Stew and Becky Arnold, the Jenkins Family, and a host of volunteers for making this event happen this year.

Agriculture Secretary to Key Land Trust Meeting July 31

Vermont Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts will speak at the Greensboro Land Trust’s annual public meeting on Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the Greensboro UCC Fellowship Hall. Tebbetts will discuss the current agricultural scene as it affects our region.

The Greensboro Land Trust is celebrating its 25th anniversary. GLT co-founder Nancy Hill will introduce Tebbetts. His talk will follow a brief business meeting. Refreshments will be served.

Lakeview Union School to Host Second Community Forum July 20th

 

The Lakeview school building needs significant repairs and renovations to remain safe and code-compliant and to continue to meet the educational needs of Greensboro and Stannard children.  This forum will be the second opportunity to learn more about the options for addressing renovation needs, including each scenario’s possible cost.

More information is available at the school board website, https://lakeviewschoolboard.ossu.org/lakeview-facilities.html

The board’s website will be updated frequently with new materials and information about the possible renovation for your review in advance of the forum.  Be sure to check back often.

The forum will take place on Thursday, July 20 at the Lakeview Union School.

6:15 pm:  Tour of school facilities

7:00 pm – 8:30 p.m.:  Forum and discussion

All are welcome to attend.

Wonder & Wisdom and The Art House Join

 

 

Wonder & Wisdom and The Art House announced an expansion of their collaboration into a formal merger of the two organizations last week.  Now known as WonderArts, the community-based nonprofit will be offer more diverse, expansive, and creative opportunities to the communities of Craftsbury, Greensboro, Hardwick, and beyond.   With a continuing focus on the cultivation of learning and exploration, WonderArts seeks to enrich our community, schools, and economy through creativity, conversation, and collaboration focused on the arts, recreation, and innovative programming that will serve multiple generations.

More information, especially about upcoming summer programming, is available at their website, https://wonderartsvt.org. The summer newsletter, located at the WonderArts website, provides a snapshot of their collaborative programming over the past year.