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 email@example.com. 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.