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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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A downside of the tradition process

The attendees at this year's Fayston School Town Meeting voted 41 to 30 against moving to the Australian ballot process for voting on the school budget and any penalty incurring overspends.

I would like to thank everyone who supported the petition requesting this and the residents of Fayston who spent a lengthy day at Town Meeting. I gather some good points were made in favor of maintaining tradition and ensuring people hear the school information so as to make an informed vote. On the other hand, I experienced one of the major downsides of the traditional process as our family had that awful call in the night; my wife's mother had died unexpectedly.

We set off the following day to attend the funeral in Singapore. On the way to the airport we stopped

at the town hall for a few minutes to cast our absentee vote for the Harwood Union budget but there was no such provision to allow us to participate in the Fayston School meeting voting. I would have liked to have expressed my reasons for changing the voting process, and to vote. I am sorry I was not there to do so. Perhaps if we had been there, the six or so folks who had said they couldn't attend because of difficult personal circumstances, also those who had to leave the meeting early, then the outcome might have been different.

I feel that not having a provision for absentee voting and, in so doing, disenfranchising many residents is one of the unjust aspects of the current process, but on the other hand I agree more people should be able to discuss and understand the information the school board would like everyone to hear before voting.

For this reason I gather Warren residents, the school board and select board have decided to integrate next year's school meeting into the morning session of Town Meeting, when more people find it easier to attend. Perhaps Fayston could consider trying that as more folks would then hear about our school too. 

H. Wynne lives in Fayston.


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