Valley voters joined the rest of Vermont’s voters in casting ballots for Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, favoring Sanders by wide margins over his rival Hillary Clinton. Sanders received 2,232 Valley votes to Clinton’s 250. Vermonters cast 115,863 for Sanders and 18,335 for Clinton.
Valley voters did not join other Vermonters in casting their ballots for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump; rather local voters selected Ohio governor John Kasich by a significant margin. Valley voters gave Kasich 270 votes to Trump’s 197. Vermonters cast 19,966 votes for Trump and 18,544 for Kasich.
On the local level, Warren voters passed over articles calling for the town to fund and rebuild the village timber crib dam after extensive discussion. Warren Dam Preservation Trust chair David Sellers suggested the town create a specific zoning district in the village for the river, dam and bridges but did not prevail.
In Fayston, outgoing select board member Robert Vasseur was feted with applause and a student-made video after serving on the board for 57 years. Chuck Martel was elected to that seat on the select board.
In Waitsfield, the first-ever evening meeting attracted a full house, which was the hope of the town committee tasked with finding ways to increase Town Meeting participation. Waitsfield voters peppered the select board with questions on finances and town spending during the meeting.
Duxbury voters elected four new select board members, a new town clerk and new town treasurer in a Town Meeting that featured a lot of hand counts for votes.
Moretown voters raised pointed questions about costs versus efficacy at the Washington West Supervisor Union offices as well as Act 46. Moretown voters spent a fair amount of time discussing VTrans’ plans for the bridge on Route 100B over the Mad River at the south end of town. VTrans has recently made that bridge one lane due to safety concerns with the bridge, and voters wanted to know how long it would remain that way.
MADE THE ROUNDS
State Representative Adam Greshin, I-Warren, visited every Valley Town Meeting addressing education costs and providing details about the possible legalization of recreational cannabis. With bill S.241 passed by the Senate on February 25, Greshin told voters that the bill will be reviewed by multiple House committees before it comes to a final vote. Vermont, Greshin said, will be the first state to vote legislatively to legalize marijuana, rather than by ballot initiative. He sits on a committee that will assess issues of taxation.
Throughout The Valley, voters had questions about education funding, Act 46, marijuana legalization and more. The Valley’s other state rep, Maxine Grad, D-Moretown, was unable to attend this year’s meetings due to a family issue.
All Valley municipal and school budgets passed as did the Harwood Union budget and the Waterbury-Duxbury budget. The Harwood budget passed 2,694 to 1,763 and the Waterbury Duxbury budget passed 1,442 to 795.
Voter turnout throughout The Valley ranged from a low of 39 percent in Fayston to a high of 56 percent in Waitsfield. In Duxbury, 52 percent of voters cast ballots, in Warren 45 percent of voters turned out and in Moretown 47 percent of voters cast ballots.
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