All five Valley select boards rarely meet together, having enough to handle in their respective towns, but last week they did just that.

On Wednesday, November 16, all five of The Valley’s select boards met to hear presentations that affected all of their towns at the annual Mad River Valley Town Leadership meeting.

The five presentations were “all sort of tied together, you will see that there is a common thread,” said Bob Ackland, chair of the Mad River Valley Planning District, which hosted the event.

The subjects of the five presentations were housing, recreation, clean water and resilience, community vitality and a presentation from the Mad River Valley Planning District.

Unlike most town meetings, Gracie’s Kitchen served dinner to participants as well as any public audience members in attendance before the three-hour-long event.

The night started with an award ceremony for longtime town planner Bob Vasseur. Vasseur was one of the first chairs of the planning district and has already been honored once as Vermont’s Citizen Planner of the Year earlier in 2016.

Randy Saxton presented Vasseur with the Citizen Planner of the Year Award from the Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association.

“Thank you for this. It’s very unexpected. I never dreamed something like this would happen,” Vasseur humbly said.

Although there was a common thread to the presentations, the select boards were not all on the same page, especially when it came to buying the recreation fields in Mad River Park.

See stories inside about the presentations on housing, recreation (including the purchase of the rec fields at Mad River Park in Waitsfield), Friends of the Mad River’s Ridge to River Initiative and the Community Vitality Project.