The Harwood Unified Union School District’s $40,390,158 budget passed 1,808 to 1,180 on Town Meeting Day this week. Voters in the six-town district also approved a request to add $1M and $615,456 to the district’s maintenance reserve fund by a vote of 1,931 to 1,045.
Because all Town Meeting decisions were conducted by Australian ballot this year, town-by-town school budget votes were not comingled and were tabulated at the town level. See chart, Page 9 for town-by-town school district vote totals.
Voters in Warren, Waitsfield and Fayston all approved earmarking $4,000 for the Mad River Valley Housing Coalition which will be used, along with matching funds from the Mad River Valley Community Fund, to pay its staff person.
This week’s election is the fifth election that local town clerks, staff and volunteers have held in a year. Town Meeting 2020 was held on March 3, right before the COVID-19 pandemic started in the United States. Because voters defeated the Harwood Unified Union School District budget, a revote was held in June. In August the primary election was held and in November the presidential election was held. This week’s Australian ballot voting on officers, budgets, etc. marks the fifth election in 365 days.
Waitsfield voters elected Christine Sullivan to a two-year term on the select board. She defeated former board member Sal Spinosa as well as George Carpenter Jr. in a three-way race 243-175-92, respectively. There were two write-in votes.
Fred Messer ran as a write-in candidate against Paul Hartshorn and won a three-year seat by a vote of 244-204 with 15 write-in votes for various candidates. Jordan Gonda, who was appointed to the select board in December to serve through Town Meeting, ran unopposed for the final year of that three-year seat. She received 420 votes and there were 26 write-ins.
Select board member Brian Shupe, whose term as moderator expired on March 2, received 32 write-in votes for that position and there were 38 other individual write-in votes. Shupe was not seeking reelection due to his inability to serve on the select board and act as moderator at the same time.
Waitsfield voters are in favor of the town allowing retail cannabis sales, based on the results of a non-binding vote asking just that. Voters favored the idea 382 to 121. The budget of $2,115,408 was approved 404 to 80.
In Warren’s only contested race, Dayna Lisaius defeated Jeff Campbell 214-63 for a term as the town’s delinquent tax collector. Warren voters elected Jonathan Young to the Harwood Unified Union School District Board by 247 votes. He ran unopposed to fill a seat previously held by Rosemarie White. Warren voters passed a budget of $3, 247,738 and reelected Luke Youmell to a two-year term on the select board. Warren voters passed an article calling for $20,000 for the town’s conservation reserve.
Fayston had a two-way race for town moderator. Incumbent Rick Rayfield narrowly beat challenger and former select board member Ed Read 107-105. That vote is within the 5% range that qualifies for a recount. Voters reelected Jared Cadwell to a three-year term on the select board. Theresa Membrino was reelected to the HUUSD Board.
Voters approved a budget of $1,369,093 and also approved $15,000 for the Mad River Valley Ambulance Service, which voters in Waitsfield and Warren approved as well. Moretown approved $7,500 for the ambulance service.
The Moretown Select Board received a petition calling for a request for Moretown to withdraw from HUUSD. That ballot item was defeated 360 to 201.
In a contested race for a seat on the HUUSD Board, incumbent Kristen Rodgers received 372 votes to challenger Sam Rosenberg’s 116 votes. Callie Streeter was reelected to a three-year seat on the select board with 468 votes and Tom Martin was reelected to a one-year term on the board with 500 votes. He was challenged by Don Wexler on a write-in campaign. Wexler received 136 votes.
Moretown voters approved an article calling for spending $22,000 to purchase self-contained breathing apparatuses for the town’s volunteer fire department. Voters approved a municipal budget of $1,210,008 with 514 in favor and 61 opposed. Voters also approved spending $370,000 for its sidewalk and other work associated with that project, completed last fall. That vote was 459 yes and 109 no.
Select board chair Kevin Garcia did not seek reelection. Mike Marotto ran to fill that seat and was elected to that one-year term. Dawn Poitras also didn’t run for reelection to the select board. Brian Robinson was elected to fill that one-year term. Jerry McMahan was reelected to a three-year term on the select board.
Brian DallaMura was elected to the HUUSD Board, replacing Alec Adams who resigned from that board after one year of a three-year term.
Voters approved a town budget of $1,051,267, 242 to 81. Voters also approved $20,000 for its emergency storm escrow with 265 yes and 58 no votes. Similarly, an article calling for $107,000 for the town’s capital reserve fund passed 224 to 93. Article 6, which called for spending $145,000 from the capital reserve fund for a new tandem truck, passed 220 to 98.
Voters did approve bonding for $250,000 to improve the town highway garage by a vote of 188 to 136. Duxbury voters, joined Waitsfield voters in expressing support for retail cannabis sales in the town. While Waitsfield’s vote was non-binding, Duxbury’s was binding and it passed 200 to 125.
In Waterbury there were contested races for one HUUSD seat and two select board seats. In a race for a three-year seat on the school board incumbent Michael Frank received 590 votes and Marlena Tucker-Fishman received 578 votes. Scott Culver received 518 votes. There were 496 blank ballots. Alex Thomsen did not seek reelection to the HUUSD Board.
In an uncontested race for a one-year term on the school board, current board chair Caitlin Hollister received 866 votes. There were 208 blank ballots.
Katie Martin and Mark Frier, incumbents for a one-year term on the select board were reelected with 585 and 695 votes, respectively. They were challenged by Brock Coderre and Noah Fishman, who received 110 and 508 votes respectively.
Waterbury voters approved spending $1,678,025 for vehicles, capital improvements, building operations and debt. Voters also approved a budget of j$2,115,585 for general expenses and $1,428,575 for highway expenses, plus $508,175 for the town’s library. Waterbury voters approved a binding article supporting retail cannabis sales in the town.