DECLARATION OF INCLUSION
On March 15, the Moretown Select Board signed a Declaration of Inclusion, which will appear in future town reports. This decision was prompted by Karen Horn, director of public policy and advocacy for the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, who introduced the declaration to the select board that night.
“What it really is doing is saying to everyone that we want to be an inclusive community and welcome everybody,” said Horn. “We’ve been talking about wanting to attract families to Moretown for a variety of reasons, one of which is the continued viability of our school, and this is one way to make it clear that we welcome all people who want to live here and add to the richness of our community.”
Before Moretown, the statement had been adopted in Brandon, Franklin, Pittsburg and Waterbury. Horn said the statement was not drafted in response to any particular incident. “But given the times that we’re in, it’s an affirmation of our openness.”
The Declaration of Inclusion reads as follows: “The Town of Moretown condemns racism and welcomes all persons, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, age or disability, and will protect these classes to the fullest extent of the law. As a town, we formally condemn discrimination in all of its forms and commit to fair and equal treatment of everyone in our community. The Town of Moretown has been and will continue to be a place where individuals can live freely and express their opinions.”
“That’s tremendous. That’s awesome,” said John Hoogenboom, after hearing Horn read the statement. “It’s a good thing,” said Don Wexler.
“I think we all do a good job at supporting others in the community. So, having it in writing just makes it easier. Sounds good,” said Callie Streeter.
“I’m hoping that, if Moretown does this, we’ll be a real leader in the area and that the Mad River Valley towns might follow suit,” said Horn.
Hoogenboom made the motion to institute the Declaration of Inclusion as requested by Horn. All were in favor of the motion, accept Rae Washburn, who abstained.
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
That night, the select board also appointed a new animal control officer (ACO).
Moretown firefighter and road crew employee Stefan Pratt stepped up to the role, offering to try the job out for a year. The job pays $1,400 per-year.
Before accepting the position, Pratt had a question for the board. “Say it’s 3 a.m. and I get a dog without a collar. Is there a place I can bring the animal?”
Martin said all dogs can be dropped off at the Central Vermont Humane Society or the Valley Animal Hospital.
Martin made the motion to appoint Pratt to the ACO position. All board members were in favor.