Waitsfield Select Board chair Jon Jamieson resigned effective August 23 at the end of the select board’s next meeting.
Jamieson told board members that he’d be temporarily relocating for an employment opportunity and would be unable to serve the balance of his term – which expires at Town Meeting 2022.
At that same meeting, the board heard from Joshua Bewlay, Fayston, who is working to open a wine bar in the space that used to host Shepard’s Pub. The new business would be named Alpino Wino and offer beer and wine with small plate foods, said Bewlay. He hopes to be open in time for part of foliage season.
GREEN MOUNTAIN STAGE RACE
The board heard a request from Green Mountain Stage Race founder and director Gary Kessler who explained plans to run this year’s September race (the event was canceled last year due to the COVID pandemic). Kessler asked the select board for permission to use the town’s portion of East Warren Road, the Common Road and a portion of Routes 17 and 100 near that intersection.
He explained how competitors will be required to ride (single file) back to the start of the September 3 race in Warren Village via the East Warren Road as opposed to returning via Waitsfield and Route 100. As a safeguard against COVID, Kessler said that racers would pick up their bib numbers and other items at a drive-up event at the Mount Ellen parking lot using tiers and different lines to accommodate the different fields in the race.
He expects about 600 riders for the event.
FEASIBLE TO SHARE CONSTABLE?
The board also continued its discussion on whether it is feasible for the towns of Warren and Waitsfield to share Warren’s current town constable Jeff Campbell. Dell’Isola provided the board with a list of policies for law enforcement officers that was provided by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns. Board members were curious about whether the same policies are appropriate for a town constable versus a member of a town’s law enforcement agency. Dell’Isola will take questions about body camera, pepper spray, cost sharing and supervision of a constable back to VLCT for clarification.
Board members also wanted to know if the two towns could reach out to other similarly-sized towns that have constables for clarification. Board member Fred Messer asked how a constable would impact the town’s dog ordinance officer and town health officer – two positions that he holds.
“That’s a good question. I don’t know if the other two positions are considered public safety,” Jamieson said and board member Jordan Gonda noted that the health officer’s responsibilities are outlined in state statute and that under the dog ordinance there’s an opportunity to appoint more than one person.
Like many Vermont towns this week, Waitsfield received its first tranche of federal ARPA funding with the town receiving $88,618, which will be matched by the same amount next year. Additionally, the town will get an allocation from Washington County which board vice-chair Christine Sullivan said is expected to be twice as much as the town portion already received.
The town has until 2024 to decide how to spend the money and until 2026 to spend it.
Finally, the board discussed reports of a rogue bear in Wu Ledges (see story Page 1) and whether the town needs to update its COVID precautions with the Delta variant of the virus on the rise.