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04/16/2009

By Kara Herlihy

A revote has been scheduled in Fayston following the town's receipt of a petition calling for the rescission of Article 19, approved by the voters on Town Meeting day and authorizing the town to spend up to $8,000 on law enforcement. The revote will take place Wednesday evening, May 20, at the Fayston Municipal building at 7 p.m. Voters must attend the meeting to cast ballots.

The article, which was passed by five paper votes (59-54) at Town Meeting, authorized the town to spend an amount not to exceed $8,000 to contract with the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

Members of the Fayston Select Board discussed the petition, which contained the signatures of 110 registered voters, at their April 13 meeting. The revote will take place by paper ballot, and the article language will remain identical to the original.

The revote is to rescind the original article; therefore, a yes vote indicates that the voter is in favor of rescinding the article (no law enforcement), and a no vote signifies that the voter is in favor of keeping the original article as passed ($8,000 worth of law enforcement).

According to Vermont state statute, "A majority vote in favor of reconsideration or rescission, of a question voted on by paper or Australian ballot, shall not be effective unless the number of votes cast in favor of reconsideration or rescission exceeds two-thirds of the number of votes cast for the prevailing side at the original meeting unless the voters of the municipality approve a different percentage."

As a result, a successful rescission of Article 19 (ending police patrol in Fayston) requires votes that exceed two-thirds (plus one vote) of the original 59 who voted in favor of it on Town Meeting day.

If two-thirds (plus one voter)  of the number of total voters who voted at Town Meeting show up, the rescission vote can pass by simple majority.

Article 19 reads, "Shall the voters of the town of Fayston vote to rescind Article 19? Shall of the town of Fayston engage the Washington County Sheriff's Department from April 1, 2009, until December 31, 2009 for an amount not to exceed $8,000? as lastly voted and passed on March 3, 2009."

Voting will not be open all day. Residents may cast votes by paper ballot at the meeting scheduled for May 20. For more information on the revote, visit www.faystonvt.com.

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