On Town Meeting Day, March 7, 2023, Waitsfield voters passed a budget of $2,673,901, a 9.6% increase from last year, largely due to increases in salaries and personnel, including a new town treasurer. Voter turnout was 18.8%. Two hundred seventy-seven of 1,475 voters cast Australian ballots and about 80 people attended Town Meeting, per town clerk Jennifer Peterson. The town report was dedicated to the late Michael Kingsbury with special thanks to longtime treasurer Sandy Gallup, who received a standing ovation.
The town elected Representative Kari Dolan as moderator. Fellow Rep. Dara Torre spoke at the meeting as she and Dolan split the rounds across The Valley. Torre serves on the environment and energy committee, which has been working on the bottle bill, a bill related to household hazardous waste management, and strategic conservation.
Harwood Unified Union School District (HUUSD) Board member Bobbi Rood thanked outgoing board member Christine Sullivan for her years of service on first the Waitsfield Elementary School board then, after the consolidation, on the HUUSD Board. Sullivan was elected for another two-year term on the select board and opted not to run for reelection on the school board. Brian Shupe was reelected for a three-year-term on the select board.
Road commissioner Charlie Goodman spoke about changes in the road crew with longtime road manager Rodney Jones retiring and welcoming new members to the crew. He said the plan is to hire a new road manager and purchase new equipment to allow sidewalk plowing to be brought in-house, rather than contract with another service.
Voting went smoothly with little to no opposition.
“It was pretty quiet and straightforward,” Peterson said of the meeting.
“I’m truly amazed it went as short as it did,” resident Cheryl Kaminski said. “It was really efficient.”
“It was all important,” resident Edward Spaulding said. “Voting in representatives (for example). We have a declining population -- we need to be more active.”
This article was written with additional reporting from Woody Laidlaw of the Community News Group.