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Town Meeting preview: Bradford, Vt., voters to decide budget, contested selectboard race

Published: 2/8/2021 6:04:22 PM
Modified: 2/8/2021 6:04:21 PM

Hot topic: Residents in Bradford, Vt., will again be asked to choose the date and time of future Town Meetings after a 2020 vote to move the town’s annual event to the weekend was ruled invalid. Voters decided last year to schedule upcoming Town Meetings for Saturdays following the state holiday, the first Tuesday in March. But Vermont law only allows communities to pick a date “three days immediately preceding” that first Tuesday. So, residents will choose between three options in Australian ballot voting this year: 9 a.m. on the first Saturday in March; 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday in March; or the traditional time of 9 a.m. on that Tuesday. Whichever option voters OK will take effect in 2022.

Budget: Voters will decide whether to approve a roughly $2 million town budget at the polls this year. That’s down about $52,000, or roughly 2.4%, from the spending plan approved last year. Selectboard member Randy Moore said the savings were found by trimming excess spending, including waiting to advertise for a part-time recreation director and putting fewer funds into capital reserves. “We shaved things a little bit here and there,” he said.

Noteworthy articles: The warning proposes creating two new capital reserve funds. One article asks for $2,000 for the tree warden to remove diseased trees that are deemed a hazard to public safety, while another calls for $1,500 that could be used to match grants obtained throughout the course of the next year.

Contested races: Moore, who has served about 15 years on the Selectboard, is stepping down. Running to fill his three-year seat are Todd Danis, Anna Davidson and Sarah Surette. Meroa Benjamin isn’t on the ballot but is running a write-in campaign for the seat. Meanwhile, Selectboard member Carole Taylor is running unopposed for a two year-term, while Moderator Peter Mallary also is running uncontested. 

When and where: An informational meeting is planned for 6:30 p.m Monday, Feb. 22 via Zoom. Login information is at Bradford-vt.us. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of Bradford’s traditional floor meeting Town Meeting voting will be by Australian ballot from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2, in the Bradford Academy Building. Requests for mailed ballots can be made to the town clerk by emailing clerk@bradford-vt.us or calling 802-222-4727. 

— Tim Camerato




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