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Pomfret Town Meeting to decide 3 Selectboard races

Published: 2/14/2021 10:38:19 PM
Modified: 2/15/2021 6:06:16 PM
PomfretSelectboard race filled with contested seats

Hot topic: With a budget that’s only 1.2% higher than last year’s, and no other major spending proposed, the biggest issue Pomfret voters decide will be who sits on the Selectboard. Three incumbents are running but have opponents.

Budget: The proposed budget of $1.46 million is as “bare-bones” as the Selectboard could make it, Selectboard Chairwoman Emily Grube said in a phone interview. “It’s not a good year for anyone,” she said, in reference to the pandemic and its economic ill effects.

Noteworthy articles: A pair of articles will ask residents to approve reserve funds, but neither is earth-shattering. One is for Teago Village and is intended as a resting place for a $10,000 donation from Kathleen Dolan, who directs ArtisTree Community Art Center and also owns the Teago General Store. The other essentially cleans up confusion from the 1970s, admittedly a confusing decade. The Selectboard in 1977 created a highway equipment sinking fund, Grube said. A sinking fund is intended to retire debt, but the town has always used the fund as a reserve fund. So the article asking residents to create a “Highway Equipment Reserve Fund” is a housekeeping measure. “It’s just basically semantics,” Grube said.

Contested races: Selectboard members Steve Chamberlin, Chuck Gundersen and Scott Woodward are running for re-election. Chamberlin faces opposition for a three-year seat from Frank E. Perron Jr., a former Selectboard member. Gundersen and Woodward are running for one-year terms and are facing younger challengers in Jonathan Harrington and Tim Reiter in a “pick two” article on the ballot. Grube made no endorsements, but noted that it was nice to see younger residents take an interest in town politics. Aside from the Selectboard, races for the other town offices are uncontested.

When and where: An informational hearing is planned for 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20 on Zoom. See the town website for a link. Instead of a traditional floor meeting, because of the COVID-19 pandemic voting on all articles will be held by Australian ballot from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2 at the town offices.

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