Charlotte town meeting Tuesday and April 3

For the second year, Charlotte will turn Town Meeting Day into a two-part exercise, with a daytime meeting and all-day balloting on Tuesday and a second day of voting in April.

Tuesday’s town meeting begins at 9 a.m. at Charlotte Central School.

Tuesday’s ballot will have a list of town offices to fill, none of which are contested. Town Clerk Mary Mead is seeking another three-year term. Incumbent Selectboard members Matthew Krasnow and Carrie Spear are unopposed for a two-year and three-year terms, respectively.

Lynn Jaunich and Jeffrey Martin are running for two-year seats on the Champlain Valley School Board.

Residents will also vote on the $76.8 million school budget, up 2.3 percent from current spending.

The other question voters will decide Tuesday is whether to approve a revised town plan. Copies of that document are online on the town’s website, charlottevt.org.

The rest of the items listed on the annual town meeting warning will be up for discussion and even open to changes on Tuesday, explained Town Administrator Dean Bloch. But, under the terms of a new charter the town adopted in 2016, the final votes for town spending items will come next month.

The new system is an attempt to allow more people to participate in making these important choices for the town, Bloch explained. Only a small number of town residents manage to attend a weekday meeting, such as Tuesday’s upcoming town meeting.

This approach is unusual in Vermont but widely used in New Hampshire, Bloch said.

Last year was the first in which Charlotte used the new method. Bloch said 173 people took part in the March meeting, with 831 casting ballots in the all-day paper ballot elections. Several weeks later, 475 people turned out for an all-day paper ballot vote to finalize the town budget and other financial questions, Bloch said.

The spending items up for discussion on Tuesday and final approval on April 3 are:

  • A proposed town budget of $3,145,465, up 3.2 percent.
  • Whether to spend $50,000 to buy and install emergency propane generators at the Senior Center and Town Hall.
  • Whether to add $30,000 to the budget for recreation facility improvements.
  • A request to spend about $220,000 in the existing fire and rescue reserve fund to buy new compressed-air packs that are standard equipment for firefighters.

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