Community Spotlight: Town Meeting Results Are In
Each year, the first week of March provides Vermonters with the opportunity to participate in local self-governance. On Town Meeting Day, residents gather and deliberate on a range of issues that directly affect their communities. This year was no different. Across the state, town residents met for community dialogue and direct democracy.
During a time of economic uncertainty, many towns paid significant attention to how to allocate funds effectively and reduce spending wherever possible. Even so, a number of towns made investments in projects and organizations that contribute to the long-term strength and vitality of the community. This attention to community needs even when times are hard is part of what makes Vermont one of a kind.
A number of local initiatives approved this year recognize the benefit of incorporating smart growth principles into long-term solutions. Here are just a few examples:
- In Stowe, residents voted against selling or tearing down a 170 year old historical rotary barn. Supporters hope to raise money to restore the building and develop it as a new community center.
- In Plainfield, voters approved the development of a micro-hydro electric plant to produce local renewable energy from the town dam.
- Community members in Bristol appropriated $6,000 to the Addison County Transit Resource to maintain alternative transportation options. The organization also could receive $3,750 from Bristol as part of a grant to expand a tri-town transportation service between Vergennes, Middlebury, and Bristol if the organization receives a matching grant from the state.
Community participation at town meeting is critical to the health and future of the state of Vermont. By staying involved and informed, individual residents have the power to influence the future of their town through open forums such as town meeting. Find out more on Town Meeting results across the state online at the Burlington Free Press and at VPR’s website.