On February 8, 2017

A look at Town Meeting races around the region

By Stephen Seitz and Evan Johnson

Area voters seem happy with their town governments this year. Most races around the region remain uncontested, and there are few articles beyond the normal.
In Killington, former Selectman Jim Haff is challenging incumbent Selectman Ken Lee for a three-year term. There is a petition article to change tax collection payments from four times a year to three, and another to rescind the 1 percent local option sale tax. In Rutland City, there are four candidates for mayor: David Allaire, Michael Coppinger, Kam Johnston and incumber Christopher Louras. Mayoral terms last two years. Johnston and Barry J. Keefe are also seeking to serve two years as city assessor.
Some 17 candidates are running for six two-year seats on the Board of Aldermen. They are John Atwood, Daniel Austin, Craig L. Brozefksy, Timothy G. Cook, Thomas Depoy, Christopher J. Ettori, George Gides Jr., Melinda Humphrey, Gail Johnson, Kam Johnston, Charles Larose Jr., Rebecca Mattis, John Mattison, Lisa Ryan, Robert Schlachter, Matt Whitcomb and Dan White. Gides, Depoy, Ettori, and Humphrey are all incumbents.
There is one petition article on the Rutland City ballot: “Shall the City of Rutland allocate $10,000 over and above Charter requirements for a one-year period commencing July 1, 2017 for the partial funding of BROC Community Action in Southwestern Vermont, upon condition that any cessation of business during the fiscal year shall cause funding to cease accordingly?”
There are no contested races in Rutland Town, but incumbent selectman Chris Kiefer-Cioffi is running for a 2 year term and incumbent selectwoman Mary C. Ashcroft is running for a 3 year term.
In Ludlow, longtime selectmen Bruce Schmidt, John Neal and Logan Nicoll are all running unopposed for their seats. Schmidt is seeking a three-year term, while Neal and Nicoll are asking for one-year terms. Several positions are lacking candidates: town moderator, school moderator, school district clerk and school district treasurer, as well as one candidate for a three-year term on the School Board.
There are two contested races in Plymouth this year. Incumbent Selectman Larry Lynde is facing off against Justus Pingree for a three-year term. There are also two candidates to serve as a lister for three years: incumbent Richard North is being challenged by Carol Ackley.
Over in Woodstock, there is but one contested race: Sonya Stover is challenging incumbent Selectman Preston Bristow for three years.
Brandon voters will elect town officers including one three-year Select Board seat, two one-year Select Board seats, town clerk, town treasurer, library trustee, town moderator and trustee of public funds. Incumbents in all of these positions are running unopposed.
It’s a similar case in Mendon, where residents will elect a Select Board member to a three-year term and a grand juror and a town agent each to one-year terms. Incumbents are running unopposed.
Voters in Wallingford will select a constable for a one-year term. Incumbent Jerry Tift is being challenged by Ken Corey.
In Castleton, four candidates are running for two Select Board positions, each with one-year terms. Zack Holzworth and Gary Munnett are running as challengers to incumbents Jim Leamey and William Potter. Because of the Act 46 vote on the same day, voting will open at 10 a.m. and stay open until 7 p.m.
There are still a few communities which conduct business the old-fashioned way, gathering together to elect candidates and adopt articles from the floor on Town Meeting Day. Those are Barnard, Bridgewater, Rochester, and Stockbridge.

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