On February 22, 2023

Three district offices not on school ballot

By Curt Peterson

Two officers for the Windsor Central Unified School District, Rayna Bishop and Calista Brennan, are seeking write-in votes from residents of the seven participating towns — Killington, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Pomfret, Woodstock, Reading and Barnard. 

Traditionally the district clerk (Bishop) and district treasurer (Brennan) offices, as well as district moderator, would be nominated and voted on from the floor, but during the Covid pandemic, when in-person town meetings were impossible, Gov. Phil Scott had allowed all school district elections to be included in Australian ballots.

Bishop told the Mountain Times the governor extended the Australian ballot option another year, but didn’t sign the bill, H. 42, until Jan. 25.

The district board met on Jan.  26 and decided to go the ballot route. Jan. 30 was the deadline for producing the ballots. 

Bishop said there were essentially only three days for the candidates for the three offices to obtain the required 60 district voters’ signatures so their names could be printed on the ballot.

So Bishop and Brennan are using the area listservs to ask for write-in votes. Bishop said she doesn’t know whether Matthew Maxham, who has been moderator, is actively seeking re-election. On March 7 the ballots will be cast at the seven town offices or can be voted by mail if requested by the voter.

The district clerk maintains records of proceedings, produces warnings, prepares ballots and distributes formal notices, Bishop said. It is an unpaid position.

“The (clerk’s) duties mesh nicely with my job as executive administrative assistant to the Superintendent,” she said. “There is no conflict of interest.”

Brennan has served as district treasurer since 2018.

“In the event that a person does not receive enough write-in votes to qualify for election,” Bishop said, “the school board can appoint someone to fill the position(s).”

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