By Brett Yates
The Chittenden Chit Chat, a longtime municipal newsletter, appears poised to resume publication after a years-long hiatus.
Chittenden Emergency Management Director Jan Sotirakis floated the idea during the Select Board’s April 25 meeting. “This has been bugging me probably ever since our team stopped working on it, but I really feel that we’ve lost something by not having what we used to call the Chit Chat and being able to provide updates to Chittenden residents,” she said. “Unfortunately, I’m not offering to take it over again. I did it for a long time. But in any discussions of moving forward, I think it should be a priority,” she continued. “I think it’s important because people don’t know what’s going on.”
Selectman Andrew Quint noted that a small amount of funding for the newsletter – which had cost about $350 per issue by Sotirakis’s recollection – had remained in the town budget. By the following meeting on May 9, Select Board Assistant Karen Webster circulated the first draft of a new edition.
“Pittsford sends out a very abbreviated newsletter, and it’s manageable,” she said. “And I said I’ll do it, and I did it. It’s very brief. I know it’ll expand because people will have things to say, like summer programs and things like that.”
Without a formal vote, the Select Board encouraged the endeavor. The new Chit Chat will exist both on paper and online, but at least at first, it won’t go out by mail to residents, as the old version did.
“If my memory serves me, it seems like there were around 600 people that we wanted to send the newsletter to, and I think it was close to 400 by mail and 250 or something like that by email,” Sotirakis recalled. “But I can tell you that, having stamped those and folded them and put the stickers on them, I know a lot of those people have a computer and do email regularly, but they had chosen to have a hard copy.”
This time, Webster proposed leaving hard copies at the town office and the Wooden Barrel Country Store. Selectwoman Julie Fredette added the transfer station as a possible drop-off site. The town will also make use of the Chit Chat email account’s old subscriber list and will post the newsletter on the town website.