Town Meeting reverts to Town Hall; Pellett runs for selectboard

Only 25 to 30 voters braved the icy roads on Monday night, Jan. 23, to vote at Green Mountain Union High School on two articles that will change the date and place of this year’s town meeting, Town Clerk Deb Aldrich said today.

Voters decided to return town meeting to Town Hall.

The meeting lasted for about five minutes, she added. On a quick aye/nay vote, the ayes had it, and so Town Meeting will be held at Town Hall, 556 Elm St. beginning at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 5. It was scheduled to be held on the morning of Saturday, March 3 at GMUHS.

Fiscal Issues to be addressed

During Town Meeting, voters will address a number of fiscal issues including town budget. As of Monday, those include $31,901 in funding requests for 11 organizations: Community Cares is seeking $1,800; Meals on Wheels $2,700; The Current bus service $2,250; Windsor County Partnership $800; Green Mountain RSVP $400; Chester-Andover Family Center $3,000; Council on Aging $1,200; the Visiting Nurses Association $13,807; Health Care and Rehabilitation Services $3,044; SEVCA $2,000 and New Beginnings $900.

Races for selectboard, Trustee of Public Funds

Then on Tuesday, March 6, voters will have a chance to vote on contested races for selectboard and Trustee of Public Funds. As of Monday, both have three people running for two seats.

Selectboard incumbents Tom Bock and Arne Jonynas are being challenged by former state Rep. Kathy Pellett for a one-year term. Incumbent Derek Suursoo is expected to file to seek re-election to his three-year term and is, thus far, unopposed.

The five-member selectboard enacts ordinances and regulations as well as prepares the town budget, which must be voted on by the voters at Town Meeting.

As of Monday, the only other position facing a challenge is Trustee of Public Funds, a three-member body that invests funds that are donated to the town. Two positions are up for a vote and three candidates have thus far filed. Incumbent Shirley Barrett is seeking re-election. And Sandy Walker and Susan Kibbe are expected to vie for the remaining two years of one unexpired term.

Still time to file to run

If you’d like to run for office, you must pick up a petition for candidacy at the Town Clerk’s Office, 556 Elm St. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. You’ll need to acquire 25 to 30 valid signatures of Chester voters and return the petition to the Clerk’s Office by 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 30.

— Cynthia Prairie

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About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor for 30 years, having worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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  1. Kathy Pellett says:

    Pellett running for Selectboard
    After six years in the Vermont Legislature and a year of retirement, I have decided to turn my attention and skills to my home ground and run for a one-year seat on Chester’s Select Board. It was an honor to serve as your state representative and I enjoyed the work immensely. I miss being useful in this way. My stance will be the same as when I was your state representative: to listen, to be informed and to be responsive to your concerns. My experience in the legislature has given me a unique perspective in dealing with issues without making decisions or judgments until all the facts have been examined.

    There are and will be major issues coming before the Board, such as the proposed biomass plant in North Springfield, and ensuring that Chester gets the funds it needs in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, among others. I believe the Board should work more closely with our state representative and senators, so we know about proposed legislation and how it might affect Chester. I believe the Select Board should be proactive, relying on foresight and insight.

    I currently am a member of Chester’s Reparative Board and a member of the State Judicial Nominating Board. I now have the time to dedicate my energy to issues that come before the town and to serve everyone fairly, helping to make Chester a better place in which to live and work.

    Two of my six years in the legislature were spent on the Natural Resources and Energy Committee and four years on the Judiciary Committee. I helped shepherd bills through to passage that had a positive effect on Chester, such as securing $300,000 for Chester’s waste water treatment plant. I also initiated an annual fund-raising event in Chester, now in its 6th year, to raise money for home heating fuel for local folks who need help with heating costs. The past 6 years, we raised more than $10,000, which was matched by CVPS’s Share Heat program.

    I hope you will vote for me for a one-year term on Chester’s Select Board. If you have any questions, please call me 875-1372 and I will be happy to speak with you. Thank you.