Deadlines loom for fiscal, candidate petitions in Chester

 

By Cynthia Prairie
With Chester town vote petition deadlines looming — 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23 for fiscal articles and 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27 for elective offices — surprisingly few petitions had been submitted as of Tuesday, Jan. 21, said Julie Hance, assistant town clerk.

chart 2014

Click to enlarge chart.

By last Tuesday, three of an expected 11 fiscal article petitions had been submitted for signature approval.

As of midday this past Tuesday, they remained the only ones submitted:

  1. One would give $1,800 to Community Cares Network of Chester-Andover. The nonproft “provides services to senior citizens” to help them stay in their homes longer and safely.
  2. Another would give Senior Solutions – the Council on Aging for Southeastern Vermont Inc.  $1,200 to serve elderly residents.
  3. And a third, for Chester-Andover Family Center, is seeking $3,000 to aid families and individuals.

Among the remaining eight is one asking voters of the town of Chester to appropriate $5,000 for expansion of the Grateful Garden program at Chester-Andover Elementary School.

Hance said one difficulty this year is that petitions that come in at the 5 p.m. Thursday deadline will have to be verified before 8 a.m. on Friday, when the Chester Select Board holds a special meeting to approve the General Fund and sign the town warning. “It’s a tighter schedule than usual,” Hance said. The Town Report has to go to the printer on Tuesday, Jan. 28 to get mailed to voters by Feb. 19.

Among petitions for elective office, as of this past Tuesday, Arne Jonynas filed to seek another one-year term on the Select Board, Kathy Pellett filed for another term as Whiting Library trustee and Jack Cable filed for another three-year term as town auditor. This brings to six the number of people who have filed for seven seats. Earlier, Select Board member Tom Bock, town clerk Deborah Aldrich, who is also town treasurer, and Lister Deborah Trent had filed petitions for re-election.

All are incumbents. No non-incumbents have filed for office for 21 seats up for election.

 What you need to know

  •  Petitions for articles for the Town Meeting – which must have 120 to 130 signatures of Chester voters – are due  at the Chester Town Clerk’s office in Town Hall, 556 Elm St., by 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23.
  • Petitions for elective office – which must have 25 to 30 signatures of Chester voters – are due at the Chester Town Clerk’s office by 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 27.
  • Town Meeting will be held at Town Hall on the evening of Monday, March 3. At that time, fiscal items, including articles, will be voted on in public.
  • Elections and other items to be voted on by secret ballot will occur on Tuesday, March 4, also at Town Hall.
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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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