Valid signatures send Londonderry article back to the voters

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Telegraph logoA petition to reconsider an article that was passed at Londonderry’s March 1 Town Meeting has been given thumbs up from Town Clerk Kelly Pajala, leaving the Select Board 60 days in which to hold a special meeting and the new vote.

On March 1, an article was originally meant to authorize the purchase of  20 acres just south of the Londonderry Transfer Station. The article asked if the town should appropriate $30,000 for the purchase and spread the remaining $120,000 of the purchase price over five years.

After some discussion, the article was tabled, which meant that it could be brought back up after another article was voted on. Not everyone in attendance was aware of this possibility, and quite a number of voters left. After the next article was voted, a motion was made to return to the purchase article. It was then amended to instead appropriate $10,000 to study the purchase, which was voted on and passed. Unhappy with the turn of events and hoping to allow for a “fair vote,” Londonderry resident Tom Cavanagh petitioned the town to reconsider the question.

The petition had to receive signatures from at least 5 percent of the registered voters of the town — a minimum of  65 signatures. According to Town Treasurer Tina Labeau, the petition as presented had 86 signatures, 81 of which were valid. The clock for the 60 days started upon delivery of the petition to the town clerk on Friday, March 25. That would make May 23 the last date that the Select Board could schedule a special meeting.

According to Vermont statutes, the posting of a warning for the meeting must be done no fewer than 30 days before the date of the meeting. The Select Board meets next on Monday April 4th.

Cavanagh’s petition read: We the undersigned legal voters of the Town of Londonderry, Vt., hereby request that the Select Board call a special meeting to have the voters reconsider the following article: Article 11 Amended. Should the Select Board spend up to $10,000 for engineering and any other such study that will be required to assess the feasibility of the purchase of the parcel of land at 6600-6950 Route 100?

Reported by Cynthia Prairie and Shawn Cunningham

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