Vote Chester 2014: A preliminary look at the March elections


By Cynthia Prairie

As of Tuesday, only three people had filed for election for 23 Chester offices that are up for a vote. The three are incumbents seeking to be returned to seats that they currently hold.

Select Board member Tom Bock, town clerk Deborah Aldrich, who is also town treasurer, and Lister Deborah Trent have all filed petitions for re-election. All seats, including the Select Board seats, are at-large, which means that officers represent the entire populace of the town and not  a smaller segment.

Bock is seeking to be returned to another one-year term. The other two Select Board seats up for a vote are another one-year term currently held by Arne Jonynas and a three-year term currently held by John DeBenedetti. Both incumbents are expected to file for re-election. And as of Tuesday, no one else had filed to seek those seats.

While Jonynas is expected to run for another term on the Select Board, he is not expected to seek another term on the Green Mountain Union High School board of directors.

Trent has filed for election to an unexpired two-year term as lister. See the chart to the right for seats that are up for election.

Fiscal articleschart 2014

Three fiscal articles have already been filed.

  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.

Also, one group is seeking signatures to ask the voters of the town of Chester to appropriate $5,000 for the Grateful Garden at Chester-Andover Elementary School “To foster expansion of the garden program, and farm to school efforts that aim to increase access to and awareness of fresh, local, healthy food choices.”

Julie Hance, assistant town clerk, predicted that at least seven more fiscal articles would come in before the deadline.

 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 more than 40 years. Cynthia has 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, and has won numerous state awards for her reporting. As an editor, she has overseen her staffs to win many awards for indepth coverage. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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