All articles pass at quiet Weston Town Meeting

By Christopher Biddle
©2016 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Weston Select Board members await the start of Town Meeting as residents find their seats. Photos by Christopher Biddle

Weston Select Board members await the start of Town Meeting as residents find their seats. Photos by Christopher Biddle

All but one of the 27 articles in Weston’s 2016 Town Meeting passed by voice vote Tuesday morning at the Weston Playhouse. Article 17, which asked voters to approve a resolution to see if they were interesting in expanding the number of parking spaces in front of the Town Office and The Little School on Lawrence Hill Road, passed by a standing vote, 47-37.

Specifically, voters indicated that they would like the Select Board to look into expanding parking from an unmarked 12 to a marked 18 available spaces, including a handicapped space and sidewalk unpaved walkway. The price of the project was not to exceed $75,000, but the article did not appropriate any money for the project itself and town officials stressed the “advisory and non-binding” character of the article.

Moderator Wayne Granquist disallowed a suggested amendment to the article by a member of the audience, stating that the article was the result of a petition, and that it was designed in such a way by the petitioners so as to not include an appropriation, but to merely gauge interest and direct the Select Board to act accordingly.

“If the article is approved, I think the Select Board will feel that there is an opinion in the town that this should be explored, ” said Granquist.  “If the article is disapproved, they may still feel that (it should be explored), but probably less so.”

Select Board member Jim Linville said that questions raised, which included proximity to a town well, should likely lead to highway and engineering studies, but there was no appropriation in the budget. During discussion of the final article to approve the town budget, Linville said, “If there’s nothing in the budget, that (would preclude) us from considering it in any sort of pro-active way.”

But Granquist denied any further amendments. “I’m very reluctant to put appropriations before the town meeting that have not been warned,” he said. “I’m going to suggest that you find the money some place, but I would not rule in favor of an amendment to the budget at this time. It hasn’t been warned.”

Weston residents at town meeting

Weston residents at town meeting

“OK,” said Linville.

“And you may overrule me if you wish,” said Granquist, turning to the audience.

Also approved by Weston voters were:

ARTICLE 7: $4,000 for the Town Annex building maintenance.

ARTICLE 8: $3,500 for the Town Annex Paint Reserve Fund.

ARTICLE 9: $35,000 for the Fire Apparatus Replacement Reserve Fund

ARTICLE 10: $5,000 to the Space Planning and Management Fund.

ARTICLE 11: $39,075 amended to $46,875 for a number of service organizations that included financial information with their requests

ARTICLE 12: $13,000 for the Weston Recreation Club.

ARTICLE 13: $36,525 for the Weston Volunteer Fire Department.

ARTICLE 14: $9,000 for Mountain Valley Medical Center.

ARTICLE 15: $3,000 for Neighborhood Connections.

ARTICLE 16: Sums totaling $850 to several organizations that did not include financial information with their requests.

ARTICLE 18: $90,000 for the Bridge Repair Fund.

ARTICLE 19: $85,000 for the Highway Equipment Replacement Reserve Fund.

ARTICLE 20: $25,000 for the Highway Maintenance Fund

ARTICLE 21: $21,925 as salary for the town treasurer for Jan. 1, 2016 through Dec. 31, 2016.

ARTICLE 22: $16,825 as salary for the town clerk for the same time period.

ARTICLE 23: $1,200 for each Select Board member for the same time period.

ARTICLE 25: General Fund expenditure of $476,318 amended to $546,393, of which $283,589  shall be raised by taxes and $130,840 by non-tax revenues and $131,963 by prior year surplus.

ARTICLE 26: Highway Fund expenditure of $817,219, of which $632,872 will be raised by taxes and $144,280 by non-tax revenues, offset by a prior year surplus of $40,066.

Voted into office by voice votes were:

  • Moderator and Town Grand Juror (both 1-year terms) – Wayne Granquist
  • Town Clerk and Town Treasurer  (both 1-year terms) – Kim Seymour
  • Select Board member (3-year term) – Charles Goodwin
  • Select Board member (2-year term) – Ann Fuji’i
  • Town Constable (1-year) – Almon Crandall
  • Collector of Delinquent Taxes (1 year) – Sandra Goodwin
  • Town Agent (1 year) – James Young
  • Library Trustees (two 5-year terms) – Carrie Chalmers and Deb Granquist Marguerite Mason
  • Trustee of Public Funds (3-year term) – Mimi Neff
  • Cemetery Commissioner (5-year term) – Dale Griswold

Remaining vacant are the 3-year position of Lister and the 1-year post for a second Town Constable.

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About the Author: Christopher Biddle is a journalist, radio DJ and lifelong Vermonter. He hosts the 9 to 11 a.m. Sunday Rewind show on 102.7 WEQX. In addition to The Chester Telegraph and The Mountain Times he has written for other local publications. His audio work includes stories for VPR and Slate Magazine's podcast network. He collects VHS tapes and knows how to use a chainsaw.

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  1. Malcolm Hamblett says:

    Marguerite Mason was elected as a library trustee, not Deb Granquist.