Few disagreements at Weston Town Meeting But 'bathroom talk' dominates Wilder Library discussion

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC

The post-Town Meeting lunch — prepared by the Little School — was scheduled for noon, but by 10 til 11,  with 24 of 25 articles decided, Weston Town Moderator Wayne Granquist was asking the 80 voters attending to either stay or return for the chili and cornbread feed.

Town clerk Kim Seymour and moderator Wayne Granquist get ready for the meeting. Photos by Shawn Cunningham

Luckily the cooks said they could cope and be ready in 15 minutes and the non-binding portion of the agenda took up the slack with the meeting, clocking in at two hours.

All of the budget articles passed with just a few relatively polite questions and no negative votes. In fact, one of the few amendments to the monetary articles was a reduction in the amount. Saying that the cemeteries need some love, commission member Bill Hoyt told the meeting that $17,134 of a $25,000 goal had been raised and so the amount requested in Article 13 could be reduced from $7,975 to $7,866.

“We saved you a hundred dollars,” said Hoyt as the amendment and article passed.

A sense of urgency to add bathroom at Wilder Library

The one item on the list of organizations asking for money from the town — operating funds for the Wilder Library — produced the most discussion in the meeting as Select Board member Bruce Downer asked library board chair Deb Granquist if the library could hurry up and install a bathroom.

Select board member Bruce Downer pleads the case for a bathroom in the Wilder Library

He noted that children from the Little School visit the building as well as many of the older people in town and not having a bathroom limits the time they can visit. Downer asked about the cost of installing a bathroom and Granquist said that space is an issue in the tiny, almost 200-year-old building.

“A bathroom would take up half the space of the library and there’s not much space to expand,” said Granquist, although the board has considered a small addition to the back of the building to house the bathroom.

David Raymond, who served on the task force to remove the dam and restore the stream bed of the Cold Spring Brook, told Granquist not to wait, noting that in his experience with the brook, the State of Vermont will want them to take out several permits. Downer asked the library board to consider doing something now. Granquist thanked Downer saying that several trustees were in the audience and they have gotten the message.

“I think we’ll get started on this ASAP and we appreciate the nudge,” said Granquist. Board member Malcolm Hamblett said they have made some preliminary research on the topic so they won’t be starting from zero.

Eight 8th graders given Rudolph Johnson Awards

Nicole Pfister, a Trustee of Public Funds, announced the Rudolph Johnson prizes of $150 each to eight eighth-grade residents of Weston who will be leaving middle school for high school next fall.

Deb Lyneis,  school board director for Weston with Taconic and Green school district, handed out the prizes. Rudolph Johnson, principal of the now defunct Weston Town School, left money to the town for the awards and a fund in his name is managed by the trustees. Three recipients of the awards were unable to attend. Those who accepted their awards at Tuesday’s meeting are pictured from left in the photo:

  • Julia Decker
  • Ronnie Murphy
  • Koa Gonet
  • Trey Proctor
  • Gabe Lindgren

Shay Doane, Carter Via and Sumner Orr will receive their awards at a later date.

Dr. Fox urges caution on coronavirus

Dr. Roger Fox and Elsie Smith asked those in attendance to support the $2,500 funding request by the Mountain Valley Medical Council. Fox said the money goes toward medical bills of Weston residents who are unable to pay.

“The last thing we want is for you to be littering our clinic with all your germs,” said Fox referring to the need for isolation in dealing with coronavirus

He also noted that the Mountain Valley Medical Clinic has weathered the Springfield Hospital bankruptcy well and that the board has protected the endowment in that situation. Fox added that the hospital does not support the lab and other services at the clinic, but the council does.

Asked if the clinic is prepared for the coronavirus, Fox said, “No, no one is.” The follow up question was whether people should be coming to the clinic if they feel they have symptoms.  Again Fox answered “no.”

“The last thing we want is for you to be littering our clinic with all your germs,” said Fox. “We would like you to call us. This is quite serious. Isolation is really, really important. We are really interested in anyone who has been traveling and has a cough and a fever, but we don’t want to see you. We would like you to call. The recommendations are changing daily or twice daily as to whether we test everybody, what test is done.  The trick is to isolate people, the telephone is your friend.”

Elected offices

The first four articles on the warning were the election of public officials. Granquist, who was up for re-election as Town Grand Juror quipped that “it’s a great job.”

Moderator for a 1-year term – Wayne Granquist
Town Clerk for a 1-year term – Kim Seymour
Town Treasurer for a 1-year term – Kim Seymour
Select Board for a 3-year term – Denis Benson
Select Board for a 2-year term – Annie Fuji’i
Lister for a 3-year term – Vacant
for a 2-year term – Vacant
Library Trustee
for a 5-year term – Malcolm Hamblett
Trustee of Public Funds for a 3-year term – Ron Prouty
Town Constable for a 1-year term – Almon Crandall
Collector of Delinquent Taxes for a 1-year term – Sandra Goodman
Town Grand Juror for a 1-year term – Wayne Granquist
Town Agent for a 1-year term – James Young
Cemetery Commissioner for a 5 -year term – Judy Poissant

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