Three seats on the Shelburne Selectboard will be decided in the Town Meeting Day election March 6 and candidates are already lining up to be on the ballot.
Shelburne attorney Mary Kehoe announced this week she will seek the three-year seat now held by board Chair Gary von Stange. Von Stange had not yet taken out a petition and he did not respond to a Shelburne News inquiry about his plans.
Jaime Heins, who was appointed in November to fill a vacancy on the board until the March vote, has said he will seek election to the remaining year of his term. Heins will face a challenge from Chris Boyd, a past one-term board member.
Incumbent Vice Chair Jerry Storey is so far unopposed for re-election to his two-year seat.
Town Clerk Diana Vachon said Kehoe and Boyd have already submitted their signed petitions; Storey and Heins have petitions to be returned.
Vachon said she already had in hand a petition from Pete Gadue for a seat on the Champlain Water District; Vachon herself has taken a petition for the town clerk position.
Voters will also fill one Shelburne seat on the Champlain Valley Union School District board. Board member Joan Lenes’ three-year seat is up for election. She is not running again; Barbara Martin has filed a petition to seek that seat, Vachon said.
The deadline for candidates to file petitions signed by 30 registered Shelburne voters is 5 p.m. Monday.
Town meeting agenda set
Shelburne town meeting will be held at Shelburne Community School in the evening of Monday, March 5. Voting will happen March 6 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the town offices.
At its meeting Tuesday night, the Shelburne Selectboard approved the warning for town meeting. It includes a proposed town budget of $8,749,307 of which $6,397,010 would come from property taxes. That’s up 7.6 percent from the budget adopted last year.
The board also approved asking voters to add $30,000 to the open space fund that’s used to buy and conserve land.
Voters will also consider whether Shelburne should join other Chittenden County communities in forming a regional emergency services dispatch system called the Chittenden County Public Safety Authority.
The selectboard heard a detailed presentation last week from officials working on the regional dispatch proposal, led by Colchester Assistant Town Manager Aaron Frank. The project’s goal is to improve dispatch staffing and emergency-service response times throughout the county. The new setup would be phased in over several years. Town Meeting Day votes will help gauge public interest and support.
Lacking quorum, just discussion
That presentation last week followed a lively discussion with local legislators attended by more than a dozen members of the public. However, only two selectboard members attended the entire session in person.
Vice Chair Storey led the meeting and was accompanied by Heins at the meeting table. Chair von Stange joined in by phone for an hour. Drs. Colleen Parker and Josh Dein were absent.
Lacking a quorum, the meeting did not involve any official decisions. Instead, it became a series of presentations and discussions of various issues.
Democratic state Reps. Jessica Brumsted and Kate Webb were joined by Sen. Chris Pearson, P/D-Chittenden. Karen Horn from the Vermont League of Cities and Towns also participated to discuss the details of the recent marijuana legalization passed in Montpelier.
Champlain Valley School Board Chair Dave Connery also attended to discuss the proposed $77 million school budget for 2018-19.