Deadline for candidates to file for Town Meeting Day ballot nears

By MADELINE HUGHES

Town Meeting Day is March 5, less than two months away, and as selectboards around Vermont are finalizing budgets, local candidates are circulating their petitions to run for local offices.

In Shelburne, town meeting will be held the evening of March 4. Voters on March 5 will elect two selectboard members and fill one school board seat.

Selectboard Vice Chair Jaime Heins said he is seeking re-election. Heins was elected last March to serve out the second year of a two-year term left open when former Selectboard member John Kerr resigned in October 2017. Heins was appointed in November after Kerr’s resignation to serve until the March election when voters chose him to continue in the position until this year.

“It’s been a privilege to serve the town as a Selectboard member and I believe I have more to contribute so hoping the voters will support me in March,” Heins said.

Heins is a lawyer with Keurig Dr Pepper, Inc., formerly known as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.

Board member Dr. Josh Dein is nearing the end of his three-year term. He declined to tell the Shelburne News whether he will file a petition to be on the March ballot.

In his time on the board since his election in 2016, Dein has been a controversial figure. In 2017 members of the Selectboard took issue with Dein’s conduct regarding the project by Vermont Railway to build large salt storage sheds north of Shelburne Village near the LaPlatte River. Some board members sought to have Dein removed from the board by going to Vermont Superior Court.

That dispute was resolved with an agreement that Dein not participate in the board’s discussions and decision-making regarding the railroad matter. The issue has been the subject of several cases in U.S. District Court, all of which have so far been decided in favor of the railroad’s ability to build and operate the facility with little local or state review.

The case currently is awaiting action by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City.

So far, no other candidate has announced plans to seek a seat on the Selectboard.

On the school board section of the March 5 ballot, incumbent Russell Caffrey is seeking a three-year term. “I am running for reelection and am in the process of gathering signatures,” Caffery said.

Tom Little said he will seek reelection for a one-year term as town moderator.

Candidate petitions are due to the town clerk’s office Jan. 28 with signatures of at least 30 registered Shelburne voters. Assistant Town Clerk Sue Moraska said no petitions have been filed so far.

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