OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
INFORMATIONAL MEETING/MEET THE CANDIDATES NIGHT
February 27, 2018
Interested citizens met in the Halifax School multipurpose room at 7:00 p.m. February 27th to meet the candidates and ask questions about upcoming Town Meeting business. This year, due to school district unification, the new Southern Valley Unified Union School District held a separate informational meeting at 6:00 p.m., prior to the Selectboard meeting. Selectboard members Lewis Sumner, Mitchell Green, and Bradley Rafus were present, as were the following candidates: For Town Moderator (one year), Paul Blais; for Selectboard (three years), Mitchell Green; for Lister (three years), Patricia Dow; for Collector of Delinquent Taxes (one year), Laura Sumner; for Town Grand Juror (one year), Joseph Tamburrino; for Town Agent (one year), Tina Blais; for Cemetery Commissioner (three years), Bradley Rafus; for Whitingham Library Trustee (three years), Catherine Bell; for School Director for the Southern Valley Unified Union School District (three years), Stephanie Powers. Also on the ballot, but not present this evening: For Selectboard (running against Mitchell Green for a three-year term), Greg Marguet; for Auditor (three years), Diane Longe; for Trustee of Public Funds (three years), William Moore; for School Director (three years), Kimberley Tefft.
Selectboard Chair Lewis Sumner advised that the Board worked hard to keep this year’s proposed Town budget level-funded. Actually, it’s a little less, he said, because the recycling contract, which was a separate article on last year’s warning, is incorporated into the budget this year, and the Halifax Town Celebration committee has not requested further funds for FY19. As no one had immediate questions on the budget or the ballot, candidates for Town offices took seats at the front table and were introduced by Moderator Paul Blais. There were several questions about the duties of Grand Juror, Town Agent, and Auditor. Kattie Russ, who has taken a full-time job, is no longer able to continue as Lister. Noting that the other two listers have been very successfully handling the full work load, Patty Dow said she is running for the third position as a silent lister who will be available whenever needed in an unpaid capacity. Dow also responded to a question about the Auditor’s role, explaining that the Town Auditors reviewed all the Town’s accounts as an alternative to hiring outside auditors, which would be much more expensive.
Paul Blais thanked the candidates for their participation, and discussion returned to Selectboard and Town matters, including the structure of current emergency services, the Town’s State Police contract and coverage, the closed landfill testing process, and costs and effects related to a proposal to increase the Selectboard to five members. This latter question will be voted by Australian ballot on March 6th.
The meeting closed at 7:57 p.m.