Town Meeting Day

The exterior of the Johnson Municipal Building.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Bucking the trend of low voter turnout, the village of Johnson’s annual meeting had to be recessed last week because the number of people in attendance exceeded the meeting room’s capacity.

Zeb Towne, of Duxbury, is reportedly the only elected dogcatcher in the United States. Last week he was reelected without opposition.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

It’s a political insult that dates back to the 1800s and has been used as recently as last fall by the President: "He couldn’t get elected dogcatcher." Often considered hyperbole, since there are no longer elected dogcatchers in the U.S., there's a town in central Vermont where it could be taken quite literally.

The Cavendish community tapestry which shows a river, tree, gazebo and townspeople and says Cavendish 1761.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

A community art project in the tiny town of Cavendish was shown for the first time at this year's town meeting, but its longtime champion wasn't there to see it.

I’ve been observing or reporting on Town Meetings in Vermont and New Hampshire since moving to the Upper Valley about 15 years ago.

Calais voters respond to a meeting to increase funding for battered women's shelter. We're talking about some of the results out of Town Meeting Day.
John Dillon / VPR

Before the glow fully fades, we're checking in with two reporters from VPR's team to talk about some of the results out of Town Meeting Day.

Miro Weinberger at Nectar's in Burlington on the night of Town Meeting Day 2018.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger has won a third term in office, fending off challenges from two left-leaning candidates in independents Carina Driscoll and Infinite Culcleasure.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger won reelection for a third-term. He got about 48 percent of the votes on Town Meeting Day.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger was elected to lead Vermont's largest city for a third-term on Tuesday.

The Democratic mayor won a tough contest against two independent challengers who ran to his left.

Several Rutland City board of aldermen candidates stand outside one of the city's polling places Tuesday.
Nina Keck / VPR

Only about 24 percent of voters in Rutland City cast ballots Tuesday, but those who did come out approved Rutland’s $52,635,059 school budget and the $21,393,763 municipal budget.

Central Vermont Internet founder Jeremy Hansen answers questions about the proposal at town meeting in Berlin, where he also sits on the select board.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

With at least 12 towns voting in favor of forming a communications district so far, Central Vermont Internet will go forward. The idea is to bring publicly-run high-speed internet to those towns.

Bill Basso, Mount Tabor town clerk, sits at a desk with three boxes of Ticonderoga pencils in front of him.
Emily Corwin / VPR

VPR News is tracking the 2018 Town Meeting Day votes on town and school budgets from around Vermont. Find statewide results here and share the results from your town with us.

Live Updates And Photos: Town Meeting Day 2018

Mar 6, 2018
A sign outside Long Trail Brewery that says that they will closed Tuesday March 6th for Bridgewater Corners Town Hall Meeting.
Emily Corwin / VPR

It's Town Meeting Day 2018, and VPR is keeping an eye on what's going on around Vermont today.

(left to right) Chief Amy Akerlind, Colchester Rescue, Chief Steven Locke, Burlington Fire Department, Aaron Frank, Deputy Town Manager in Colchester, and South Burlington Police Chief Trevor Whipple, present the plan for a consolidated dispatch center.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

Towns in Chittenden County are hoping to improve how fast emergency services respond to calls by pooling resources for dispatching those services. 

An item on seven town meeting ballots would set the stage for the creation of one consolidated center to handle 911 calls from member towns.

Downtown Barre City's North Main Street.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Voters in Barre City will consider a 1 percent local option tax on Town Meeting Day — and it’s not the first time they’ve been asked to adopt the tax.

The Jericho town meeting in 2017. We're talking about whether town meeting still make sense in the modern era.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Town Meeting Day is almost here, and every year the question gets raised: does town meeting still make sense in the modern era? We're looking at how this tradition has changed over time and how it fits with Vermont's democracy today.

A clock at Four Corners in Bennington, pictured here in July 2014
Angela Evancie / VPR File

There could be a governmental shift coming to Bennington. On Town Meeting Day, voters will decide if the town should elect a mayor, instead of sticking with the town manager system that's currently in place.

A "Vote Here" sign outside Burlington City Hall on Church Street.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

As we approach another year of this Vermont tradition, are you feeling behind on the issues people have been talking about around the state? Want to know how to stay up to date on results?

The Vermont Air National Guard is preparing to base F-35 fighters jets in Vermont in the fall of 2019. A non-binding ballot item in Burlington this town meeting day aims to stop that action.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

A non-binding ballot item in Burlington this Town Meeting Day would advise the City Council to request that F-35 fighter jets not be based at Burlington International Airport — but the Vermont Air National Guard says they're still getting ready for the arrival of the aircraft.

Jared Cadwell, the Fayston selectboard chairman, holds papers at a desk and looks over the town's Town Meeting Day warning in the town's municpal building.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

If you take a quick scan at this year's Town Meeting Day warnings, you won't find too many ambitious projects that require long-term borrowing. Vermont town officials say ongoing debates in Washington and Montpelier are making it hard to plan too far into the future.

It’s Town Meeting time. But so what? Why should we care?

Clark: Robert's Rules

Feb 27, 2018
Mark Bushnell, courtesy

A neighbor told me recently that his fifth-grade son was interested in Town Meeting. “He wants to learn more about – what’s that ‘order’ thing?”

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