Hybrid Cavendish Town Meeting was short and sweet

Cavendish Town Meeting, held Monday, March 28, took no longer than twenty minutes with no comment from the public on any of the four articles up for vote. Photo provided

UPDATE: A total of 111 Cavendish voters approved all four articles including the town budget. Steve Perani won the GMUSD board seat vs. Abe Gross, something Gross has been campaigning FOR in the last few weeks. George Timko was elected to the select board for a three year term. Theresa McNamara was elected as Town Grand Juror and Doris Eddy was elected Trustee of Public Funds.

CAVENDISH, Vt. – The Cavendish Town Meeting took all of twenty minutes on Monday night, March 28, with no community comment, either by Zoom or in person, on the four articles up for a vote on Tuesday, March 29. However, a few other community members spoke briefly on separate issues.

Vermont State Representative for Cavendish John Arrison gave an overview of legislative initiatives happening at the state house; Tom Baptista spoke about his run for town sheriff and his plan to establish community involvement; and current Green Mountain Unified School District board member Abe Gross urged voters to vote for his opponent, Steve Perani.

Gross has been visible in recent weeks holding up a sign urging Cavendish voters to choose Perani and recently explained that he had only submitted his name for re-election thinking that no other candidate had come forward. Unable to remove his name from the ballot once Perani had declared his candidacy, Gross has been openly campaigning against himself and urging voters to choose Perani.

Cavendish’s four articles were read by Cavendish Town Moderator Mike Ripley without any community comment either from in-person participants, or those attending online. All articles will be voted on by Australian Ballot and include: the election of town officers; tax collection due dates and penalties; the town budget of $1,783,357; and approval of $20,863 of the town’s surplus to be applied toward principal and interest of the town’s solar array note.

The hybrid town meeting is an outlier for Cavendish, which typically votes the town articles and budget “on the floor” during an in-person only town meeting. However, due to the pandemic, the town meeting structure has been changed in the last two years. The town meeting in 2021 was completely remote via Zoom with voting by Australian Ballot the following day. This year, the structure was a hybrid, offering both in-person and online attendance, with an Australian Ballot vote the next day.

After call for adjournment came at 7:20 p.m. after a 7 p.m. start, Ripley wrapped up the formalities saying, “We have a meeting, folks.”

Voting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 29 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. at the Proctorsville Fire Department. Results will be published online after the election with this article, and reported in next week’s paper.

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