School Director – Mary Krueger 619 votes
Jessica Cady Burlew 464
Denise Hunter 587
Michael Jasinski Sr. 356
Katie Parent 382
ARTICLE 4: Appropriate $13,425,871 for the budget of the town
Yes – 922
No – 439
ARTICLE 7: Authorize cannabis retailers in town
Yes – 715
No – 632
ARTICLE 11: Approve the school board to spend $32,997,951 in education spending
Yes – 775
No – 593
SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – At the Springfield Town Informational Hearing on Monday, Feb. 28, very few questions were asked in regards to any of the articles up for discussion. Town and School District Moderator Larry Kraft presided, reading the articles in question and recognizing speakers and residents with comments pertaining to the individual items.
Very little was discussed on the topic of any of the articles in question, with the exception of Article 4, which was accompanied by a presentation by Town Manager Jeff Mobus, Article 8, which was accompanied by a presentation by School Superintendent Zach McLaughlin, and Article 11, to which Schoolboard members, represented primarily by Schoolboard member Troy Palmer, spoke to the budget for the 2023 year.
In regards to Article 4, Mobus gave an in-depth description of the proposed allotment of Town budget funds, a total of $13,425,871, breaking down where the funds would go. His slideshow presentation described an increased tax amount of $534,245 compared to 2022, to a total of $10,614,341 to be raised by local taxes. The projects requiring the raise in taxes include retirement payouts and public works equipment replacement. Besides the primary Town budget, Mobus shed some light on Articles 5 and 6, which concern infrastructure in Springfield – namely road improvements and sidewalks that would be installed throughout the town.
McLaughlin discussed Article 8, which would authorize the Town Treasurer, with approval, to borrow money for short-term expense coverage for the Springfield School District. McLaughlin emphasized that this is an article that has always passed in previous years, and would merely be a precaution in case something happens. According to McLaughlin, the last time Springfield needed to utilize these expense coverages was in November of 2014, and that it lasted only a few weeks.
Schoolboard member Troy Palmer was on hand to speak to Article 11, which concerns the School budget for the year. The proposed budget totals $32,997,951, or $19,288 per pupil. This projected spending is 5.75% higher per pupil than in 2022.
Palmer reminded voters that only “$7.9 million of the $33 million is raised locally,” and that, “The rest comes from the Vermont State Education Fund.” He also pointed to the fact that, while the school budget does approach $33 million, since only a fraction of that is raised from resident taxes, the school budget actually requires $2 million less than the Town budget.
Of the 28 articles, Article 11 was the only article that prompted questions from the residents in attendance. Two residents questioned whether the taxes for the School budget would go down this year, to which Schoolboard members acknowledged that, depending on statistical reappraisal results, the tax rate is expected to go down 1.4 to 12.6 cents per resident.
Representatives from several of the other organizations that stand to receive funding from the articles were in attendance, but no questions were asked of them.
Voting for the Springfield Town Meeting will take place in the Riverside Middle School Gym on Tuesday, March 1 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will be held by Australian ballot.