VERMONT PRIMARY ELECTION
By Melissa Boutin, Town Clerk/Treasurer
During the COVID-19 pandemic, voting will be handled in the safest possible manner for you, as a voter and pollworkers.
All voters are strongly encouraged to vote by absentee to reduce in-person voting. A request to receive a ballot may be done by returning the postcard sent by the State of Vermont, online at My Voter Page or email – email@example.com, by telephone (372-8830) or in person at the Town Clerk’s Office, 9 Hyde Road. Postage is prepaid making voting in this manner more convenient than ever. Absentee ballots will be processed as directed by Vermont State Statutes and Office of the Secretary of State.
In-person voting will be available on August 11, 2020 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Areas will be marked to ensure social distancing for each voter and pollworkers. Stay at home if you have a fever, respiratory symptoms, or believe you are sick. Wearing a mask is required. Should you not want to wear a mask, you must vote absentee. One-way traffic flow will be utilized by entering through the Town Clerk’s door. Due to limited space, up to four people will be allowed to vote at any given time. A child older than the age of two accompanying a voter will count towards the total number allowed and they also must adhere to wearing a mask. Ballots will be issued upon check-in. Once voted, ballots will be deposited as directed in the Lister’s Office. Exiting the building will be through the Lister’s door.
To allow for proper social distancing and disinfecting, expect wait times to be as long as fifteen minutes.
Please vote in the manner that provides you the safest voting experience.
By Rachael Griggs, Grand Isle Selectboard
Free Metal Day is Saturday, July 18 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Grand Isle Transfer Station. The event is open to Grand Isle and South Hero residents with stickers. Please display your transfer station sticker on your windshield.
OPEN ELECTED POSITIONS
By Melissa Boutin, Town Clerk
Petitions for elected positions are available at the Grand Isle Town Office during normal business hours.
The deadline to submit a petition is no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 27.
Open positions are: Cemetery Commissioner – (1) 5 Year Term; Library Trustee – (1) 5 Year Term; Selectboard – (1) 2 Year Term; Selectboard – (1) 3 Year Term; Town Agent – (1) 1 Year Term; Town Constable – (1) 1 Year Term; Town Grand Juror – 1 Year Term; Town Lister – (1) 3 Year Term and Town Moderator – 1 Year Term.
Champlain Islands Unified Union School Board open positions are: School Board – (1) remainder of a 3Year Term to expire March 2021; School Board – (1) 3 Year Term to expire March 2023; School Moderator – (1) 1 Year Term; School Clerk – (1) 1 Year Term and School Treasurer – (1) 1 Year Term.
CEMETERY COMMISSION VACANCY
By Sue Lawrence
The Grand Isle Cemetery Commission is looking for town residents who would be interested in filling a vacant position on the Cemetery Commission. Commissioners oversee the operations of the three town cemeteries, manage the budget for the Cemeteries and work on occasional projects. The Commission meets once a month. Please contact Ilyo McCray 802-372-4875; Sue Lawrence 802-372-5668; Val Hunter 802-372-5595; or Lucille Campbell 802-372-5534 for information.
By MIKE DONOGHUE
Islander Staff Writer
GRAND ISLE - The Grand Isle Selectboard has agreed to hire a part-time information technology administrator for the town and has rejected a request for a donation to Front Porch Forum.
Town Lister Charles Hollon, who recently helped get the town’s website back in operation after a two-month unexplained crash, will serve as the lead IT person for the town.
The Selectboard came out of a closed-door session Dec. 16 and voted 5-0 to pay Hollon $20 an hour for the 21 hours he needed to get the website back in operation and to migrate much of the old postings to the current site.
The board also agreed unanimously to pay him $25 an hour until Dec. 31, 2020 as the IT Administrator.
Town Lister Joe Longo, who had done considerable research about the needs for the town, had praised Hollon for stepping up and filling a huge void.
Longo said passwords and security will be changed to allow only two people to have access to the web for posting. He suggested Hollon meet monthly with the Selectboard to discuss ongoing information.
In other action the Selectboard vetoed a request for a donation to Front Porch Forum, a Burlington-based online chat room that residents have to sign up for.
Selectboard member Jeff Parizo said he thought it was totally improper to donate town tax dollars to a for-profit company.
“I don’t think it is right,” Parizo said. He noted the state of Vermont does not recognize FPF as a place for government entities to post public notices or legal warnings for meetings or hearings.
“They are a for-profit business,” he said. “Nobody is giving me money for my business.”
Chair AnnaMarie DeMars said she thought the town had donated money in the past, but no other board member could recall.
Research by Town Clerk Melissa Boutin after the meeting revealed a one-time donation of $100 was made in October 2015, but the reason was not immediately known.
The South Hero Selectboard also rejected a donation two years ago for much the same reason – it was improper to give away local tax dollars to a for-profit business.
The online bulletin board provides messages about lost and found items, helps community members to find local baby-sitters, gardeners and other workers, while also allowing neighbors to chit-chat.
The Grand Isle Selectboard also voted to add comments to minutes to a Sept. 12, 2016 meeting.
Selectboard member Diane Cota said a review of the Lake Champlain Access Television video of the meeting shows an apparent conflict with a motion made by then Selectboard member Mark Cobb regarding Island Circle.
She moved to amend the Oct. 3, 2016 approval of the Sept. 12, 2016 Selectboard meeting minutes to say: “That we do the irrevocable offer of dedication, let the Town attorney work it out with Carl Lisman, Island Circle’s attorney; We have a two-year waiting period before Town acceptance, that gets us through two freeze/thaw cycles from September 12, 2016 to September 12, 2018”.
Rachael Griggs seconded and following short discussion it was approved 4-0 with Parizo recusing himself.
The original minutes had said: “Mark makes a motion to accept Island Circle as a public road after a two year period (September 12, 2016 to September 12, 2018) and that the Town Attorney will work with Carl Lisman (Island Industrial Corps attorney) to make an amendment to the 2006 agreement. Bill seconds. All in favor.”
The difference was over what was believed accepted: Was it the Irrevocable Offer of Dedication as the board believes now, or was it accepting Island Circle Road as a town highway as the original minutes noted?
The Selectboard agreed the original minutes will not be changed or deleted. They will remain in the town records.
By Rachael Griggs, Grand Isle Selectboard
The Town of Grand Isle’s website is currently offline. You can still open the site by searching “Town of Grand Isle VT” and typing the department name in the search box at the top right.
Meeting dates and times are listed under each department or committee name. Updates have not been posted in over a week, as town employees cannot access the site to post information. We are working to repair the problem and hope to have the site fixed and back online as soon as possible.
WATER LINE FLUSHING
By Les Gardner, Plant Operator
Grand Isle Fire District #4 Water District will be flushing the water lines and turning the valves Oct. 21 through Oct. 25. If you experience dirty water turn your outside hose on and run until clear.
Moccasin Avenue will be closed to through traffic due to a culvert replacement in the vicinity of 30 Moccasin Avenue beginning Monday, Sept. 16 and expected to take two plus weeks.
PROPOSED AT&T CELL TOWER INFORMATION MEETING
The Grand Isle Selectboard and Planning Commission will hold a special information meeting on Thursday, September 19 at 7 p.m. to discuss the proposed AT&T Wireless Communication “facility or project” (Cell Tower) to be located on land owned by Mark and Evan Cobb, 41 Lovers Lane in the Grand Isle School cafeteria, 224 US Route 2.