By MIKE DONOGHUE
Islander Staff Writer
ISLE LA MOTTE -- Isle La Motte residents will go to the polls on Friday as voters get a third crack to conduct its annual Town Meeting Day.
Voting in person is from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Isle La Motte School with only one contest. Selectboard member Rusty Spaulding is being challenged by former Selectboard member Sylvia Jensen for a 3-year seat.
The voting follows a bizarre informational meeting that was disrupted when Zoom-bombed last Wednesday.
As townspeople asked the Selectboard members questions about the proposed budget and other issues suddenly about 10 unknown characters began to join the meeting. A few minutes later some lewd, crude and rude comments came over the air and the chat room contained some racial slurs.
Town Clerk Sarah Noble quickly moved to boot the troublemakers off the Zoom broadcast and after a short delay order was restored.
After the meeting there also was some question about whether the third town meeting was properly warned by Isle La Motte officials.
A resident approached The Islander to note the warning was never published in the newspaper. Towns can avoid putting the full legal warning in a newspaper if the warning is included in the town report and it is mailed to every residence.
The town report had a warning that has been changed substantially. The town is now on its third warning and third Town Meeting date.
The first town meeting was canceled when the Vermont Attorney General determined some budget workshops were never properly warned. A second date was set, but that warning was flawed, and the voting date canceled. The third date was set for this week.
During the meeting some residents were unhappy that they were not getting answers to their questions from the Selectboard, including Chairman Selby Turner. It resulted in one frustrated resident writing in the chat room, “It’s very disheartening that when Mr. Turner doesn’t have an answer he says that he will talk to people personally or that he has to move on without any true answers. Very frustrating.”
Residents were having trouble getting some of the budget numbers to match up. There also was debate on the actual costs to taxpayers if the town offices are ever moved to the school, which no longer hosts classes.
The Selectboard also was called out for the town being able to provide public meetings that residents can hear. Mary Catherine Grazino, who said she is hearing impaired, has said at several meetings the town needs to accommodate those with hearing issues.
“I can’t hear you when you talk,” she said about the poor sound system.
By law, the town is required to comply with the American with Disabilities Act.
Charlie Andrews of Main Street also pressed for better speed enforcement and for appropriate signs be placed on streets. He also questioned about plowing and whether the town needed to create its own road department instead of putting all work out to contractors.
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