By Lisa Keyworth, Assistant Town Clerk
Town Meeting Day will be held across Vermont on Tuesday, March 3.
TOWN OFFICIAL POSITIONS OPEN
The following elected positions and terms are open for candidates: Town Moderator for one year, Two Selectboard members for two & three years, Town Clerk for one year, Town Treasurer for one year, Delinquent Tax Collector for one year, Lister for three years, Cemetery Commissioner for five years, Two Library Trustees for three & four years, First Constable for one year, Town Agent for one year, Town Grand Juror for one year, Three Planning Commissioners two & three (2) years.
SCHOOL OFFICIAL OPEN
The following elected positions and terms are open for candidates: CIUUSD Director for three years.
Persons interested should request a ‘Candidate Petition’ from the Town Office.
Candidate Petitions will be accepted through Monday, Jan. 27, 2020.
By MIKE DONOGHUE
Islander Staff Writer
NORTH HERO – A split North Hero Selectboard has agreed to endorse a resolution supporting a local tax-and-regulate system for cannabis in Vermont.
Chairman Harry Parker, Diane Bahrenburg, Karl Raacke and Tim Bourne voted to support the commercial marijuana resolution being circulated by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.
The League wants towns to be able to help tax and regulate drugs sales in the individual municipalities, if the state gives final legislative approval.
Selectboard member Ben Joseph, a retired judge, voted against the VLCT resolution.
“I’m vehemently opposed to the idea of legalizing commercial distribution of marijuana,” Joseph said. He said he believes the resolution sends the wrong message to the state that North Hero is endorsing marijuana use.
Joseph is concerned about the resulting increase in the number of impaired drivers on Vermont’s highways, the impact on drug addiction, health care and on education.
Parker, who is a lawyer, asked for support for the one-page resolution. He noted he thought it was the best way for North Hero to proceed.
Parker tried to call for a board vote without a second to his motion, but was headed off by Raacke. Raacke agreed to second the motion only for discussion purposes.
“It’s all about the money,” warned Joseph, who has studied the issue for several years as a judge, as a state legislator and as a host for several call-in access TV shows featuring drug experts on the issue.
Part of the VLCT resolution calls for a 5 percent local tax to be assessed with the towns participating being allowed to keep 75 percent of the revenues.
Parker acknowledged that legislators may not accept the resolution proposed by the League, which is the statewide lobbying group for more than 250 local municipalities.
Raacke had some initial reservations.
“I’d just as soon let it die,” he said.
“I am in agreement with Ben,” Raacke said, noting there was inadequate information to make a decision. However, the conversation continued and when it came time for the vote, Raacke sided with the majority.
The discussion was mostly between the four men on the board with Bourne attending his first meeting since winning a seat at a special election. Bahrenburg, the vice chairman, said little during the half-hour discussion before she voted in favor.
Several towns, including Stowe, have voted to endorse the League resolution as a way to help offset expected increased expenses, including law enforcement, schools and other budget items.
Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, after the Stowe vote, told NBC5 News in South Burlington that the VLCT resolution could cause more harm than good for the proposal legislation to legalize marijuana. He suggested the proposed 5 percent local tax be slashed.
As state legislators prepare to head back to Montpelier next week, various House and Senate versions have different provisions, including sales and excise taxes and fees.
Joseph suggested maybe more than 5 percent might be needed.
Other towns, including Arlington opted to postpone action on the resolution because of serious concerns about the draft, according to the Bennington Banner. Arlington considered adding to or amending the resolution to address local concerns.
As of mid-December only about 20 towns had adopted the resolution, 17 of which did so without making any changes to it, a League spokeswoman told the Banner. She said at least 10 other towns were considering voting on the item.
Parker said he thought it was better to have his voice heard before the legislation might get approved – not after.
Joseph, as a former legislator, was asked to predict what might happen this session. He said it was too hard to predict on a topic like marijuana. He said there are about 20 lobbyists being paid to push the issue.
Joseph said he understands House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, D-South Hero has some concerns about the legislation. He said Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Mike Schirling is “dead set against it. He has a lot of reservations.”
Joseph said North Hero could send a letter or resolution indicating that it was a bad idea and would be detrimental.
Parker said he thought the League had spent considerable time crafting the resolution to address a wide range of needs.
TOWN CLERK NEWS
By Corinn Julow, Town Clerk
The Development Review Board is accepting letters of interest for a new board member and an alternate. Please submit to Town of North Hero by close of business on Dec. 6, 2019. The Development Review Board will review any letters at their Dec. 12, 2019 meeting and send any recommendations for appointment to the Select Board for review at their Dec. 16, 2019, meeting.
SPECIAL ELECTION - ABSENTEE BALLOT
Voting by absentee ballot is under way for the special election. To cast your vote early for the next North Hero select board member you may request a ballot online at https://mvp.sec.state.vt.us/, by calling the Town Office at 802-372-6926 or stopping in the Town Office at 6441 US Route 2.
SPECIAL ELECTION: SELECTBOARD VACANCY
By Corinn Julow, Town Clerk
A petition signed by five percent of the legal voters of the Town of North Hero calling for a special election has been filed. A vote to elect a Select Board member will be held Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019.
The newly elected officer will remain in office until March 3, 2020. This is the balance of the unexpired term.
Persons interested should request a ‘Candidate Petition’ from the Town Office. Candidate Petitions will be accepted through Monday, October 21, 2019.
NORTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION UPDATE
By Beverlee Poquette, Chair
The North Hero Planning Commission recently participated in a walk through the historic district of the village of North Hero in cooperation with representatives of the Northwest Regional Planning Commission. At that time, input was solicited about barriers and trouble spots to pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular traffic in town. As the Planning Commission moves to writing an updated draft of the Town Plan, we invite you to come to a Planning Commission meeting on Oct. 1, 2019, 6 p.m. to provide any additional comments you would like to make about the village center. The perspective of those who live and work in the village center is an important one to consider as we move forward.
The members will reserve the first 30 minutes of the meeting for any additional community comments regarding the village center.
Location: Town Office Meeting Room, 6441 US Route 2
By MIKE DONOGHUE, Islander Staff Writer
NORTH HERO -- Lisa Keyworth has been named the new assistant town clerk for North Hero.
Keyworth will fill the slot previously held by Corinn Julow, who was elevated by the Selectboard to Town Clerk following the retirement of Pete Johnson last month.
She has lived in North Hero for 13 years with her husband Todd Keyworth and together they own and operate the Harborside Harvest Market on U.S. 2, known in part for its large selections of fudge, along with Vermont products and deli.
“Lisa brings a wealth of bookkeeping, IT, and customer service knowledge with her on this new venture,” Julow said in making the announcement.
Six people applied for the 30-hour a week post, Julow said. Four people were interviewed by Town Agent Marie Kilbride and Julow, who made the selection.
Keyworth starts work on Monday, September 16, Julow said.
North Hero School Bus Routes 2019-2020
***Please Notice South End***
***Picked Up First ***
2019 – 2020 North Hero
BUS # 164
Approximate pickup times students should be ready 5 minutes early
6:35 am Bus Stop Jct Rte 2 & Savage Point Rd
6:43 am Turn Right onto Sunset View Rd turn around @ end
6:47 am Turn Right onto Rte 2 Pick up along the way
6:52 am Turn Right onto South End Rd pick up along the way
6:54 am Turn Left onto Abnaki Rd pick up along the way turn around @ end
7:02 am Turn Left onto South End Rd
7:05 am Turn Right onto West Shore Rd pick up along the way
7:09 am Bus Stop then Turn Right onto Station Rd pick up along the way
7:12 am Turn Left onto Rte 2 Pick up along the way
7:17 am Turn Left onto BlockHouse Pt Rd pick up along the way turn around @ end
7:22 am Turn Left onto Rte 2 then Turn Left into School
7:25 am Drop off at front door
7:30 am Leave school, turn Right onto Rte 2
7:31am Turn Right onto Lake View Drive
7:36 am Turn around at state park
7:40 am Turn Right onto Bridge Road
7:43 am Turn Left onto Rte 2
7:47 am Turn Left onto Jerusalem Drive
7:49 am Turn Right onto Lake View Drive
7:50 am Turn Left onto Rte 2
7:51 am Turn Right into school parking lot
7:52 am Drop off Students
PM Route times are Approximate will vary depending who is on
2:45 pm Arrive at school
3:00 pm dismissal
3:05 pm Leave School Turn Left onto Rte 2
3:07 pm Turn Right onto Lake View Dr North
3:11 pm Turn onto Bridge Road
3:15 pm Turn Left onto Rte 2
3:20 pm Turn Left onto Jerusalem Drive
3:21 pm Turn Right onto Lake View
3:22 pm Turn Left onto Rte 2
3:25 pm Turn Right onto Blockhouse Point Road turn around at end
3:30 pm Turn Right onto Rte 2
3:34 pm Bus stop at Savage Point
3:42 pm Turn Right onto South End Road
3:44 pm Turn Left onto Abnaki Road turn around at dumpsters
3:49 pm Turn Left onto South End Road
3:50 pm Turn Right onto West Shore Road
3:53 pm Turn Right onto Station Road
3:56 pm Turn onto Rte 2 go back to base