March 4, 2003 – News at a glance

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Resolution to withhold education tax
School budget issues loomed large over many town meetings on Tuesday. In the resort towns of the Mad River Valley, voters expressed their dislike of the Act 60 school funding law. They supported resolutions that urged town officials not to pay a portion of the state education tax.

Montpelier school budget
In Montpelier, officials are expecting a close vote on their school budget. The school board is proposing a level-funded budget for next year, but it will require a nearly 10% increase in the city’s local tax rate to finance the budget.

Island towns supervisory union
In the five towns on the Lake Champlain Islands, voters are deciding this town meeting day whether to form a school supervisory union. The vote is a first step toward building a high school to serve the towns of Alburg, Isle la Motte, North Hero, Grand Isle and South Hero.

Middlebury town moderator
Once a year, town moderators dust off their rules of order and take their places in front of the voters at town meetings. It’s an important, but unheralded job. Most moderators labor in relative obscurity.

School budgets and property taxes
VPR’s Steve Delaney talks with Edie Miller, executive director of the Vermont School Boards Association, about how towns are responding to property taxes rates and school funding formulas.

Act 60 protest vote
Dozens of school budgets are before voters Tuesday. And in many cases, the voters face sizeable tax increases, even though school officials have held the line on spending. The tax hikes have prompted calls to change the Act 60 school funding law. Act 60 opponents have asked voters in some towns to protest the law by withholding a portion of their school taxes.

Rutland deliberates non-profit requests
As Vermonters look over their ballots on town meeting day, they may see a variety of items in addition to budgets and local elections. On many ballots will be requests for money from groups like the Visiting Nurses, ambulance services, libraries and senior organizations.

Norton clerk retires
When voters of the tiny town of Norton choose a new town clerk this year, it will be an unusual event. For the last 53 years, that position has been held by Miriam Nelson, who’s stepping down this year at the age of 81. As it turns out, the clerk’s job has been in Miriam Nelson’s family since the town was established.

Montpelier library funding
Library trustees in Montpelier hope local voters are generous on Tuesday’s town meeting. Trustees of the Kellogg-Hubbard library have asked residents of Montpelier and surrounding towns for more support for the 100-year old library.

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