March 5, 2003 – News at a glance

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Overseeing town elections
VPR’s Steve Delaney talks with Secretary of State Deb Markowitz. Markowitz is the chief elections officer in the state. (VPR)

Some school budgets rejected
Town meeting voters were frustrated over rising tax rates and turned down more than 30 school budgets on Tuesday. Voters in some towns responded to calls to reject budgets in order to send a message to Montpelier about the Act 60 school funding law. (VPR)

Vermont Yankee resolution
Voters in 16 Windham County towns weighed in this week on the long-term future of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear power plant. They voted on a resolution on whether the plant should be allowed to seek an extension, when its license expires in 2012. (VPR)

Rutland Aldermen’s races
The Rutland City Board of Aldermen will include only one new face. Twelve candidates were vying for six seats on the board, but five of the six top vote getters were incumbents. (VPR)

Bethel defeats school budget
For the first time since Act 60 went into effect, Bethel voters have rejected their school budget. A bare bones spending plan coupled with a double digit tax hike left voters unhappy. (VPR)

GMO, renewable energy referenda
The majority of towns that considered referenda items dealing with genetically engineered foods and sustainable energy policies gave their approval to these proposals on Town Meeting Day. (VPR)

Health of town meeting
How democratic is the traditional town meeting? In the town of Newbury yesterday, one man was in pursuit of the answer. Amid the votes and the back-and-forth discussion, he was collecting statistics and watching the behavior. (VPR)

Champlain Islands supervisory union
Towns on the Lake Champlain Islands will continue to tuition high school students to schools in other counties. A measure to form a new supervisory union in Grand Isle County was defeated at town meetings Tuesday. (VPR)

Newsrooms work through the night
Long after voters have cast their ballots and the meeting halls are closed up for the night, newsrooms across the state stay busy, gathering results from Town Meeting Day. (VPR)

Yankee resolution results
The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant has won a non-binding referendum over whether the plant should be shut down in 2012. With all of the other Windham County reporting, the anti-nuclear activists led by roughly 600 votes. But the plants hometown of Vernon erased that margin, voting 74-756 against the resolution. (AP)

No Bennington mayor
Voters in Bennington are opposed to having a mayor. A proposal to change the town’s government from a town manager to a mayor was soundly defeated at town meeting by a margin of nearly two to one. (AP)

Burlington results
Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle has been re-elected to his seventh term. Clavelle, who won the endorsement of both the Progressive and Democratic parties, was challenged by little known candidate Michael Brown. Democrats have made strong gains on the City Council, while Republicans have been reduced to one seat. Democrats picked up two seats and now hold seven of 14 on the council, with Progressives holding four, independents two and the GOP one. (AP)

Dean on Iraq
Former Vermont governor and presidential hopeful Howard Dean doesn’t mind being called a liberal. He says there are reasons to wear the label with pride. At a Washington fund-raiser yesterday, Dean said the media can call him a liberal if being a liberal meant balancing the budget and having universal health insurance for all Americans. (AP)

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