Thank you from Aunt Dots

On behalf of the clients and volunteers of Aunt Dot’s Place, I would like to thank the Town of Essex Selectboard for approving our request for a grant from the 2019 Human Services fund.  The money received will go directly into providing relief for the food insecure in the communities of Essex, Essex Jct., Westford, Underhill and Jericho.

Aunt Dot’s Place officially opened its doors in August of 2017, and is quickly approaching its two year anniversary. Grants such as your Human Service funding, as well as donations from local residents and businesses, make it possible for us to increase both the number of clients we can serve and the quantity of food and goods we can offer.  We currently serve an average of 134 families, equating to an average of 432 individuals each month. This would not be possible without the help our very supportive community.

Thank you again to the Essex Selectboard and our wonderful neighbors for their support of Aunt Dot’s Place!

Andrea Francalangia



Essex still rural to some

Some folks probably expect me to write about the firearms ordinance, as I’ve been to the meetings and I’m not in favor of changing it. After all, that was the clear opinion from the $10,000 placespeak event.  Or, maybe they expect me to complain about being basically excluded from the town parks as a hunter? Reasonable, as most if not all of the parks were originally purchased by or given to Essex for the benefit of all residents, not just non-hunters. Could it be I’m going to write about the upcoming merger debate instead? Certainly understandable, as I had reservations about it before, but I certainly don’t support it now under this Selectboard. Nope. Turns out I can’t stop thinking about the response of one of my fellow residents to my comments at the last meeting. I was more or less addressed by another speaker indicating I actually don’t live in a small town anymore. I now live in a suburb, not a small town, so that is a good reason to prepare to give up my private rights as they will be gone soon, anyway. Really?

While, technically, Essex might have enough total population to be a large town, I consider a small town to be a rural community that is “teeming with people that rely on each other like loved ones”. I’m sorry, my friend, but that is exactly the definition of the section of Essex I live in and probably the definition of a large part of our town.  This was worthy of a written response, because I got the same exact impression listening to the Board talk about our rights. Do they think we all live in a high-density suburb?

I think they have forgotten that Essex is not all a suburb and not all of us are prepared to give up our private rights so easily. My section of Essex is a rural community where a lot of us rely on each other like loved ones and we actively strive to accept, and embrace, and allow, all our differences. Neighbors, I’d suggest paying close attention to the upcoming hearing on the firearms ordinance and listen to any debates on the merger, especially if you live in rural Essex like I do. Right now, the Selectboard is trying to eliminate one of the private property rights I and lots of other rural Essex residents hold dear – maybe one of the other private rights that is important to you is next.

Kendall Chamberlin



Shooting should not be allowed in 90-acre Saxon Hill parcel

I attended the July 15 Town of Essex Selectboard meeting at which time a revised firearms ordinance was passed, naturally following a good deal of input from the audience – much of which related to proposed policies regarding outdoor shooting ranges.  Not so much attention was given to the updated map delineating areas prohibited for firearms discharge.

After ensuring I understood the appropriate role the Selectboard has in governing the use of firearms in the 90 acre Saxon Hill school parcel, I posed three questions with respect to this parcel, and the proposed allowed shooting within from November 1 to December 15.  None were answered.

#1. Could the Selectboard provide any satisfactory reason why ANY firearms discharge at ANY time of year should be allowed in this particular parcel, situated as it is barely a quarter mile from the firearms discharge-free Deer Crossing development, particularly when there is a documented report of a bullet embedded in the wall of a house there?

#2. Could the Selectboard provide any satisfactory reason why ANY firearms discharge at ANY time of year should be allowed in this particular parcel, situated as it is directly adjacent from the firearms-free Saxon Hill recreational lands — in turn adjacent to increasing corporate development and associated traffic?

#3. Could the Selectboard provide any satisfactory reason why ANY firearms discharge at ANY time of year should be allowed in this particular parcel, itself barely a quarter mile wide, considering the inherent signage challenges of its highly irregular 8-sided Z- shaped boundary, even if the rules were the same year-round?

I would urge all interested Essex residents to attend the upcoming Selectboard meeting on August 19 when this ordinance will be discussed further, and possibly adopted without amendment.  I will be asking those questions again, and hope to hear some answers.

Niels Giddins