ESSEX JUNCTION — Starting next week, the Village trustees will hold two public hearings on the proposed charter for the City of Essex Junction.
After spending nearly four months drafting the charter, the trustees approved it unanimously on Sept. 14. The board will now listen for public feedback on Sept. 28 and Oct. 12.
The charter for the City of Essex Junction is an update to the current Village of Essex Junction municipal charter and defines the organization, powers, functions and essential procedures of the new city.
The charter includes:
Boards and commissions
Amendment of Charter and initiatives
Though the trustees approved the charter on Sept. 14, they have until Oct. 13 to make amendments based on feedback received from the community during the public hearings.
Village President Andrew Brown told the Reporter he expects the trustees to vote at the end of the public hearing on Oct. 12 to warn the charter for a vote on Nov. 2.
Since the vote to merge with the Town of Essex failed, the trustees have provided the public with many opportunities to provide input on the future of the Village.
On April 27, the trustees decided to dedicate approximately the first hour of each of their regularly scheduled meetings to a work session on Village independence. They’ve taken public comment during each of these sessions.
In addition, the trustees have also hosted several “coffee chats” at various public locations to answer community questions and concerns.
“I’m not sure what new feedback there will be to hear,” Trustee President Andrew Brown said in a Sept. 21 call with the Reporter. “But I’ll be listening for critiques, criticisms and concerns from current Village residents.”
The number of emails he and the other trustees have received from community members in the last few months has been daunting, Brown said.
“Especially since we do this on top of full-time jobs and spending time with our families,” he said.
The public hearings will be held hybrid-style, meaning community members can participate in-person or online.
Those wishing to attend in-person can do so at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 28 and Oct. 12 at 2 Lincoln St. Online participants can find the Microsoft Teams link on the Village website, beginning the Friday before the meeting.