In the winter of 1776, the American Revolution was in its infancy, hanging on by a thread and in danger of failing. Morale was evaporating as the weather turned colder. Between September and December, 11,000 volunteers had given up the fight and returned home.

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Fishing is an activity that I have done for virtually all my life. So, with all of these admonitions about social-distancing, it was pretty easy for me to see that fishing is one activity that nearly everyone can enjoy, and one that is inherently “socially-distancing.” In Vermont there is no…

Created by Irene Wrenner of personalpuzzles.com.

In mere weeks, society as we know it has halted. Many of our lives are on pause while the pandemic is anything but. Exponential rises in the number of cases speak to the critical weaknesses in our systems, immune systems compromised not only by the virus, but by political and economic system…

Vermont's Bernie Sanders had his rally at the Fairgrounds but I still have a lot of questions. Do progressives believe in liberty? What is liberty and why is it important? Why is America a republic, not a democracy? In a democracy when you ask two wolves and a chicken what’s for dinner the v…

On March 3rd, the message from voters to their Selectboard was loud and clear: District Representation is the way forward for the Town of Essex, whether merger happens or not.

I fully support the Fair Representation—the name says it all—Charter Change (3 + 3) being proffered by two of our concerned citizens.

I’ve lived in Essex for 38 years. I am outside the village, but my property line is the town-village border. The whole separate town-village thing has always seemed silly to me and it would make sense to merge. But not at the cost of higher taxes.

At a recent Town Selectboard Meeting, a taxpayer in the audience noted that 9 of the past 10 fiscal years have ended with a surplus, which gets rolled into the Fund Balance. The FYE 2019 surplus was $1 million dollars.

One of the amazing things about Essex is the diversity of our town. Essex agricultural operations include working farms, orchards, forests, and syrup producers.

I have attended both meetings for the charter change proposal. I can understand why people who have not lived in Essex for long, or people who have not been to many meetings of the Selectboard, might be confused or not understand why the charter change is so important to many of us who live …

While at first glance the 3-3 Representation model proposed in the Charter Change may appear like a fair solution, there are some effects that it would have that are neither fair nor a solution to representation.

How we discuss and decide merger issues will determine whether our community will come together or be perpetually divided by Town/Village disagreements. In some ways, residents like me who live only in the Town have accommodated the Village’s desire for “tax equity” despite the increased tax…

The Town of Essex Select Board consists of 5 members elected at-large, throughout the town. Currently 3 of the members live in the village-part-of-the-town and two from outside this area. Weather true or not this can seem as a geographical imbalance of representation. To be clear, in the pas…

Ken Signorello and Irene Wrenner submitted a press release to VTDigger after turning in a petition that calls for a change to Selectboard representation rules. In that press release they refer to a 2005 study called the “The Missing Half: Ensuring Fair Representation in Post-merger Essex, VT…

I was reading a Washington Post article by Abigail Jones about a family living with (and without) a child diagnosed with schizophrenia. It was all too familiar. My social network now consists of hundreds of similar families and literally all are forced to endure the same fate as Alissa Dumsc…

We have a unique situation here in the Town of Essex and Village of Essex Junction, in that we literally have almost two distinct independently smooth running local governments, with two of almost everything. We are unlike Waterbury that dissolved their Village to become one, or unlike Winoo…

VOTE! The March 3rd election is important for the United States and the Town of Essex. For our country, Vermont is participating in the selection the next President of our country as part of the “Super Tuesday” primary. For the Town of Essex, we have the election of the moderator and two Sel…

Before us in March is a proposal that asks us to create divisions in our town and village. It solves no problems and in fact will very likely create issues. We see in our country deep divides. In fact, wherever a line is drawn, a division is created. And even in our state where we hear pleas…

Allow me to make this very simple. TOV residents will pay in, but they have NO say in the merger negotiations between the Selectboard and the Trustees of the Village.

I am writing in support of the governance recommendations recently generated by a subcommittee comprised of representatives from the Village and the Town.

Regarding the petition to increase the selectboard to 6 members, 3 from the Village and 3 from the Town.

Many thanks to the EHS seniors for the wonderful Valentine’s Day Dinner. The food was delicious and the students did a great job serving,visiting and making people feel welcome.

On Tuesday, 3/3, you can vote to guarantee representation for whichever part of town you live in.

Attached are personal comments and are not associated with any of my multiple public service activities.

I just cast my early vote yes for the petitioned even numbered selectboard district rep charter change and am very excited by the very real possibility of achieving district representation.

I wasn’t going to say anything but I can’t sit by and just ignore the behavior of the high school children (and I use that word because that is how most of them behaved) that were on the bus on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. I can’t comment on anything that happened before I got there but I was on…

When I was a girl there was a jingle on TV: “Nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee”. It was a funny way to say something was really delicious, and there are some things in life that are just so good that everyone can agree.

I have been lobbying for Fair Representation for 15 years. (www.fairness1st.org/history)

When a Selectboard receives a rare, voter-initiated, 1000+ signature petition to alter the Town Charter, one would expect members to be curious about the issue they might have missed or ignored.

It's bad enough that so many drivers out there blatantly ignore the hands-free driving law. What I absolutely cannot abide is parents doing this with their children in the car. Whether the drivers I see texting or talking on a cell phone while driving are in fact the parents of the infants, …

This letter is in response to the article concerning EWSD students riding the GMT bus. perhaps it is all in the wording. Perhaps a better title for that article should have been “EWSD students fail to abide by GMT rules”. Is it me, or does it strike anyone else reading this article, that a) …

A YES result in the March 3rd election would increase the size of the Selectboard from five to six members, in order to provide equal representation to both the Village and the Town-Outside-The-Village (TOV).

A small group in our community is promoting the same sort of divisiveness and discord that we are seeing on the national level, with equally unpleasant results. The proposed charter change to a six-member Selectboard, three from the village, and three from the town outside the village, is th…

I want to personally thank Richard Fanus for his letter outlining the pros and cons of the merger controversy and its resultant “war of words”. He did a beautiful job of analyzing the options and presenting it in such a way that it should be clear to all voters, TOV and Village alike. Consid…

When will I ever learn about Selectboard meetings? I go in with at least some sense of hope, and invariably come out slamming a palm to my head and yelling “stupido!” (And this includes the three years I was on the board myself!)

On March 3 Essex residents will have the chance to vote on a proposed charter revision that would increase the Town Selectboard from five to six members, three of whom would be elected from the Village and three from the Town outside the Village. Here’s why I’m planning to vote “no” on the p…

Essex has been my home for over 30 years. When I think of Essex, I don’t think of the Town outside the Village (TOV), or just the Village, it is all Essex to me and I would like to keep it that way. Being retired I understand the short-term economic impact that merger may have on the tax rat…

Annie Cooper’s concern for the “families” already here at the Fort gave me hope. A glimmer amid what to me seemed to be “Bureaucratic cruelty” whether intentioned or not. I was heartened by several of the new strategies presented at the Select Board meeting on January 13, 2020, but neverthel…

I’m pleased to read that Mr. Shelden believes in wards. Wards (AKA districts) would provide more direct representation than each Selectboard member, currently elected at-large, attempting to represent the interests of 22,000 people.

I can not applaud the choice of Vermont mother of the year. Every fiber in my being wants to rejoice in Marybeth Redmond’s accomplishments but her Vermont legislative stance on legalizing commercial marijuana products, I believe, will take us down a dead-end street for the future of our comm…

Vermont’s citizen legislature returned to the State House on January 7th. The first week of session is always busy, with opening ceremonies and a lineup of committee hearings to review updates from administration officials and stakeholders. This year was no exception. We heard the Governor’s…