2017 Windham-Bennington District Town Meeting Information

2017 Windham-Bennington District Town Meeting Information

Times and locations for our districts Town Meeting and Australian Ballot items are belowAct 46 Australian ballot votes and other notable Town Meeting education articles are in green.   On Monday night March 6th, I’ll be traveling to all of the Bennington County Towns, starting with Searsburg, then Stamford, then ending in Readsboro. On Tuesday March 7th, town Meeting day, I’ll be accompanied by Windham County Senator Becca Balint as I travel to our Windham County Towns beginning with Wardsboro’s Town Meeting, then Dover and ending in Whitingham.

Additional INFORMATIONAL meetings:

  • Twin Valley Joint School District Informational Meetings will be held on Tuesday February 28th at 7 pm at Twin Valley Elementary in Wilmington and on Thursday March 2nd at 7 pm at Twin Valley Middle high School in Whitingham
  • Dover, Wardsboro and Marlboro Act 46 Study Committee final meeting on Monday March 27th at Dover Town Hall (next to the Dover Free Library) at 6:30 PM
  • Dover Candidates Forum Tuesday February 28th at 6:15 pm Dover Town Hall
  • Dover Pre-Town Meeting Tuesday February 28th at 7:00 pm Dover Town Hall

Stamford

Stamford Elementary School
Town Meeting: Monday March 6th at 7 p.m. Warning
School District Meeting: Monday March 6th at 7:30 pm Warning
Australian Ballot: Tuesday March 7th at 10 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

  • Stamford town officers
  • Stamford school district officers

Readsboro

Readsboro School Auditorium
Town and School District Meeting: Tuesday March 6th at 7:00 p.m. Warning
Australian ballot: Tuesday March 7th at 10 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

  • Readsboro town officers
  • Readsboro school district officers

Searsburg

Searsburg Town Office
Town and School District Meeting: Tuesday March 6th at 7:00 p.m.

Wardsboro

Wardsboro Town Hall
School District Meeting: Monday March 6th at 6:30 p.m.
Town Meeting: Tuesday March 7th at 9 a.m. Warning
Australian ballot open 10:00 a.m. 7:00 p.m.

  • Act 46 merger
  • Wardsboro town officers
  • Wardsboro school district officers
  • Unified School District officers

Dover

Dover Town Hall on Dover Common
Town and School District Meeting: Tuesday March 7th at 10 a.m. Warning
Australian ballot open 10:00 a.m. 7:00 p.m.

  • Act 46 merger
  • Dover town officers
  • Dover school district officers
  • Unified School District officers

Whitingham

Twin Valley Middle/High School
Town Meeting: Tuesday March 7th at 10 a.m. Warning

  • Article 32: Shall the town raise and appropriate 100,000 to the litigation fund in the event we need to litigate with the state due to the inequality of the education tax

School District Meeting: Tuesday March 7th at 10 a.m Warning
Australian Ballot: Tuesday March 7th at 10 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Advertisements

Legislative updates and upcoming candidate forums

October 3, 2016

Dear friends and neighbors,

A few legislative updates and some upcoming candidate events:

Act 46
I recently posted an update about Act 46 and education reform taking place in the Valley.  This post includes links to the law, guidance from the AOE, and updates from other parts of Vermont, and so I am posting it again to maintain that link to information for voters, taxpayers and parents.  Readers may have recently read in this past weeks Deerfield Valley News that the draft articles of agreement submitted by the WSSU have been sent back for further development. I have been in touch with the Agency of Education, the Vermont School Boards Association and elected and contracted supervisory leadership regarding next steps for the districts.   There are significant untapped resources that are still available to provide assistance to the districts as they work to comply with the requirements of Act 46. I am working to help the supervisory union’s districts access them. Please stay involved in these historic and important conversations about the future of education in the valley.

The WCSU elementary school study committee has a website to track materials being considered, agendas and minutes http://wcsu-committee.blogspot.com/

Draft all-payer waiver agreement

On Wednesday of last week the Shumlin Administration announced they had reached an agreement with the federal government on a draft all-payer model for delivering healthcare.  In the current healthcare system, providers get paid for each service they give.  In an all-payer system, doctors will be paid monthly based on the health of the people they treat.
This is not the same as “single-payer” which references the number of entities (one public entity) paying healthcare providers.
On Friday the locations for three public forums were announced for this coming week, with Gov. Peter Shumlin, Human Services Secretary Hal Cohen and Al Gobeille, Chairman of the Green Mountain Care Board, to present a draft of the All-Payer Model. The draft proposal is under review and is expected to be amended before it receives the final approval of the Governor, Secretary Cohen, Chairman Gobeille, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) . The hearings are designed to present the plan to the public and those involved in Vermont’s health care system, and to take questions and comments from the audience.
  • Monday, Oct. 3, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Montshire Museum of Science Nonprofit Community Room, One Montshire Road, Norwich
  • Thursday, Oct. 6, 4-6 p.m. University of Vermont Recital Hall, 384 South Prospect St., Burlington
  • Tuesday, Oct. 11, 4-6 p.m. CVPS/Leahy Community Health Education Center, Rutland Regional Medical Center, 160 Allen Street, Rutland
When these dates for public comment were announced on Friday at 2:40 pm, I placed a call to the Governor’s office inquiring about the lack of notice, and also accessibility to Southern Vermonters.  If any new dates should be noticed, I will send those out.  If recent history has taught us anything it is that we should be thorough and thoughtful about changes to Vermonters healthcare.

Meet with Laura

It has been wonderful talking with you as I have been going out door to door during this campaign season, thank you for the time you are taking to tell me your concerns and hear from me about why I want to be re-elected as your state representative.

I have been out making my way through the district, and have also scheduled additional times for voters to talk with me in person. This is a great opportunity to ask questions and also tell me about issues or priorities you, your business or your town may have.

Questions at recent sessions have ranged from marijuana legalization to community policing, healthcare, school choice and taxes.  Next meet up sessions are:Wednesday October 5th in Wardsboro at 7 pm – Wardsboro Town Hall

Wednesday October 12th in Stamford at 7 pm at the Stamford Elementary School gym

Candidates Forums

 

The Deerfield Valley Rotary and the Wardsboro Public Library have arranged two candidate forums where both I and my challenger will appear and answer questions from the audience.  This is an important opportunity to ask questions and hear the answers from both candidates.  Voters from Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro, Whitingham should feel welcome to attend either or both of these forums.

  • Thursday October 20th 7 pm at the
    Dover Town Hall
  • Friday October 28th 7pm at the Wardsboro Public Library
Support Laura’s re-election

Thank you very much for the financial, volunteer, sign hosting and letters to the editor support to date as I seek re-election to continue representing Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro and Whitingham.

I have had to turn campaign contributions away because as your independent state representative I continue to choose not to accept support from special interests, political parties or political action committees.

Unfortunately, special interests, political parties and political action committees are once again funding opposition to my campaign. And that is going to increase now with the end of the campaign in sight. I appreciate any level of support my constituents might be able to provide – every $10, $25 or $50 helps a lot! Donating is easy online here:https://laurasibiliavt.com/help-send-lauras-voice-to-montpelier/

Letter’s to the Editor are also a great way to show support and tell other voters why they should re-elect me.  Most of our towns read the Deerfield Valley News where support letters go to editor@vermontmedia.com with the exception of Stamford where folks would send support letters to the Berkshire Eagle directed to news@berkshireeagle.com

As always, if you need help or assistance don’t hesitate to call me at 384-0233 or email at lhsibilia@gmail.com.

Kind regards,
Rep. Laura Sibilia
State Representative
Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro, Whitingham
The Official Vermont State Vegetable!

October 22, 2016  — Saturday
14th Annual Gilfeather Turnip Festival     

All Day   Live entertainment in Town Hall and outdoors

and Gilfeather Turnip Contest

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

9AM  Gilfeather Turnip Art show opens at the Library, 170 Main Street, closes at 1 PM

10 AM  Festival Opens – Indoor & Outdoor Vendors Booths, Farmers Market
10 AM  Turnip Cart Selling Fresh Turnips
10 to 11 AM  Coffee & Donut Kiosk
10 AM to Noon  Register Turnips for the Turnip Contest
11 AM  Cafe & outdoor kiosk open for lunch & soup take-out
Noon   Deadline to Enter and Judging of Turnip Contest
1 PM   Turnip Contest Awards announced in Town Hall

Pancakes & Issues September 10

Pancakes and Issues with State Representative Laura Sibilia

September 10, 2016 Dover Town Hall 8:30 am -10 am

State Representative Laura Sibilia will be hosting a breakfast discussion on current and upcoming Vermont legislative topics on Saturday, September 10th from 8:30 am to 10 am at the Dover Town Hall located at 183 Taft Brook Road, Dover, VT.

In November 2016, Vermonters will elect a new Governor, Lieutenant Governor and a number of new legislators who will, in turn, elect a new Speaker of the House and Senate President.  Items that will be waiting for this newly elected leadership include addressing an economy struggling to maintain an adequate supply of workers, the second year of education reform implementation (Act 46), a federally required cleanup of Lake Champlain and ensuring we have sustainable funding for Vermont’s health care reforms.  Advocates have indicated that in 2016 they will also be pushing for legislation supporting paid family leave, universal background checks and marijuana legalization.

Rep. Sibilia is an independent representing the towns, residents and businesses of Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro, Whitingham in the Vermont House of Representatives.  She serves on the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee.  During the 2015/16 legislative biennium she lead efforts to request a federal investigation into why 100 million dollars in federal stimulus funds, awarded in 2009, has failed to bring wireless broadband to most of her district and to 30,000 other unserved Vermonters.  Sibilia also worked to establish and fund the Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone and established a small schools caucus in the Vermont House.

The discussion is free and open to the public.  Donations to offset the cost of the breakfast will be accepted. For more information on Rep. Laura Sibilia or her re-election campaign, visit www.laurasibiliavt.com

Sibilia campaign update

Campaign signs are in!
Email me at laurasibiliavt@gmail.com if you would like to host one

The candidates have been notified that two candidate forums for the district have been scheduled by the Deerfield Valley Rotary and the Deerfield Valley News:

Dover Town Hall on Wednesday, October 22, at 7 pm. The forum will include Windham County Senate candidates and the three candidates for the Windham-Bennington House district. The evening will include an opportunity for candidates to introduce themselves to voters, answer questions posed by a Rotary Club moderator, as well as questions from the audience.

Readsboro’s historic Bullock Building on Tuesday, October 28, at 7 pm. The forum will include the Bennington County Senate Candidates and the three candidates for the Windham-Bennington House district. The evening will include an opportunity for candidates to introduce themselves to voters, answer questions posed by a Rotary Club moderator, as well as questions from the audience.

Thank you to everyone who came out to the successful campaign fundraiser earlier this month – we exceeded our expectations for the day and had fun doing it!

I’ve recently been elected Windham County’s Associate Representative for the Vermont School Boards Association.  This organization is doing a great job educating school board members around the state about the impacts to the state education property tax with an easy to understand presentation on current educational spending data:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCorQL3gjio&feature=youtu.be

I’ll be writing again soon about how I think we need to address the education and property tax challenges in our state.

Last Sunday I attended the Vermont Wine & Harvest Festival and saw many old friends!  Back in 2007/2008 when I was at the chamber, we worked really hard to develop this “state” festival for our area.  There have been many challenges, including a need to develop legislation to allow bottle sales at festivals, the great recession and having to cancel the 2011 festival due to Tropical Storm Irene.  I’m so pleased to see it continuing to grow and thrive despite the challenges!

Lastly, I share the concerns I am hearing from voters about Vermont Health Connect.  This is a really big, really expensive challenge that Vermonter’s want done right.  The Governor’s continued refusal to tell us how he proposes to pay for single payer until after the election as well as the recent taking down of the Vermont Health Connect website for repairs are both causes for serious concern.  On the flip side, I think one of the things the Administration did really right in attempting to get a grip on this situation was putting former Agency of Commerce and Community Secretary Lawrence Miller in charge.   I’ve worked with Lawrence on flood recovery and the Windham Region Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, and I have a lot of respect for his capability, candor and energy.   If anyone can help devise a sensible way forward, and I am not convinced anyone can, it would be he.  I have reached out to him to ask when he or Commissioner Robin Lunge might be available to come and answer voters questions, and will let you know when and if they are able to come and take your questions.

I’m proud of the response the campaign has received so far and grateful for the time, talents and opinions of so many that have helped the campaign to date.  If you agree that we can do more for our district with fresh energy representing us, I’m asking for your vote BY November 4th (remember you can vote now!)

You can find information on upcoming events, all of my contact information, my snail mail address, ways to volunteer and lawn sign request form at my website.

Thank you!

Laura

Sibilia meets with voters at the Readsboro Inn

Om August 15th, Laura met with voters from the district at the Readsboro Inn while enjoying delicious fare!

Om August 15th, Laura met with voters from the district at the Readsboro Inn while enjoying delicious fare!

On Friday September 16th, Laura Sibilia met with voters at the Readsboro Inn, listening to concerns and taking questions on her positions on various issues.  She was asked to talk about the education governance and Small School grant elimination bills that have been perennially threatened by the Vermont Legislature as a fix to the property tax crisis and to talk about what Vermont government could be doing to better assist businesses.

Laura noted that all of the towns in her district have small schools, and some of the towns have been experiencing more economic/vitality challenges then others in the past decade plus.

“The number one most important factor when working at growing your town’s vitality and making it more economically attractive is the quality of the schools.  This is widely understood both nationally and internationally.  Losing your only school will create a big challenge in terms of being able to participate in a growing Vermont and vital economy.  The real kicker is consolidation is really only seriously talked about as a means to save money,while the fact is  all of the evidence in Vermont shows that larger schools don’t save money or improve quality.  Consolidation is a way of doing something while not addressing the fundamental flaw of the education finance method that came from as a result of the Brigham decision.  Equal dollars per student from the statewide property tax did not provide equitable opportunity for all students.

In terms of how we might better support business development, we need to recognize that most businesses in Vermont are actually very very small.  And most very very small business owners are not hoarding piles of cash – they are working 60-80 hours a week, often understaffed, and are incredibly generous in their contributions to their employees, towns and state.  Businesses know what they need to succeed and grow – we should listen more to what they tell us.   Invest tax dollars to grow revenues by increasing marketing dollars, getting the cellular and broadband last mile done and ensuring that the hearty taxes (property and all of the others) paid by businesses result in a lower cost of doing business.”

Sibilia continues to host public and private voter events.  On Thursday August 21st she will be meeting with voters in Wardsboro at the Bittersweet Memories Cafe and Bakery from 5:30-7:00.

September fundraising event for Sibilia campaign at One More Time in Dover

WINDHAM-BENNINGTON DISTRICT- Laura Sibilia, an Independent candidate for State Representative for Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro and Whitingham has announced her campaign will hold a fundraising event September 6th from 4-6 PM at the One More Time tent in Dover.

Sibilia says she is enjoying traveling around the district meeting one on one with residents and business owners, and has established a number of community meet and greet events.

“Having these one on one and group discussions with voters has been really engaging. It’s what I love doing! I intend to find as many opportunities as possible to speak with and hear from every voter in our district about the issues and opportunities we face. That takes time and realistically it also takes funding. As a serious candidate I knew that going into the campaign. As an Independent voice for our district, I’ve also pledged not to take funds from any political party, PAC or lobbyist. While I am grateful for the encouragement and support the campaign has received so far, I know we need to keep working hard to raise funds to aid in reaching all voters in the district so we can win this House seat election.”

The event in the tent at One More Time in Dover will feature live music by Greg Burnell, refreshments, and candid talk about the issues of the day. Suggested donation is $20 but the will be open to all who want to spend an afternoon in support of the campaign along the Valley Trail in Dover.

Laura can be reached at 348-7131 or laurasibiliavt.com. To follow Laura’s campaign on facebook go to facebook.com/laurasibiliavt . All campaign events are posted on her website at www.laurasibiliavt.com

The One More Time tent along Dover's Valley Trail off off Route 100

The One More Time tent along Dover’s Valley Trail off off Route 100

“The Red Barn Affair”

redbarn2Nicely done! Having managed a couple of public art projects and auctions from my time at the chamber, my hat is off to the Friends of the Wardsboro Library for their “Red Barn Affair”. Important auction to support their community work at the renovated library.

Got to chat (briefly!) with busy lady Chris Holden who also volunteers on a Route 30 and 100 multi-town community promotion project, AND ran into my friend from Dover School Carol Backus! Volunteerism is a passion in Vermont!

 

redbarnaffai

 

 

 

 

We went everywhere!

grace cottage

Grace Cottage Fair

blueberry parade

Blueberry Parade

blueball

Blueberry Ball

blue pie

Blueberry Pie Eating Contest

“I’ve been everywhere”  (Johnny Cash version) was playing repeat on the mental turntable during  The Deerfield Valley Annual Blueberry Festival last week.  We were everywhere and it was great! Photos of some of the events we went to.  Kudos to all the organizers and businesses from all of the different towns on this entertaining blue themed week!