Town Meeting Day

Voters from the Windham Southeast Unified Union School District stand to be counted at a meeting in Brattleboro. Many towns did not vote on a school budget this Town Meeting Day.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

More than 30 Vermont school districts filed a lawsuit challenging the forced mergers the state has ordered them to make. Before voting on school budgets on Town Meeting Day, the districts involved in the lawsuit asked for a temporary injunction to allow merger proceedings to halt until the suit is resolved. But just one day before Town Meetings, a judge denied that request. 

A sign outside a polling place in Burlington encouraged voters in Ward 6 to vote Tuesday. School budgets up for consideration on Town Meeting Day fared well, with all but three passing.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

Town Meeting Day voters by and large approved local school budget proposals Tuesday, despite the fact that increases in education spending are outpacing what districts asked for last year.

A man wears a sign that says Ban The Bag made out of plastic bags.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

A movement to ban single-use plastic bags gained momentum Tuesday, as Middlebury, Manchester and Burlington voters all went on record in support of a ban.

People sit in chairs at Jamaica Town Meeting and look up to a group of people sitting at a table at a stage in the front of the room.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

There’s been a lot of focus on the school districts that are fighting forced mergers, and what they would do about passing a budget this year.

But even in the districts that have successfully merged, Act 46 churned up some strong emotions on Town Meeting Day.

Nina Keck / VPR

Voters held annual Town Meetings across the state yesterday, making decisions on town and school budgets, select board races and a whole host of local issues.

People line up in Wolcott on Town Meeting Day.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Sometimes, especially in small towns where people have lived alongside each other for decades, elections can get personal. Such was the case in Wolcott on Town Meeting Day 2019, when two women who have been running the town together for nearly three decades went head-to-head for the top job.

John Dillon / VPR

School meetings in several central Vermont communities were overshadowed by legal and financial questions raised by challenges to forced mergers under the Act 46 law.

A cake with white frosting that has Thanks for Voting written on it. A few pieces have already been removed.
Nina Keck / VPR

VPR News is tracking the 2019 Town Meeting Day votes on town and school budgets from around Vermont. Find results here and share the results from your town with us.

Updates & Photos: Town Meeting Day 2019

Mar 5, 2019
Two people at a table with a bunch of ballots on it, counting them.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

It's Town Meeting Day 2019, and VPR is keeping an eye on what's going on around Vermont today. Bookmark this page and stick with us as we bring you updates from around the state. 

Elmore Fire Chief Brent Hosking stands beside his department's 40-year-old second engine.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

While school budgets and selectboard elections get the headlines, veteran town meeting goers know the gatherings usually aren't complete without debate about new equipment for the town highway or fire departments. In Elmore, a debate about a new fire truck has divided the community before the meeting even begins.

Underhill residents gather at Town Meeting Day in 2018. "Vermont Edition" looks at how access to voting has changed in Vermont over time and how the question of "who gets to vote" continues to broaden.
Jim Beebe-Woodard

Town Meeting Day reminds Vermonters of how we vote in our unique form of local democracy, but the question of who gets to vote — in elections and at Town Meetings — continues to change. We're talking about how.

The sign on I-89 on a November snowy day that says Welcome To Montpelier Capital of Vermont and a second sign that says Bienvenue.
Meg Malone / VPR

Montpelier voters will consider a charter change on Town Meeting Day that would allow the city to set minimum efficiency standards for commercial and residential properties.

Weathersfield residents gather in a gym for their informational town meeting on Saturday. A please check in sign is on a table at the front.
Betty Smith / VPR File

The annual Town Meeting Day is upon us all. Are you aware of your polling place? Do you know what issues are up for votes in your community and around the state? How do you plan to follow results? This is the post for you.

Former Gov. Jim Douglas at the GOP's Election Night results event at the Doubletree, standing in front of a VT GOP banner.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Moderators are gearing up to facilitate Town Meeting Day gatherings across the state. In Middlebury, longtime town moderator — and former Vermont governor — Jim Douglas is preparing to do it for the last time.

Downtown Winooski. Residents in Winooski will vote on Town Meeting Day for a bond to build a new parking garage. City officials says current parking is near capacity and more is needed as more development comes to downtown.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

At a time when many communities in Vermont worry about declining populations and losing young people, Winooski bucks that trend. The population is growing and the city’s median age is about 31.

On Town Meeting Day, residents will vote on building a new parking garage in Winooski’s burgeoning downtown. The proposed garage and the hotel that’s expected to follow are just the latest signs of Winooski’s upward trajectory.

Rio Daims wearing a hat standing in front of a wall at the Brattleboro Food Co-op.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Brattleboro voters will decide on Town Meeting Day if 16- and 17-year-olds should be able to vote in local elections. For the teenager who’s been working on the ballot question, there have been some lessons learned about how the slow-turning wheels of democracy move forward.

Voters from the Windham Southeast Unified Union School District stand to be counted at a meeting in Brattleboro. Many towns did not vote on a school budget this Town Meeting Day.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Town Meeting Day is the time when school budgets are debated and voted on.

But the resistance across Vermont to the forced mergers brought on by Act 46 means many votes will not take place in early March.

A honeybee sits in the center of a purple flower.
DanielPrudek / iStock

Pollinators are creating a buzz in Cabot in the lead up to Town Meeting Day. This year, Cabot voters will consider officially becoming a "Pollinator Friendly Community."

John Dillon / VPR

Town meeting debate in several towns next week may turn to trash talk. Trash, that is, in the form of single-use plastic bags. Communities from Manchester to Burlington are considering measures that could lead to local bag bans.

A Morristown banner hangs outside the Morrisville Food Co-Op; the banner bears the town's name, the co-op the name of the village.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

There’s a nonbinding question on the town meeting ballot in Morristown that’s revealing something of an identity crisis in town.

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