SHAFTSBURY >> The residents of Shaftsbury voted to accept the Select Board's proposed site for a potential new town garage on Tuesday, and saw one long-time school board member defeated in his bid for re-election.
There were two contests on the Shaftsbury School Board ballot. Incumbent Jeffrey Leake ran against Select Board Chairman Tim Scoggins for a three-year seat, and defeated him 559-243. There was a bit of controversy involving Scoggins on election day, with at least one resident claiming he was violating state statute by campaigning outside the door of the firehouse, where voting took place. However, a call to the secretary of state's office suggested that no violation had occurred.
"There is absolutely nothing preventing someone from campaigning outside the polling place," said the secretary's director of elections, William Senning, who noted that the relevant statute only prevents campaigning inside the polling location and physically preventing people from accessing the polls.
There was also a four-person race for a two-year seat on the school board, where incumbent Larry Johnson was edged by Ed Molloy 266 votes to 241. In the same race, Jared Della Rocca received 114 votes and Todd Ordway received 171. Johnson had been vice-chairman of the board and one of the district's representatives to the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union board. The Shaftsbury School budget was approved 685-213.
The people of Shaftsbury voted 633-425 to approve the garage site on North Road. Some had argued against the site due to possible water contamination from the adjacent landfill, which Scoggins and other members of the Select Board have argued is a non-issue, as testing results near the site have come back showing levels under the limits set by the state, and that the road crew will have bottled water at the site, and that water will only be used to flush toilets and wash trucks.
The town had a record number of appropriations requests this year, and all but one were approved. The only one that was voted down was $2,500 to the Martha Canfield Library in Arlington, which was voted down 516-558. The only other request that was within 100 votes of failing was $1,700 for the Bennington-Rutland Opportunity Council, which passed 588-489.
There were no races for town positions, but Art Whitman and Ken Harrington ran unopposed and were re-elected to their seats on the Select Board, a two-year and a three-year seat respectively. Voters also approved the purchase of a .23 acre property adjacent to the landfill site on North Road for $30,000, and voted to make the Shaftsbury Common House tax exempt for another five years.
Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.