POWNAL >> The Pownal School Board has appointed their community representative for the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union's Act 46 Study Committee last week, after they initially had trouble finding a volunteer.

The board appointed Laurie Lingner, who works for the SVSU as its payroll and benefits manager, as their community representative. Board member Jim O'Connor also serves on the committee.

The study committee meets twice a month, and is investigating ways that the SU can come into compliance with the 2015 education bill Act 46, which offers tax benefits to districts that consolidate. The bill also threatens intervention by the Agency of Education, if districts are not able to agree on a consolidation plan.

Superintendent Jim Culkeen updated the board at their meeting last week, "Right now, the only application you have is Ms. Lingner."

O'Connor said there was another person who might have interest, but Chairwoman Cynthia Brownell responded that the board could not afford to wait on "maybe's." "Here's my dilemma," she said, "In two more weeks, we're going to have another meeting, and we still won't have representation other than Jim." The board then voted to nominate Lingner for the position.

Now that Pownal has a community representative, Woodford remains the only town that has not yet found someone to fill that role. The committee will now be made up of O'Connor and Lingner from Pownal; Marie Shutts, Anne Mook, Donald Campbell, Jackie Prue, Ken Swierad, and George Sleeman from Bennington; Bruce Lierman and Matthew Patterson from North Bennington; Jessica Smith and Jeff Leake from Shaftsbury; and Dick Frantz of Woodford.


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Culkeen reminded anyone in the community that they are still free to attend the meetings, and that each meeting contains a community breakout portion where each residents from each community meet separately to discuss the needs of their town, and the direction they feel it should move. The next Act 46 committee meeting is on Tuesday Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. at the Southwest Vermont Career Development Center conference room.

The Pownal Elementary School Board meets the third Wednesday of every month at 5:30 p.m. in the Pownal Elementary School library. Full recordings of their meetings are available on Catamount Access Television, and on the station's YouTube page.

— Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.