Town meeting voters in Halifax will weigh the pros and cons of big government. An item on the warning asks whether the tiny town’s select board should be expanded from three members to five.
Board chairman Lewis Sumner has put in 44 years as a select board member. He says the job has grown more demanding and complex. He says a larger board would mean that two members could work together gathering information — without forming a quorum and violating Vermont’s open meeting law.
"With three members on the board, if two of them met they’d have to put a notice up that we’re meeting every time, where if you had a five member board, two members could meet and research things that are coming up at the meeting and bring back information," Sumner said.
The Halifax town budget, at about $800,000, is about the same as last year’s. Halifax lost many roads and all its bridges in Tropical Storm Irene, and two bridges still face costly repairs.
But the town acted as its own contractor and supplied its own gravel for repairs. Sumner says anticipated reimbursements from FEMA helped to level fund the budget for the coming year.
Voters in Lincoln and Braintree will also vote on expanding their Selectboard from three to five members.