Deadlocked in Danby

DANBY - With the results of Danby's election in, some results from Town Meeting are still up in the air. Neither the Danby town school district or the Union School District #23 budgets passed. Danby town's budget came in at a straight tie of 206 to 206, even after a recount. Dan Glaceau, select board member, said this budget will be voted on again. As for the U.D. #23 budget, in Danby, 195 voted yes to adopting it and 218 voted no. Mt. Tabor residents voted 26 yes and 6 no. The budget was defeated by a razor-thin three vote margin.

Dan French, Bennington Rutland Supervisory Union Superintendent said that the next step for the school boards will be to present the budget again to the towns, sometime in the next few months.

Glaceau said he really had no idea why the budgets didn't pass, but he believes it may have something to do with a lack of voter understanding. He mentioned costs not set by the districts - like payments to independent schools - and other costs outside of their control as why the budget is so large. This year, the Danby School District budget came in at $2,137,274.

"There's really not a thing we could do to change it," he said.

Another change in town is position of clerk/treasurer will now be shared by two people. Janice Arnold, who has held the dual position since 1980, will now share the job with Brenda White. Arnold defeated White for town clerk 238-208, but White won the job of treasurer, 228-220.

On the select board, all the incumbents kept their seats. Hope Blucher's defeated Steve Haines 277-162 to keep her one year seat. Bill Gormley defeated Bradley Bender, 270-175 to keep his two year seat and Margo Stone defeated Byron Battease 264-179 to keep her three year seat on the board.

Kimberly Wildman was elected the Danby local school district board director and Emily Hoyt was elect Union District #23 school director.

Articles 8 and 9, capping the salary of town clerk and treasurer were also approved. Arnold's clerk salary will be capped at $30,000 and White's treasurer salary at $20,000. The clerk fees that used to make up a portion of the town clerk's salary will now be used as a revenue stream for Danby. At the floor meeting Monday night, a major topic of discussion was article 10, the potential sale of the town hall at Danby Four Corners. Many residents feel there is too much history at stake to lose if the town hall was sold. Steve Burzon said he thinks the town can save the old Town Hall. A discussion was brought up about potentially saving the building, renovating it and once again moving the town offices into the building.

Chip Wright, chair of the select board, said moving the office could be a possibility that would be resolved after Danby voters filled out their Australian ballots.

"If the voters choose not to sell that property, we want to see some of you at the select board meetings to talk with us to make sure we go in the direction you want," Wright said. "We can't do it by ourselves."

However, the article was accepted 251-171 and the town hall, as well as 2 other parcels of property in articles 11 and 12 will all be put on the market. Finally, some of the benefits nad salaries of town employees were questions at Town Meeting. Both Wright and Glaceau said that the expenses in question, like paying life insurance for the spouses of employees, was a part of the union contract that would be up for renegotiation this year.


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