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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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‘More than 5 percent’

To The Editor:

On July 30, Waitsfield voters voted to pass a bond in order to build a new town hall. The vote passed by a margin of roughly 60 percent to 40 percent. A 60/40 vote is considered an overwhelming margin. This bond vote was the result of many discussions over a period of time. The vote was properly publicized and conducted in accordance with Vermont statutes.

In most states this would be the end of the procedure and government would continue. Unfortunately, in Vermont, there is a statute that states that any approved bond vote can be nullified if a total of 5 percent of the registered voters petition for a revote. There is hardly any public decision that will not be opposed by 5 percent of the electorate. This statute allows a minority of a minority to veto the will of the majority. The costs of a revote will, of course, be borne by the entire town of Waitsfield.

In the interest of good governance, I urge all Valley residents to contact their state senators and representatives and suggest that this provision allowing rescission of bond issues be stricken. At the least I would think that a revote should require much more than a miniscule 5 percent of the registered voters.

Stan Needleman



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