Vermont’s 247 cities and towns asked for state action sooner rather than later, as those wanting to make decisions on the traditional first Tuesday in March are required to alert the public by Feb. 5.
The Vermont Legislature expedited passage of short-term, pandemic-safe March Town Meeting alternatives. Municipal leaders facing scheduling deadlines worry Gov. Phil Scott is taking his time making his own decision.
Town-funded consultants and the region’s largest emergency medical provider differ on the report’s potential impact on taxpayers.
A bill awaiting the governor’s signature will allow continued flexibility in how and when Vermont’s 247 cities and towns decide local leaders, spending and special articles.
“Insurance company reimbursements to us are so low, we can’t make any money,” said the owner of Brattleboro’s Hotel Pharmacy, whose closure this week drops the number of Vermont mom-and-pops from upward of 50 a decade ago to 16 today.
“Even as the number of shelter beds and motel rooms has increased, the need for these opportunities has grown at a faster rate,” one local human service worker said.
Some 80% of Vermont communities in 2021 and almost 75% in 2022 used the temporary laws to replace shoulder-to-shoulder decision making with mailable ballots.
Local leaders have yet to decide whether to permanently take over emergency medical services, though it’s been nearly a year since the town dropped its longtime provider with little public notice or debate.
How a 94-year-old Vermonter traded a hospital bed for an overflowing bucket list trip.
The Brattleboro nonprofit, known for its annual parade before it was sidelined by the Covid-19 pandemic, will become a Montpelier-based “part think tank, part small farm accelerator.”