From Lopsided Legacy to Fair Future
answered legislators' questions
on "3 + 3" Charter Change!
At-large (townwide) representation hasn't worked well in Essex, given the town's two-pronged history, geography,
culture, and settlement patterns.
Whichever half of town controls the majority of seats also controls the agenda for the entire town.
At-large representation can work for small, homogeneous communities. It has proven discriminatory in larger, diverse entities and thus been outlawed.
Diverse communities, such as Montpelier and Burlington,
use ward-based (or district) representation instead
to ensure that different populations
have appropriate input at the board table.
It's time for Essex to honor the different voices
in its Village (TIV) and TOV (Town-outside-the-Village)
by equalizing representation in each of these districts
-- just as the EWSD School Board did in 2017 --
before it negotiates a new merger plan
or other significant proposals.
On 3/3, Essex voters may Vote YES to Remedy
the Lopsided Representation
on the Selectboard,
which has allowed one part of town to
govern at the other's expense
Essex residents approved Article V,
the proposal to add an extra seat to the Selectboard and change to district-base representation, on March 3rd by a 61% margin:
4,032 YES to 2,614 NO votes town-wide.
Thanks to everyone who voted!
Click the crossword image below to download the puzzle and clues
and test your "3+3" knowledge!
The Town Selectboard included "3+3" in its version of the merger charter, still to be voted on. By way of contrast, the Village Trustees chose to present a lopsided "3+3+1" model in its version of the charter, which passed in November 2020.
The 3+3 Charter Change has taken the form of a Vermont State House bill and has been referred to the House Committee on Government Operations.
Monitor its progress here: