West Windsor debates size of its school board

03/03/09 6:35PM By Betty Smith-Mastaler

Jesse Baker/Eagle Times

(Host intro) It was standing room only at West Windsor's town meeting.

VPR has been visiting the annual meeting there for the past several years to gauge the mood of an average Vermont town.

 This year, we found a classic floor debate. The issue: whether to expand the size of the school board.

Jesse Baker/Eagle Times
VPR's Betty Smith has more.

 

(Smith) For weeks, division in the town had been growing, with letters to the local newspaper, and endless speculation around town about the outcome.

 As people filled the hall, extra folding chairs were pulled out to accommodate the overflow.

Town moderator Matt Birmingham prepared the crowd for the debate.

(Birmingham) I'm going to take a motion and then a second to adopt that article as read... second... okay?

(Smith) And the debate was on. At issue was the way the existing school board conducts its business. One faction in town was calling for greater diversity and more transparency.

(Hear floor debate)

Jesse Baker/Eagle Times
(Smith) The debate lasted for the better part of an hour - not exactly a rarity in West Windsor - but no other item on the warning generated as much comment this year.

 

In the end, the proposal was defeated, but not before it was examined from every possible perspective.

Then, morning disagreements were put aside and the meeting broke for lunch.

After soup, sandwiches, pie and coffee at the church hall next door, the rest of the day's business was quickly dispatched and Town Meeting was adjourned for another year.

Afterward, Town moderator Matt Birmingham looked back on both the day and the tradition.

(Birmingham)

For VPR News, I'm Betty Smith in West Windsor.

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