Sorry for two email hits today, I was bit late in gathering weekly info.
The title for this post is a quote from Stamford resident Kim Morandi-Roberts who is a member of the Ad-hoc committee attempting to save Stamford from the draconian (in my opinion) Vermont Education Act 46.
It’s all or nothing at the Clarksburg special town meeting scheduled for Thursday April 5th at 6:30 pm where Clarksburg residents will vote on whether they wish to pursue the merger.
Both Morandi-Roberts and Cyndi Lamore were quoted in the story and provided excellent reasons why both towns should move forward with the idea.
iBerkshires has a great article on the subject.
An update on the Interstate School Merger can be found in the right sidebar.
BENNINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
1. The Selectboard questioned several entries on the last couple sheriff’s bills. One was a VIN verification that the town was charged for and the others were when the officer responded to accidents that did not occur in Stamford. The town was still billed several hours even though the officer was no longer patrolling in Stamford. The town was also charged for numerous hours when the officer did the accident follow-up the next day and for completing the necessary paperwork. Sheriff Schmidt said it would be a billing nightmare if his officers had to clock on and off each time they had to respond to an emergency call. He needs to pay his officers from the time they get behind the wheel. The officer’s schedules are planned for the whole month and he said it all works out in the wash. If they leave Stamford to respond to a call, Stamford is still billed for the officer’s time. But if they are in a neighboring town and respond to an emergency call in Stamford, that other town would get billed for it.
The state police know their schedule and often ask them to intervene. Sheriff Schmidt said our contract includes a mutual aid agreement and if Stamford is not willing to honor it, then the next time there is a call, he will have to tell the state police no, they cannot respond, because Stamford won’t pay for it. Mike Denault asked if he was in a town that does not hire him, if he would still assist or would the officer not go because there is no contract with the town to pay. Sheriff Schmidt said
no, they would still go. Sheriff Schmidt suggested that we speak to other towns such as Readsboro, Woodford and Searsburg and if we could pool our money and guarantee 40 hours/week between the three/four towns, he could designate one officer to serve us specifically. We could count
on the same officer consistently. The Selectboard thanked him for coming and will consider inviting the chairs of other Selectboards to come and discuss the possibility. 2. The Bennington County Sheriff
recently asked the school principal for a key to the school lock box. Bill Levine was consulted for his opinion and he wanted to make the
Selectboard aware of the request.
Full minutes found here.
In lieu of waiting for comments to be approved, the new town forum page might be a good location for any discussion on this topic.
[Clarksburg Voters] Shot down the article to allow the town to enter into an agreement with Stamford after two members of the School Committee angrily objected, saying they had only learned about the article that afternoon.
“We were unaware that this was even on there,” Chairwoman Patricia Prengruber said, adding that no one from the School Committee had been invited to any meetings or told of any decisions.
McKinney said the wording had come from the Legislature’s general counsel and was being submitted to seek to grant money for a study. The town and Stamford have had informal discussions about forming an
interstate district that were prompted by changes in educational groupings in Vermont.
“We’ve been working on this for quite some time. This is not to enter into an agreement, this is to allow us to negotiate an agreement,” McKinney said. A home-rule petition had to been submitted before the town could do anything, he said, and not submitting would mean no grant money and push any further action another six to 18 months out.
School officials, however, said no negotiations or decisions should be made without the School Committee being part of them. Prengruber motioned for the article to be tabled for review, which passed with only a few hands in opposition.
June 27, 2017 Update
On June 21, 2017, Representative Laura Sibilia filed a short bill in support of an interstate district between Stamford, Vermont and Clarksburg, Massachusetts. This bill will be reviewed by the Vermont legislature’s education sub-committee and will then be moved forward with recommendations at the full convening later in the year/early in 2018. Prior to this time, the Stamford committee will be working with local and state representatives in both Vermont and Massachusetts to continue to develop details about the potential merger. We anticipate July and August being very busy months. More to come.
Click here to view a letter regarding work a group of us have been working on since March, 2017. We ask that you read it carefully and consider supporting our “Vote No on Act 46” request.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Colleen Cahoon, Kelly Holland, Katelyn Millard, Kim Roberts-Morandi, and Jen Ryan
Stamford Interstate District Exploration Committee
Here is iBerkshires.com’s reporting from last nights informational meeting from the Interstate School District committee.
Tonight will be another informational meeting hosted by the Stamford School Board.
StamfordVT.org hopes foster a relationship with the Interstate School District Committee. More information will be posted here if / when such a relationship is formed.