Merger talks need discussion
My support for merger of the town and village of Northfield has only been confirmed by my experience as a Select Board member since March of last year.
Here are some of the more interesting developments during that year.
The village trustees and town Select Board have been working closely together in order to coordinate their activities for the benefit of the whole community. That cooperation has already resulted in reductions in the combined highway budget that will be voted on at town meeting.
The Joint Town and Village Merger Committee completed a merger plan to be voted on March 5 that is brief and easy to understand. If the plan is approved, the trustees and the Select Board will have more than a year in which to implement it before the merger date of June 30, 2014.
Opportunities to get questions answered concerning merger are still available. Copies of the proposed plan of merger are available in several retail and banking institutions in our shopping areas. The full plan is also printed in the town report which was delivered to all residences on Friday.
In addition to the above opportunities, the Select Board held a public hearing on Australian ballot articles (including merger) on Monday, and the trustees will hold a similar hearing on merger alone today, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m.
Finally, Northfield voters attending town meeting will have the opportunity to discuss the proposed merger of the town and village during town meeting. This is as a result of a change made by the Legislature to allow discussion of Australian ballot articles during the regular town meeting, even though no changes can be made in the proposal and no vote can be taken.
I believe that the merger plan which has been proposed is the right one and that it is in the best interest of Northfield voters and taxpayers to support it.
The letter writer is a Select Board member.
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