On May 25, the Trustees held a work session on Essex Junction Independence. The following is what was discussed.
The Trustees reviewed a draft of the charter for the city of Essex Junction. The Trustees agreed to keep the charter very similar to the current Village charter. They agreed to a council-manager form of government with five City Councilors elected at-large, serving three-year terms. The City Council will elect a president and vice president from its membership and appoint a City Manager. The Trustees will be creating a plan for the new city to consider the various aspects of the government within the first several years of taking form, to examine if there are future changes citizens would like to see in terms of things like have voting districts or more councilors.
The Trustees generated a list of questions for legal counsel and asked that they review the current draft of the charter.
The Trustees discussed outreach and engagement strategies for the overall initiative. Work session summaries will continue to be shared with the community and staff, along with updating materials at https://www.essexjunction.org/independence. The Trustees approved a postcard to be mailed to all residents that discusses the independence effort and how people can follow along and/or provide input.
The Trustees heard from resident Elaine Haney, who is leading a citizen group effort called “Our Village, Our Voices.” She reported that in the coming weeks they would be seeking community volunteers and begin their outreach effort to hear from Village residents about what the love about our community, what they hope the future will look like, and what concerns they have about independence. The group will also be working to help educate residents about the new charter, what it means, answer questions, and encourage people to vote in November.
If you have feedback on the work session, you are encouraged to share your thoughts here: https://forms.gle/QCjgFqQcsXxia5Kb9.
If you missed the work session, but would like to watch it, you can find it here (starting at minute 7:08 and ending at 1:57:00): https://youtu.be/YfsdAHknU3o?t=428.
The next work session will take place as the first item on the agenda at the June 8 Trustees meeting, which is starting early at 4:00p.m. The meeting agenda and link will be posted a few days before the meeting here: https://www.essexjunction.org/boards/board-of-trustees.