9/28 Trustee's Meeting re: Essex Junction Independence
On September 28, the Trustees held a Public Hearing on the Charter for the City of Essex Junction and had several business items on the agenda related to Essex Junction Independence. The following is what was discussed.
The Trustees held a Public Hearing on the proposed Charter for the City of Essex Junction. You can watch the presentation here: https://youtu.be/wUFkfZ0pRz0?t=180 (starting at 3:00 and ending at 19:05) or find a copy of the presentation here: https://www.essexjunction.org/fileadmin/files/Board_of_Trustees/Public_Hearing_Presentation.pdf.
Key take-aways from the presentation:
- We are voting on whether or not to adopt a new municipal charter that would transform the Village into an independent city, and no longer be a part of the Town of Essex.
- The Charter is available at 81 Main Street or here: https://www.essexjunction.org/proposed-charter.
- Things that will stay the same with the new charter include Essex Junction maintaining its identity, continuing to enjoy high-quality government services, having a 5-member governing board elected at large (no mayor), an annual budget presented to voters, and maintaining quality of life.
- Things that will be different with the new charter include gaining full control of Essex Junction’s future, tax dollars staying and only being invested in the City, and being an equal municipality like other Chittenden County cities and towns.
- The estimated financial impacts include a tax decrease of $195 on a $300,000 assessed home, the tax rate reducing by 7.25%, and General Fund spending on government to decrease by $811,337.
- Cost savings come from no longer paying for mirror services in the Town, already having most of the departments in the Village for the City, and no longer paying towards Town Capital Fund.
- Cost increases come from paying for police per capita (48%) vs. grand list (42%), paying for indirect administrative police services, paying for 81% of current Green Mountain Transit hours that are in the Village, and creating new City finance, assessing, and senior services departments.
- Financial details can be found here: http://www.essexjunction.org/citybudget.
- Ballots will be mailed to all active registered voters and arriving by October 13.
- In-person voting is November 2, 7a.m.-7p.m., at Essex High School.
During the work session the Trustees debriefed their contract negotiations with the Town, reviewed conceptual plans for 2 Lincoln Street, and reviewed the City budget.
The Trustees removed two words from the previously approved Charter in section 102. They warned the vote on the Charter for November 2. They approved a mailer to go to all Village homes as soon as possible.
For more information, please visit: https://www.essexjunction.org/independence.
If you have feedback on anything related to independence, you are encouraged to share your thoughts here: https://forms.gle/aYAn93rMeQnP9Cne7.
If you missed the work session and Independence related business portion of the meeting, but would like to watch it, you can find it here (starting at minute 33:35 and ending at 58:35, and again from 1:38:20 to 2:37:50): https://youtu.be/wUFkfZ0pRz0?t=2015.
The next Public Hearing and Trustees meeting is on Tuesday, October 12, at 6:30p.m. at 2 Lincoln Street or online. The meeting agenda and link will be posted a few days before the meeting here: https://www.essexjunction.org/boards/board-of-trustees.