Ballots are now landing in Village mailboxes and community members are poised to cast a historic vote for Essex Junction. As your state representatives our role is to carry the will of the voters through the legislative process. We are committed to that role and urge residents to use their vote as their voice. We know many are tired of this conversation, but this is not the time to sit out. We all need to vote on and decide this issue once and for all.
Many may remember our expressed disappointment in April with the outcome of the merger vote. After years of collaboration between the Trustees and Selectboard and with a 12 year transition plan leading to equal taxation and representation, regrettably, the merger failed. In April, we urged community members to support and listen to each other while holding our Village values close and supporting the work of our community as we evaluated a move towards a new Village charter as a standalone community.
We, as Villagers, are now at an important decision point, probably our most important decision as a community. Over the past 6 months, the Trustees undertook a transparent process with many opportunities for community input as they navigated the creation of a new charter and a transition plan. They worked as closely as possible with the Town of Essex Selectboard to ensure our entire community's concerns were taken into consideration. We are thankful for their work and leadership, as well as, the work of municipal staff and the volunteers from Our Village, Our Voices.
Along with our role as your state representatives, we also live, work and play in Essex Junction and have our own opinions on independence. We want to share why we are voting yes to a new charter creating the City of Essex Junction.
"Collaboration, community, and connection are core values that I work from each day. I believed in merger and saw the potential our combined community could hold. Unfortunately, the votes didn't support this vision and it's time to establish a new future. The creation of the City of Essex Junction allows the village to take bold steps in a new direction while remaining on a familiar path of municipal governance. We can now build on our solid foundation as a thriving village and become an independent city ready to foster collaboration, community and connection for our own initiatives and neighborhoods." - Karen
"As a Trustee I worked tirelessly to bring our communities together. Although I supported the merger with the Town of Essex, I am now firmly behind our path to creating the City of Essex Junction to ensure a vibrant sustainable community. We know how to run a municipality. We've been doing it since 1892, successfully. With a yes vote on November 2nd and passage by the legislature we can once again focus our attention and all our tax dollars on what we want our community to be now and in the future. For me that is focusing on walkability, traffic calming, economic and infrastructure opportunity and the well-being of all our neighbors." Lori
Ballots are in the mail to all active registered voters. You can return via mail, drop at the Town Offices at 81 Main Street, or bring to the Essex High School polling location on November 2nd from 7am to 7pm. If you are not registered to vote or did not receive a ballot, you may contact the Town Clerk or register and vote at the Essex High School polling location on November 2nd.
We understand that this vote can raise many questions, emotions and thoughts for the future. While we are solidly grounded in our support for this charter change, we understand that lingering questions may remain. Please check out the resources below or feel free to reach out to us with questions.
Our Village, Our Voices:
Essex Junction Municipal Site:
Vermont Secretary of State Voter Registration Information:
We are proud to call all of you our neighbors and Essex Junction our home.
Rep. Karen Dolan and Rep. Lori Houghton