By Amy Kolb Noyes
The town meeting traditionalists lost out in Shrewsbury this Town Meeting Day. In four separate articles, voters decided to keep the practice of day-long Australian balloting, rather than deciding issues from the floor of town meeting. In addition, voters decided to move both the annual town and school district meetings from the traditional Tuesday Town Meeting Day to a Saturday.
Ironically, Shrewsbury voted via Australian ballot on the articles to discontinue the use of Australian balloting. Vote tallies varied but the margins remained similar on the four questions, which asked to discontinue the use of Australian balloting for the annual town budget (106 yes – 192 no), the annual school budget (108 yes – 192 no), and “all public questions” for both the town (115 yes – 184 no) and school district (124 yes – 179 no).
Similar numbers dictated the move of Shrewsbury’s annual town meeting (194 yes – 101 no) and annual school district meeting (203 yes – 94 no) to the Saturday preceding Vermont’s traditional Town Meeting Day, the first Tuesday in March.