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4/12/19 Cavendish Update
1. Fire Districts
2. Change of Leadership in the CTES Community
3. Cavendish Related News
4. Volunteer Needed
5. Raise the Roof Concert
1. FIRE DISTRICTS : It’s no secret that many in town want to see one fire district instead of the existing two-Cavendish Fire District (CFD) and Proctorsville Fire District (PFD). In fact, it was an important discussion at both District’s Annual Meetings. [Since this edition of the Update was posted, we have received information from Bobby Glidden, PFD, that no discussion of a merger was discussed at their annual meeting. Instead, “In a written statement, PFD outlined their willingness to merge; but citing the current strength of their personnel numbers, the experience level and effectiveness of leadership, their ability to cover calls, along with their financial strength, and the condition and breadth of their equipment, they would look to lead the resulting merged fire department. According to their statement, “PFD recognizes that changing dynamics in the town of Cavendish have led some to believe that a merger of Fire Districts 1 & 2 would be in the best interests of all townspeople, PFD is not opposed to the idea of the merger. However, the terms of the merger must be based on PFD continuing to operate completely intact in all aspects with Cavendish assets, equipment, finances and, on a case-by-case basis, personnel folded into PFD.”]
CFD in the spring of 2018 discussed the idea of just closing and turning everything over to PFD. However it’s not that simple. After much research, including input from Vermont’s Cities of Leagues and Towns, it was learned statute doesn’t allow fire department to just close. Instead the state requires a formal process, involving the development of a merger plan that is approved by the voters of the respective fire districts.
From the attempts at merger talks, there appear to be three main areas of disagreement: payment for fire fighters (CFD pays $15 per call, while PFD is strictly volunteer); command structure (CFD wants the Select Board to appoint the fire chief) and where equipment will be housed.
Fire districts are distinct municipalities and not under the select board’s jurisdictions. In short, they are not in a position to make appointments for a service that doesn’t report to them. However, the Prudential Board for a merged single district would need representation from all parts of town-taxation requires representation-not just Proctorsville.
This past weekend, both fire departments posted information on their respective Facebook pages that CFD Chief, Shane Turco, had resigned from Cavendish and was going with PFD.
CFD’s new chief is now Abraham Gross.
The manner in which Turco resigned, by his own admission, blindsided the CFD Prudential Board chair Stuart Lindberg, who is also a member of the Cavendish Select Board.
Lt. Amy Perry of PFD, took Monday night’s select board meeting as an opportunity to call for the removal of Lindberg from the Select Board, in part due to his reaction to Turco’s leaving CFD. Before it could become too heated, town manager Brendan McNamara stepped in and made it clear, per state statue, that the select board has no role in fire district issues.
The intensity of Perry’s statement led select board member Sandra Russo to note that Perry was personally attacking Lindberg and she found it appalling.
If the town of Cavendish is to have a single fire district, mediation/legal counsel is needed to move this process forward as the current approach doesn’t appear to be working. The question then becomes, how would this be paid for? That is one fire district related issue that could be brought before the select board.
On Tuesday, April 9, a petition was posted to “Move On,” which states This is a petition from the community of Cavendish with a no faith in leadership of our CTES principal Debra Beaupre. Our goal is to hold up her contract renewal on April 15, 2019 and to open an investigation into the communities concerns.
Our CTES mission statement is not being honored by current leadership in the school. Because of this our school and community is facing problems on a daily basis. We have a letter of factual statements that is constantly being updated by the volume of people who have come forward to share their story of their negative interactions with the current principal. We will be attending the board meeting on April 25th. We are going to request to be on the agenda for that night. Please come and support us as we also have been reached out by the Chester Telegraph who will also be there.
As of 4-12-19 at 5:30 am, there are 57 signatures.
Though the “letter of factual statements” has not been made public, some of the comments left by signers indicate, along with the sheer number of people signing, that this is more than just a few angry parents.
One of the concerns raised was about a bus incident, which took place on March 13. A parent of one of the children on the bus, sent an e-mail to Meg Powden, Superintendent of the Two Rivers Supervisory Union (TRSU) and members of the Green Mountain Unified School District (GMUSD) outlining the situation. This issue was not addressed by the GMUSD at their monthly meeting on March 21.
Also not addressed at this meeting, was the approval of extending Beaupre’s contract for the 2019-2020 school year. Yet, when asked what was happening with the principal’s contract, Powden indicated via e-mail, that a contract was being given to Beaupre, as the board had signed off on this at the March 21 GMUSD meeting. When it was pointed out that no such action had taken place, Powden said she would have to review the minutes.
Since the formation of the GMUSD, the dismantling of individual school boards, the controlling role of the TRSU, and lack of transparency, it has been unclear to parents and community how to report issues, resolve problems or even have a voice in their children’s education.
In addition to the need for a group of people to formulate a petition, there are some red flags here: a) There is confusion about the roles of the GMUSD board and TRSU; b) It does not appear that GMUSD board nor TRSU have addressed the concerns of a parent about an incident they felt endangered children; and c) There is no evidence that the GMUSD board signed off on a contract renewal for Beaupre, yet the superintendent thinks this has occurred.
Regardless of how this plays out, it appears that there are issues that go well beyond Beaupre, and could be contributing factors to the issues at hand.
Read the full article at The Dish.
3. CAVENDISH RELATED NEWS
Friends of CTES Meeting Minutes: The meeting of Friends of CTES took place on April and minutes are available online. Upcoming events include a May 17 Bring Your Grown-Up Dance and Spring Art Night on June 3.
4. VOUNTER NEEDED: Wanted. Volunteer to act as a committee member for Cavendish Fire District 2. The board oversees the taxpayers’ financial contributions to Cavendish Volunteer Fire Department. Duties include one monthly meeting on the first Monday of every month from 7 to 8 pm and one annual meeting in March to present a budget to the taxpayers. Duties include reading and signing monthly payment orders, reading a financial spreadsheet, being financially responsible to the taxpayers and supporting the mission of the fire department. Please contact Stu Lindberg at email@example.com
5. A CAPELLA GROUP SINGS OUT IN PROCTORSVILLE : If you like the idea of a musical cup of coffee, you’ll find it on Sunday April 28 when the popular a capella group House Blend performs at the Raise the Roof concert series in Proctorsville. House Blend is an assemblage twelve performers who are self-described singing addicts with a musical repertoire that includes American gospel, Eastern European village songs, Renaissance madrigals, Bach and quirky contemporary pieces--all of it spiced with humor, energy and passion for singing. The crisp acoustics of the 1890 Gethsemane Episcopal Church, combined with their powerful voices, will create an eclectic, infectious, harmonious brew of music that will raise the roof and fill your cup to the brim. The concert begins at 4 p.m. at the church on 89 Depot St. in Proctorsville (next to Crows Cafe). Admission is $10 at the door. For further information call 802-226-7497.
APRIL 15-19 (MONDAY-FRIDAY): Schools closed for Spring Break
APRIL 18 (THURSDAY): Holy Thursday
APRIL 19 (FRIDAY): Good Friday. Cavendish Town Office Closed
APRIL 21 (SUNDAY): HAPPY EASTER
APRIL 23 (TUESDAY): Town Office Closed for Spring Cleaning
APRIL 28 (SUNDAY): House Blend performs at the Raise the Roof Concert series, 4 pm, Gethsemane Episcopal Church on Depot St. Proctorsville. Admission is $10 at the door. FMI: 802-226-7497
MAY 14 (TUESDAY): Cavendish Connections Tech Cafe, 6-8 pm at the Cavendish Town Library in Proctorsville. Bring your smart phone, laptop, tablet (iPad) to learn how to use them as well as how to use Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites. This will be free and open to the Cavendish community.
MAY 25 (FRIDAY): Ludlow Farmer’s Market begins
SEPTEMBER 14 (SATURDAY): VT Golden Honey Festival. 10-4 Part craft fair, part food festival, the VT Golden Honey Festival is a community favorite. Located on the lawn of the Golden Stage Inn, 399 Depot St. in Proctorsville. Proceeds of this event will benefit VT Coalition of Runaway and Homeless Youth (Ludlow and Proctorsville. For vendor and other information: firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-226-7744 (Julie).