Leicester denies cannabis, passes budget

LEICESTER — When it came to the big money items on the Town Meeting Day warning, Leicester voters were an easy sale. On Tuesday they approved Article 2 by a margin of 90-20. Article 2 proposed municipal spending of $325,676 (with $247,684 raised by taxes), which represents a 4.8% from the current year. It also asked for highway spending of $436,590 (with $347,913 to be raised by taxes).

The other non-office question on the Leicester ballot was not a pushover. When asked if voters in the town of Leicester would authorize the retail sale of cannabis, residents said No on 56 ballots, and Yes on only 53; one ballot was left blank. In the area, Rutland, Pittsford, Proctor, Bristol, Ferrisburgh and Weybridge passed similar ballot questions. New Haven did not.

There were no contested races on this year’s ballot, but two new faces landed in town government. Diane Randall is won a two-year seat on the Leicester selectboard (she replaced Ron Fiske); and Rolande Morrison won the remaining year of an auditor’s position that is currently vacant. Also on the ballot, winning incumbents were Richard Reed (town moderator, 1 year), Diane Benware (selectboard, 3 years), Donna Pidgeon (auditor, 3 years) and Beth Swinington Ripley (delinquent tax collector, 1 year).

In voting across the six towns in the Otter Valley Unified Union School District, residents rejected the proposed $22,710,955 school spending plan, 522-462. The district’s proposed budget presented a 7.8% jump in spending but taxes were not expected to rise nearly as much. 

The defeat comes as a surprise only because very little public comment against the budget had been noticeable ahead of the Town Meeting Day vote. 

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