Town Meeting Day

Huntington Town Meeting 2006

Vermonters come together on Town Meeting Day to elect local officials and decide school budgets.  It’s also a time when residents discuss a number of binding and non-binding questions.  We look at some of the items that came up during Tuesday’s meetings across the state.

John McClaughry is an old hand in Vermont political circles.  The founder of the conservative think tank The Ethan Allen Institute, he served in both the Vermont House and Senate. He worked in Washington in the 1960’s for the late U.S. Senator Winston Prouty and served as a policy advisor in the Reagan White House in the 1980’s.  For 51 years, John McClaughry has also moderated the Town Meeting Day gathering in Kirby, Vermont.  He says one of the nation’s founders is an inspiration behind Vermont’s annual tradition, which is wrapping up this evening.

Former Vermont Governor Jim Douglas
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Today is Town Meeting Day in Vermont, the original and traditional town hall that brings residents of communities across the state together to discuss issues, choose local leaders and decide school budgets.  Former Republican Governor Jim Douglas has moderated the meeting in Middlebury for 31 years, including the years he served as governor.  Now an Executive in Residence at Middlebury College, he explains that the tradition goes back to when the first town in the state was chartered.

Picture of a Vermont School Bus
Jared C. Benedict/Wikimedia Commons

Residents approved five school district consolidation plans around Vermont during Tuesday's Town Meeting Day voting.

Vermont’s Town Meeting Day is quickly approaching. It’s next Tuesday.  The day that personifies democracy in action coincides with the national Super Tuesday primaries this year.  Vermonters are expected to have a heightened interest this year as some schools look at merging and a native son appears on the presidential primary ballot.

Vermont officials are urging state residents to cast their ballots next week when the state’s Town Meeting Day coincides with the presidential primary.  But to do that, Vermonters must have registered by today. The presence of a hometown Senator on the ballot could boost turnout.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Vermonters participated in an annual tradition Tuesday, discussing and voting on community issues on Town Meeting Day. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reviews some of the key results.

Jared Benedict-redjar/Flickr

It is Town Meeting Day in Vermont — when voters in communities across the state discuss and decide issues, budgets and pick community leaders.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

The Burlington city races are gearing up now that the Democrats and Progressives have chosen their slate of candidates for March’s election. A key race is for mayor, with the incumbent facing a former city employee.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

The gun control measures passed by Burlington voters on Town Meeting Day must also be approved by legislators in Montpelier. But it appears unlikely lawmakers will take up the measures before the end of this session.

Picture of a Vermont School Bus
Jared C. Benedict/Wikimedia Commons

Vermonters in at least 34 communities are opposing school budgets this year, according to a new tally.


Vermonters went to their town halls yesterday to discuss and vote on town issues and budgets.

Voters in the towns of Cornwall and Shoreham are saying "no" to a plan by Vermont Gas to extend a natural gas pipeline through their communities.


It is Town Meeting day in Vermont and voters are choosing local officials, deciding school budgets and considering a number of ballot questions.

Vermont Senator Bill Doyle

The results of an annual poll distributed at Vermont Town Meeting Day sessions have been released.  Even the person who crafts the well-known survey admits it’s an unscientific assessment of Vermonters’ perspective on issues.

Howlmontreal/Creative Commons-Flickr

More than two dozen Vermont communities passed resolutions on town meeting day expressing opposition to transporting tar sands oil through a pipeline in the state.


Organizers say at least 29 Vermont communities have voiced their opposition to any possibility of shipping tar sands oil by pipeline through the state.

Rutland, VT
Doug Kerr-Dougtone/Flickr

The mayor of Rutland has won a fourth term in office.

Jared Benedict-redjar/Flickr

It is Town Meeting Day in Vermont, a time when school and community budgets are decided and community leaders are chosen in a centuries-old tradition of discussion and debate at town halls across the state.

A Vermont group plans to push for asking voters at Town Meeting Day in March if they support a ban on assault weapons and background checks for gun buyers following the school shooting in Connecticut.

The group, which met in Norwich, included a state representative, police chief, educators, mental health professionals and a licensed gun dealer.