QUESTIONS and ANSWERS
Why is there a Town Meeting question asking, “Shall the Town of Essex vote on all public questions by Australian ballot?
In November 2020, Town voters approved a question to “adopt [the Town’s] annual budget by Australian ballot.” The annual budget had long been the big question at Town Meeting that was decided by voice vote.
With the budget now being voted on by Australian ballot, the Selectboard has included a question on the Town Meeting warning about conducting all other Town business by Australian ballot: “Shall the Town of Essex vote on all public questions by Australian ballot?” This question will be decided by voice vote the evening of Monday, March 6.
Other voice vote questions include whether or not to adopt the reports of officers, and occasional items that might arise in any given year. The most recent example is the creation and funding of a Conservation Reserve Fund in 2018.
If this question is approved, what will happen to future annual Town Meetings?
All Town Meeting votes would happen by Australian ballot on Town Meeting Day, the first Tuesday of March. Voters would be able to cast early ballots in accordance with state law. The Town would continue to have an in-person component of annual meeting in the form of an Informational Meeting within the 10 days preceding Town Meeting.