Support the merger
This Town Meeting Day, I urge all Northfield citizens to support the proposed merger of the town and village of Northfield. I have heard concerns expressed and have seen those concerns addressed in the proposed merger document. Despite this, I have seen published items presenting as “facts” things that are just not true. For instance, one writer recently stated that utility commissioners would be appointed by the Select Board. Actually, of the three members of each utility commission overseeing the electric or water and sewer departments, under the merger document two would be elected by utility customers. One would be a member of the Select Board.
I urge Northfield residents to read the merger document for themselves, to know what it actually says. Copies are available at the municipal building and the Brown Public Library, as well as in the town report.
We share the streets, parks and stores, the library and the schools. Many residents of both village and town are not even aware of where the boundaries of the village lie, since the community has grown so. We share a need for a coherent and forward-looking approach to governance. Our recent and painful experiences of repeated conflicts between town and village governing boards certainly argue in favor of developing one government, which would not keep stumbling over the outdated structures that no longer serve us well.
Northfield has great potential for vibrant growth — reducing barriers to that growth must be our shared goal. I believe that a merger will benefit the whole community, and I look forward to being a resident of one unified Northfield.
Carolyn G. Stevens
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