Town Meeting Day, local, state and national elections will be here soon - March 3. Local elections are important to us all. This is where we vote on budgets affecting streets, schools, emergency and safety, library, senior programs and all the social service agencies that are the fabric of our communities.

Barre City will see tax increases. After five years of less than 2% increase, the city needs to address wage and insurance increases for all employees, as well as the repair bond from the Big Dig (we had a grace period). Our schools have been hit by a perfect storm of insurance and wage increases, as well, so, overall, the city and schools have worked very hard on budgets. Our schools are actually less expensive to run than the state average. Thank you!

Those people who receive property tax adjustment rebates from the state will see some of the increases mitigated in the state rebate. It's a lot to think about. Because these budgets affect the very soul of our community, I urge everyone to learn more about them, ask questions and vote. It would be amazing to see a voter turnout of 75%!

If you can't get to the polls, contact the city clerk to request an absentee ballot. If you are sick, you can drive up and vote from your car! No kidding! In Vermont, every effort is made to clear the way for all people to vote. We are lucky, as this is not the case in every state. Let's show them how we do it in Vermont. Vote on March 3. I hope we can support our community with a 'Yes' on budgets.

Bern Rose


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