As was the case last year, the two Selectboard seats up for election are contested. I asked the Selectboard candidates to respond to some questions and each has agreed. The questions are below. Three are similar to last year's. I hope to begin rolling out the responses the week of February 18.
- Communications. Are you satisfied with how Town government communicates with Norwich residents? Why or why not? By how much would you be willing to INCREASE the Town Budget in order to to improve communications?
- Development. The Planning Commission is working on a new Town Plan, which may be sent to the Selectboard for public hearings and approval within the next 12 months. It seems inevitable that the topic will arise regarding the creation of a mixed use zoning district in the Route 5 South area. What are your views regarding the possible establishment of a new mixed use zoning district in the Route 5 South area?
- Affordable Housing. Nearly everybody is in favor of more affordable housing in Norwich. What do you think Norwich’s local government should be doing to promote or create affordable housing in Norwich?
- Goals. What are the several issues that you think the Town or Selectboard should or must address in the next 12 to 18 months? Why? Do you have any specifics on how to address?
- Budget. The Selectboard sent to the voters a FYE 2020 Town budget of $4,271,793. Although the amount of the budget declined by about 5%, the property tax rate [without the separate monetary Articles for various nonprofit organizations] is projected to increase by 1.51%. For John and Linda: How did you vote on that budget and why? For Doug and Roger: How would you have voted on that budget and why?