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  • Stephen D'Agostino

Two Regulars At Town Meeting Say Goodbye

A week into March, Town Meeting may seem like a long time ago. If you weren’t there, here’s a recap.

Like this review, town meeting was brief. Jon Springer, in his usual humorous fashion, kept eyeing the clock and commenting on how quickly it was going.

All officers up for re-election were re-elected. Janet Malcolm was voted onto the library board of trustees, and Heather Evans was also elected to fill a vacancy on the board for which the term expires next year.

Also, this town meeting saw the departure of two people who have been fixtures at this event for a long time. Since Reading is now part of Windsor Central Modified Unified Union District (shortened, though not mercifully, to WCMUUD), there will be no more school budget portion of the program. With that, Justin Sluka, who has been on the school board for a long time—even before he had children—will no longer be sitting at the front of the room during Town Meeting. People grateful for his years of efforts presented him with a card, a gift, and a well-deserved standing ovation.

Jon Springer, who has moderated the meetings for 30 years will not be returning to his role behind the podium. Running the meeting efficiently is certainly a skill, but doing so with such wit and humor is an art. He too got a well-deserved standing ovation. Thank you, Jon, for what is often the best part of town meeting!

Also, though not in the Town Meeting spotlight, Gary Vittum’s retirement as fire chief was announced. Esther Allen searched the town’s history and found that at 19 years, Gary has served longer than any other fire chief in almost 80 years. Thank you for all your years of service, Gary!

So onto the rest of the month, one that came in like a lion. Last Friday, I measured 8″ of snow where I am on the hill. As I am writing this on Sunday, the weak sun is occasionally casting an orangey glow and pale shadows of the tree branches across the white landscape. For a few seconds, it’s magical. Then the sun hides, and I go back to work.

Despite the winter white, the Green Space Committee is continuing to work on transforming the lot beside the library into a public park, a gem in downtown Felchville. As a reminder, the committee has a three-question survey about the space, which is being labeled “Village Green” for the time being. The survey asks how you see the space being used, if you have any skills that you would be willing to donate to the site’s development and upkeep, and for suggestions to help name it.

You can find copies of the survey outside the Town Office. When you get your mail, you can grab one, fill it in, and return it (to the same place you picked it up). It’s such an easy thing to do, you’ll likely spend more time tossing out your junk mail than you will filling in the survey. And though there is probably no satisfaction in filling the recycle bin, there will be satisfaction in completing this survey, knowing you are helping make Reading a better place.

If you don’t go to Town Hall to get your mail, you can always contact me for a survey. My email address is Surveys are due by March 15.

Also this month, on March 16, it’s your opportunity to get your game on at the town’s first ever Game Night! I’ve heard from a few folks who are attending that they’re really competitive and are looking forward to showing their game prowess. I wonder if they’re at home practicing putting a little spin on the dice. If that’s the case, I’ll stick to card games, thank you.

Game Night kicks off at 6:30pm at the library. Tony Pikramenos, Reading’s librarian, says the library has some games, dice, a cribbage board, dominoes, and more on hand. However, feel free to bring your favorite. The library will also supply popcorn.

Don’t forget the Reading Bunny Hop happens on March 31. That’s still a long way off, so you have plenty of time to find the perfect basket for your kids to collect hidden eggs. The Reading Recreation Commission has plenty of time to plan it. Of course, they could always use your help! If you’d like to stuff the colorful plastic eggs with mini treats or help hide the eggs, contact a member of the commission. They are Joe Braun (203-313-1468), Stephen D’Agostino (802-484-5425), Lisa Kaija (802-952-8395), and Lisa Morrison (802-952-1011).

Finally, like any old building, Town Hall needs some maintenance. The town is seeking requests for proposas for the repair of the chimneys and the building’s siding, which includes several energy efficiency updates. Sealed proposals are due on April 5 by 3:30pm. For the full scope of each project, see the March Informer.

Happy birthday to Mary Vittum (March 10), Chance Smith (March 11), Bailey Howard (March 12), and Sissy Picz (March 12).

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