State Apportionment Board proposes relocating town’s representation

Proposal would move Charlotte to Addison County Senate District

The Selectboard may meet either at a special meeting or during their next regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 8 to discuss the state’s Legislative Apportionment Board proposal that could relocate the town’s state representation.

The Apportionment Board is meeting in light of the results of the 2020 United States Census.

According to Selectboard member Matt Krasnow, who spoke at the Monday, Oct. 25 regular meeting, the proposal, if enacted, would exclude Charlotte from Chittenden County’s Senate District, and have the town become part of Addison County’s Senate District.

“I think this would be a very big mistake,” Krasnow told the board. “I think it’s important that the Selectboard send a letter of support for maintaining Charlotte in the representation of Chittenden County. If the transition is going to be to shed the outlying towns from representation in Chittenden County, that’s a bad trend to support.”

Krasnow said that he hopes the board would come to a consensus that Charlotte should stay with Chittenden County when it comes to representation in the state senate.

He added that “for me, it’s important to keep us in our lane.”

“We have until November 15 to say that we want to stay in Chittenden County,” Krasnow said. “If the board wants to weigh in on it, it’s a narrow window.”

“We should weigh in on it,” Selectboard member Louise McCarren said. “My view is that we want to stay part of Chittenden County, but I do not want to be in a district with Burlington. I want to be clear.”

“I think it’s a bit on the nose to disenfranchise the town and then to kick it out of the county,” Selectboard member Lewis Mudge added. “That’s the way they’re dealing with it.”

The board agreed on discussing the issue at the next meeting. However, they did not agree on whether the discussion would be held at the next regular meeting or at a special meeting before the November 8 regular meeting.

As part of the discussion, the board reviewed a letter received by Krasnow from Edward Cafferty, chairman of the Democratic Caucus for Chittenden County.

In the email, which Krasnow provided to The News, Cafferty wrote that the state’s population is 643,077 residents as of the 2020 Census.

The population of Chittenden County is 168,323 residents, a five percent increase in population since the 2010 Census.

Cafferty wrote that this means that Chittenden County now has 26.17 percent of the state’s population.

In his email, Cafferty wrote that, due to the county’s population increase, he proposes that the number of state senators for the county be increased from seven to eight, and that Huntington be brought back into Chittenden County Senate District to calculate State Senatorial Districts.

While Huntington is part of Chittenden County, it is a member of the Addison Senate District.