Selectboard drafts, holds letter opposing redistricting proposal

The board opts to “wait and see” what the State Apportionment Board does next        

After some discussion at their Monday, Nov. 1, special meeting, the Selectboard did not take any action on a proposal for the board to sign a letter to the Vermont Legislative Apportionment Board about a potential redistricting of the town.

At their regular meeting on Oct. 25, Selectboard member Matt Krasnow said the state board is considering a proposal that, if enacted, would move Charlotte from the Chittenden County Senate District to the Addison County Senate District.

The Apportionment Board’s redistricting proposal followed the results of the 2020 United States Census.

Krasnow’s draft letter to the Apportionment Board opposing the proposal was reviewed at the Nov. 1 meeting.

According to the letter, the proposal to redistrict Charlotte was made on August 24 by Tom Little, chairman of the Apportionment Board.

“The Charlotte Selectboard, on behalf of the Town of Charlotte, are unanimously opposed to the proposal by Tom Little to sever Charlotte’s senate representation from the rest of Chittenden County,” Krasnow wrote. “The Town of Charlotte is an integral part of Chittenden County and most of its residents work in or interact within the County.”

In the letter, Krasnow listed what he described in the letter as “critical and integrated municipal and governmental systems woven into the fabric of Charlotte within Chittenden County.”

The list included District 3 paramedic ambulatory services, Williston Barracks State Police Services, Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, Member of the Town Chittenden Solid Waste District, and Member of the Town Champlain Valley School District.

“The Selectboard recognizes the challenge of equitably carving up Chittenden County Senate representation into distinct districts of smaller constituencies, and has the confidence in the Apportionment Board to create districts within Chittenden County that include all towns within Chittenden County,” Krasnow wrote. “The Charlotte Selectboard is available to discuss the pitfalls of this proposed map or to offer alternative apportionment proposals at your request.”

The board did not discuss alternative apportionment proposals at their Oct. 25 or Nov. 1 meetings.

“I think it’s important for the town to send a positive message that we want to stay in Chittenden County as representation,” Krasnow said at the Nov. 1 meeting. “However, we don’t want to micromanage or direct the work of the Reapportionment Board. It is a state-level government board, and they have a process. I wouldn’t want to send a message that we think we know how to plan their work for the better, or that we are asking for special representation. I just was hoping to have a simple message that referenced something that we did not like and gave reasons we felt we should be represented in Chittenden County.”

But at the Nov. 1 meeting, board members discussed two new plans presented earlier that day by Apportionment Board members Jeremy Hansen and Jeanne Albert.

Members seemed supportive of Hansen’s proposal that, if approved by the Apportionment Board, would keep Charlotte in Chittenden County.

By the end of the meeting, the board decided to table any decision on the letter and wait to see what the Apportionment Board’s next steps would be.

According to meeting minutes on the Apportionment Board’s website, the next meeting for the board is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 8, at 9 a.m.

The next scheduled regular meeting of the Selectboard is supposed to be on Monday, Nov. 8, per notice on the town’s website that all regular meetings are held every second and fourth Monday of the month.

However, as of press time, no regular Selectboard meetings were listed on the November meeting calendar on the town’s website.