2021 was not that great – what comes next?

This was a tough year for The Charlotte News.

We lost two editors and several board members for a variety of reasons. We struggled at times to cover key meetings in town and to do the reporting that our readers expect to see in The News. We ran stories that earned both praise and even scorn.

But we didn’t miss an issue.

The Charlotte News, Charlotte, VermontWhat is that worth to you? The News offers local, independent, nonprofit journalism, and it costs a lot to produce. We are asking for your financial support, as we do each year at this time. And we are laying out our plans for 2022.

First, it needs to be said that the success of the paper this year is due largely to staff members Anna Cyr, Christy Hagios, Mara Brooks and Susan Jones. They work hard. We also extend gratitude to our community writers, advertisers, donors and board members. And let’s not overlook the volunteers who copy edit, proofread and deliver our papers every other week all year long.

The top priority for the board in the New Year is recruiting the next editor. Readers can help by spreading the word and asking around.

I also want to give you an idea of new and refreshed features we’re working on for 2022:

  • We’re launching a new monthly column, “Stronger Together,” coordinated by Linda Hamilton and the Grange.
  • We’ll run a beefed-up calendar of events in every issue, thanks to Mary Landon, our newest volunteer.
  • Peter Joslin, who recently stepped down after 17 years on the Planning Commission, will be writing periodically about planning and town governance as it relates to the future of Charlotte.
  • Our readers will continue to enjoy Phyl Newbeck’s “Hi Neighbor” column, Lucie Lehmann’s coverage of local farms, and stories from Dan Cole on Charlotte history.

On the news side, we have two goals:

  • To cover every meeting of the Selectboard, Planning Commission, Development Review Board, and the School Board.
  • To introduce what’s known as solutions journalism by reporting on how people in Charlotte and nearby towns are responding to problems, with an emphasis on solutions that work.

If you value the paper and support our plans, please help by investing in local news and making a year-end gift to help fund this work. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so all gifts are tax-deductible.

Better yet, every gift we receive is doubled, thanks to several generous donors. They have pledged an additional $10,000 to encourage our readers to make investments that strengthen our local news coverage.

If you’re one of the 290 people who have made a gift this year…thank you!

For others, there is still time to support local news and to make your gift go further, so don’t delay. Give today, and for every dollar you give, The News receives two. Mail your check to us at P.O. Box 251, Charlotte, VT 05445 or use your credit card to make a tax-deductible donation on our secure website.

Whatever your response to this request and to our plans for the New Year, thank you for reading the paper and for your contributions to the health of this town, this state and the world at large.