Elaine Haney Mis-Speaks on the Radio
August 30, 2020
Elaine Haney was dismissive of "3+3" charter change, despite overwhelming support townwide.
NMN comments in red.
If both the Town and Village versions of a merger charter pass, which she expects they will, the HGO will determine which representation model will fly.
History tells us that when last handed two conflicting charters from Essex, the HGO handed them back and said, "figure it out yourselves".
3+3 would go into effect right away, if approved by the legislature. It's not tied to merger.
You'd never know that from the pro-merger propaganda in Feb. 2021 tying them together.
Kurt Wright (co-host): Ties happen (6-6) in Burlington; they have an even-numbered board. Why doesn’t this translate directly to Essex?
Elaine: that’s a City Council. Selectboards aren’t allowed to have more than 5 members by statute. Not true.
Elaine claims, anecdotally, voters thought they were approving merger in March 2020.
What an insult to the electorate, insinuating they don’t read the question before they vote.
When a TOV resident was appointed to the fifth seat in June, Elaine notes, “no one’s saying a peep about how the TOV now has more representation”.
That's because the TOV doesn’t have more representation overall. The Village still has more residents at the joint meeting table, where all these merger conversations are happening. The TOV is outnumbered: 7 Village to 3 TOV.
Says people want to be able to elect their representatives at large.
With the 3+3+1, 6 of 7 would be elected by district, so not a big difference.
Actually, the one member gives one half of town a veto-proof majority. Compromise is no long needed.
Elaine: “I’m not understanding why 3+3 is considered the end all and be all of cooperation.”
She says: Voters thought, last March, why wouldn’t I want equal representation? And counters, “It was not that simple and it’s still not that simple.”
She claims 3+3+1 is fine, and it “is the closest thing to the spirit of 3+3”.
No, 4+4 -- what our school board has -- is the closest thing to that spirit.
Marcus Certa (co-host and Village resident), per merger: “Why are we arguing over a $300 tax increase?”
The cumulative increase is greater than $2,300 for TOV residents.
Elaine: The average Village household is paying $895 extra toward Town services that we don’t use as Village residents. Not true. $895 is going to pay for Village services that only Village residents vote on.
Village residents, as dual citizens, also pay Town taxes. At least 90% of the Town taxes paid by Village residents come back to them in services they receive or have access to.
Elaine used the phrase “dual taxation” when talking about what merger will resolve.
Actually, the second tax paid by Village residents is one they willingly vote for each year at their annual meeting to provide services they desire on top of the services they vote for as Town residents.