100+ Years of Different Commerce, Culture, & Identity
As in many New England towns, a Village government formed in Essex during the industrial revolution, to provide services to the the Town's densely settled area of commerce.
The more agrarian (Town-outside-the-Village) portion didn't require water, sewer, sidewalks, and fire fighting, until parts of it were developed into neighborhoods much later on.
Uniquely, Essex has two populations (V and TOV) that
have grown to be the same size, thanks to a great deal more economic and housing development
in our TOV than in the average Vermont town.
Other Vermont towns have seen their Villages and TOVs merge or separate over time as their Villages grew
and as attitudes changed.
Since 1958, residents of Essex have attempted either
merger or separation more than a dozen times.
This is another such attempt.
Each plan of merger is different,
but it always means that...
One part of town will pay for services that it hasn't previously voted for, doesn't need, and may never use.
One part of town will access resources that it
didn't have control over previously.
One part of town may govern at the other's expense,
depending on the type of board structure that's approved.
One part of town is encouraged to lose its identity, both figuratively ("we're all one!") and literally, as the logos from the Village vanish from flanks of trucks and roadside signs.