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Of Moons, Skunks and Pat Murray

May 24, 2021

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A Time to Go 

August 1, 2021

My wife and I just said goodbye to our beloved dog Bentley, age seventeen. If you have a pet, you know how easy it is to become attached to the little munchkins and how hard it is to watch them deteriorate. Eventually, if you do not want to prolong their pain, you let them go.

Reflecting on this, I’ve concluded it’s time: Time to let the Village of Essex Junction go, time to let it separate from the Town, and time to stop the seemingly endless bickering over merger. There’s more to life and bigger challenges to face.

The Trustees seem bullish on creating what they call the “Independent City of Essex Junction.” They have established a sophisticated website promoting separation. They have a timeline and an agenda.

Also, the Trustees recently gave a list of suggestions to the Selectboard that would ease the village’s transition ― including transferring nearly $1 million of money from the Town to the new city; kicking the Town staff out of the Town offices; treating city residents as Town residents for privileged access to the Indian Brook Reservoir.  

This rather audacious version of “dependent independence” reminds me of a book we had when our daughters entered their teenaged years: Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager. “Yes, Mom, don’t bug us, but by the way …” is equivalent to the Trustees telling the Town, “Yes, we’re going to be independent but … you have to pay.”

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It’s time, therefore, to let the village go; time for the Selectboard to stop responding to the Trustees and start listening to the 11,000+ residents of what would be the New Town of Essex. We have a right to decide our own fate, and also to be protected from the Trustees of the proposed Independent City of Essex Junction from perpetually having their hands in our wallets. After all, it will be our Town, our treasure.

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Bruce S. Post, a former Selectboard member, was chief of staff for 1980 presidential candidate U.S. Congressman John B. Anderson.